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4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  3,925 Ratings  ·  339 Reviews
As a young double agent infiltrating the Soviet spy network in Nazi-occupied Paris, Andrew Hale finds himself caught up in a secret, even more ruthless war. Two decades later, in 1963, he will be forced to confront again the nightmare that has haunted his adult life: a lethal unfinished operation code-named Declare. From the corridors of Whitehall to the Arabian desert, ...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published June 4th 2002 by HarperTorch (first published January 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

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The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
Delcare by Tim Powers.

Perhaps this will explain better than I what I mean by wonderful descriptions and almost “lyrical prose.”

”… From over the shoulder of the mountain, on the side by the Abich I glacier, he heard booming and cracking; and then the earthbound thunder sounded to his right, and he saw that it was the noise of avalanches, galleries and valleys of snow moving down from the heights and separating into fragments then tumbling and exploding into jagged bursts of white against the
Jonathan Peto
May 05, 2014 Jonathan Peto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where to begin? I should take a day off from work to write this one, but I can't.

Just days ago I assumed I was going to give this book 3 stars. That reflected disappointment. The first couple hundred pages are... well, I guess the word is "slow". Many of the scenes held my interest but they did not seem to be adding up to much and I was getting impatient. I'm sure readers drop this thing left and right before getting to page 300. I can't imagine not wanting to start it though. One of the charact
Ian Tregillis
Feb 21, 2012 Ian Tregillis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five stars: I want to have this book's babies.

If Tim Powers had taken a sabbatical into my subconscious, living like Jane Goodall among the phantoms of my nightly dream life, he couldn't have written a book more perfectly suited for me. Part of me wants to eat his brain and thereby absorb his power. That's how much I enjoyed this book: it makes me wonder what it would be like to eat somebody's brain, and how long I'd have to keep it down before the power transfer became permanent.

It's no secre
Feb 14, 2016 Apatt rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
“The concealed war that, ironically, facilitated its own concealment simply by being beyond the capacity of most people to believe.”

Tim Powers’ Declare is about this “concealed war” where Russia, the UK, Germany and France engage in using supernatural weapons in additional to conventional ones during the Second World War and continues into the 60s Cold War between the East and the West. I love the idea of a secret layer to our reality that we don’t know anything about. Tthe author calls it an "e
I've been listening to this for hours, over the course of several (many? all?) weeks, and I'm calling it quits. The narrative jumps around all over the place, and there are soooo many details about the spying, and so many layers to the spying, and so many historical details that probably should make all of that mean something to me... but almost as soon as I turn this back on, my eyes glaze over and I zone out... and I just don't care.

I don't know what this book is about. Maybe knowing that mig
Jan 03, 2011 Genevieve rated it it was amazing
Tim Powers is an incredible writer. Some of his early books stutter a bit - while I love them, several of them lack strong endings and aren't as cohesive as they might be. By the time we get to this novel, however, Powers is in full control. Declare is an intricately constructed novel of spies and the nations who run them, with the central character, Andrew Hale, involved in secret radio transmissions from Occupied Paris, agent-running in the Middle East, and occasional interaction with - and ...more
Dec 04, 2011 Will rated it did not like it
I was expecting far more from this. I was surprised by the Anubis Gates and shocked by Last Call, so surely Declare, a story that mixes magic with spycraft, would be a perfect match of horror and intrigue.

But it isn't what you think. It's about the Cold War, but It's about Andrew Hale, a spy for the SOE who loves a woman called Elena... who is a spy for the Russians.

Only... it's not about that. It's really about Kim Philby and the British SOE, mixed in with the existence of powerful yet abstrac
Commodore Tiberius Q. Handsome
this novel blew my socks off. i had to pick them up and put them back on for real. SHOOM - right off. anyway, i love tim powers. he does this thing a lot of the time, where he takes an historical event, studies all of the scholarship on it, and then fills in the missing gaps with concocted fantastical happenings and providing a compelling, supernatural explanation on which he bases the novel. for Declare, the backdrop is the Cold War, specifically between the UK and Russia. this novel spans so ...more
Melissa McShane
Saying Declare is not my favorite Tim Powers novel is like saying butter pecan is not my favorite ice cream flavor: it's still ice cream, and better than almost any other flavor but chocolate fudge brownie, which in this somewhat confused analogy is his book Last Call. Much as I enjoy reading Declare, I am more impressed by what he has done with his secret history in combination with djinn, fallen angels, Noah's Ark, and the intersection between the secret spy networks of Britain, France, and th ...more
May 16, 2008 Sandi rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008, fantasy
I’m really torn about whether to give “Declare” 4 stars or 5. I enjoyed the story and I think Powers had some really great, innovative ideas and crafted them into a unique narrative that defies classification into traditional genres. It’s fantasy, but not fantasy as you normally think of it with dungeons and dragons and elves. It’s sort of a WWII/Cold War spy thriller, but the supernatural aspects prevent it being placed in that genre. It deals with faith and religion, politics and history.

