book review · miniatures.

Review: Revenant Crusade – Darius Hinks

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Such a calm and collected Space Marine he is…

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.

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Just another day at the office…

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.

40K · book review · miniatures.

Review: Devastation of Baal – Guy Haley

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I won’t lie, I was a bit wary of reading this. I did not get along with Dark Imperium when I read it and so was unsure whether I would get along with this. All hesitation was blown away after the first few pages however and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel.

What makes this novel exceptionally good, is how invested I was in the characters. I knew of Mephiston of course, and his friends Rhacelus and Antros, and I knew names of the others but not what they were like. It did not take long for me to become truly involved with them and want them to win. Every character in the novel plays a part but there are no carbon copies, not one of them is the same as the other, despite claims to the contrary and it comes off well. They all compliment one another in some way and seeing them all work together is a delight – even if they don’t want to! This is a true writing skill, and shows how masterful Haley is.

I don’t do spoilers in my reviews because I want readers to go out and wnjoy books for themselves but character highlights are fine:

  • Gabriel Seth of the Flesh Tearers being an angry meathead at everything forever.
  • Dante’s speeches, actions and general heroism despite his personal doubts.
  • Mephiston’s questionable deeds, and the dynamic between him and the other librarians.
  • The genuine sadness as the planet and its system is devastated.
  • The Lictor.

Other points that made this book readable: pace, dialogue and balance. The pace is good. It kept me reading until late as I wanted to know what happened. It was punchy, didn’t linger too long on a single point and wasn’t too heavy on the description either. The dialogue between the characters is good, whether a rousing speech, bickering or banter, it works well. Again, it is not over written but in some places, it is funny. It hits the right tone throughout.

This novel is well balanced, quick paced and has some truly emotional points in it. I didn’t cry (only Graham McNeill makes me do that these days), but it was close. I was afraid, gutted and relieved through the book and that is down to the skill of Guy Haley.

I also bought Gabriel Seth so I can have my very own Angry Meathead to glare at the other Angry Meatheads in the cabinet!

Thanks for the great read!

 

 

miniatures.

Book Review: Blood of Sanguinius – Darius Hinks

It’s been a while since I have done a book review, though that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. I have indulged in a lot of short stories, which would take forever to review them all. It doesn’t mean they are not good, or engaging and they certainly are worth reading however I would be here forever if I posted about them all.

One group of short stories has led me down a rather delightful path, and those feature the oddity that is Mephiston. Recommended by a close friend, I decided that it was time to venture out if the realms of chaos and see what the Imperium had to offer. I must say I was very well surprised with the two short stories: Eclipse of Hope and Lord of Death by David Annandale, however the character really comes into his own when penned by the capable hand of Darius Hinks.

Technically, the language is beautiful. While reading, there were no clumsy sentences, wonderfully crafted metaphors which were wrought in a careful, considerate way. Hinks’ choice of language complimented the carefully crafted world he created for the story and it was neither heavy handed or awkward. The pace of the novel was excellent and it kept me turning the pages until many a small hour – always a successful point. I was gripped.

What truly seized me however were the interactions between the three main protagonists. After reading a lot of novels set in the realm of chaos, it was a true pleasure to read about characters that liked one another. The dynamic between the young Antros, the older, sterner Rhacelus and the enigmatic Mephiston is expertly executed. The three compliment one another, even if they often do not understand each other. I never felt as though there was deceit between them and it was clear that although there was definite fear of death, none of them would die alone.

I don’t post spoilers in my reviews, but I want to discuss one point at the start of the book that was refreshing. Antros seeks the aid of a guardsman in locating a position in a dangerous place. When the inevitable danger occurs, he is desperate to ensure the guardsman survives. The fact that there are Chapters that still regard mortals as valuable and worth saving was brought into this novel clearly, however it never forgot the elements of Grimdark that are associated with Warhammer 40 000 either.

Darius Hinks has done a wonderful job with this novel, and I do look forward to reading the next one, right after Devastation of Baal, which is what I am chewing through rapidly at the moment.

miniatures.

Black and White.

I finished two miniatures today, that in itself is nothing remarkable. What I noticed was that both of them are colours that I have heard people say they find difficult. One of them is the new White Scar Marine, Kor’sarro Khan, and the other was the noise Marine:

The noise Marine I started at the beginning of the year and intended to use him for a diorama that I didn’t get around to finishing. I found him and baked him today and I think he looks great in the Black Legion colours.

Kor’sarro Khan was a challenge because white is a pain to get looking crisp. I think I did a decent job here though.

What colours do you find a pain to paint well?

miniatures.

Iron Hands – A Small Force

I am very proud of my Iron Hands. I painted them relatively quickly, but that isn’t the only reason I am pleased with them. It is the largest force I have painted and finished. It might not be the largest ever, but for me it felt like an achievement. When I put them all together and took pictures, I thought they looked really cool. Here are some shots of them individually, and together as well:

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The pictures of them together are not the best, as I do not have a black insert for the big light box, but I hope you get the idea.
I am proud of this small force, and I hope that wherever they end up, they do well!

40K · Age of Sigmar · miniatures.

Meet up – Element Games

This weekend, myself, Dave and Jenn went to meet some of the Warmongers at Element Games. It was really nice to put some faces to internet names and actaully speak to the people I have known for nearly three years face to face. There were also games going on, and it was good to see other people’s miniatures as well. I did manage to take some pictures of people and the games, so here we go:

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Pandora looking worried!

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The most interesting board

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Someone is about to have a bad day

Of course, it wouldn’t have been half as much fun without the people to chat and laugh with.

Thanks for a great day folks!

miniatures.

Iron Hands: Squad 2

I finished squad two today. I am very pleased with how they turned out, but also with how quickly I managed to do so. When I have painted squads before, I have lost interest half way through and put them aside. I’m proud of myself for the focus I had and the resilience to stay the course and get them done. Twenty miniatures in three days, from undercoat to finish, in my eyes is quite the achievement!

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You there! Fetch me my sandwich!

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Ten likely lads and not one boogly eye among them!

I now have an Ancient and the Iron Father to go, then my venture with the Iron Hands will be done for the time being.