God of Clocks

God of Clocks is the third book in Alan Campbell’s Deepgate Codex.  Before you read the rest of this and see me tearing the book apart, I’m just going to say that I really wanted to like the book.  As I said with the first two books, the worldbuilding in this series is brilliant, unfortunately that’s the only part of the series that’s worth it.  On with the full review.

Book Stats

388 pages (paperback)

Fantasy

3rd book in the Deepgate Codex (sequel to Scar Night and Iron Angel)

Characters

The book follows the same characters that ended the second book in the series.  They are split into two different groups that we follow throughout the story, the first group being Dill, Rachel, and Mira, and the second being Alice Harper and John Anchor.  The characters were better in this book, but that’s probably mostly due to this book ending the trilogy and the characters not needing to undergo any kind of development (not that they really did in the first two books).  For my last comment on the characters, the author brings Carnival back for the third book.  I hated the fact that she was thrown aside in the second book, but I think I hated the fact that she was brought back even more.  The characters in this book were an improvement, but still not great.

Setting

The high point of this series and the only reason that I would suggest anyone read the series.  It’s obviously the same from the first two books, although Hell is explored a little more in this book, as well as looking at some more of the magic that inhabits this world.  I’ve also said that I like the names of the gods in this book, and I don’t think it describes her in the first two books but it mentions Ayen, the goddess of Light and Life.  The setting in this trilogy is truly original and in truth the only reason I think anyone should read the series.

Plot

In the first two books I said that the plot seemed forced and the characters were just following along.  In this book the author actually did a much better job of letting the characters behave in believable ways that you think they would do.  I was really starting to enjoy this book until about 2/3 of the way through.  The characters meet the God of Clocks, and proceed to go back in time to try and fix their problems.  I HATE time travel in stories as it is completely illogical and never makes sense.  In this story there are probably 2 or 3 different timelines by the end, and none of them are resolved effectively.  Anytime time travel is used in a story it creates a paradox.  This is bad enough on its own, but when the characters then point out that it’s a paradox that they can’t even explain beyond just saying “It’s a paradox, just keep going,” the book becomes a parody of itself and becomes a jumbled mess.

Enjoyment

The first two books of the series were alright, not overwhelming, but readable.  I was starting to enjoy this book far more than the first two, until the time travel paradox destroyed it for me.  While this may be a bit of a personal pet peeve, it ruined the series for me.  The ending of a books or series is what should sell you on the next book by that author, prior to reading this book, I was looking forward to more of Campbell’s work, after this book, I can’t imagine reading another of his books again.

Overall Grade

I very rarely put down a book without finishing it.  For me to stop reading a book I have to be either bored to tears or seriously offended by the book.  If this book hadn’t been the third book of a trilogy, I would have put it down.  Based entirely upon this book, I can’t suggest this series to anyone.

2/10

Series Review

I wanted to enjoy this series more than I did.  In large part I hated it because of the ending of the third book.  The ending of a book can and often does color your impression of the book as a whole, and the ending of this book was horrendous to me.

One reason that I disliked this series beyond the ending was that I saw so much failed potential in this series.  I’ve said in all three individual book reviews that the worldbuilding was amazing, but there were parts of the worldbuilding that I was irritated with because they were never explored as well as they could have been.  In the first book we’re shown Callis, the half body of a 3,000 year old angel, and then he’s never seen again.  In the second book we meet the Soft Men, the original scientists whose notes allow Devon to recreate the angelwine, they’re in the book for one scene, and then never seen again.  In addition I commented in the Iron Angel review that I was upset with the Black and White sword subplot, because it existed for one scene, and then was never seen again (are we noticing a pattern here?).

Another very small thing that irritated me through the book were the character names.  Let’s list a bunch of the names from the series: Dill, Carnival (Rebecca), Devon, Mr. Nettles, Fogwill, Sypes, Rachel Hael, Mark Hael, Jack Caulker, Trench, Alice Harper, and Mira Grant.  The names just don’t fit together to me.  This is a very minor point, of criticism, but it irritated me throughout the books.

Series Grade

The worldbuilding is the only thing worth looking at in this series to me, but even then there is too much extra stuff thrown in at times without it getting enough explanation.  There are decent aspects to this series, but I can’t give it a strong recommendation for a series to read.

4/10

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5 Comments

  1. Hi,

    Your comment about how you hated the book coz of the ending reminded me of “Wizard’s First Rule” by Terry Goodkind. There are 11 books in all. The only one worth reading was the first one. I wish someone had told me that before I started. I read all 11 and by the end I was like “Is that it? I read 11 books for this!”

    And “The Dark Tower” by Stephen King. It did not help that he tries to put some sort of disclaimer before he ends the series. I would only recommend the first 3 books in that series.
    Starts to stink after book 3. Kept on reading coz I had already started.

    And yes. They are “old” books.

    Reply
    • “Old” books are great, especially if you still have people suggesting them. This shows that they’ve stood the test of time. I’ll take a books that’s been recommended for 20 years over the flavor of the month any day.

      I started reading Wizard’s First Rule years ago and got about halfway through it before I couldn’t take it anymore. I thought nearly everything in the book was a direct rip off of The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (the first book of the Wheel of Time, amazing series).

      As for continuing to read a series in part just because you started it, check out the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. The series is up to I think 35 books or so, I have the first 34 (I think) in paperback. I like the books, even though some of the later ones aren’t as good as some of the earlier books, but the books are fairly short (only about 300 pages each, I’ve read some of the books in 1 day before) and I figure if I’ve already read the first 33, why not read the 34th?

      Reply
  2. I have been trying to get the Robert Jordan books. It is on my to read list. But the Terry GoodKind books are not worth the effort.

    I am on a break from reading books. Mostly because once I start I will do nothing until I finish. And 35 books is not a good idea for me right now. But I will move it to top of my “To Read” list.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • I’m not sure how quickly you go through 800-1000 page books (as most of the Jordan books are, last time I read through the series I went through each book in about a week) but it’s a great time to start reading the series if you haven’t read it before. The last book is due to come out early next year, so you wouldn’t have to wait very long for the last book. I’ve been somewhat patiently waiting for the ending of the series for about 6 or 7 years now, and I can’t wait to read the ending of the series.

      Reply
  3. Ha ha. No what I meant was I wont do anything else. Last time I read a book in like 3 days with something like 9 hours of sleep. And I was reading it at work. Which is just not right.

    Reply

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