In the interest of Full Disclosure I was sent a free copy of Wolfhound Century by the publisher to read and, if I really wanted to, review. If you’d like me to read a book [and maybe even review it] feel free to get in touch. Can’t promise I’ll fall in love with your book. (I’ve only ever not reviewed one book because it was totally the wrong fit for me; to review it would have been unfair as it would have been short sentences of me trying my best to be polite)
So, Wolfhound Century. I’ve read a couple of books recently (and sorry Mum for using a swear) that fall into the category in my head of “Batshit Crazy”- books so audacious in their conceit that when you describe even just the slightest amount of plot to someone they look at you with a quizzical “Have you gone batshit crazy?” look.
(cf. The Milkweed Trilogy by Ian Tregillis and/or The Many Coloured Land by Julian May.) The former could be described thus: Alt-history, Nazis super soldiers against magicians and the latter follows a group of time travellers to the distant past where they think they’re setting up a utopian society but all is not what it seems.
Here’s what I tweeted the Slate Culture Gabfest when asked to choose an endorsement this week:
Those exclamation points are important. Obviously the 140 chars summation isn’t enough to encompass just how good the noir is or how detailed the world building feels or how strong the characters are. Obviously this isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea but fire up the samovar, kick back and immerse yourself in some great writing. Yes, there are elements of the fantastical (The “Stone Angel!” I mentioned above) but don’t let the geeks hoard all the best stories, at heart this is a police procedural, a who/what/why-dunnit.
Working where I work means I appreciated some of the descriptions of bureaucracy and bureaucratic machinery. It won’t topple Kafka or Burgess writings about bureaucracy but there’s something hauntingly beautiful about a really well realised, well written bureaucratic nightmare. I’ve a feeling there are more books to come after Wolfhound Century and I’m poised with my finger over the “add to shopping basket” button when they appear.