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Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins
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Wolfhound Century (edition 2013)

by Peter Higgins

Series: Mirgorod (1)

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10426116,035 (3.27)20
Member:bookstothesky
Title:Wolfhound Century
Authors:Peter Higgins
Info:Orbit (2013), Hardcover, 380 pages
Collections:Your library, Books, Read in 2012
Rating:****
Tags:arc, uk fantasy, fantasy, uk science fiction, science fiction, steampunk, read 2012, read

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Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins

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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Interesting story and characters. The action kept happening. ( )
  gregandlarry | May 23, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins has a wonderful, dark, damp, creepy atmosphere perfectly fitting the totalitarian Soviet state it is set in. In a world where the supernatural is natural, angels, giants, and other creatures are normal. Higgins tells a great tale, leading the reader along as Inspector Lom tracks a terrorist and finds out that thing are not as they seem. Unfortunately, the pacing of the story is very slow initially, then in the last third of the book things happen so fast it is difficult to keep up. Also, don't pick up this book expecting a complete story. This is the first volume in a series and ends rather too abruptly for my taste. ( )
  lpg3d | May 6, 2014 |
Wolfhound Century is one of those books with vivid imagery and an immersive world that trap you when you start reading them and you can only stop once you have finished. Peter Higgins has laid out the foundations for an astounding trilogy. You could read this novel only for the experienced pacing and precise descriptions, but you have the plot and characters that add even more to the book. Considering that this is Higgins’ debut novel, I can only dream of what he shall accomplish within the next decade.

Even days after reading it, I can still find myself remembering some of the descriptions. The narration can be dark like in many recent SFF books, but Higgins does it so elegantly that each graphic description is perfectly justified and necessary for the overall text. This has been a wonderful debut, and I certainly hope to read more from this author in the future.

Read the whole review on Jetpack Dragons: http://www.jetpackdragons.com/2014/03/wolfhound-century-a-20th-century-soviet-un... ( )
  sylbecke | Apr 6, 2014 |
What the heck is a Wolfhound Century? The book's name is taken from a prefatory quote by Osip Mandelstam, a poet persecuted by Stalin, whose works I do not know. Without a larger context it is hard to know what Mandelstam or Higgins means. The book itself is an offbeat combo of "The Magister and Marietta", the Strugatsky brothers, and the darker echoes of Solzhenitzyn, with space aliens, gollems, and robots embedded in what is mostly a police procedural.

Inspector Vissarion Lom is a cop, but not quite a normal man. As a child the authorities implanted a piece of meteorite into his forehead, a procedure with as yet fully understood consequences. Lom is called from the eastern forest fastnesses of pseudo Siberia to the bureaucratic bowels of the capital, a reimagined Petrograd. Somehow the mission is not as secret as he thought, and somehow he isn't a completely random personnel choice. It turns out that his childhood friends are deeply involved in the suspect activity, whatever the suspect activity actually is.

Wolfhound Century is the first in a series. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to the sequels.

I received a review copy of Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins (Orbit) through NetGalley.com. ( )
  Dokfintong | Mar 31, 2014 |
An assured and engaging debut

In a totalitarian state, where everyone is watched and dissent is crushed without mercy, a disparate set of individuals are trying to change the status quo. But who is fighting for good and who for evil? And what of the bystanders, witnesses and unwilling participants?
In a world very similar to, but not quite our own, the rivers and towns will flood and there will be blood on the snow before the world can change.

Approaching this novel with no preconceptions or expectations, beyond mild curiosity, I found Wolfhound Century to be a thoroughly gripping and rewarding genre-crossing story.
Most of the novel reads like a cold-war thriller, based in a faux 1930s-1950s totalitarian state, with only the lightest coating of fantasy. But, like finger-thin slivers of ice, the fantasy elements puncture the John le Carre environment, gradually melting and merging until the two are inseparable.
And this is where some have appeared to struggle: is this a thriller or a fantasy? For me, it is a bit of both; mostly it is a dark and gripping thriller that uses fantasy to provide a strong element of originality to the story. It is quite clear that the fantasy element, already overtaking towards the end of this book, will be far more dominant in the next novel, but this is no bad thing, the subtlety of the shift is such that you are inescapingly drawn in.
Like a skilled chess game, Higgins introduces a broad range of characters, spread out across his 'not-quite Russia' board, some destined to be mere pawns to be removed when their role is completed, while others will take their place in the final battle.
But, which is which?
This is where the book has really excelled, characters are frequently not what they first appear and apparently major players unexpectedly exit the story in the most shocking of ways. Coupled with the slow-burn build of the story, you will find yourself stepping further into this world, accepting the history of the 'Angels' and fearing the grip of the Vlast.

The novel isn't quite perfect, the fragmentary nature of the first part makes it a little hard to get into, but it is necessary for the overall plot that these pieces exist. But is is well worth persevering and overall, I thoughly enjoyed it. This is one of the first books this year that I have actually sought out the sequel for. I look forward to its release. ( )
  PJKennard | Mar 19, 2014 |
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2013-03 (USUK)
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Epigraph
The woulfhound century is on my back --
But I am not a wolf.
--Osip Mandelstam (1891-1938)
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Fantasy thriller set in an alternative early twentieth century Russia.
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Investigator Vissarion Lom has been summoned to the capital in order to catch a terrorist --- and ordered to report directly to the head of the secret police. A totalitarian state, worn down by an endless war, must be seen to crush home-grown insurgents with an iron fist. But Lom discovers Mirgorod to be more corrupted than he imagined: a murky world of secret police and revolutionaries, cabaret clubs and doomed artists. Lom has been chosen because he is an outsider, not involved in the struggle for power within the party. And because of the sliver of angel stone implanted in his head.… (more)

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