Wolves by Simon Ings
Augmented Reality uses computing power to overlay a digital imagined reality over the real world. Whether it be adverts or imagined buildings and imagined people with Augmented Reality the world is no longer as it appears to you, it is as it is imagined by someone else.
Two friends are working at the cutting edge of this technology and when they are offered backing to take the idea and make it into the next global entertainment they realise that wolves hunt in this imagined world. And the wolves might be them.
Wolves is a difficult book to categorise - the blurb says it’s ‘a picture of a dark tomorrow that is just around the corner’ - so it is a dystopic look at how our world could develop, but that is the background to a murder mystery, with elements of horror, thriller and an exploration of friendship and humanity woven through.
The protagonist, Conrad, is at the cutting edge of the technological advances into building an alternative reality landscape that can be layered on top of the city, whilst his childhood friend, Michel, dreams of floating away in a drowned JG Ballard-style world. They are both idealistic in their own way; Conrad trying to create and control a new world through changing people’s perception of what is around them, whilst Michel builds visions of an apocalyptic future through fiction and wants to sail away from ‘reality’, but each have their ideals worn down.
I loved this book, probably because it wasn’t a clear-cut dystopic novel or murder mystery. Ings’ writing creates an incredibly vivid world with a strong theme of body horror, which leaps out of the page with a shock. Conrad grows up in a hotel for wounded soldiers who have been blinded by lasers on the front line, but these men remain faceless as well as eyeless – reduced to nameless animatronic versions of what they were; the only sound they make the echolocation clicking of the vests his dad has built to help them try and ‘see’ the world again. At the beginning of the book he is living with a girlfriend who lost both of her hands in a car accident and now her face is ‘ragged’ and the prosthetics are ‘big clown hands’. Sex is brutal and animalistic and often uncomfortable to read – hyper-real in the way Conrad’s Augmented Reality technology has made the world. This focus on bodies is contrasted against the closing off of people from one another as Augmented Reality moves from being a geek’s game with cumbersome equipment into a commonplace method of creating your own world via contacts or implants directly into the eye.
Wolves is about how each of the characters perceives the world and as Michel invites Conrad back into his life, and his mother’s possible murder once again rises to the surface, it become clear that reality is far more complex than we might first think.
If you are looking for something a bit different, definitely give this book a go.
Wolves by Simon Ings
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Gollancz (16 Jan 2014)
This Wolves book review was written by Cat Fitzpatrick
Have you read Wolves?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Wolves reader reviews
9/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. They have nothi...
Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels ag...
The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct. The half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boun...
Oryx and Crake
Snowman may be the last man on earth, the only survivor of an unnamed apocalypse. Once he was Jimmy, a member of a scientific elite; now he lives in bitter isolation and lo...
The Last Man Standing
Italy is on the brink of collapse. Borders are closed, banks withhold money, the postal service stalls. Armed gangs of drug-fuelled youths roam the countryside. Leonardo wa...
The Drowned World
Fluctuations in solar radiation have melted the ice caps, sending the planet into a new Triassic Age of unendurable heat. London is a swamp; lush tropical vegetation grows ...
Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse
John Joseph Adams
Famine, death, war, pestilence. These are said to be the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse-Armageddon. The End of the World. Whether by nuclear warfare, a biological di...
The Crystal World
Through a ‘leaking’ of time, the West African jungle starts to crystallize. Trees metamorphose into enormous jewels. Crocodiles encased in second glittering ski...
Emily St John Mandel
What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty. One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whil...
An illness spreads through an unnamed city. It has only one symptom: blindness. It comes without fanfare, pain, or warning. One moment a man waits in his car at the traffic...
A modern Britain. An age-old cruelty. Britain's magically skilled aristocracy compels all commoners to serve them for ten years - and now it's the Hadleys' turn...
The Reapers are the Angels
God is a slick god. Temple knows. She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe... Older than her years and completely alone, Temp...
Legends of the Red Sun
Mark Charan Newton
An ice age strikes a chain of islands, and thousands come to seek sanctuary at the gates of Villjamur. It’s a city of ancient spires and bridges, a place where banshe...
The Return Man
The outbreak tore the USA in two. The east remains a safe haven. The west has become a ravaged wilderness. They call it the Evacuated States. It is here that Henry Marco ma...
Facing down an unprecedented malevolent enemy, the government responds with a nuclear attack. America as it was is gone forever, and now every citizen – from the Pres...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
What are Strungballs? Ten-year-old Sydney is about to find out... but first he must have a cube of his flesh removed. Sydney will transgress everything he was taught to believ...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
When Vivian is evacuated from London in 1939, she expects to be staying in the countryside. Instead, she is whisked away to Time City – a place that exists outside time and space. It is a strange and remarkable place, where technology rules – yet important events of both past and future are marked by the appearance of mysterious Time...
The Guns of Empire
As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace... After their shattering defeats at the hands of brillian...
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth....
Events are coming to a climax in the Banished Lands, as the war reaches new heights. King Nathair has taken control of the fortress at Drassil and three of the Seven Treasu...
For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the four...
The Banished Lands are engulfed in war and chaos. The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures...