Declare
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Declare

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  2,543 ratings  ·  213 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, fr...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published June 4th 2002 by HarperTorch (first published January 1st 2000)
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Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost ("As the Pirate Aarhgs")
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 r...more
Jonathan Peto
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...more
Ian Tregillis
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...more
Genevieve
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 ag...more
Sandi
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...more
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 m...more
David Hebblethwaite
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
Will
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...more
Lightreads
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...more
Alex
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 cipher...more
Zorena
This is my second Powers novel and I have to admit I'm hooked. This guy can write!

I've never been a true fan of political thrillers or espionage but this one grabbed me from the start. I love that his heroes aren't he men in constant armed or unarmed combat. The lack of gory and graphic violence was pleasing as well. It's not that this lacked action, it didn't. The story just wasn't centered on the actions so much as the interactions of the characters.

I'm also in awe as to how Powers manages to...more
Evelyn
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...more
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...more
Jonathan
"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...more
John
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
Hallie
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.
Walt O'Hara
Review based upon a reading of the original hardcover when it was published years ago, coupled with a recent listening of the Audiobooks.com 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...more
Dxmaniac69
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...more
Benjamin
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...more
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...more
Allie
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, Fr...more
Nicholas Whyte
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1707156...

I rather liked Declare. As a fan of both Tim Powers' earlier work and of John Le Carré (though I haven't read either for years), I was impressed both by the audacity of the one trying to write like the other, with added djinn (rather than gin) and by the fact that he pretty much succeeded in pulling it off. He captures the tone of the disheartened and disreputable spy thriller awfully well, with the added awful secret that is not merely national security b...more
The
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...more
Dharmakirti
This was a bit of a challenge for me. Mr. Powers wrote some rather long and quite dense sentences that took some effort for me to parse; it's not for the lazy reader or the skimmer. Another challenging aspect was moving between different time periods and keeping the characters and their alliances straight.

This book was well worth the challenge and time it took for me to read it. I really enjoyed the mixture of the spy story with the fantastic djinn/fallen angel elements. I do wish there was a li...more
David
Tim Powers' 2001 novel "Declare" is another of those books that are better than OK but not quite good enough for Very Good. So, even though I'm formally rating it at a Very Good 4 stars out of 5, I'd really like to make that a 3-1/2 star rating. Of course, it's interesting that I say that since the book won both the 2001 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and the 2001 International Horror Guild Award for Best Novel. If you've read any Powers before, you've got a good idea what to expect: he take...more
Martin
Declare is a spy novel set in a supernatural alternative history. The history was well researched, I liked the characters, and it had a satisfying end, but I felt like it bogged down a little in the middle due to a complicated timeline.

Pluses for me are the setting (post WWII intrigue between the UK, France, and the Soviet Union, often contested in the Middle East), the supernatural aspects, and some great double- and triple-agent spy activity.
Eric
This book was excellent on pretty much all levels.

Declare follows the life and career of intelligence operative Andrew Hale. After an unusual boyhood as the illegitimate son of an ex-nun, Andrew is recruited by the British SOE during World War II.

It doesn't take long before Andrew learns that he is working not only against the Germans, but also against and amongst strange powers that common sense says do not exist. Andrew learns that there's another level of secrets behind even those of the Grea...more
Clay
Tim Powers creates another narrative (see "Last Call") where magic lurks just beneath the surface of the world. I admire how Powers makes the world more sensible with an occult element and not less. The story is a spy thriller (a la Le Carre) that spans WWII and much of the Cold War. I bought several copies of this novel at a discount outlet and enjoy giving copies to friends.
Will Byrnes
I did not finish reading this 591 page paperback. The writer is making an interesting fusion, of cold war spy book and fantasy. He has Kim Philby, Nazis, Soviets in a world with genies arising from the desert. It was overwritten and finally, I was unable to suspend disbelief any further.
Rosemary
One of those books that made me go back and re-read all the other books by the author. Also made me hunt down a hardcover first edition so I would have a really good copy for my permanent collection. Beautifully done mix of magic and espionage with a lovely bitter-sweet love story.
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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...more
More about Tim Powers...
The Anubis Gates Last Call (Fault Lines, #1) On Stranger Tides The Drawing of the Dark The Stress of Her Regard

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