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Declare [Paperback]

Tim Powers
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Jun 2010
A mesmerising, award-winning, daringly imaginative, multi-levelled thriller for fans of John le Carre or Neal Stephenson

An ultra-secret MI6 codename, a deadly game of deception and intrigue - Dark forces from the depths of history. It is the terrible secret at the heart of the cold war.

Operation: Declare London, 1963.

A cryptic phone call forces ex-MI6 agent Andrew Hale to confront the nightmare that has haunted his adult life: an ultra-secret wartime operation, codenamed Declare.

Operation Declare took Hale from Nazi-occupied Paris to the ruins of post-war Berlin and the trackless wastes of the Arabian desert, culminating in a night of betrayal and mind-shattering terror on the glacial slopes of Mount Ararat.

Now, with the Cold War at its height, his superiors want him to return to the mountain and face the dark secret entombed within its icy summit. Hale has no choice but to comply, for Declare is the key to a conflict far deeper, far colder, than the Cold War itself.

'A brilliant, strange crossbreed of the spy thriller and the supernatural' - China Mieville

Frequently Bought Together

Declare + On Stranger Tides + The Drawing Of The Dark (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Corvus (1 Jun 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848874030
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848874039
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

Tim Powers is a brilliant writer. Declare's occult subtext for the deeper Cold War is wonderfully original and brilliantly executed --William Gibson

Dazzling - a tour de force, a brillant blend of John Le Carre spy fiction with the otherworldly, packed with historical fact, dazzling flights of imagination, and wonderful suspense --Dean Koontz

Philip K. Dick felt that one day Tim Powers would be one of our greatest fantasy writers. Phil was right --Roger Zelazny

About the Author

Tim Powers is a two-time winner of both the World Fantasy and the Philip K. Dick Memorial Awards and three-time Locus Award recipient. He lives in San Bernardino, California.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Espionage and Arcana 17 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tim Powers has written a number of novels on the theme of mystical influences behind the real world, and Declare is no exception. Protagonist Andrew Hale joins the British Secret Intelligence Service during WWII, serving against Germany and then in the infant Cold War, confronting increasingly strange events that culminate in some desperate mission on the slopes of Mount Ararat in 1948, codenamed Declare. Flash forward to 1963, and Hale is reactivated and thrown into another desperate attempt to finish Declare. Powers weaves the two timelines expertly, so we gradually discover some of the truth with the young and naive Hale, while following the older and more cynical man into the heart of the mystery.

Declare carefully takes as many true events as it can, inserting Andrew Hale and the mysterious forces he faces into the unexplained spaces between official accounts. A central figure is Kim Philby, real-life KGB double agent who worked for MI6 for 20 years before exposure. Powers also gives us real-life Soviet spy rings in Paris, machinations in Arabia, and post-war Berlin. He never leans too heavily on his intensive research, and it just flows and merges beautifully. Without Wikipedia you'd never be able to tell what is real and what is imagination. Hale is a character in the tradition of John Le Carre - insecure, frightened, and very human. The book depends totally on the reader engaging with him, and thankfully he is one of Powers' best characters.

Powers has never had the success he deserves, and Declare is a perfect example of why he should, but never will. It could have been a blockbuster-style spy novel with pulp monsters and sold well with a cheesy cover, but instead he crafts a Le Carre tale of tradecraft with enigmatic and subtly terrifying mystical forces.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last - Powers is BACK in the UK!!! 7 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback
Don't be confused by the year-dates of the other reviews, or that given on the copyright page: the publisher and Amazon haven't accidentially flipped a 'zero' and a 'one' around the wrong way. This book was first released mass-market in the US in 2001. It has taken until 2010 for its UK release. That is NOT a reflection on the worth of the book (indeed it won several awards and got nominated for a bunch more) but it is a searing indictment of corporate UK publishers. A recent example will suffice: despite some success will her early novels, Scarlett Thomas experienced the full force of the conservatism of UK 'big publishers' who balked at her then new novel, 'The End of Mr. Y'. It took the maverick imprint Canongate to realise the book's potential and to take it and its author's subsequent books into the bestseller charts.

