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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Timberwolf by Dominic Adler review

Official Author Website
Order Timberwolf over HERE

OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFORMATION: an ex-London policeman turned writer. Dominic is inspired by writers like Jack Higgins and Len Deighton, Mark Timlin and Philip Kerr. The stuff of hard-boiled thrillers and Sunday afternoon war movies, full of action, suspense and dark humour.

FORMAT/INFO: Self-published by the author in 2019, Timberwolf is 490 pages long. 

OVERVIEW: So, Timberwolf. How could you categorize it? An occult spy-military-thriller filled with gods, nazis, tanks, and wendigos? An explosive science-fantasy? All these, and more? Who cares? Timberwolf plays with subgenres and delivers crazy fun set in a world analogous to the 1940s. 

We follow the story through POV of Axel Geist, the roguish son of a circus knife-thrower. Axel likes to drink schnapps and talk of women, war stories and guns. If you like James Bond, you’ll be fine. If, however, you’re sensible to male gazing, you’ll probably cringe at descriptions like this one:

I tried not to look at Bassarus’ cantaloupe breasts and failed.

He never uses women for his pleasure, though. Powerful women usually wrap him around their finger. His female sidekick, Hexberyn, would shred him to pieces in a blink of an eye (if she wanted to). In other words, Axel likes to think of himself as of Ladies' Man (and ladies like him) but he's a big softie deep inside :)

Above all, though, Axel is a survivor, charming, intelligent, and willing to help others. Like, when he helps Roland, a former boxer, undertaker and encyclopedia salesman imprisoned for his sexuality. He enjoys living enough to sell his soul to Bassarus, the god of deceit. His life gets much more complicated afterwards. And more fun to follow.

Bassarus orders Axel to volunteer for Stassia’s warrior elite, Timberwolves. Not a comfortable position for an ex-political prisoner and traitor forced to survive deep inside the regime. I loved this part of the story; it felt deeply personal and nuanced. Observing Axel sorting out where his loyalties lied and facing emotional conflicts made me root for him. I admired his prowess in navigating lies and treacheries. The second half of his story turned epic in scope and developed at a breakneck pace. I didn’t like it as much as Axel’s character study, but it did offer lots of thrills.

Besides Axel’s engaging narration and immersive plot, Timberwolf provides plenty of action sequences. Explosions, broken bones, meaty bullet holes, you name it. Did I mention tanks? Wendigos? Explosions? Cause they're legion. Things get intense, especially in the second part of the book, but Axel’s ethical conflicts add depth to everything. 

Who will like Timberwolf? Besides warfare hipsters, anyone loving a high-octane and explosive fun will find plenty of thrills here. The story uses the unreliable narrator to tell action-filled espionage story sprinkled with Lovecraftian weird.

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