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The Wolves Of London: The Obsidian Heart (2014)

by Mark Morris(Favorite Author)
3.67 of 5 Votes: 1
ISBN
1781168660 (ISBN13: 9781781168660)
languge
English
genre
publisher
Titan Books
review 1: I had been put off this book because I was under the (mistaken) impression that it was another Rivers of London wannabe but I'm really glad I gave it a chance. Yep, if you like Rivers of London you'll probably like this, if you try not to compare it too much to the Rivers of London because yes in a way it's similar and in another way it's totally different. So I'll shut up talking about Rivers of London (by the way if you haven't read the Rivers of London books, READ THEM) and review The Wolves of London. The Wolves of London tells the tale of Alex, a South London ex con family man whose made good, he thinks he's left his criminal past way behind him when he is forced to help get his daughter's boyfriend out of a spot of bother by stealing an obsidian heart. The theft does... more not go well and Alex's life is turned upside down as he is forced on the run from The Wolves of London, a sinister steampunkesque band of monsters.The book is pretty gory in points and as I'm the sort of person who hides behind the sofa at anything remotely scary on TV, there were bits which made my toes literally curl. I 'read' this as an audiobook and I will admit there were parts I listened to where I wished I could get away with forwardwinding, however I was enjoying the story so much I didn't want to miss anything.This is the first of a trilogy and consequently there's no resolution at the end of the book, which is a bit frustrating (I prefer series where if there is an over arcing story there's at least some resolution of a smaller plot point at the end of each book) but I'll definitely be reading the next two.
review 2: Things start off traditionally enough. When we are first introduced to reformed criminal Alex Locke he is living a quiet life with his youngest daughter. He’s determined to avoid repeating past mistakes and staying on the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, his elder daughter ends up in a spot of trouble and the only way to avoid violent retribution is for Alex to do a favour for some dubious types. What should be a simple enough job goes south in a spectacular fashion and Alex finds himself out of his depth and on the run. It’s at this point that the Morris throws the reader a literary curveball. Suddenly, around a hundred or so pages in, this novel morphs from a straight crime drama into something far more sinister and fantastical. There are strange powers walking the streets of London and Locke spends a large chunk of the narrative on the back foot, unsure exactly what is going on. That sense of uncertainty feels almost palpable and keeps the plot from ever getting stale.I love the idea that the strange and unusual exists side by side with the world we are all familiar with. Alex is just an ordinary man who is forced to confront the extraordinary. How he rises to that challenge and how he copes forms the backbone of the story. Watching his character evolve from an innocent to a sceptic, then his final grim acceptance of his situation, is rather wonderful.London is often used as a backdrop in urban fantasy, and I’ve heard the criticism that it’s all been done before; that using this city is a bit old hat. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more. London is an iconic location and every author I’ve read always manages to bring their own unique interpretation of the city to their work. Mark Morris certainly manages that in this instance, it feels almost like a character in its own right. The grimy city streets perfectly help to capture the tone of the piece.A word of warning, The Wolves of London is not for the faint of heart. This is a tale set in the dark underbelly of the city. There are a handful of moments that are particularly unpleasant. There is one scene in particular that really made me wince. Don’t get me wrong, these moments are entirely appropriate, and work within the context of the story, but they are definitely not for the squeamish.Do you know what? I wasn’t even planning on writing a review of this book. I bought this entirely for my own pleasure, but by the time I got to the last page I knew that I was going to have to share. I’ve been raving about how good it is to my other half ever since. I think, with the exception of a few short stories here and there, this is the first work of Mark Morris’ that I have ever read. I love it when you accidently stumble upon fiction like this. It makes it feel that much more special, a gem that you weren’t ever expecting. It would appear I have been missing out on a rare treat with this particular author. The cover for The Wolves of London proudly boasts the following statement from Clive Barker – “Mark Morris is one of the finest horror writers at work today”. I ask you, who am I to argue with Pinhead’s dad?If you’ve never read any fiction by Mark Morris then this novel will act as an ideal gateway drug, it’s gonna get you hooked and leave you wanting more. The Wolves of London is published by Titan and available now. The Obsidian Heart trilogy will continue with The Society of Blood and The Wraiths of War, I genuinely can’t wait. less
Reviews (see all)
honeyy1907
Cracking yarn! Shame I'll have to wait months for the next book.
kajal
Mysterious, gruesome, thoughtful, thrilling, awesome.
Kdossey
a good start
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