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.
©2014 Mark Morris (P)2014 Audible Studios
"Mark Morris is a stellar talent, equally able to touch the heart and chill the spine. He has a maestro's gift of weaving subtlety and brutality into the perfect symphony. If you haven't read him before, now's the time!" (Christopher Golden, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Snowblind)
"A new novel from Morris is always cause for celebration, and this first in a brand new trilogy ushers in his greatest, most complex and compelling work yet." (Tim Lebbon, New York Times best-selling author of Coldbrook)
"Mark Morris is one of the best horror writers we have. If you re not reading him, you're missing out" (Michael Marshall Smith, New York Times best-selling author of The Intruders)
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"Nothing here is what it seems!"
When I read the description for The Wolves of London, I thought it sounded like a good urban fantasy. It was that, but it was so much more!
Alex Locke is a mild-mannered fellow with a couple of ex-girlfriends and a couple of daughters. Each day is much like the others for this single dad, as he gets his youngest ready for school and arranges child care with the neighbors before he commutes to his job as a teacher. Nobody knows about his criminal past--until the day his oldest daughter reveals that she's in a jam. Alex is forced to call in a favor. And that's when the real trouble begins.
A lot of urban fantasy focuses on underground supernatural factions as they battle for control over territory or lives, and often there's some romance thrown in as well. That's what I was expecting, and The Wolves of London seemed to be going in that direction--but then it took a left turn. And then another, and another, until I had zero idea where this story was going next. It was a fresh new take on the genre, and wholly unpredictable!
I definitely appreciated Morris's imagination, but even better are the great characters in this book. So here's a warning--this is only Book One, and there's definitely more to the story. I just finished listening, and already I miss Alex as well as the other people from this realistic world that's also a very unrealistic world (in a good way!). Describing them would spoil too much--let's just say that everybody you'll meet here is full of surprises!
No review for this audiobook is complete without a mention of Ben Onwukwe, the narrator. His voice is just gorgeous, but his range of accents and voices is plain incredible. His reading creates characterization that adds both depth and humor to the weird, weird world of the story.
So if you're looking for something a little different in the urban fantasy line, I highly recommend The Wolves of London. But hold on to your headphones--you're in for a crazy ride.
"Solid Surreal Horror/Mystery"
Creative tale and first installment the 'Wolves' story world of the dark-fantastic. Reminiscent of Clive Barker fiction without the sexual overtones. I enjoyed the story and the narration performance was good, though often a bit dry and melancholy. Not terribly distracting, but the baritone delivery is somewhat demanding and requires the right 'mood' for long listen times.
"Spoilers & Complaints"
The characters were great, well detailed and believable. The situation was gripping and creepy. The mystery was solid.... and then there was time-travel. It felt like the author was trying to fit every cool idea he ever had into one book.... or possibly wrote the 3rd act in a haze of alcohol-ridden frustration for having not yet completed his book. It just spiraled worse and worse at the beginning of the third act, the moment TIME-TRAVEL was thrown into this modern, crime, horror, mystery, supernatural/steampunk-esque thriller...
Maybe.... but I don't know If i'd pay for it.
His characters were distinct. He LIVED the author's descriptions of each and he pulled you into the story with his performance rather than simply reading words on a page.
The first 2 acts were solid, creepy and mysterious. Despite any failings in pacing and lack of exposition, it moved well enough to keep me interested in what happened next.
....I committed 10 hours into this and then got disappointed. I gave it another hour leaving me about 2 left.... but i just couldn't finish it cuz it kept spiraling worse and worse.
"Not my cup of tea"
For me this book was somewhere between science fiction and a mystery thriller but I could never quite figure out which one it was trying to be. I struggled to get through it, and became easily distracted while listening to it, particularly toward the end. The narration is fine - the story line just didn't hold my interest. I don't plan to read the next book in the series and I think that's pretty telling.
"A good horror story."
I don't have it in print version, but I do enjoy the narrator's voice quite a bit to set the tone especially his voice acting for more bass heavy voiced characters.
The way it started, I was contemplating how it would turn out to be a horror story.
I really look forward to the second book! I hadn't realized this was going to be a series and now that I know I'm very eager for the next book.
"A hidden gem"
The Wolves of London is truly a hidden gem. Some might say it starts off slow, but it builds pace quickly and it stays interesting throughout. There are many twists and turns and the story is imaginative and the world goes from mundane to horrifying rather quickly. The characters are intriguing and well flushed out. This book if without a doubt worth your credit. I am eager to read the next book in the series.
"Can't wait for the next one!"
