Iron Angel

Iron Angel

Book - 2009
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In this stunning follow-up to his epic fantasy debut, Alan Campbell propels readers into a captivating city battling for its own survival--and that of humankind--in a world of deities and demons, fallen angels and killers.

After a destructive battle, the ancient swaying city of Deepgate has been overtaken. Most of the chains that suspend it have given way, and the temple now dangles upside down above the once-uncharted abyss. The victorious Spine have initiated martial law and are ruthlessly pursuing all who attempt to leave. But amid the turmoil, two captives are returned: the young angel Dill, now toughened by war, and traitor assassin Rachel Hael.

Incarcerated in the crumbling temple, the prisoners await their fate--while ghosts rise through the abyss from the open gates of Hell. But as the city teeters on the brink, plans for vengeance are set in motion. And in the coming battle between gods, it is the world of men that is at stake.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Dell, 2009, c2008
Edition: Bantam Spectra mass market ed. --
ISBN: 9780553589320
0553589326
Branch Call Number: FIC Campb
Characteristics: xiv, 493 p. --

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NeedPizza
Dec 24, 2016

This novel combines elements of high fantasy, steam punk, and body horror.

What Alan Campbell does well is world building. While Scar Night (the first novel in the series) mainly focuses on Deepgate (this big city suspended over a big pit), Iron Angel really fleshes out the world around Deepgate while also briefly returning and describing the aftermath of the events of Scar Night. It covers the nearby: dessert, town, and chemical waste forest. It covers some faraway countries. And (possible spoiler ahead) about 1/3rd of the novel takes place in hell.

Campbell is a bit hit-and-miss in other regards. While some of the characters I found very interesting, others felt very flat/bland. Some of the combat scenes are very well done, while others didn't really read well. I think my main issue with this book is the pacing. It has some notable lulls, often feels choppy, and overall doesn't flow that great - but this doesn't make it unreadable.

Contains some swearing, but not a lot and most of the time it's reasonable within the context. Also contains a lot of blood (like whole rivers of blood).

If you like assassins, angels (non biblical), demons (non biblical), giant steam punk style automatons, Gods who are sort-of mortal, just rich vividly described fantasy environments in general, and are looking for a fantasy novel that isn't about wizards, elves and unicorns - you'll probably like this series. I would recommend reading Scar Night before reading this one. But despite the fact that there are references to Scar Night, Iron Angel's plot is separate enough to be read as a stand alone novel. So you don't have to read Scar Night to understand what's going on.

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erigami
Dec 17, 2009

I enjoyed this book.

The overall idea was interesting, and seemed to bubble along reasonably well, until the second half, WHEN THERE WAS SUDDENLY A STEAM-PUNK ZOMBIE WORLD HELL. Boom. Just like that. Out of nowhere. It was fantastic.

The writing is good, but the notion of a hell that is built out of souls, and that those souls suffer because of others was neat to read about. One of the more imaginative fantasy books I've read in a while.

Pity the third book in the series didn't live up to the quality of the previous two.

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