Scar Night by Alan Campbell
Scar Night features a world suspended by chains over a seemingly bottomless chasm. Only through life and death will you finally discover what lies beneath this dark world as the God Ulcis and the souls of the dead are waiting for you below. This ancient city of Deepgate is home to Dill, the last in a line of Angels, who is under the protection of the presbyters, a part of the Church which runs the city. There is also a Spine assassin named Rachel Hael and a psychotic vampiric angel and dangerous murderer called Carnival. When an enemy comes to Deepgate these three form an uneasy alliance and step into the chasm to save the City.
As a keen reader in the past there have been times when I have struggled to finish a book. I put it down to my concentration. However, it was not until I began to review books that it became obvious that it was what I was reading. Unfortunately I had a similar feeling while reading Alan Campbell's' opening book in the Deepgate Codex Trilogy. That is not to say it is a bad book. It just missed one or two ingredients for me.
That said the author has created a wonderfully dark and visual world in his writing, and has imbued the book with a rich and vividly satisfying atmosphere throughout. This is its strongest point. It is also its weakest point as it is given too much focus, and initially makes it difficult to get into the book. The idea of the storyline sounds intriguing and inventive and as such should have provided a strong novel with Alan Campbell's ability to create such a vivid impression. It just lacks a few vital ingredients. It starts off slowly and it took a while to get the characters motivations up and running. The writing seems to centre on the world's setting and the character of Dill seemed to go nowhere in the first third of the book as he did nothing but stare out at this dark world. I also felt that the angel Dill could have been written with more depth and hopefully his character will be expanded in the latter books. There are some interesting characters through the book notably Mr Nettle, whose actions I particularly enjoyed. As to rest the pacing of the story could have been improved upon, and only really picked up in the last third of the book.
In conclusion, it is a highly visual novel full of darkness, angels, vampires, murder, destruction and poison. It just lacks flow and centres itself too much on setting a scene. Many of the ideas are undeveloped and the writing and editing will need improvement on future books. Characters and the pacing of the storyline will also need more focus. This could be put down to it being the author's first book. I will definitely finish the series with the hope that Alan Campbell's writing style will improve and a balanced approach taken to all the aspects of telling a story.
This Scar Night book review was written by Allan Fisher
All reviews for: Deepgate Codex Trilogy
Deepgate Codex Trilogy: Book 1
Suspended by chains over a seemingly bottomless abyss, the ancient city of Deepgate is home to a young angel, an assassin, and a psychotic murderer hungry for revenge or re...
Deepgate Codex Trilogy: Book 2
The chained city of Deepgate is now in ruins, and the spine militia are trying to halt the exodus of panicking citizens with brutal force. Rachel and the angel Dill are dra...
Have you read Scar Night?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Scar Night reader reviews
Karen from England
Being a bit spoiled by being a big fan of Tigana (the gold standard!) I was pleasantly surprised by this, all the more so since it's a first novel by the author. Am about to start number two in the series which says a lot about the pulling-in power of the first - these days if I don't like a book I junk it there and then. Life's too short, etc. Keep up the good work, Mr. Campbell.....
7.5/10 from 2 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Perdido Street Station
The metropolis of New Crobuzon sprawls at the centre of its own bewildering world. Humans and mutants and arcane races throng the gloom beneath its chimneys, where the rive...
The Anubis Gates
Brendan Doyle is a twentieth-century English professor who travels back to 1810 London to attend a lecture given by English romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This is a...
The City and the City
When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Besźel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector T...
The Difference Engine
William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
The computer age has arrived a century ahead of time with Charles Babbage's perfection of his Analytical Engine. The Industrial Revolution, supercharged by the developm...
A colossal fantasy of incredible diversity and spellbinding imagination. A human cargo bound for servitude in exile... A pirate city hauled across the oceans... A hidden mi...
The Aeronaut's Windlass
Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have rule...
It is a time of revolts and revolutions, conflict and intrigue. New Crobuzon is being ripped apart from without and within. War with the shadowy city-state of Tesh and riot...
The Mensch with No Name
Edward M Erdelac
The Merkabah Rider continues his journey across the American Southwest of 1880 in search of the renegade teacher who destroyed his mystic Jewish order in the second volume ...
The Shadow Conspiracy
1816, the year without a summer. A group of geniuses descended on Geneva and, in an attempt to save the body and mind of Lord Byron, perform dreadful and forbidden experime...
The Weavers of Saramyr
An evil that comes from within the empire's centre, a sect of magicians close to the throne intent on killing any child born with magical powers. But now the empress ha...
The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats
Sir Richard Francis Burton's expedition has returned from the future, bringing with it knowledge of technologies that must remain secret if history is to proceed as it ...
A young clockmaker's apprentice, who is visited by the Archangel Gabriel. He is told that he must take the Key Perilous and rewind the Mainspring of the Earth. It is ru...
The Good, the Bad and the Infernal
One day every hundred years, a town appears, its location and character different every time. It is home to the greatest miracle a man could imagine: a doorway to Heaven it...
The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man
A clockwork man is abandoned in Trafalgar Square. A ghost displays a craving for diamonds. A lost aristocrat returns ten years after being lost at sea and instigates riots ...
With his patients dead and his genetic research in tatters, Dr. Anton Springmann fled his homeland as a fugitive, taking a one-way diesel ship to New Alania. But within hou...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
Journey to the Black City
On an Earth that is very much like our own, the civilizations of ancient man have been crushed; the giant glaciers that cover the northern part of the globe continue, even now...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself King, and traitors at every turn. The Five Kingdoms and Sarth have assembled a fleet of ships unlike any the world has ever seen and they intend to purge the Pirate Isles once a...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...
The Shadow Crucible
Taking humanity back to their primordial beliefs and fears, Estella confronts Mikhail’s faith by revealing the true horror of the lucrative trade in human souls. All ...
The Dog Stars
Hig, bereaved and traumatised after global disaster, has three things to live for - his dog Jasper, his aggressive but helpful neighbour, and his Cessna aeroplane. He's...