- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Dark Horse; 1st Dark Horse Books Ed edition (31 Mar. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 380942109X
- ISBN-13: 978-3809421092
- ASIN: 1595822046
- Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 1.6 x 20.3 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,367,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Hellboy: The Fire Wolves (novel) Paperback – 31 Mar 2009
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About the Author
TIM LEBBON is a New York Times-bestselling writer from South Wales. He s had twenty novels published to date, including The Island, The Map of Moments (with Christopher Golden), Bar None, Fallen, Hellboy: The Fire Wolves, Dusk, and Berserk, as well as scores of novellas and short stories. He has won four British Fantasy Awards, a Bram Stoker Award, and a Scribe Award, and has been a finalist for the International Horror Guild and World Fantasy Awards. In 2011, his book Thief of Broken Toys (ChiZine Publications) was nominated for the World Fantasy Award in the novella category. He has also been a judge for the World Fantasy Award. In 2004, Fangoria named him one of the thirteen rising talents who promise to keep us terrified for the next twenty-five years. Only nineteen years left to go . . . better get busy. Forthcoming books include The Secret Journeys of Jack London for HarperCollins (coauthored with Christopher Golden), Echo City for Bantam in the US and Orbit in the UK, Coldbrook for Corsair in the UK, 30 Days of Night: Fear of the Dark for Pocket Books, the massive short story collections Last Exit for the Lost from Cemetery Dance and Ghosts and Bleeding Things from PS Publishing, as well as several other projects not yet announced. He has written several screenplays, and is currently developing two TV series with a British TV company. Several of his novels and novellas are currently in development for screen in the USA and UK, and he is working on new novels and screenplays.Find out more about Tim at his website: www.timlebbon.net.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What is it with Hellboy and wolves? Fire Wolves, Ice Wolves and there's plenty of werewolves in his past too (there's one on the loose in Lebbon's other Hellboy novel). Just the sight of a wolf nowadays must make Hellboy howling mad!
Before I get into details of the story and my opinions on that I would like to express a few thoughts concerning the cover of the book. I love the overall color scheme and layout as it's very stylish and easy on the eyes. I hate that wolf. It just doesn't look scary enough to me. Although you might need a closer, enlarged look at it the wolf is actually a mosaic come to life but it still could of looked more horrifying.
Pompeii, AD 79, is where the story begins and sets the foundations for the rest of the novel. Mount Vesuvius is erupting and a fire wolf, a demonic presence that lives within the volcano, is on the rampage. An old woman, a demon hunter, casts a spell to trap the wolf as she dies and leaves a mosaic telling the story of what occurred. The wolf is trapped, the volcano rests and all is fine until...
Modern day and the spell has been broken and that, of course, means Hellboy is on the case. Rather than being a straightforward story of Hellboy taking on the Fire Wolves what we begin with is a seemingly separate story about a family curse. As such Hellboy is placed in the role of detective and he has to figure out what the hell is going on. Of course, this goes against his nature as he would rather just beat the crap out of something and Big Red's frustrations, and considerable efforts to be tactful, are played out well throughout the novel. As the mystery unravels and the link to the fire wolves and their overall plan becomes clear the story picks up pace and becomes more action packed. I actually loved the pacing of the story and having read other works by Tim Lebbon I can tell you it's one of his strong points as a writer; he can have you carefully reading every word in a calm manner or have you hurtling through each page in relation to the action taking place.
The story itself is a good one and Lebbon certainly has a grasp of who Hellboy is which is refreshing as other authors have severely lacked in this are in relation to the Hellboy prose novels. Throughout the novel there are various references to previous Hellboy cases/situations/characters that would go over the head of any first time Hellboy reader. Not that I think the story would be diminished in any way for those not in the know as it's akin to those superhero movies whereby, for instance, they'll mention the non-hero name of a character that isn't in the movie...to the person in the know it brings an appreciative nod of the head and a wry smile but those not in the know don't feel like they're missing out on anything.
I should point out that Hellboy works alone in this novel as he did against the Ice Wolves. In both these cases Liz Sherman would have been a great help as she has the ability of pyrokinesis. In many ways I guess having her a focal character in either novel would have watered down the plot due to her unique ability. I do prefer it when either Liz, Abe Sapien, or both, are involved as the characters play off each other well and add that little extra bit of dimension to the proceedings.
'Hellboy: The Fire Wolves' was a very good novel. It never quite achieved greatness but it is certainly a must for Hellboy fans and those who wish to branch out into a Hellboy prose novel could do far worse than to start with this offering.
There is also very little lore or demonology in this one. That can be seen as good or bad, depending. The good: characters and interactions are the focus, and not spelling out every little detail avoids having the reader suffer through a potentially poor or overwrought explanation. The bad: the lack of mysticism feels like a missed opportunity, Hellboy comes off as hired muscle a bit more than usual, and Hellboy's main source of fire wolf information could have been an incredible character but ends up serving as an under-developed dues ex machina.
Still, a decent Hellboy romp.