Thank you Thank you Thank you As an avid reader, from my early school years I found Lithuanian literature very, ummmm, sad Everyone especially woman dies here terrible death, please Nobody gets a second chance, everyone s life is miserable even the man s who manages to write jokes about concentration camp yay for you , it s very dark and without hope Even modern day Lithuanian writers seems to drink from the same well psychedelic topics, copies changed names and places of 50 Shades Of Gray, utterly nostalgic reminiscences of past the sadder the merrier , or something so weird you can simply make yourself a paper hat Or a ship Or both I am not saying Lithuanians are bad writers, but they struggled like, for a few centuries to write a book that would be loved and liked by very different people kids, students, adults, page turner lovers, or somebody who really digs deep.I know, most of the books charm comes from the author Andrius himself is a very interesting, open minded person, who manages to find ways into people hearts But I really believe that he makes people who DON T read take this books and READ The book itself very graphic, interesting, intriguing History figures comes to life, but they are not dull, boring and blah blah blah, but kicking asses, using steam devices, making vicious plots, using magic , and having fun And, oh, there is even some romance in there I keep my fingers crossed for the wedding in the end It s very easy to read and like, and you definitely want But it s not empty characters stay in your head, action is fast and unexpected twists happen It s vivid, moving, changing Writing style that many had comments about, boo hoo was great, I had no nags I have 0 regrets reading this and I hope it will have like 10000 sequels. History has been changed It is the year 1905 and Europe is not as we know it Alchemists pilot steampunk airships over great cities, hardworking mechanics create automatons and deep in the dungeons secret societies of macabre wizards strive to create artificial intellect.Powerful bankers created The Alliance of Free Cities beacons of progress, art, science and freedom Blood has been spilledFormer US Marine Antanas Sidabras is exceptional at his job enforcing public order in the ancient Free City of Vilnius But a gruesome murder at an abandoned cemetery leaves him at a loss No clues, no motive, no suspect.And A shadow has been awokenWith the biggest social event of the year The Summit looming just a few days ahead frantic investigation turns out to be a complex web of political intrigue and Sidabras has everybody against him mad doctors, corrupt officials, Russian agents and monsters from his personal nightmares And then, the bells will toll the Hour of the Wolf.Will you live to see another day If you like alternate history fiction stories, unrelenting storytelling and steampunk adventure Hour of the Wolf will not disappoint This powerful steampunk adventure is biggest SF F bestseller in Lithuania for the last decade Animation series is already in the works and Hour of the Wolf became a major inspiration for a groundbreaking computer game The Howler. I so much wanted to love this book I like steampunk, I am from a Slavic country, what s not to love Well, the thing is, I do not know Lithuanian So I had to read this book in English translation And here is a problem translation is a work of art Or at last a craft Google is not your friend even if you re trying to translate a manual Google is your enemy when trying to translate a work of fiction I am not sure who translated this book my purchased copy did not have a translator s name anywhere prominent and I will admit I did not spend a lot of time looking , but I have this lurking suspicion that the author decided to do it himself And while whoever did it has a knowledge of English, he or she most definitely has no FEEL of English Idioms are not translatable, period Not even a little bit So while I could somehow figure most of it out, knowing one or two Slavic languages, I do not think English only speaking reader would be as lucky Fluidity is important to me while reading a work of fiction I hate being jerked out of the flow by WHA sensation I want to be immersed in the action, not constantly flailing around trying to get a meaning, or just simply shaking my head Here are some examples of this Fabric greatly resembling a grey mouse Huh Broceours what is that I guessed brokers or guides Gouvernantes my guess was governesses in a wink of an eye Really Not a blink saw Lady Luck flying into his arms what the Hell Wake him AFTER two hours Seriously We will look for the bridge when we get to the river which in real English is we will cross that bridge when we come to it racking their about brains No comment.Sweetie instead of candy or sweets Once you gave them a sweetie OMG One though guy calling another my dear While this sounds OK in several slavic languages, it does not in English The context is just such that my dear throws you out and there you go again your concentration is broken and the flow interrupted OK, here s a great one he was polishing his knuckles against the background of Mila s sweet chirping What would be your guess Why don t you strain your Jewish peepers I actually thought this meant why don t you stain your Jewish papers , and then upon a short reflection realized it means why don t you look what you re doing, Jew And that short reflection is what made me make a note of it, instead of read on That defies the purpose of reading, it really does At least of reading for fun This is like grading the English works of Lithuanian junior high students This is hard I don t want a hard work while reading for entertainment This list could go on, unfortunately