Whitechapel has been cut off from the rest of London and is ruled by two mechanical alien gods, for the lack of a better description, Grandfather Clock and Mama Engine. John Scared schemes to usurp Grandfather Clock's power while Oliver Sumner and other revolutionaries look to overthrow both gods. Who will reign supreme?
First of all, there were lots of things to like about this book. The hyper-industrialized pseudo-Victorian hell Whitechapel has become under the rule of Grandfather Clock and Mama Engine is a well-described place. The Boilermen and the Cloaks are both interesting antagonists, as are John Scared and Giselle. The clacks, a disease that causes people to slowly grow gears and wiring beneath their skin, is also quite innovative. The story had a lot of twists and turns.
Things I don't like? I hate to admit that few of the characters really grabbed me. It took me forever to figure out that Oliver was the central character in the story. Too much was made of events that little to nothing was revealed about, such as the rise of Baron Hume and the creation of Grandfather Clock and Mama Engine. In my opinion, the story would have been better had it focused more on Oliver and revealed more backstory.
That's not to say I didn't enjoy Whitechapel Gods. I'd recommend it to new weird, steampunk and horror fans. Officially, I'm giving this 3.5 stars. It might be upgraded to a 4 on a re-read.Later:
Actually, I've read a bit of steampunk since Whitechapel Gods. Not only will I not be upgrading it to four stars, I'd say it's barely a 3.