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Table Of Contents

P. 1
Declare

Declare

Ratings:

4.05

(242)
|Views: 687|Likes:
Published by HarperCollins

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 nightmarethat has haunted his adult life: a lethal unfinished operation code-named Declare. From the corridors of Whitehall to the Arabian desert, from post-war Berlin to the streets of Cold War Moscow, Hale's desperate quest draws him into international politics and gritty espionage tradecraft -- and inexorably drives Hale, the fiery and beautiful Communist agent Elena Teresa Ceniza-Bendiga, and Kim Philby, mysterious traitor to the British cause, to a deadly confrontation on the high glaciers of Mount Ararat, in the very shadow of the fabulous and perilous Ark.

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 nightmarethat has haunted his adult life: a lethal unfinished operation code-named Declare. From the corridors of Whitehall to the Arabian desert, from post-war Berlin to the streets of Cold War Moscow, Hale's desperate quest draws him into international politics and gritty espionage tradecraft -- and inexorably drives Hale, the fiery and beautiful Communist agent Elena Teresa Ceniza-Bendiga, and Kim Philby, mysterious traitor to the British cause, to a deadly confrontation on the high glaciers of Mount Ararat, in the very shadow of the fabulous and perilous Ark.

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Publish date: Oct 13, 2009
Added to Scribd: Aug 27, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780061844942
List Price: $9.99

