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Lye Street by Alan Campbell
Cover Artist: Dave McKean
Review by Gayle Surrette
Subterranean Press Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781596061354
Date: 08 January 2008 List Price $25.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Every fifty years a member of the Bucklestrappe family is killed. Through marriages and death the Bucklestrappe line has now become the Greenes but the murders continue every fifty years. The fifty years is nearly at an end, and Sal Greene has hired a demon to take care of the angel before she can kill again. Meanwhile, the angel is finding all her usual haunts have been violated and messages written on the walls urging her to go to Lye Street to learn the truth. Scar Night is approaching and there is not much time for either the Greenes or the angel.

More Alan Campbell:
Scar Night
Scar Night
Iron Angel

Lye Street is a novella of the Deepgate Codex. I haven't read Scar Night the first book of the Deepgate Codex. Beginning to read, things were a bit off-kilter until I had a sense of what was going on and what this world was like. It didn't take long and then it was curiosity about how anyone could leave these messages so that no matter where the angel went there they were. Whenever the angel saw people, they tried to kill her, and what was up with that? So, perhaps more of these questions might have been answered or settled comfortably if I'd read the novel.

Nevertheless, the story was engrossing. There were so many unanswered questions going in, and while some got answered, others did not. The world is also very different as the city is built over a chasm and the people believe that god is at the bottom of the chasm. It's hard to imagine an entire city with building in the air, supported on essentially rope and metal spans across a huge cleft in the surface. Then there are angels and demons that bear no resemblance to our ideal of angels or demons. Though I must say this demon, in me at least, evoked laughter rather than fear at least until I learned that the demons powers are more subtle and nefarious than they first appear.

I was reading the advanced uncorrected proof copy but there were illustrations throughout and I expect that the finished book's illustrations would be the final ones and even better. This is a lovely book with a great story.

If you enjoyed Scar Night, your sure to want to read this shorter work. If you haven't yet read Scar Night, try Lye Street. I know that after this taste of the universe, I'll seek out the full novel and its sequel Iron Angel.

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