I re
David Hebblethwaite
Apr 22, 2011 David Hebblethwaite rated it it was ok
For many years, Tim Powers’ work has largely been out of print in the UK, but that began to change in 2010, when Corvus gave Powers’s novel Declare its first UK edition, which quirk of publishing explains how a ten-year-old book ended up as a contender for the Clarke Award. It felt a little odd to see Declare so nominated, but I was optimistic because I’d read and liked a couple of Powers’ novels previously; Declare won the World Fantasy Award, which I’ve generally found a reliable indicator of ...more
Apr 15, 2011 Lightreads rated it liked it
Eighty percent WWII/Cold War spy thriller, twenty percent creepy fantasy about the supernatural powers moving behind our little conflict.

Tim Powers has some sort of impervious force field. His Three Days to Never made me spittingly furious, but I still dug it. This book was unevenly paced with an irritatingly ham-handed romance* and a cast of largely loathsome people, and I still dug it. How does he do that?

He just writes cool shit, there’s no other way to put it. This book is dense, well-resear
Jan 20, 2015 Max added it
I've liked everything of Powers' I've read, but in DECLARE his mixture of wit, world-building, and exhaustive erudition really sings. Also, the language! Big, long, chewy sentence after big, long, chewy sentence, yet maintaining flawless pace. In a few moments (e.g. Philby's fox), the backstory becomes a touch baroque, but since this is a product of Powers' gravitational approach to history—finding invisible causes to make sense of too-weird-for-fiction events—I can't exactly fault him for that. ...more
Feb 26, 2011 Alex rated it it was amazing
A strange fantasy novel about shifting alliances among spies in a world where supernatural entities exist. It's interesting to think about because it's generally hard to figure out what the hero wants. There's a love story. And he's a dedicated spy trying to infiltrate ... something ... but the story unfolds in back-and-forth time -- 1948, then 1963, then 1941, then 1945, then 1963 again. And it changes main characters halfway through. I don't know what the stakes are.The hero is a bit of ...more
Dec 31, 2013 Hallie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Loved the secret history in here, despite its being all a little lost on me as I knew *nothing* about the British secret service historical characters. Very intense, and extremely engrossing - also appreciated how easy it was to follow the many chronological jumps despite the narrative complexity.
Tim Pendry
Dean Koontz is quoted on the cover of this paperback edition as naming this book a ‘tour de force’. That is just about right.

The book is a mix of Le Carre (‘The Perfect Spy’ springs to mind as well as his earlier Cold War spy thrillers) with quasi-Lovecraftian cosmic horror and it even offers homage to Alistair Maclean towards the end.

But it is also very distinctively Tim Powers. Themes of conspiracy, secrecy, ruthlessness and betrayal are all there as we might expect. It gives nothing away to s
Jun 05, 2011 Evelyn rated it really liked it
The author of this book calls himself a writer or 'speculative fiction,' an interesting term that encompasses fiction, science fiction, fantasy and a smattering of history. He's one of my husband's favorite authors, and this book is my husband's current favorite by this author. I'm not much of a fantasy or sci-fi fan, but this book really seems to have something for everyone, and it's well written to boot. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did.

From a very young age, Andrew Hale knows that
Oct 29, 2010 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Oh Fish, do you hold to the old covenant?"

A literally heavyweight book, a cold war novel chock full of spy craft. Tim Powers restrains his usual excesses until almost the end. A decades long intelligence operation to "verify the status" of the inhabitants of Mt. Ararat staggers to fruition, with Kim Philby betraying each side in turn.

The SOE's wish to "verify the status" of the entire Mt. Ararat community seems somewhat excessive, given that the only one causing direct offence is dwelling ghoul
Mar 30, 2009 John rated it liked it
I just love what Powers is attempting here - a spy story cum secret history of the cold war where magic, ancient djinns, guardian angels and biblical myth are really the secret drivers of the arms race (very Indiana Jones) - but for me this was a case of the plot of a novel being far more interesting than the writing. I think the problem is that there is just so much information Powers must convey to give the story even a glimmer of credibility (in the suspended disbelief kind of way) that he ha ...more
Nov 08, 2015 Nemalevich rated it really liked it
Сложноустроенная шпионская история времен холодной войны, закрученная вокруг Кима Филби, только (кроме шуток) с джинами из 1001 ночи и написанная нетипично для жанра богатым английским языком. В принципе, это удавшийся вариант того, что пытался сделать Симмонс в The Abominable - Пауэрс подробно изучил биографию семьи Филби и других из Кэмбриджской пятерки и вставил фэнтези вместо всех исторических белых пятен, так, чтобы история сложилась. Было бы пять звезд, но, черт подери, почему автор, ...more
Feb 15, 2013 Benjamin added it
Shelves: audiobook
I've heard for a while now about how great Powers is, how he seamlessly ties together rich history with mythic fantasy: here's a Fisher King story in California, here's Merlin-brewed beer, here's angels in the Cold War. Finally, I broke down and read (heard) my first Powers, and I can say that it fairly lives up to the hype while also being something of a head-scratcher in places.

