“The Wolves of London: Obsidian Heart Book 1” by Mark Morris – good ideas drowned in over-written text

The Wolves of London Obsidian HeartThis book has some original ideas, very graphic images of horror, sympathetic characters that are grounded in a London that I recognize, a complex if rather slow-moving plot and a great narrator – yet I gave up on it three-quarters of the way through.

My ability to listen was extinguished by the heavily over-written text.

Morris’ style owes a lot to early twentieth century gothic horror writers like M. R. James. Unfortunately, while this ornate, densely written, style is sustainable for a short story, it becomes burdensome in a novel.

Morris seems to feel the need to embellish every sentence, no matter how functional or mundane. Some of his language is truly wonderful, evoking places and drawing people clearly, but it became too much for me. I felt I was hacking my way through an undergrowth of superfluous imagery to try and find the narrative.

Eventually, I lost the will to keep moving forward. Even though I will never know how the story resolved itself, my overwhelming feeling when I switched off the audiobook was not disappointment at my ignorance but relief at not having to digest any more of this over-rich diet.

If you’d like to hear an extract from “The Wolves Of London”, click on the SoundCloud link below:

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