'An alternative history tour-de-force. Epic, intense and authentic . . . electric' - Tom Harper, author of Zodiac Station
For seventy years they guarded the British Empire. Oblivion and Fogg, inseparable friends, bound together by a shared fate. Until one night in Berlin, in the aftermath of the Second World War, and a secret that tore them apart.
But there must always be an account . . . and the past has a habit of catching up to the present.
Now, recalled to the Retirement Bureau from which no one can retire, Fogg and Oblivion must face up to a past of terrible war and unacknowledged heroism - a life of dusty corridors and secret rooms, of furtive meetings and blood-stained fields - to answer one last, impossible question:
What makes a hero?
Praise for VIOLENT CENTURY:
'Vintage Lavie, and also I think his most fully accomplished novel yet. If Nietzche had written an X-Men storyline whilst high on mescaline, it might have read something like VIOLENT CENTURY' - Adam Roberts, author of Jack Glass
'A big, ambitious book that manages to deliver' - Glen Mehn
'An elegiac espionage adventure that demands a second reading' - Metro
'Provides an insight into what it takes to be human, and what can happen when we lay that humanity aside. It's a powerful novel, which will no doubt reward rereading' - Sci-Fi bulletin
Tidhar (Osama) introduces people with supernatural powers into the wars of the 20th century in this disappointing alt-historical. A machine created in the late 1930s by the German scientist Vomacht sent a wave of changes across the entire world, granting random people unusual abilities. Henry Fogg, who can control foggy weather and is recruited by British intelligence services, witnesses crucial parts of WWII up close, until his own loyalties are tested for the sake of a beautiful and superpowered woman. Fogg and the rest of those changed turn out to be immortal, but WWII casts a long shadow over the next 60-odd years, and Fogg takes a long time to come to terms with his secrets. Tidhar's well-researched book never becomes more than the sum of its sources. His characters are too flat and his plot too derivative to bear the emotional weight of the real-world horrors that form the bulk of the narrative, and his attempts to manipulate superhero archetypes never quite gel.