book review · Uncategorized · Wh40K

Review: The Talon of Horus – Aaron Dembski-Bowen

 

Talon of HorusWell, I read this one a bit quickly! The Talon of Horus had been on the shelf for a little while now and I fancied reading something that wasn’t in the Horus Heresy saga. Those of you who know me well will also be aware that I have a bit of fascination regarding Abaddon and so this book seemed like it would be an interesting read.

The fact that I managed to read it in less than three days whereas the last book took more than a month says a great deal about how amazing this read was. I was a little wary of the first person narrative to begin with. I’ve read a few books written in this style and they have been absolute rubbish. Not the case here. The narrator has a very clear voice and it never loses focus through the novel. The reader is never left with a sense of disembodiment and the point of view is clear and maintained throughout the tale.

There are plenty of moments in the novel that made me laugh out loud too, I don’t want to spoil any of the details but there are a few well thrown punches and dry quips that are golden. The World Eater character can be relied upon to act according to his nature in moments that are utterly brilliant.  One of the things that really resonated me with this novel was how the narrator highlighted how inhuman he was and yet in other parts would act in very human ways. He is very aware of the differences and is very keen to remind the reader of them yet his actions, at times, show the opposite

The pace of the novel is perfect. The blend of action and narrative is just right and it kept me turning the pages late into the evening and well into the day when I should have been doing other things. The action within the novel is well written, engaging and never seems to drag on as it has in some other stories I have read.

Within the pages of this novel there are some tastefully used metaphors, something I don’t normally pick up on. I am not known for subtlety after all… The part when the main characters are walking through acid rain and the colours of their former legion is washed off is just too poetic not to mention. Especially as the novel deals with the birth of the Black Legion! Hats off to you Aaran Demnski-Bowden

All in all, this was a devastatingly amazing read. You should go and read it right now. You’ll want to join the Black Legion afterwards, but that’s alright; what’s a little heresy between friends?

 

40K · book review · horus heresy · Warhammer 40k · Wh40K

Review: Fallen Angels – Mike Lee

Fallen AngelsIt seems to have taken me forever to read this book. Being busy at work has certainly not helped matters but I have finally managed to finish it! Not that the summer holidays have had anything to do with that, no sir!

I’ll start by saying that I wasn’t a huge fan of the first Dark Angels book – Descent of Angels by Mitchel Scanlon. I found the pacing a bit off and compared to the rest of the series, it was a bit of a bad egg. It wasn’t awful, it just wasn’t as good as some of its predecessors.

Fortunately, this one is better. The pacing at the start of the novel is slow, I will concede that point and it took a while to get going. When it did get going however, it turned into the ‘cannot put down’ page turner that I expect from a Horus Heresy novel.

The story picks up the two separate tales of cousins Nemiel and Zahariel; the two protagonists from the first novel and continues their saga. I’m not going to say overly much about what happens, I want you to go and read the novel for yourself and find out but I will say that it is exciting.

The plot of the two stories don’t really entwine with one another. Nemiel’s is based on the planet of Diamat, where the Dark Angel’s, along with their Primarch have to thwart the rebel’s attempts at securing the planet. Zahariel’s is set on Caliban along with Luther and the other ‘banished’ Dark Angels. The two plots are both engaging, when they find their momentum, and there are some astonishingly well written battle scenes to boot. There are some pretty hefty twists towards the end of the book too which were interesting, again, I’m not going to discuss them in detail but believe me, you’ll roll your eyes!

Give the book a read, it is well worth it despite the slow start!

book review · Warhammer 40000 · Wh40K

Mechanicum – Horus Heresy Book 9 – Graham McNeill

Mechanicum-A5-thumbI was fortunate enough to read this book while I was sunning myself on the beach in the far distant Caribbean, both of which was a treat.

This book was rather different than the last few I have read. Instead of focusing on Space Marines and Primachs, this one looks at how the Heresy affects the workings of the forges on Mars (The Mechanicum as the title subtly suggests…)

I found this book to be a welcome change from the material I have been reading so far. There are mention of Space Marines, however they are far from the focus of the novel. Instead, the reader is treated to the inner workings of large warmachines – Titans, and their respective Princeps. As well as following the tale of a young tech genius and her friends.

I am not going to give away what happens, that would be unfair and I hate writing review with spoilers in. The book is well worth a read, the characters are well written and although I was not as taken with them as I have been in previous books, they are still worth reading and investing in!

There is one particular piece of writing that I feel deserves a special mention – the description of what happened during a particular disaster that spread across the whole planet was particularly masterful. I was easily able to picture exactly what was happening throughout the section and the sense of impending doom that ran through the section was spectacular.

