Bantam, May 2008, $25.00
Considered impregnable and thus invincible, war came to the city held over a bottomless abyss by chains, Deepgate. Shockingly a betrayal has led to the defeat of the unconquerable as most of the suspension chains have been broken and the toxic fumes previously deployed to keep the barbarians away from the city are now oozing from the fiery edifices. Symbolizing the collapse is the Temple of Church leader Presbyter Sypes who precariously hangs upside down deep into the abyss on the brink of falling. The conquering Spine rules the city with an iron fist.
However, the Gods who resided there are outraged and desperate. They begin a counter offensive against their former equals and now apparent superiors, traitorous Gods, to regain the city even if it means the end of mortal existence. Their weapons for divine retaliation are the angel Dill and traitorous assassin Rachel Hael, whose actions caused much of the destruction. However, they are both prisoners of the Spine yet they remain the hope of the Heavenly residents especially as it is obvious to all that the god Ulcis must have died during the combat for he would never have left open the portal at the bottom of the abyss that leads from Hell to the earth.
The second Deepgate Codex Volume is an interesting gory fantasy that has the middle book feel of setting up for the finish. The story line is extremely vivid as the audience will breathe the toxins, see the infernos, and feel vertigo from the swaying city’s few functioning chains. However, no one, not even the chosen two, seems to step forth to carry the novel; thus that sense of IRON ANGEL being the transitory tale in a trilogy. Still fans of SCAR NIGHT will appreciate Alan Campbell’s deep look at what has happened to Deepgate since the war of the gods erupted.