It did not take me long to chew through this novel – this is a good thing. A very good thing. I picked it up at the Warhammer Open Day and have now finished it, which for me, is good timing. There were a few late nights involved…
So, what’s good about this book?
It’s the second of a trilogy (maybe more I am not Black Library and for once I am fairly up to date with publications). Usually, when it comes to the middle book, they can be a bit slower and filled with more ‘filler’ material. Not so in this case. The synopsis is that Mephiston’s psychic abilities are being stifled by something and in order to find that oh so nasty daemon mentioned in book one, he needs to get that sorted out. Aparrently, it is a bit hard to track a daemon when you can’t ‘see’ it. Who knew. Cut to a planet occupied by some bonkers Necrons and you can probably guess what happens, at least to some extent.
Why was this book good? It has more of the Rhacelus-Mephiston-Antros dynamic which was so good in the first one. The relationship is explored further, pushed further and we learn some of the history there as well. It is gloriously well written, emotive (there might have been tears) and heartwarming in many places. No point is over laboured, but nor is it skimmed. It is well balanced and shows good character development throughout.
It also has crazy Necrons. I confess to not knowing a great deal about these xenos, and still don’t but what I learned, I really liked. It explores an old dynasty and how having a metal body does not always protect the mind! It was great to see how an ‘outsider’ Necron viewed those he had been sent to help. That said, I did wonder if they were a bit too human. I don’t know much about them though, so that might be just me not knowing things!
Another parallel I want to mention is that Mephiston, at one point, is bothered by the dead. Ghosts scream at him while he is trying to do tasks and it becomes quite the distraction. I was reminded how another Space Marine has similar problems with being screamed at *cough Abaddon* and wonder if that was intentional or not.
Anyway, to bring the review to a close. Read this book, its quick paced, full of interested characters and details and brings to life some less than familiar aspects of the Warhammer 40k universe.