Lye Street (Deepgate Codex, Book 0)

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According to legend, the Great Divide marks the end of the world and no one who has Voyaged there has ever returned.

Despite this conventional setup though, the journey itself is fascinating because of Noreela , the story is excellently paced, and the ending is just mind-blowing. In short, what's so special about Noreela? I have so enjoyed writing novels and stories set in Noreela , a world where I make many of the rules. But part of it is also the sense of exploration and discovery I feel every time I start a new Noreela book. These stories are set nowhere I recognize, and whereas if I did that with my contemporary, Earth-bound fiction, it would be an obvious fault in the book.

I also like to think that Noreela is rich in history. Everything I write there plants seed for other stories. The more I write about it, the more I start to think of it as a whole, distinct world. What more can you tell us about the book? It was also perhaps the most difficult Noreela novel to write. Actually there is one extended scene that takes place on the island of the title. And between them and the island. Q: Do you have any other projects lined up for the Noreela setting?

Personally I would love to see the Bajuman starring in his own series : Also, for readers new to Tim Lebbon, should they start with a certain Noreela book or can they start anywhere? I like that. Q: Because of your horror background, your fantasy novels have a darker, grittier vibe to them which seems to be a growing trend if you look at authors like Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Richard K. What are your thoughts on this movement and the audience's response to such books? Tim: Some would say and many have said , that such fiction is becoming more popular because of the dangerous times we find ourselves in right now.

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Me, I just think people like reading good stories, well told. I enjoy writing about normal people — or normal alternate-world people — facing huge challenges. And for me, the important thing about writing fantasy is to make the characters, and their reactions to situations, believable.

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This may be fantasy, but all good fantasy is about being human. Hopefully, for a long run! Q: Speaking of horror, why doesn't the genre get the same kind of love in literature that fantasy and science fiction does? What can be done to correct the problem?

Horror exists in any and every genre many people have called my Noreela novels horror novels set in an alternate world, and I see their point.

Lye Street (Deepgate Codex)

I have no easy answers. Is there anything else you'd like to say about " Mind the Gap ", its sequel " The Map of Moments ", and the young adult novels that Chris mentioned? You heard it here first! Moore , and any other writing projects? Myself, Chris and Jim were sitting in the bar at a convention a few years back, discussing the differences if any… between British and US genre writing.

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Brit-only stories! As for other stuff, I have a lot of work due out this year. Very excited about that. Q: Definitely sounds like it! Finally, could you give us an update on how the movie versions of your books including "White" are progressing, and if anything else has been optioned since the last time we spoke?

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Expecting big things of that. Tuesday, April 22, Secondly, awarding-winning screenwriter La Cucina and author A. Full of legends and lore. It is home and a safe place for Ameila Pivens Kreutzer. For an ancient society of witch hunters, and practitioners, it is an easy place to go unnoticed. But you know what? It deserves it.

The book definitely sounds interesting and is out today! Monday, April 21, On the other hand, I was incredibly frustrated by the inconsistent writing which I felt prevented the novel from reaching its full potential and therefore had some reservations before starting the second book in The Deepgate Codex. So if you thought Deepgate was fascinating, wait until you get a glimpse of Cinderbark Wood —a forest where every single branch, thorn, twig, and root is saturated with toxins that kill at a single touch— Pandemeria where technology is fueled by soul magic, and my personal favorite, Hell.

Readers also get to visit a vastly different Deepgate , one that is literally falling apart and haunted at night by phantasms, as well as meeting for the first time John Anchor , an immortal giant who serves Cospinol by pulling his ship Rotsward and collecting souls. Finally, the last segment takes place in Pandemeria and concerns a diplomatic mission securing a new peace treaty between King Menoa and Rys , the god of flowers and knives. In this segment expect convergences, Victorian steampunk, a mystery, thaumaturgy, murder, betrayal, war and a wicked cliffhanger… As a whole, I just thought the story rocked!

There were also a few pacing problems in the third segment particularly with the train sequence, and times when Alan really leaves the reader hanging, like wondering what happened to Carnival after her confrontation with John Anchor. Friday, April 18, Alan: The city of Deepgate is suspended by chains over a seemingly bottomless abyss.