I did feel that the pace of the book was somewhat slower in places, though it never dragged. I have put this down to being used to the rapid flow of the previous novels. Not every book can run at a break neck speed and the story did not lose anything because of this.

All in all, I rather enjoyed the change of focus of the novel and would recommend it as a decent read.

book review · Warhammer 40000

Battle for the Abyss – Horus Heresy Book 8 – Ben Counter

Ben Counter Battle For The AbyssNow, I know this book has not been the most popular in the series. When I said it was the one I was reading next, my sister, and several other people, warned me that it was ‘a bit rubbish’ (I am paraphrasing) and that I should skip it.

I am glad I didn’t listen to them!

Alright, so it’s nowhere near as good as the first three books in the series, but then again that is going to take a lot of beating.

Lets start with the positive.

Excellent characters: They are well written, carefully thought out and each have their own goals. None of them are perfect and for most of the novel, none of them actually get on either. I’m not going to spoil the novel for those that want to go away and read it but for me, ‘Rambo-Space Marine’ was one of the highlights of the book. The mental images that the writing brought to mind were perfect!

Solid Story Line: There is a good plot to the novel which I never thought I would like. The setting is space and it involves a lot of ship combat – something I never thought I would like about a novel. However this is the exception. There is a lot of it in the book and it is very well written. Ben Counter knows his stuff!

The Negative.

Pace: I would have thought that a book with so much going on in it would be a bit quicker. Such is not the case however. There are parts of the novel that are plodding and slow and I feel that with another round of editing, it could have been so much better. There are a lot of dead words and without these ti would have been a much more exciting read.

Generally speaking, pace is the only thing wrong with the novel. Counter is a master at writing and I really enjoyed reading this book.

 

 

 

book review · Warhammer 40000 · Warhammer 40k

Legion – Dan Abnett

LegionI don’t know if I have the words to say how much I loved reading this book. I could not put it down. Admittedly, there have been a few in the series that have been like this for me. After Descent of Angels I was a bit worried the series might be falling off. I had nothing to worry about because this little gem of a book followed it up.

It is the first that features the Imperial Guard being the focus of the novel rather than the Space Marines and their Primarchs. The story begins with a torture scene and then details the events that lead up to that moment.

The plot in the book twists and turns in masterful loops and I did not see the ending turning out the way it did. There were a few key elements that I did manage to figure out but man, I did not expect the ending to do what it did. It is a real credit to Abnett, who told the tale masterfully well without giving away everything too early. It never felt as if it dragged and the pace was as punchy as I have come to expect from this series.

The characters within the story are well written and are not cardboard cut outs or cliche ridden fools. they each play their part well and come off as well rounded individuals. Not a single person in the novel annoyed me, though I did get a bit angry with some, it was for well motivated reasons rather them being badly written. I genuinely cared about how the characters acted and what happened to them too and after Istsvan III, (There were tears and ice-cream) I have been most reluctant to do so.

There was only one point that was a bit abrupt, which was towards the end. I won’t go into details because spoilers but it felt as though it was a rush at the end and a neat tie off rather than an actual ending. It just read as forced which was a shame.

That said, it did not spoil the rest of this amazing novel for me. I really look forward to reading the next one in the series and hope it is as pacy as this one!

 

40K · book review

Descent of Angels – Horus Heresy book 6

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the Horus Heresy thus far and after the emotional roller coaster I have been on, I was looking forward to reading the next installment.

This one is very different to the others so far, it focuses on the Dark Angels and is more of an origin story than anything else. It was not what I was expecting, however I decided to give it a go.

The pace of the descent-of-angels.jpgnovel is much slower than the rest of the series thus far and I found that to be a bit jolting. I have gotten used to the break neck pace of the first five books and compared to that, I found this book a bit slow to get going. Once it did, I found to be an alright read.

The characters are certainly engaging and well written, I cared about what happened to them at the end of the book and they have been well developed over the course of the novel. They change as well, which is always a sign of a good story.

I did feel as though the ending of the novel was rushed however, there was plenty of scope for further world building after the Dark Angels leave their home world and set about conquest. There was so much room for the bad guys to be awesome and the stakes to be much higher, however there seems to be something key missing from this part of the novel, which is a real shame. I felt as though there could have been more. Perhaps that is because I was used to reading the fast paced, action packed novels that it has ruined this slower one for me.

All in all, it is not a bad read, however I much prefer the earlier novels in the series as they are much more action packed!