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04/14/2014

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9780061844942

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simonea_533972 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Declare is, in brief, a supernatural espionage thriller, set in the Cold War and more modern times. The plot is quite complicated and I feel like I didn't have enough knowledge of the background story to grasp everything. It also took me quite some time to 'get' into the story. However, the supernatural component was exciting enough to keep me reading.
paradoxosalpha reviewed this
I came to Tim Powers' Declare on the strength of a friend's recommendation, and also Charle's Stross' comparison to his own work in The Atrocity Archives. Although the subject matter of espionage plus supernatural elements was certainly similar to Stross' "Laundry" novels, I was surprised to find myself comparing Declare to a very different, and altogether more popular book: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Both are bulky, character-oriented novels rooted in the socio-political frames of particular periods; both are self-consciously English; both have emotional depth; both mix in some real historical persons as characters; both introduce their central supernatural elements in a gradual manner; and in both cases those elements are anchored in archaic intelligences and their complex relations with humanity. I would even compare the narrative role that Powers assigns to T.E. Lawrence ("of Arabia") to that occupied by the Raven King in Clarke's book. And both Powers and Clarke are performing a comparable sort of transcendent pastiche: adding magic to the LeCarre spy thriller on the one hand and to the Austen saga of realist satire on the other. Powers gets more points for fidelity to history, Clarke for verisimilitude of magic.Comparisons aside, I did very much enjoy Declare. It was not a flawless book. There was a certain attribution of supernatural efficacy to Christian piety and sacraments that was never properly justified, and I occasionally found a sentence in laughable need of easy repair. (An example of both from p. 486: "He opened his mouth to speak the first words of the Our Father, but realized that he had forgotten them.") But there is a healthy and profitable use of dramatic irony -- attentive readers can stay a half-step ahead of the central characters -- and Powers manages to instill a real numinosity into the higher orders of espionage that he invents for World War II and the Cold War. The psychology of double-agency is a long-standing interest of mine, and Powers makes it central to his novel in a way that I appreciated. The recruitment and induction of spies ("agent-runners") is presented through an explicitly initiatory framework that should be accessible and engaging to those who share those interests with me as well.
chrisriesbeck reviewed this
Rated 2/5
This was a tough haul for me. This was on my "currently reading" pile for the entire summer, because I kept finding other things (mostly non-fiction) to read instead. I've enjoyed Powers in the past, and will return to him in the future but I can't give this a strong recommendation. It's Powers doing his secret history legerdemain in the style of John LeCarre. The problem is that over 300 pages of WWII and Cold War backstabbing, skullduggery, and gloom have to pass before the secret history part really starts to pay off. When it does, it happens in frequent info-dumps of backstory. In an epilogue, Powers describes the research he did in developing the novel and working out alternate explanations for real world events. Apparently he followed the rule "if it was hard to write, it should be hard to read, gosh darn it!" Having paid my dues, I was happy to rewarded with something happening in the last quarter of the story, but I think I'm still owed some change.
mathegudrun reviewed this
Rated 1/5
The story seems interesting at first but then becomes complete utter nonsense. Most scenes are not believable - even not as magic tale. I could not engage with the persons and at the end it finishes rather hastily. The author has no idea about the magic creatures he pulls into the plot. He just describes surfaces as he understands them. This book was a waste of time.
saintbrevity reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Whenever I recommend this to people, I always tell them it's three parts of every WWII era spy novel, two parts Arabian Nights, one part Lovecraft, and a tiny dab of LSD to help make everything make sense. Tm Powers has an uncanny ability to maneuver a tiny sailboat of a book between the vicious reefs of disparate tropes with a poise that leaves the reader stunned. Very highly recommended.
lewispike reviewed this
Rated 5/5
"Spycraft meets Lovecraft" is the tag line really. And it sums it up nicely.Apparently Powers started research Kim Philby, who had an interesting enough life (he was a double agent for the NKVD/KGB working inside the British Security Services (SIS and MI6)). There are, apparently, strange inconsistencies and odd behaviour (I'm sure there would be in anyone's life, particularly if he's a double agent). Powers, however, creates a world of djinn, magic and old ones that quite neatly fit into the gaps in a worryingly coherent fashion.The result? Secret agencies working to recruit, control, or kill djinn, angels and the like, within their own national spy agencies. And if you like the Lovecraftian side of things, you'll love the way it all fits together.The historical details are all correct - he challenged himself not to change them and STILL produce the book - but it doesn't feel forced at any point although it does jump around in time more than a little, which takes a bit of getting used to.All in all an excellent read.
krisiti reviewed this
Odd, like all Powers' books. A spy story, with genies (djinn). As a concept, that didn't work very well for me, not nearly as well as his Romantic poets with vampires, or the gangsters, poker and fisher king cross.While I was reading I had that song The Freshmen, by Verve something, running in my head. I think because I heard it just before I began the book, and that line about "his face was stiff with tears" somehow seemed to fit into the song, right meter and everything.The British intelligence service was rather nasty. Killing Cassagnac! Good thing the Russians were so much worse. . .
chosler_2 reviewed this
Winner of World Fantasy Award; a perfect blend of espionage novel, historical fiction, and dark fantasy, this book tells the tale of three spies involvement over 60 years in trying to tame and/or destroy creatures known variously as djinn and fallen angels. Heavy detail on British and Soviet military operations and espionage activities from 1920-1964. Explicit violence, language, sexual situations (non-explicit), and heavy drinking.
tanenbaum_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I am an enormous fan of Tim Powers, so understand that when I say this is not my favorite work of his, I still recommend it whole-heartedly. Declare has a heavier feeling that most of Powers' other books, and at times can get a little bogged down. However, as other reviewers have noted, it is a curiously haunting book, staying with you long after you put it down, and popping up in your mind when you least expect it. The story is not straightforward, jumping around a bit chronologically, and thus it improves on the second and third readings when you are better able to integrate the full storyline. One of the beautiful things that Powers does is infuse the everyday world with systems of magic that are so consistently and richly developed that they seem like they are truth viewed from a different angle. This book is no exception as he explores a secret or alternate history of the Cold War in which Mount Ararat, the ark, and djinn are bigger factors in the struggle of nations than nuclear arms.
ansate reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Slow, slow going. But eventually I was so drawn in that I was invested in what happened next. I read the first half in 2 months and the last half in a week.

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P. 1
Declare