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It's an ancient, crumbling place ruled by the Church of Ulcis at its heart. On the day a naive young angel, Dill , begins his service in the Church he is assigned a new overseer, the cynical assassin Rachel Hael. The story follows their growing friendship, through Dill's first tentative steps outside the Church, and ultimately to the depths of the abyss beneath the city. Two murderers are loose in the chained city: The scarred angel Carnival , who hunts for souls on the night of the dark moon; And the Church's own Master Poisoner, Alexander Devon , who is performing illegal experiments in secret.

One of them has killed the daughter of a loner and drunk, Mr. When Mr. Nettle decides to take revenge for his daughter's murder, he sets in motion a series of events that endangers the chained city and everyone in it. I'm finding it hard to say more without giving too much away. It's probably darker. And because it's set in the midst of a vast war, it's necessarily much more violent than the first book. Of course I didn't mind at all. Then Macmillan thought it would cause less confusion if we then renamed the book here in the UK.

It made a lot of sense. The title refers to changes experienced by a character in the book. Q: A couple of the characters returning for the sequel are the angel Dill and the Spine assassin Rachel Hael. Alan: Rachel's cynicism has turned firmly against the Spine. She no longer recognizes herself as a temple assassin or yearns to be tempered, and continues to find her humanity through her feelings for Dill , or what's left of him.

Dill evolves more than any other character. What can you tell us about these and any other new characters that will be making an appearance? Alan: John Anchor is amiable and gregarious on the surface, but he has a hidden, darker side. He arrives from Pandemeria to murder Carnival and ends up on a mission of mercy. And he shoulders a burden much greater than that of Cospinol's airship. His master, Cospinol , is the oldest of the living gods and yet he is the last to remain imprisoned as Ulcis was.

He's very much under the thumb of his younger brothers, and naturally resents them for that. Despite his impotence, Cospinol's relationship with his slave has given him more human qualities than his siblings. He is the best hope for mankind. She has grown up, but her demonic little dog hasn't. Alan: I like Mr. Nettle , because of his relentless determination. While Deepgate was primarily the focus of your debut, you hinted at a much larger world. Alan: Of course. This is the introduction to Pandemeria : The train to Coreollis rumbled along a narrow slag embankment above Upper Cog City, dragging mountains of smoke behind it.

The lower districts remained flooded, but here the waters had receded some fifteen yards below the raised steel tracks, leaving streets clogged with silt and rusting warships. From the embankment's slopes to the horizon, ten thousand vessels had been left to rot among the waterlogged shops and houses.

Mangled heaps of gunboats and destroyers filled the plazas of Highcliff and the Theatre District, while the cries of these adapted souls rose higher still. Battleships loomed like great red headlands above rows of townhouse roofs, their hulls scarred by cannon-fire or scraped and dented by rubble from collapsed buildings, their groans of pain long and low. The late evening sun gave a molten edge to those funnels, decks and gun-batteries which rose above the chimneystacks, and bathed the brickwork between ships in soft amber light.

South of the terminus the embankment sank with the surrounding streets towards Sill River, and here the waters rose to within a foot of the newly-laid railway sleepers. Flooded lanes looped around the Offal Quarter factories like a giant fingerprint, or like the canals of Hell, all choked with flotsam, furniture and corpses.

Nacreous swirls of oil and yellow, aquamarine and ochre froths revolved between hull, keel and lamppost. Cannon-boats drifted in the deep square pools of old Workhouse Yards or lay beached on tenement roofs, their lines fouled in weathervanes. A breeze came up from the city: bitter, engine-scented air full of hot dust and strange metallic cries.

Q: As far as Deepgate, where did you get the inspiration for the city? What does it represent, both for you personally, and in the story? Alan: The idea came to me in a hostel room in Budapest. The crumbling towers and glooming courtyards probably have their roots in Gormenghast , since that book had such a profound effect on me.

In the story Deepgate simply represents life suspended over the unknown, the constant proximity of death. Why, and are you trying to make any statements about religion, especially regarding the science vs. Alan: I'm not trying to make a conscious statement about religion. Faith is an integral part of all societies, and so you can't ignore it in fantasy.

Alan: They say don't judge a book by its cover, but we all do. I think artwork is tremendously important. A dodgy cover would never stop me from buying a book I wanted to read, but I've picked up books from the shelf simply because the cover caught my eye. I'm fortunate to have had remarkably talented artists create my book covers and illustrations.

They have all been superb. Are speculative fiction considered generic? I suppose a large number of fantasy covers portray magical landscapes which seem to promise the reader escapism. If it works, then why not? Q: What kind of response has your debut received in the UK compared to North America, and what differences have you noticed between the two book scenes, specifically for speculative fiction?