I had no expectations when I bought this book but I was blown away! I loved it! The only bad part was getting to the end and realising that I wo have to wait for the next. I only finished it this afternoon and have already recommend it to three people.
I don't like to compare because it's no really like anything I have read before. It's a really dark urban fantasy set in London. The obvious comparison would be Ben Aaronovich's Rivers of London series and if you like that then you should enjoy this. However this is much darker, I love the concept of the obsidian heart and want to find out more.
He brought the characters to life and made be believe it. Great performance.
I was scared, worried and at times disgusted and relieved, there were some tense moments, I care about the characters and want to find out more about them.
This book was an unexpected gem and is well worth a listen.
Well I would hate to spoil for any potential listeners, but I will say that the performance of the narrator was the highlight of the book and made the listen great!
As a South Londoner by origin myself, a poor accent of the region simply would not do for me. Mr Onwukwe didn't disappoint! Great narration, perfect accent (he was probably a londoner at one point in his life too) and excellent character switching during dialogue.Also, in the scary moments of the book, he narrated with eery and terrifying panache!
When the darkness and the soldier from the past appeared at the conservatory window at Bennies! A huge chill wes sent down my spine. Fortuitously, it had been halloween the night I was listening to it which was a bonus!
Great book. Clever storyline, chilling, eery and ominous: buy it and don't listen alone! Look forward to book two of the obsidian heart....
"A slow burner, but worth persevering with........"
The words I'd use to describe this particular tale are; imaginative, dark and probably confused. The author has taken on a well traveled trope and done some clever and imaginative things with it, however within this process things get a little untidy. I think the premise is excellent and readers who have compared it unfavorably to the brilliant 'Rivers of London' series are doing this book a bit of a dis-service. Although the overall setting for both stories is same in as much as the are both London-centric and have a supernatural bent to me that's where the similarity ends. I find the Wolves of London a lot darker than the 'Rivers' series and am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next installment.
"This is a serial, not just a series."
5 out of 10
They are okay but no one was heart-grabbing.
No, apart from the below comment
Be prepared for a massive cliff-hanger at the end. This is supposed to be the first of a series, and yes, it delivers in that respect. BUT that cliff-hanger is annoyingly like a marketing ploy to push the listener/reader hard towards buying the next one. Which, since I was annoyed, and the characters didn't engage me stongly enough to care, I won't be buying.
"A great beginning..."
... The tale started out well, but then as the narrator talked through each escapade we got further and further from the original story. There didn't seem to be any link between each and there were no clues or answers to why any of it was happening. This may appeal to some, but not for me.
"Wolves of London"
Ben Onwukwe always provides a good and interesting interpretation of the characters, I think that he kept me motivated to complete the book.
I felt the actions and some of the emotions of the characters were sometimes unrealistic and one dimensional. I also hated the way in which time travelling is used as a means of reviving characters etc. I also did not like the way in which there is no resolution within part 1 when there could have easily been resolution.
It is trying to be the Rivers of London but without the irony and wit
"Another Onwukwe triumph"
A great narration by Ben as usual.
I really enjoyed this book and part two also. It is a bit gory in places, so give it a miss if you are very squeamish.
It was an imaginative variation on the magic, times travel, good v evil format.
I listened to this book in quick time, looking forward to the next part.
"Other reviewers seem confused - Compelling start.."
The problem with looking at reviews before starting a book is that comments often stick with you and sometimes interfere with your perception and enjoyment of a book. Several reviewers words stuck with me throughout my listen but left me shaking my head as I finished it...
I didn't find this book to be a Rivers of London rip off.
I liked the slow but steady introduction of supernatural elements rather than a single plunge.
I enjoyed the narrator.
The author is very able to write.
The story does meander during the second half of the book, but except for a few odd sections I didn't find this to be a problem.
The story doesn't resolve in one book - boo hoo.
This book isn't trying to be Dr Who.
It feels like the majority of the "most helpful" reviews have read a different book or were very confused at what they were getting in to: "I found the supernatural elements to be unbelievable"... I rest my case.
For some reason this really annoyed me - probably because I enjoyed the book so much. It wasn't perfect but is definitely the start to a trilogy that I look forward to following.
"Gripping from start to finish"
A story you just have to keep listening to even if it means finding excuses for car journeys. With time travel the twists are at times a little too contrived enabling rather too easy escapes from tricky situations but a minor criticism. Looking forward to the next in the series.
"DONT BUY IT!"
This story has so many screwed up and virtually un-followable leads in it, that I bought the second book to see if there was a definable line to the story. there wasn't.
The idea is Dr. Who based with time travel. But the way it is acchieved and the end result leaves you more confused and disgruntled than satisfied.
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