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An Oath of Dogs  By  cover art

An Oath of Dogs

By: Wendy N Wagner
Narrated by: Amy Finegan
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Publisher's summary

Kate Standish has been on the forest-world of Huginn less than a week, and she's already pretty sure her new company murdered her boss. But the little town of mill workers and farmers is more worried about ecoterrorism and a series of attacks by the bizarre, sentient dogs of this planet than a death most people would like to believe is an accident. That is, until Kate's investigation uncovers a conspiracy which threatens them all.

©2017 Wendy N Wagner (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about An Oath of Dogs

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murder mystery on a mysterious planet

Hopeful ending to an otherwise deliciously eerie book. Great read. Great message. I don't want to give away too much. I want you rapt in everry word listening for the next reveal in the slowly building tension.

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Right in my wheelhouse! Yours, too?

I try to encourage my students to move beyond simple reviews of “good” and “bad,” and instead to consider who a work of art is made for. Are they the target audience? When it comes to Wendy N. Wagner’s An Oath of Dogs, I suspect the target audience is: Me. But maybe it’s for you, too. Are you skeptical of the power of rapacious corporations extracting profit at the expense of the environment and the working class who live in it? But do you also acknowledge the people involved are often conflicted or outright reluctant to participate yet cannot figure out a way to challenge the system? Do you like science fiction that explores highly relevant contemporary social issues while still being smart about technological and biological plausibility? Does the idea of colonizing space excite you while also worrying you because of our human history of colonialism? Do you have complicated feelings about religion, recognizing the dignity of religious people and the beauty of belief systems while also seeing the way religions can be systems of oppression people impose upon themselves and others? Do you like characters who are nuanced, flawed, and believable but ultimately likable and admirable? Do you like carefully constructed mysteries where the clues come together in a thoughtful, satisfying way? Oh, and do you like dogs? Then this book is for you, too!

One of the trickiest parts of writing a mystery on a colony world with a large cast of characters and is that Wagner has to manage an ending that resolves the mystery and lets us know where the characters end up without magically solving all the interplanetary environmental and socio-economic problems in the universe in a way that would feel inauthentic. I felt like all my questions about the characters were answered, but the larger issues still left me contemplating moral dilemmas in just the way Wagner intended. I do have one burning question remaining, though: Which Wendy N. Wagner book should I read next?

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Strange, compelling mystery

I don't quite know how to feel about the near-magical things that are glimpsed amidst the otherwise grounded, rational things depicted in the story.

I am less enthused by Weird or Horror elements that show up in what all identifiers point to being SF. I suspect I am spoiled by Hard SF, and have become vulnerable to strange tales, like the near-magical elements of The Dreaming Jewels, for example, or Killdozer.

If the tale had been set in past or present times, on Earth, I would have categorized it as a Fantasy, in the vein of A Winter Haunting.

Still, liked it a lot. Hopefully nothing is spoiled here.

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I kept waiting for it to get good but it didn't.

It started off ok. But it just kept getting weirder and weirder. There were too many characters, and they weren't memorable enough to differentiate one from the other. I couldn't keep track of all of them after a while.
A lot of the plot points didn't really add up either. Especially the ending. Like, that was a major let down. Like they build it all up to "we're taking down the bad guys" and then they just get prescribed new meds and everything is ok even though they don't take down the bad guys.
Overall the book wasn't very original. I know I can't really get into how it wasn't original without spoilers so
spoilers

a planet where what you believe turns true - been done #ForbiddenPlanet #LikeTenEpisodesOfStarTrek

an outsider who moves to a small town to escape an over-industrialized earth and encounters locals that turn into dogs at night - been done

small town people with ridiculously bad ideas about the environment but the hero somehow learns to get along with them despite disagreeing with them and doing NOTHING to help fix things - been done

people who break the curse by doing the right thing - been done


oh and that robot you see in the cover art? THERE'S NO ROBOTS IN THIS BOOK

honestly I would've returned this but by the time I decided it was bad I was already a third of the way in and my conscience bugged me about doing that so I finished it

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