Alan: I have no idea what my US sales have been. I didn't think to ask — I was too busy working on the next one. Macmillan tells me that the UK sales have been very strong. The press response has been good. Alan: Again, I don't know.

I'll leave all that to the publishers, while I focus on the third book. Alan: The novella came about when Bill at Subterranean Press emailed me with the suggestion. I loved the idea of a limited edition novella and greatly enjoyed writing it. To have such talented artists involved was a dream. My father is an artist and I've worked alongside artists for most of my life. I'm constantly in awe of their work. If I could draw or paint, I'd be doing it myself. As Rachel travels to the final confrontation she has both sought and feared, she begins to realize that time itself is unraveling.


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And so she must prepare herself for a sacrifice that may claim her heart, her life, her soul—and even then it may not be enough. This was much better than the second book, and pretty even with the first. I thought the story was better plotted and it held my attention easier. I still really like all the characters, although Dill is pretty "eh. He just doesn't really make an impression on me at all. I still recommend these books to anyone who asks, and give it 4 stars. Alan Cambell's Deepgate Codex is a dark, grimy, Gothic fantasy with elements of dark humor and horror.


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  5. This thrilling saga is consistently anything but predictable or mundane. It is a madcap tumble through bizarre, lunatic landscapes. Just when you think you know what is coming, guess again! God of Clocks picks up where Iron Angel left off and sets off at a madcap pace into what should have been a brilliant conclusion to an incredible trilogy. The ending, unfortunately, felt very rushed. It was building to this amazing climax and then it was It just ended. More questions were left unanswered than answered. Plus a whole new set of questions came up! I truly hope that Alan Campbell is not through with these characters and this world.

    Despite the disappointing, befuddling ending, Alan Campbell's Deepgate Codex is still a strange and brilliant trilogy. I've left so much out of my reviews for fear of saying too much. Read it! Like Martin and Lynch, Campbell is not afraid to kill off main characters First things first, if this is your first Alan Campbell book, please put it down, step away, and find the first book in the series. I say it's "nominally" book three because there's also a prequel novella entitled Lye Street published by the truly wonderful folks at Subterranean Press. God of Clocks is not a book that you can jump into without understanding the world building of the previous books, so my strong recommendation is to start with Scar Night and go from there.

    Before I go further, let me say this: Scar Night is one of the better new fantasy novels out there. It's a fantastically original world with a wide range of interesting characters and one of the most compelling urban fantasy landscapes you're likely to run across. I recommend Scar Night without reservation or hesitation. Now, if you've come this far, I'm assuming you've read the other two books in the Deepgate Codex, so I will forego the summary of what has come before.

    God of Clocks begin immediately after the end of Iron Angel. Now, the remaining protagonists from Iron Angel must divide into two groups and embark upon a risky two-front strategy involving simultaneous invasions of heaven and hell this also allows Campbell to engage in the multi-narrator structure apparently mandatory in epic fantasy. Along the way, one group will seek to enter the castle of the angel Sabor, god of clocks, resulting in a threat to Time itself.

    Time travel and paradoxes. I must confess that I tend to be skeptical about time travel in a novel. There's something vaguely deus ex machina about it. It also can easily lead an author into self indulgent literary legerdemain. To be blunt: the author stops telling a story and begins showing off, which pushes the writing out in front of the narrative. That being said, Campbell handles this all quite nicely and I think is able to avoid the pitfalls into which a lesser writer would stray.

    I enjoyed the book. The characters have their moments, although I don't think they generate an inordinate amount of sympathy. The landscape is very creative; one thing that Campbell does not lack is creativity, the book positively brims with inventive ideas and interesting detail. And yet, I miss Deepgate. One of my favorite characters is John Anchor and that's ironic, really, because I feel that an anchor is what the books lacks. Scar Night had Deepgate as its anchor, and it became the beating heart of the book. I don't regret the read, but I don't know that he has fulfilled the promise contained in Scar Night.

    I wanted to like this book and this series, but I can't really say I did. It was a difficult read for me. I enjoyed the last part of this book, when Campbell started to play with time, but it felt completely different from everything else that had happened in the story; it was well-foreshadowed within the book itself, but I didn't feel like there was anything in the first two novels that had suggested at all that this was where the story was going to end up.

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