Declare: A Novel

Declare: A Novel

by Tim Powers

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Overview

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, from postwar 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062221384
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/19/2013
Pages: 591
Sales rank: 612,088
Product dimensions: 5.38(w) x 7.82(h) x 1.56(d)

About the Author

Tim Powers is the author of numerous novels including Hide Me Among the Graves, Three Days to Never, Declare, Last Call, and On Stranger Tides, which inspired the feature film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. He has won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award twice, and the World Fantasy Award three times. He lives in San Bernardino, California.

What People are Saying About This

Dean Koontz

“Dazzling . . . a tour de force, a brilliant blend of John le Carre spy fiction with the otherworldly.”

William Gibson

“Tim Powers is a brilliant writer. Declare’s occult subtext for the deeper Cold War is wonderfully original and brilliantly imagined.”

Customer Reviews

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Declare 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sounds like everyone's done a good job of giving the background, so I'll keep things short. Declare is one of my favorite works of fiction, if not THE favorite. This supernatural thriller is still enjoyable after multiple readings. Powers does a fantastic job of weaving history with strands of the fantastic. When he ends the work with notes about his research, you may find yourself suprised at which weird bits are authentic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have just finished this marvelous novel for the second time, savoring its rich language and imaginative, complex plot. The prior reviews are quite good, so I will only add some observations. First, Elena Teresa Ceniza-Bendiga adds almost as much to the story as do Hale and Philby. Her journey from Catholicism to Marxism-Leninism and back is convincingly laid out, as are her complex feelings about Andrew Hale. And the romance, spun out over 23 years, is no mere James Bond fling. Second, I marvel at the research Powers must have done to portray the espionage, the Cold War history, the many locations and the diverse mythologies so convincingly, and have the parts fit together. The title, Declare, contains multiple meanings. I particularly enjoyed the high-low poker game for enormous stakes begun at the foot of Ararat in '48 and completed in Moscow in '64. What a rewarding read this has been.
harstan More than 1 year ago
It was probably ordained form the day Andrew Hale was born, an event shrouded in mystery, that he would ultimately join His Majesty¿s Secret Service in the war against Hitler. As a child, his mother introduced Andrew to his ¿Godfather¿, who was in the business. Andrew took to the world of espionage as few ever have. He even fooled the Soviets into recruiting him. If the perfect spy had an weakness it had to be Elena, a dedicated Communist who worked with Andrew during the Vichy control of France. His only failure was the men who died on Mt. Ararat when the Soviets sought the Ark.

After the war, Andrew returned to England as a university professor, believing his days as a spy were over. However, in 1963, he receives a coded phone call that reactivates him sending him to the Middle East where the Soviets are trying to obtain the Ark. Andrew speaks with Legion and passes a weird test of sorts. Now all he must do is fight the forces of darkness on Ararat with the stakes being the freedom of the world.

DECLARE is an interesting combination of a classic espionage thriller crossed with the X-Files to create an intriguing ecclesiastical spy tale. The riveting story line employs flashbacks to World War II so that the reader can grasp what happened that led to the 1963 events. Fans will declare that Tim Powers¿ power is to make the mundane exciting and the supernatural believable as he does with this thriller.

Harriet Klausner

martianfencer More than 1 year ago
Tim Powers has a knack for making really strange things seem plausible, like there is a very thin veil separating the natural and built world from something very spooky. Here he has taken the true story of a Cold War double agent, and filled in the blanks a bizarre and magical tale that seems like it -- maybe -- could be the real story!
Anonymous 7 months ago
Lreading this book has been a worthy project. absolutely great read!
ChrisRiesbeck on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
lewispike on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"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.
tanenbaum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
SaintBrevity on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
ben_a on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The grey-on-grey palette of LeCarre shot through with silver threads of the occult -- an enjoyable, if overlong book.[Now, about a year later, this is a book that grows with time. I can't quite get it out of my head. "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding."
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Poetic and action packed
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