Archive for 40k

FILGRIM By Graham McNeill – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2011 by stanleyriiks

The next instalment of the Horus Heresy shows us the other side of the massive conspiracy, which will see the Imperium at war, brutal treachery and betrayal, and the birth of chaos.

Up until now we have seen bare glimpses of chaos, but only hints at the power and control it will eventually have. We have seen brother fighting brother, massive and brutal betrayal. Now, with Fulgrim, we get to see more of the other side. The chaos side of what will be an epic battle. Fulgrim picks up a weapon from an alien planet after a massive battle to subdue it, a sword imbued with evil. But the changes are subtle and gradual, and we also get to see Saul Tarvitz and the lead up to the massive slaughter on Isstvan III. But this is the gradual unfolding of chaos as it slowly and cleverly ecks its way into the cracks, finding a home for itself in the egos of those weak or easily manipulated. It isn’t until the final hundred pages that we see the true power of chaos to corrupt in a massive orgy of violence, and then we have another massive battle as the forces of the Emperor realise they have been betrayed.

Despite a slow start the end of this book is huge, brutal and devastating. It’s utterly shocking, just like the first book in the series, the hurt and pain as brother fights brother is palpable.

McNeill’s second book in the series provides another great instalment. The Black Library is doing very well with this series. Such a massive story to tell, a grand job is being done of telling it. Brutal, murderous, worth buying for the final one hundred pages alone.

THE FLIGHT OF THE EISENSTEIN By James Swallow – Reviewed

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2011 by stanleyriiks

How do you top the tremendous trilogy that started the epic tale of the Horus Heresy?

Erm, you don’t is the simple answer. This starts near the end of the last book, but from the perspective of Captain Garro and his team of Death Guard as they take to the Eisenstein and become aware of the traitorous activities of Horus and the lodges. But they only find out too late to do anything about it. Unable to help their massacred comrades on Isstvan III, Garro must leave the battle fleet and escape to warn the Emperor of the Warmaster’s treachery.

Ok, so some of this is old ground seen from a different perspective, in fact almost half the book is taken up with this rehash, and I found myself urging the book on faster, wanting to get to the real role the book plays in the series: the moment the treachery comes to light. And it does, but not quite in the way one might expect.

There are some great chaos-infected moments, but the grand battles of the first three books aren’t echoed here. This is much more understated and shows the struggle as Space Marines encounter Space Marines, and you begin to realise the scale of this vast and nasty conflict.

Not as exciting as the other books in the series, this is still a pivotal and necessary step to take on the way, but it feels a little workmanlike. Not because of Swallow’s writing, which is fine, but because of the plot, and the masses of information we need to be given that will lead to the next book. Like all the books in the Horus Heresy series this is a massive teaser, drawing you further into the entire epic tale, but this stepping-stone feels rather less important than the others. A shame, but we shall see what happens with the fifth book in the series: Fulgrim.

INNOCENCE PROVES NOTHING By Sandy Mitchell – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2010 by stanleyriiks

They’ve done it a-bloody-gain! I bought this book after reading the first instalment, Scourge The Heretic, which, with one plot only half complete, leads directly into this book. The problem is that the story doesn’t actually finish here either. This seems to be an ongoing series. The problem is certainly is not the length of the story, but the way the books are marketed. There is nowhere on any of the books to let you know this is not a whole story, and neither of these books is an entire story. There are plot lines that are completed, but these are smaller parts of the whole, which continues throughout both novels, and continues at least into a third, as yet unreleased book.

Nowhere is there any information saying that this is the second instalment in a series, and I have to say I feel even more cheated having thought this was the final chapter in the story.

And it is a good story, as we follow Inquisitor Finurbi’s team of investigators back to the Inquisition’s home world of Scintilla only to find Finurbi’s gone AWOL and that there are those in the Inquisition that cannot be trusted. The group must go underground, hiding as they are chased by parties unknown, meanwhile investigating the wyrd supply-chain which is moving illegal psykers across the galaxy.

It’s another good book, plenty of action and even more intrigue than the first novel, although it lacks the new adventure punch of the first. The problem again lies with the book not completing the story, even more so because it ends with a powerful cliff-hanger.

A shame that this book can’t be cleared marked as the second in a trilogy or series. I have no idea which because there’s nothing at all to indicate what it is, but an average reader picking this book up expecting a complete novel will not only find themselves floundering as they attempt to catch up with the whole missing first instalment, but will be wracked with frustration when they find out they’ll be expected to pay out for another book to find out the end.

A sad and sorrowful mistake. Not the book, the book is fine, but I really am getting sick of it. I think I may stick with the Horus Heresy, I know that’s a series because it’s clearly marked as such, and despite that each of the books is a stand-alone story. Must do much better gamesworkshop!