I just refused to constantly take notes while reading for pleasure.Why three stars I still think this book has a great potential, and if translated correctly or given a once or twice over by an English editor could be a modest hit As it is, however, not so much. It turned out to be a very nice read I love how it s crafted, the plot is interesting and intriguing It s very enjoyable to follow the hints and leads and wonder how everything will connect in the end The properly maintained intrigue is the best part of the book Then comes the characters There are a lot of them, but every one of them had a part to play in the whole scheme no matter how big or small and the writer manages to introduce them in a way the reader gets to know where the character comes from and where he she is headed even if he she dies on the next page I find that very impressing Knowing the characters background added to the enjoyment of the story very much Sadly, the language and writing style feels somewhat lacking The text doesn t always flow fluently and it hinders the reading a bit But the efforts the writer put in trying to make the language artistic are also felt All in all, the book is worth checking out. Filled with steampunk, intrigue, political machinations, secret agents, and a gutsy young lady, Hour of the Wolf by Andrius B Tapinas is a trip into another world, an alternate history, originally written in the author s native language, Lithuanian, and translated to English For readers not familiar with Russian or Lithuanian history, many of the names mentioned will not be easily identifiable, but trust me, there will be no detraction from the story Rich with detail, full of atmosphere and a sense of being in the moment with the characters, you will feel the darkness, the breeze, the streets beneath your feet The translation did not deter from the story, although the flow might have hiccupped a little, but never enough to distract me from the intrigue of the story as a deal is struck to save a financially floundering and corrupt upper ruling class whose debts are forgiven in exchange for free reign to run scientific experiments, practice the magical arts, on chosen cities Is this a deal with the devil Is it too good to be true As a determined enforcer investigates a mysterious murder, what else will he uncover How does a brilliant young lady play into all of this Her automatons are than mere toys If you like the flavor of a very dark steampunk adventure filled with mystery, murder and mayhem, while enjoying armchair travel to another place and time, I highly recommend Hour of the Wolf, as its pages prove that a well written book is sure to become a hit in any language.I received a review copy from Story Cartel in exchange for my honest review.Publication Date September 3, 2013Page Count 487Genre Adult Steampunk, Historical FictionAvailable for Purchase From Connect with the Author on Twitter For reviews check out Tome Tender s Book Blog or find us on Facebook. OH BOY I struggled with this novel The character and place names were a mouthful The translation and or editing was torturous at times But, bottom line, I was able to follow the story and I enjoyed it very much I really liked the characters and the alternate world was believable I m looking forward to the next book in this fantastical world. Hour of the Wolf is one of the books that give you the red eye effect I didn t know that and there I was, eyes bleeding, dusk till dawn I m not a big fan of fantasy books, but steampunk was something knew, so I decided to give it a try I was hooked It was a real fun to get my mind twisted in the events between different eras the past, the present, people I ve seen on TV and people I ve known from history books although not in their usual state The storyline is so twisted that it often seems things are happening here and now.The book is really unique, draws you in from the very first page and won t let go until the very last one While reading it, I occasionally wished I lived there and then, hoping I would meet some of the characters And it s also very lively you can almost feel the smells as you read.Even though the book has many MANY characters, after reading the book you realize every single one of them was instrumental in making the book a success.When I finished it, I was left wondering what s next Lucky me as the book became a bestseller in Lithuania, the author announced publicly that he is already working on the second book of the Steam and Stone Saga. A rare read of Lithuanian literature next to which I have decided to sit for a couple of weeks Considering the expectations, I had a great experience Loved being introduced to steampunk in a such exact way.The action in the Hour of the Wold flows as quickly as they come, whereas the reader gets enough time to feel some empathy with the characters The book s ties to actual Vilnius scenery makes this book so much attractive.The only significant downside was a fast forward approach to the final scenes of the book, i.e lack of development in the story of the wolf, the British soldiers, Basanavicius, Silver and other characters They could have been diven a little deeper with twists while inducing some sense of unexpectedness in the story Maybe too many characters for just one book whereas to come definitely.Will read of the author s books in the future. This was being painfull to read So I ve abandoned it It s not that its bad Its just that there isn t so far I m 18% in a common thread in the story The world is great but I can t feel a damn thing for a character There are so many character that appear for just one chapter, so I didn t get to know any one of themDisappointing Nice The ending makes me want the sequel.