Book Review from the Pocket Pistol: Whitechapel Gods by S. M. Peters (Roughly 375 Pages)
This book takes place in a Victorian era England, in a mythic, walled-in Whitechapel where ash clouds the air, clockwork bionic growth is a mysterious infectious disease called “the clanks”, and a gigantic fiery engine and a tremendous clock tower that feeds on the lifeforce of humans wired into its mechanisms are the earthly manifestations of primordial beings of incredible power. These beings are the gods of Whitechapel, and the tale’s shadowy antagonists.
As this author’s first published novel, it is an amazing achievement. The narrative voice is clear and engaging, the pacing drives the reader onward (at least this reader), and the words invoke vivid imagery with consummate ease. I’ll be looking for more novels by this writer in the future.
Whitechapel Gods is about vengeance, failure, and loss; it is about heroism, integrity, and redemption; it is about fighting the good fight, no matter the odds; and most of all, it is about the best damned steampunk story I have ever read. I found the characters quite sympathetic, even as they betrayed each other; I found the climax thoroughly absorbing, even as it switched between different characters in different places doing different things; and I found the denouement truly satisfying.
I’m a happy customer.