Posts Tagged ‘Deepgate Codex’

“The Church of Ulcis rose unchallenged from the heart of Deepgate, black as a rip in the blood-red sky…”

Deepgate Scar NightDeepgate Iron AngelDeepgate God of Clocks

For nine hundred generations, the city of Deepgate has hung suspended by giant chains over a seemingly bottomless abyss. In the unfathomable darkness below is said to reside the dread god Ulcis, ‘hoarder of souls’, with his army of ghosts. Outside the city extend the barren wastes of Deadsands, inhabited by the enemy Heshette, so that safe access is guaranteed only by a fleet of airships. At the hub of the city itself rises the Temple, in one of whose many crumbling spires resides a youthful angel, Dill, the last of his line. Descendant of heroic battle-archons, yet barely able to wield the great sword he has inherited from his forebears, he lives a sheltered existence under the watchful eye of Presbyter Sypes, who rules the Temple. For despite his sense of purposelessness, Dill has a destiny about to unfold – one that will take him down into terrifying depths of the pit in a desperate quest to save the teeming but precarious city from total annihilation at the hands of a cunning and resourceful traitor.

“…stained glass blazed in its walls. Rooks wheeled around its spires and pinnacles. Gargoyles crowded dizzy perches among flying buttresses, balconies, and crenellated crowns. Legions of the stone-winged beasts stared out beyond the city, facing towards the Deadsands: sneering, grinning, furious.
Alan Campbell – Scar Night

Alan Cambell’s Deepgate Codex is a dark, grimy, Gothic fantasy with elements of dark humor and horror. This thrilling saga is consistently anything but predictable or mundane. It is a madcap tumble through bizarre, lunatic landscapes. Just when you think you know what is coming, guess again!

Scar Night drew me in with descriptions of a city suspended by chains – all crumbling walls and leering gargoyles. The stunning imagery quickly brings the city and characters to life. The story was gripping, with brilliantly developed characters, great concepts, and a spectacular cliffhanger ending. Each character is likable in their own way, and, if not likable, then certainly intriguing.

Iron Angel expands on the original world, through an array of new and fascinating characters and the vast, surreal landscape of Hell. Campbell’s vision of Hell is detailed and stunning. Hell is a labyrinth of walls dripping blood; feeding off of, and consuming, the souls of the dead. It is ever-changing and never what it appears; filled with demons and horrors unimaginable. Yet, in all the nightmarish darkness, there is much more humor in this story and in God of Clocks. One standout scene is of a doorway chasing a certain someone around the labyrinth of hell. Remembering this scene always brings a smile to my face.

God of Clocks picks up where Iron Angel left off and sets off at a madcap pace into what should have been a brilliant conclusion to an incredible trilogy. The ending, unfortunately, felt very rushed. It was building to this amazing climax and then it was…over. It just ended. More questions were left unanswered than answered. Plus a whole new set of questions came up! I truly hope that Alan Campbell is not through with these characters and this world.

Despite the disappointing, befuddling ending, Alan Campbell’s Deepgate Codex is still a strange and brilliant trilogy. I’ve left so much out of my review for fear of saying too much. Read it!

I highly recommend this trilogy for fans of Scott Lynch, Patrick Rothfuss and George R.R. Martin. Like Martin and Lynch, Campbell is not afraid to kill off main characters… although they do not always stay dead

“Hidden among the temple spires, an ivy-strewn tower broke free from a nest of rooftops. Its once arched crown had crumbled, but gargoyles still squatted between the remaining fingers of stone; beasts with lion feet, wings and tusks. Lichen scarred their soft scowls, moss furred their wings, and tiny white flowers sprouted from cracks between their toes, but the gargoyles kept their endless watch undaunted.”
Alan Campbell – Scar Night

I would love to see this trilogy adapted into a movie(s) under the direction of Tim Burton or Guillermo del Toro. The vivid imagery throughout is very cinematic and would be perfect animated in the style of 9. I picture Carnival played by Helena Bonham Carter; Ricky votes for Tilda Swinton. John Anchor should definitely be played by Michael Clarke Duncan, and Ray Stevenson would be perfect for Mr. Nettle.


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