Review of GOD OF CLOCKS by Alan Campbell (see his website)
Spectra, April 2009
The God Rys is dead, killed by angels from hell set within mechanical giants. Now, Hell is chasing down its last opponents...including another angel-equipped giant contraption, and a huge airship supported by divine will and pulled by a mortal man equipped with an incredible will and countless thousands of soul pearls. No man can stand against the angels. Even the remaining gods, exiled sons of the goddess, seem powerless.
While John Anchor pulls his airship to a doomed assault on Hell, assassin Rachel Hael plots an attack on Heaven. Perhaps they can awaken Ayen the goddess. Perhaps her power could rid the world of Menoa, the God of the mazes, ruler of Hell. Or perhaps they'd only bring destruction even more quickly.
Author Alan Campbell creates a rich world and sets it with intriguing characters and interesting paradoxes. The God of Clocks, namesake for this book, for example, controls elements of time, allowing him to send people in loops where they'll meet up with one another, be able to work together, or even fight. But each change he introduces brings a new universe into being, and each universe offers new threats to the castle of time he guards. Campbell's concept of hell as a place built by lost souls of themselves is weird and wonderful. John Anchor, Carnival the fallen angel, and Maybe John, the boy who would be a sword, make for fascinating and twisted characters.
I spent the first half of this book trying to figure out what was going on, who I should care about, why things were they way they were. (Okay, perhaps I should have read the earlier books in the series rather than picking it up at the end). But somewhere along, the story caught me and swept me up. I ended up staying up late because I couldn't stand going to sleep without seeing how it all worked out.
Too generous? Too stingy. Or did I miss the whole point? Send your comments to email@example.com. I'll publish the best letters I get so let me know if I can use your name.
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