Mini review: Whitechapel Gods by S.M. Peters

Book info:

Form: e-book, pdf format
Genre: Steampunk, horror, sci-fi
Target audience: adults (too much gore to qualify it as YA)


Victorian London. The Whitechapel section has been turned into a mechanized, steam-driven horrific hell, cut off and ruled by two mysterious, mechanical god-like entities- Mama Engine and Grandfather Clock. They have a virtually undestructible army of minions at their disposal, composed of people whose hearts have been replaced with coal furnaces and nerves and veins – with copper wiring. In short people turned into machines.

The rest of populace had had enough but the first time they were too weak to prevail – some years have passed since the Great Uprising and everything seemingly returned to the old order. However a few brave veterans of the Uprising have formed their own new Resistance-and are gathering for another attack. John Scared schemes to usurp Grandfather Clock’s power while Oliver Sumner and other revolutionaries look to overthrow both gods for the benefit of humanity. Both sides have discovered a secret weapon that may finally free them-or kill them all…who will prevail this time?

What I liked:

· Steampunk at its best – reeking of metal, soot, oil and coal, almost tangible in its mechanical passion and glory. Sometimes the creatures like clickrats sent shivers down my spine.

· Some compelling questions are asked about humanity and technology. Very well.

· The main characters, Olivier and Missy, I found rather likeable (but I am not sure whether it was more pity than anything else…)

· The cover I find intriguing and fitting.

What I didn’t like:

· I found the book a bit too grim to be read in the summer, too neurotic and unnerving. Sometimes I didn’t feel like continuing reading. I do think this is the most gore I’ve ever seen in any Steampunk novel; it got downright bloody at times. There was also too little sense of humour to make up for it.

· The prose, especially at the beginning, wasn’t flowing smoothly enough to draw you into the narration and keep you interested.

· Mr. S.M. Peters has a lot to say on religion, philosophy and the horrors of the mind but sometimes those fragments overshadow the main action and heroes. It took me forever to figure out that Oliver was indeed the central character in the story. Why? Whitechapel Gods for an action-packed book about an uprising tends to get a little too abstract, especially towards the end (after all drug-induced dreams and hallucinations are not something you expect in a steampunk book).

· Some heroes and villains were a bit too generic.

Final verdict:

 I like steampunk so this one I found still interesting – I must admit the world that S.M. Peters created here was original and a very well developed… I just wish it was a bit more cheerful. Definitely not a relaxing summer read.

Better luck next time I suppose – I am willing to try another book of this author but mainly because of his…

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12 Responses to Mini review: Whitechapel Gods by S.M. Peters

  1. Lena says:

    Great review. I kinda chuckled when you said it was too grim for summer….so more like a winter read. 🙂 I like steampunk. I have only read the classics. So its good to have something new to add to the list.

  2. I've heard many liking this book. But I don't know if its really for me. And hearing there are some gross parts makes me think it might not be. But I've heard it is a good story and great steam punk. Thank you!

  3. Your review made me laugh. It's sounds interesting though!

  4. anachronist says:

    I live to entertain, thank you very much! If my reviews can make you laugh, the pleasure is only mine!Lena – definitely winter or autumn would be a better time for this book.Melissa – there are gross parts, there is no escape from that. They are consistent with the rest but not very palatable, especially not in the summer.Brooke – as I said above, my pleasure! Laughter is good for you!

  5. Blodeuedd says:

    Goory, oh…well better in books than in movies. That is what I say. Still would I read, dunno

  6. anachronist says:

    Yes, gory…from time to time removing-your-own-entrails type of gory. No matter whether you can accept it or not you must be aware of that fact. Not a fluffy reading overall.

  7. Deepali says:

    Really interesting review 🙂 Nicely pointed out why I might like it too!Read the previous review of the Spider books, I've read the first couple in the series and it was good to see your review. I'd forgotten the copious amounts of sex/adult material, and a couple of other things your review recalled to mind.Its nice when someone else's review can help me articulate vague feelings I had about a book!

  8. anachronist says:

    My pleasure Deepali is even greater – it's so nice you find my reviews so compatible with your notions of a good book!

  9. I don't know if I would love this book, but it does sound interesting. Plus who could resist a character named Missy?

  10. anachronist says:

    Missy was the shortening from Michelle – quite nice but not very common.

  11. Because of his what? I've wanted to read this book, I think it's the cover that just invites me in. However, I have so many books I want to read, this one keeps getting pushed down on the list. It sounds pretty good, albeit gruesome. I'm a little sick like that though, I like gruesome. As long as it doesn't involve children, though.JenIn the Closet With a Bibliophile

  12. anachronist says:

    Lol because of his steampunk outlook. Being a magpie I couldn't help creating that nice pic posted right below my review, especially for very 'steampunky' novels.I do recommend you wait with this one till autumn, Jen. There are some mistreated kids involved.

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