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God of Clocks
Alan Campbell
Bantam Spectra, 388 pages

God of Clocks
Alan Campbell
Alan Campbell was born in Falkirk, Scotland, and grew up there, before moving on to to study Computer Science at Edinburgh University. After graduating, he worked for DMA Design, Visual Sciences and Rockstar, developing video games: Body Harvest for the Nintendo 64, Formula One 2000 for the Playstation, and the Grand Theft Auto series on the PC and PS2. He now pursues a career in photography and to write.

Alan Campbell Website
ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by John Enzinas

God of Clocks is the third book in the Deepgate Codex trilogy. This is something that was not clear from the advance copy that I got and I haven't read the first two books. Due to this, there were a number of points where I felt a little lost as to who the characters were and what their relationships were with each other.

For example I had no idea why one of the Arconites (gigantic automatons shaped like skeletal angels) was being controlled by the spirit of one of the heroes or why there was a demigod being boiled to extract her divinity in the center of the Sea Gods Airship. For that matter, it was never made clear why a sea god would have an airship in the first place or why it would be chained to a giant named John Anchor.

Thankfully not knowing what's going on is not a huge liability for this book. It is more like diving in head first and running with the story, having faith that you'll get the pieces that you need to understand the story.

The heros decide that their best plan is to split into two groups. The first, the sea god Cospinol and his anchor head to Hell to fight its king. The second group, composed of the former assassin Rachel, and the two escapees from Hell, Mina and Hast, take their freed Arconite to see if they can rouse Heaven to clean up the mess Hell has made of the world.

Alan Campbell's world building is amazing. He has some brilliant ideas and adds some lovely little twists to everything making the world both interesting and satisfyingly crunchy. It's all going quite well with the action building to a nice fevered pitch. Even the loops of time travel and paradox (they are meeting the God of Clocks) are handled fairly well and then all of a sudden it just stops.

It ends not with a bang, but a whimper from an almost literal deus ex machina. With the quality of writing that I had seen previous to the ending, I was really expecting more. It's not bad, but it doesn't do justice to the work that came before. That being said, it is his first series and he still writes his ending way better than Neal Stevenson.

Copyright © 2010 John Enzinas

John Enzinas reads frequently and passionately. In his spare time he plays with swords.

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