For me the best writers are the ones who mix it up: who wants 'a' horror novel, or 'a' science fiction novel, or 'a' crime novel? Nah, let's just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and see what comes out. And some of the results in recent years have been fantastic, from Neal Stephenson's 'Baroque Cycle' (a HUGE historial fantasy/alternate history grand slam) to Charles Stross's giddy 'Laundry files' (a supernatural detective science fiction series). People like Dan Simmons and Joe R. Lansdale and China Mieville -

- and Tim Powers. This is the guy whose late-'80s novel, 'On Stranger Tides', has been optioned by Disney as the title and story inspiration for the fourth 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movie - featuring the fountain of youth and zombies!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Cold War fantasy 29 Jun 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This WWII/Cold War supernatural, espionage thriller was excellent. I've only read two of his books but already I think I'm becoming a Tim Powers fan. I was very impressed by how well the story fit into the gaps between real events -admittedly I've mostly taken the author's word on this, but he seems like a writer who does his research. Declare was intriguing as at first I didn't know quite what was going on (much though I enjoyed The Anubis Gates I did guess a major plot point by the end of the second chapter). The supernatural elements unfolded far more slowly and were initially more subtle. It kept me reading as I wanted to know what was going on.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Le Carre meets Dennis Wheatley 1 Jun 2011
By The Emperor TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This was a fantastic achievement. Powers really is a great writer. This worked superbly as both an espionage novel and as occult/fantasy book.

It was slightly slow at the start and but I soon got into it. There were some slightly jarring elements to it, such as the English main character using American words and some very few slight historical inaccuracies.
However those are about the only criticisms that I can make.

The occult and the supernatural elements are very well done and always leave you wanting to know more. The spy and adventure story parts are also very well thought through.

The research that has gone into this book is very impressive and it doesn't overwhelm the plot.

Maybe the best thing that I can about this novel is that it almost seems believable and plausible.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Ever wondered if there's more to the world than meets the eye? If maybe, beneath the surface, a whole other realm of wild possibilities exists? Tim Powers certainly has, and in Declare he takes us through a joyously inventive trip through the supernatural world underpinning the events of the Cold War. Taking as his lead the life story of the treacherous double agent Kim Philby, Powers' story takes us through war-time Paris, Cold War Berlin, and the supernaturally-charged Middle East as secret agent Andrew Hale, a man with a strange, hidden bond with Philby, struggles to complete a long-running operation called Declare - an operation to prevent the USSR from forming an unstoppable alliance with the djinn, the powerful creatures of Arabian myth. Powers' strength lies in evoking the sensation of huge, supernatural presences existing just off our limits of perception, and the psychological effects on those who become all too aware of their existence. He also perfectly captures a sense of place - in particular, scenes set in the Arabian desert will send shivers down the spine, the reader there, sharing the attention of unknowable creatures. Though some elements perhaps don't work as well as they could - the love story between Hale and a former communist agent feels a little underwritten - the giddyingly complex plot ensures that the reader is never bored, and that when the book is closed for the last time it is done with the satisfaction of having read a fantastic novel. Thoroughly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow start, but great finish
Takes a while to get going - the first half/two thirds of the book is very much a Le Carre-style spy thriller with a lot of procedural detail and historical background - but once... Read more
Published 16 days ago by ivoconk
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging but a bit under-cooked
Loved the detail & the various periods covered.

There is a great ominous bulid-up to "what's really going on" - but the supernatural elements themselves are a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ghoti666
5.0 out of 5 stars A huge bucket of awesome
Declare was one of those books that made me sweat just reading it. The level of concentration required to keep track of this immersive plotline feels like being back at university... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I obviously didn't read the reviews for this book carefully enough.
It started off really well, it took some concentration to keep up with the story as it was constantly going... Read more
Published 3 months ago by R. Edwards
4.0 out of 5 stars Declare
I enjoyed the story and towards the end (it is a rather long story) I found I couldn't put the book down.
Published 4 months ago by Juanita Eley
5.0 out of 5 stars a fascinating tale
A fascinating tale,a little far fetched maybe! However I was kept pondering on the probabilities of such a story, and resolved to do a bit of research myself into the life of... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mary
3.0 out of 5 stars Declare Tim Powers
This book is not for me personally,if I had read straight through It would have been better, when I realised this it was much improved
Published 6 months ago by pauline Humphreys
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than expected
I didn't know Tim powers except as the source of pirates 4 which nearly put me off. however word of mouth persuaded me to try this and I think it is an original book. Read more
Published 6 months ago by staticgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars A great, great book
It’s my favourite book of 2014 so far (even though that’s less than 2 weeks in) and here are some reasons why:

It’s dense but honest. Read more
Published 7 months ago by James C. Foreman
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good indeed
I really liked this book (I suppose the 5 stars are a bit of a giveaway). A wonderful mix of Le Carre and the nastier parts of the Arabian Nights. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Stuart Vine
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