Here's the basic non-spoiler story: Andrew Hale is a British agent in a hush-hush operation that stretches from befor
Walt O'Hara
Apr 18, 2012 Walt O'Hara rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Review based upon a reading of the original hardcover when it was published years ago, coupled with a recent listening of the version.

Tim Powers is one of those go-to contemporary writers for me, in company with Jack McDevitt, Iain Banks, Michael Shea, and Gene Wolfe. This is a group of authors that I will read almost everything they write based upon their previous accomplishments, and will start their books with a generally positive, nay, eager, opinion of the work.

DECLARE is a h
Jan 27, 2015 Eastendleo rated it liked it
This is truly a tour de force of re imagining events and people of recent history while inserting a fantasy back story that gallops between England, the Middle East, Paris and Moscow. And covers the period from the early part of the last century to its near close. And not once violating what we know of those actual people and events.

The elaborate dance of evasion, double cross and morality in the world of espionage. The awakening and influence of spirits upon us. And the toll of being at the bec
Jeremiah Genest
'Tradecraft meets Lovecraft' is the way Tim Powers describes his latest novel. And he's right. Declare is Powers' wild romp combining a John LeCarr?-style spy novel with his own blend offantasy and horror.

This is definitely my favorite Powers' book since The Stress of Her Regard, and Declare shares much in common with that novel. Instead of vampires, we have djinn straight out of The Arabian Nights; instead of the Romantic poets, the attentions of these creatures are focused on Cold War spies. W
Jan 30, 2011 Dxmaniac69 rated it really liked it
I'm going to write this review assuming you have read Tim Powers before. If you haven't, well this is probably not going to be your first Tim Powers. The reason for this is it seems to be out of print and is extremely hard to get a copy. I had to borrow one as I couldn't find one to own for myself. If you aren't a Tim Powers fan, go read Anubis Gates and Last Call first and if you like them then make the effort to find this one.

Declare basically is a 1940s spy novel mixed with weird supernatural
Mar 05, 2016 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
20160305 reread
Even better the second time around now that I have the foreknowledge of what happened on Ararat in '48 it lends new meaning to characters' actions in '63 at the beginning of the book. Turns out paranoia was well warranted.

And the fight on Mount Ararat? That was either so cool in a horrifying way or so horrifying in a cool way. I'm not sure yet. Either way, I like how Powers made actions, thoughts and memories be the same thing for the djinn and how it plays into the interactions a
I like a lot how Powers meshes fantastical aspects into historical facts, usually with a very good historical basis. In this book the historical background is the cloak and dagger war between the secret services during and after the Second World War, and a hidden war that started much earlier.

Powers recreates very well the environment of espionage books, and keeps the supernatural effects in a slow build-up, till they finally dominate the story in the great finale.

The two main characters suffer
Julie Davis
Good Story #19. Here is a list: Philby. Espionage. Powers. Declare. While they await your coded response, Julie and Scott discuss Declare by Tim Powers, a fantasy/spy thriller they both enjoyed.
My comments:
I must admit (again) that I'm grateful to Scott for making me read a book that I'd never have picked up otherwise. And also, I now remember, to Jeff Miller, for suggesting it. I enjoyed this book so much that I am now wondering which Tim Powers book to try next. Suggestions welcome
Apr 02, 2012 The rated it it was amazing
John Le Carre meets Dennis Wheatley

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 ve
Jun 25, 2011 Allie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Declare is both a spy novel about WWII and the Cold War and a fantasy, and the two elements intertwine surprisingly well. The plot is intricate and filled with careful manipulation, violence, shifting loyalties, and even romance. The magic was not flashy or frivolous, but dangerous, poorly understood, and incredibly eerie. The deadly, enigmatic djinn, also referred to as fallen angels, are at the heart of a secret Cold War, fought through the schemes and many-layered betrayals of the British, ...more
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Timothy Thomas Powers is an American science fiction and fantasy author. Powers has won the World Fantasy Award twice for his critically acclaimed novels Last Call and Declare.

Most of Powers's novels are "secret histories": he uses actual, documented historical events featuring famous people, but shows another view of them in which occult or supernatural factors heavily influence the motivations a
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