Friday, 3 October 2014

Did not finish… 'The Wolves of London' - Mark Morris (Titan Books)

Alex Locke is a reformed ex-con forced into London's criminal underworld for one more job. He agrees to steal a priceless artefact - a human heart carved from the blackest obsidian - but when the burglary goes horribly wrong, Alex is plunged into the nightmarish world of the Wolves of London, unearthly assassins who will stop at nothing to reclaim the heart. As he races to unlock the secrets of the mysterious object, Alex must learn to wield its dark power - or be destroyed by it.

So, the first post for October is a 'did not finish'… If I'd got my act together this post would have probably featured around the middle of last month but a heck of a lot has been happening and the blog has suffered the most in terms of what has my attention (probably because, out of everything, the blog really doesn't care if I ignore it for a few days and that's the way it should be). I'm also finding it really difficult to focus on more than a few pages at a time (which is killing me, I love reading) which isn't really conducive to blog posting either. I keep plugging away though :o)

But the book, the book… I picked up 'The Wolves of London' with high hopes that eventually came to nothing and resulted in a 'did not finish'.
I live in London and it's a place that was made to be an Urban Fantasy/Horror setting with its haphazard sprawl and attendant myths and legends all helping to provide a setting full of inspiration. Hence the high hopes then and, to begin with, 'Wolves' looked like it was going to deliver with an engaging lead and a set of intriguing questions punctuated with otherworldly violence. All good, right? 

Well, it would have been all good if Morris could have kept up that early promise of fast paced action with his own slightly weird (but very unsettling) take on Urban Fantasy. If he had, this would be an entirely different post. This is the post it is though and some moments of really intense and creepy fear were cancelled out, for me, by a tendency for the prose to linger (where it needed to keep that frantic pace) and an inescapable feeling that 'Wolves' was treading overly familiar ground in terms of this particular sub-genre. I try to be forgiving of things like that but that forgiveness only goes so far when I want a book to hold my attention (instead of feeling like I'm reading the same book over and over again...) 

I read the first couple of hundred pages (well, more like the first hundred and then skimmed the next hundred...) and there is evidence of a read that will suit fans of Urban Fantasy mixed with a hint of horror. Just not me though; the days are long gone where I would have torn through this and had a review up the next day. I need a little more from my reading and 'The Wolves of London' didn't quite make that leap into 'must finish' territory.

Oh well, onto the next book (which is Brian Ruckley's 'The Free' in case you were wondering)...

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