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The Wolf at the End of the World

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  94 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
A shapeshifter hero battles ancient spirits, a covert government agency, and his own dark past in a race to solve a murder that could mean the end of the world.


"I can’t remember the last time I read a book that spoke to me, so eloquently, and so deeply, on so many levels. ... I’ll be rereading it in the future because it’s that sort of book. Richly layered and deeply re
ebook, 360 pages
Published October 17th 2013 by Douglas Smith (first published October 12th 2013)
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Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
Everything I'd expect from Douglas Smith!

I don’t read a lot of paranormal stuff. I prefer aliens, which to me are usually more plausible than vampires and werewolves. I don’t believe in magic or ghosts (much to the horror of many of my friends) and I think zombies are a horrifying fad and impossible! There are some interpretations of lore I like, though, and some authors I will read, almost regardless of what the story is. Douglas Smith and his debut novel, The Wolf At The End Of The World, fil
Simon Howard
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Heroka walk among us. Unseen, unknown. Shapeshifters. Human in appearance but with power over their animal totems.

Gwyn Blaidd is a Heroka of the wolf totem. Once he led his people in a deadly war against the Tainchel, the shadowy agency that hunts his kind. Now he lives alone in his wilderness home, wolves his only companions.
Gwyn is pulled from his secluded life when a young native woman is killed in his old home town.....complete with a very prickly young Heoka ward and his faithful hound
Delena constant
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Wolf

I am captured by this fiction/such well written and researched book..Deserves the 5 Stars. it is a in depth written book,easy read but also keeps you on your "toes!" Douglas Smith , thank you for a novel that so touches your inner Soul and your mind. I see all your awards and yes you mastered the novel I could not put down!
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
For me, the highlight of Douglas Smith's debut novel was the introduction to First Nations culture (Ojibwe and Cree in particular), presented in tidbits such as this one. (Which also contains an important reminder about humanity's place in the natural order of life.) There is a bibliography at the end of the book for anyone curious to explore deeper.

I also relished the environmental themes--and this is where I would have liked the novel to explore deeper. While the threads of the individual char
Michael Martineck
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book. I really enjoyed the use of the native peoples' mythology. Ojibwe and Cree in particular. Gave what could be called urban fantasy/horror real roots and weight.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read books that have made me cry because the main character died or books that left me shocked because a betrayal occurred - but I have only read one other book that has left me reeling. The private war against the Heroka - a species of man that is linked to his animal totem and can change into that animal - by the Tainchel, continues in this latest book. Formerly targets of the government for experimentation and study, the Heroka fought back and those that survived the went into hiding. ...more
Sheri Brown
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this story, and as a Native Indian I was pleasantly surprised with the use of Native mythology. There really isn’t enough stories using Native mythology in an exciting modern story. I find it refreshing to read an engaging story using this style.
I look forward to reading more from Douglas Smith.
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it
Mairi Krausse
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating Native tale come to life

The greatest shape shifter story I've ever read. The characters are so well developed and their personalities so authentic that every one is authentic and believable. The storyline is well developed also, and enthralling. I love this been book!
Barbara Dunbar
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Wolf at the End of the World

This book brings out the great spiritual heritage the First Nations have to offer. If only people, like some of the book's characters, could learn from our past.
James Neilson
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doug Smith is an excellent short fiction writer. I may not like all of his stories, but I like the majority of his work and he is a writer who can, apparently, transfer without effort across the boundaries between fantasy, and horror, and science fiction. Smith has written a novelette “Spirit Dance” (collected in Imposibilia) that is takes place prior to the events of Wolf at the End of the World and involves some of the major characters in the novel. I have not read this novelette. I thought of ...more
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book through the Goodreads First Reads program in exchange for an unbiased review.

I love the way Smith weaved Native American religion and folklore into a modern day setting. As Smith noted, it is no small challenge to write about a culture that is not your own, especially when your people oppressed the ones about which you are now writing. The topic must be handled with care and it was.

In this story we meet the Heroka, shapeshifting humans with a strong connection their animal totems
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book from the first page to the last. Actually, I fell in love with the cover before I even started reading, and I have to say that I think the cover is not only gorgeous, it also effectively represents the content and mood of the story.

