Monday, January 10, 2011

Scar Night by Alan Campbell

Scar Night took me a few weeks to get through, having Christmas/New year and such to deal with but it was an enjoyable read! I haven't been able to get my hands on book two "Iron Angel" just yet, but its on it's way :)



Deepgate is a vast, Gothic city suspended by an ancient network of chains above a black abyss believed to be home to the Angel/God Ulcis. The people of Deepgate are dominated by the church, who worship Ulcis and believe he is building an army of souls to war against Ayen, the mother of Heaven who has locked the people out as punishment. The city people bring their dead to the abyss, and with the strict ceremonies, the dead are dropped into the domain of Ulcis, to add to his army. As well as this, the city is involved in a centuries old war against the people of the wastelands, who worship Ayen. The heathens of the wastelands live a barbaric, nomadic lifestyle, who lack the technology of the Deepgate citizens. Not only do they have advanced airships and run an organised military unit, but they have the "Poisoner".

Devon " Poisoner" is a chemist who has designed many "chemical weapons" to eradicate their enemies by way of diseases, poisonous gases and nasty infections. The poisoner himself has been affected by his creations and lives in constant pain from bloody gashes and infections which also took the life of his beloved wife, Elizabeth. 

Bring in the Church's "proof", which is a living breathing descendant of the Angel Callis, who first crawled out of the Abyss to bring the word of Ulcis many years before. Dill has been confined by the Churches directions his entire life. A young Angel of barely 16 years old, he longs to fly and take to battle as his forefathers did. With his new age, comes his own personal body guard in the shape of Rachel, a member of the Spine who are essentially the Churches assassins.

The Poisoner hatches a plan to concoct "Angel Wine", a syrup made of the blood of 13 souls which is said to give one immortality and in doing so, clear up all his ailements. To do this he starts mimicking the killings of the infamous Carnival, a centuries old rogue Angel who, once a month, drains the life out of someone to sustain her immortal ways. She is also completely covered in self inflicted scars ( theres an interesting story to why which I won't spoil for you).

All of these characters come together to bring the reader into a sadistic, malicious story that is amazingly addictive. The world Campbell has created is dark and mysterious, and he captures the inner voicing of a madman perfectly, in a creepy sort of way! I can't wait to find out more about Carnivals story! 

Alan Campbell's writing blew me away. Its amazing that this is a debut novel.


Scar Night 
by Alan Campbell