The strongest attribute of Whitechapel Gods is its atmosphere. The language Peters uses lends a smoky, gritty feel to the book. Some of the characters are quite memorable, as is the creepy John Scared and his minion. Others are completely interchangeable, like many of the crew Oliver runs with. And at times the plot is extremely difficult to follow, especially in the beginning. The amount of extraneous action overwhelms the true aim of the story. While the steampunk aspects are well defined, the metaphysical aspects of Mama Engine and Grandfather Clock are not. This supernatural facet is vital to the story, yet never fully explained and seems little more than a convenient and confusing plot device.
Whitechapel Gods by S M Peters suffers from its nebulous plot. While the idea of a Victorian England suffering from a mechanical plague had potential, the execution of the story fell short. As my first read in the steampunk sub-genre I was disappointed. Despite the good points (and wonderful cover art), I would not readily recommend this book.
Whitechapel Gods by S M Peters
Published by Roc
Whitechapel Gods by S M Peters is available at Amazon.com
I reviewed Whitechapel Gods from my own personal library