This is an exciting, fast-paced story with plenty of action, emotion, and some surprising plot twists. The characters struck me as believable; some of them were more likable than others, but as the story proceeds, you start to understand why each cha
Steve Stanton
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent debut novel by Canadian author Douglas Smith, a fantasy about shapeshifters and sentient animals in an Ontario native community. Modern controversy over aboriginal land claims is mixed with a romantic embellishment of ancient stories transmitted orally through the ages by a culture with no written language. The author, noted as a short-story specialist, uses staccato pacing and multiple POV with a hook at the end of each short segment to keep the energy level perpetually hig ...more
J.A. McLachlan
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Wolf at the End of the World by Douglas Smith is all that good fantasy novel should be: an engrossing story; intriguing, believable characters; a unique supposition; and a fascinating world of mystery and magic. Then Smith takes it one step further, and thoroughly researches the Cree and Anishinabe myths and stories which form the background of his world, giving it a solid foundation and a credibility that many fantasy books lack. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys speculative ...more
Don Bassie
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Doug Smith is one of my favorite short fiction writers. Whether it's his horror, fantasy or SF, I have enjoyed each and every one of his stories. When his first novel length work came out, I didn't hesitate to grab a copy. I was not disappointed. "The Wolf at the End of the World" is as well written as any of Smith's short works. His flawless prose, strong characters and meticulous attention to detail will keep you reading to the end. Exciting, enlightening and a joy to read!
Kim Switzer
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thriller, a supernatural tale, an environmental warning, a cultural study. All if this wrapped up in a beautifully written story. It grabbed me from the start, and I had a hard time putting this down. I can't wait to read more from Douglas Smith.
Miss Ginny Tea
Dec 21, 2016 marked it as dnf_2016  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
Not my type of book. It was written well enough, and I was enjoying the heroka elements. (I thought it was #OwnVoices, but it looks like it isn't, which is nervous-making.)
Stefan Ellery
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once I started reading The Wolf at the End of the World I couldn't put it down. The story drew me in and the characters felt real.
Rick Bevington
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent story. I can't wait for Doug's next novel...
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Wolf at the End of the World takes stories from indigenous North American cultures and brings them to life in a modern fantasy world where the spirits are real. Smith mixes modern life and the spirits from the stories together smoothly to tell a story of world-threatening danger.

This is a story about the interaction between the modern world and a spirit world that has been all but forgotten. A few Ojibwe elders still remember the old ways, and there are a few shapeshifters, or Heroka, who li
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A surprisingly readable book even though it was in a vastly different genre than I usually enjoy. I do like to read werewolf stories (clever ones where werewolves are not stereotypical killers), but the Heroka series is a more paranormal setting where certain people can transform into various different kinds of creatures. But while there's the stereotypical government agency hunting them down, the story intrigued me with the Native American mythology and stories that it is infused with. It is ve ...more
Kai Wall
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting way to incorporate real history and legends into a thrilling fictional tale.
Debbie Kovacs
I like the shapeshifter, spirit animals, First Nations perspective and cultural background. I even liked the political angle to an extent, but somehow the story didn't blend cohesively. Instead of one story that contained many layers it felt like a story that couldn't quite find it's identity and bounced between them. Romance , fantasy, thriller, conspiracy, dystopian, political, horror, tried for all of these and more,consequently it never quite developed anything. Such potent ...more
M.G. Ryan
This book is a good read. I enjoyed the cultural element to it, which is a little different to the normal fantasy novels that I read. A different take on the standard shape shifter stories which is intriguing.
Michael Cummings
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little heavy on the eco side at random intervals, but all in all a fun romp through the Spirit world with the Trickster (and maybe some other characters, but he was my favorite).
Scott Overton
rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2015
rated it really liked it
Jan 05, 2018
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Jan 20, 2017
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Sep 26, 2016
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"One of Canada's most original writers of speculative fiction." —Library Journal

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“She jumped out from hiding. “You killed me, you son of a bitch!”
The Windigo stopped. As its bulbous red eyes fell on her, it occurred to her that, even though she was dead, there might be fates that could befall her spirit she should probably try to avoid. Swallowing, she stepped back.
But the Windigo made no move toward her. Its voice was a thing of ice cracking in the middle of a frozen lake. “I have eaten your flesh already, child. Your spirit is of no use to me. I need fresh meat and hot blood.” Turning away, it continued through the forest.
“What? That’s it? Take my body, then forget about me?” she yelled after its retreating back. “Obviously a guy,” she muttered.”
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