Sorely disappointed. Again.

SCOURGE THE HERETIC By Sandy Mitchell – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2010 by stanleyriiks

Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. I’m not often disgusted, very rarely so upset and astounded, but having just finished this book, I have to say I am astonished and disgusted and confused.

You see, this isn’t a book. It’s half a book. Except that nowhere on this book does it say it’s half a book, there is no indication at all anywhere on the cover, or on the pages within, that this is the first of two books. One story.

But is most certainly is.

As I approached the end of the book, I was thinking there wasn’t much room to finish the story. As I read the final few pages I wondered what had happened to half the plot because it clearly wasn’t finished. It was only half way through. Then upon reading the Epilogue the confusion grew as I realised this wasn’t an Epilogue at all, but should more appropriately have been called the Prologue of the next instalment.

I feel tricked. I feel dirty and I feel used. This isn’t clever marketing by Gamesworkshop, although I did buy the second book in this “series”, it’s put me off buying any more of their books.

This is hideously cheeky and just plain wrong. One book, one story. If you want to do a trilogy, a series, or a multi-part set, you put something that identifies the book as such on the fucking cover. I am outraged!

The most annoying thing is that I actually liked this book.

Unlike Ravenor and Eisenhorn, this story of the Inquisition, the ruthless enforcers of the Emperor’s word, follows the Inquisitor Finurbi’s team of investigators as they attempt to track down a highly organised group of heretics who are smuggling psychers off-world, and a group of chaos-worshipers. The investigators have to split up to follow their separate leads, two of them actually about to be smuggled off-world when the book ends.

This isn’t a bad book, it’s nice to see the 40K universe further expanded away from the superhero Space Marines. The characters in the book are much more “normal”, and have the traits and weaknesses modern readers expect. This isn’t quite Eisenhorn, and doesn’t have the powerful action of Dan Abnett’s novels, but it’s still pretty exciting stuff. The book kept me interested enough to order the second book, despite the complete and utterly ineptitude of the marketing department and their failure to realise how much of a gross error they’ve made by not stating that this is book one of two.

Although looking forward to the second book in the series and completing the story I started, this still leaves me with a very sour taste, and I feel manipulated into buying a second book. If I’d have known I probably wouldn’t have bought either of them.

Gamesworkshop rip-off, makes me feel abused and cheated, and outweighs any enjoyment I got from the book. A shame, a sad, desperate and pathetic shame.

HORUS RISING By Dan Abnett – Reviewed

Posted in Life..., Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2009 by stanleyriiks

HORUS RISING By Dan Abnett

Ahh, the infamous history of the Warhammer 40K universe. The oft hinted at time of the uprising against the Emperor, and humanity’s, greatest enemy. Finally, we have the history of the Horus Heresy. The first chapter, told by one of the Black Library’s best loved writers, Dan Abnett.

I recently rediscovered the Warhammer universes, after a fifteen-year absence. Both times I found my way to Gamesworkshop via different methods, and found my interested satiated in different ways. The first time I entered one of their shops I marvelled at the artwork and the intricately painted models. I’ve never been interested in the tabletop gaming, but the figures impressed me, and later frustrated me as I tried to create my own versions of the miniature masterpieces. The second time, only about three years ago, I came across Dawn of War, the epic real-time-strategy PC game, and its various sequels and expansion packs. The game brought all the beauty and brutality of the 40K universe to life, and drew me further in, which is when I discovered the tomes of the Black Library and the written history of the 40K universe. I’ve read a few of the books, mostly the omnibuses, Eisenhorn, Space Wolf Omnibus, and the Malus Darkblade books. Most of which are written by Abnett.

Horus Rising tells the story of Captain Garviel Loken, of the Luna Wolves. His battles across worlds, and the introduction of chaos to the innocent world of the 31st millennium. This world is much different to that of the 40K universe, without the corrupting influence of chaos, the human Imperium is a much safer place, as the Space Marines march unhaltingly across the universe destroying all who stand in their way in the name of the Emperor. The battles are with fellow humans and giant spiders, and green-skins, not crazy chaos-space marines.

The world of the 31st millennium is a much more relaxed place, the people in it far more human and venerable and real, without the dominating influence and fear produced by chaos.

The story of the Horus Heresy is huge, and this first book is just the prologue, hinting at so much more to come. It would be unfair to point out that the heresy has barely begun, despite these three hundred pages, because this really will be an epic tale, encompassing many different sections of the universe.

Horus Rising is a book that sets the standard high, it does well to set a different tone from the 40K universe, whilst maintaining a similar integrity. Abnett is on form, producing a rip-roaring war novel that begins what is likely to be the largest series the Black Library will ever produce.

And this is just the beginning…