Archive for intrigue

LEGION OF THE DAMNED By William C. Dietz – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2015 by stanleyriiks

Set in a far flung future where the Human Empire has colonised a number of planets, including the Legion’s adopted home planet of Algeron, and lives in a cosy and comfortable peace. Until the war-like Hudatha race obliterate an entire planet, the first in their deadly space-bound march towards Earth, intent on destroying every human being on their way.

Baldwin is a traitorous human guiding the enemy’s hand in his lust for vengeance; Booly is a Legionnaire injured on Algeron and left for dead but really a prisoner of war captured by the indigenous population; Chu Chien is a rich merchant intent on bringing his son home safe from one of the rim planets soon to be hit by the Hudatha’s deadly swathe; Scolari is the head of the Navy, hoping to persuade the Emporer to pull his troops back to defend Earth against invasion…

So Dietz provides various political intrigues and power-plays to go along with the more meaty action of the fighting and battles. Well, when I say more meaty, I mean more interesting, but Dietz spends a little too much time developing the machinations of not only the human powers but also those of the Hudathan, and the Naa (the natives of Algeron).

But the Legion and its history is much more in keeping with this book of battle, and really helps with backstory and characterisation (of which there is little). There is a lot going on and the lack of decent characters to grasp on to mean you can flounder around wondering who is what for the majority of the novel. Having characters called Booly and Baldwin doesn’t help, how about characters with names beginning with a different letter for a start.

If anything this book is a little too ambitious. Likely it is the set-up book for a possibly long-running series, and Deitz wanted to get as much in and introduce as many characters as possible in the first book. But ultimately there is too much in here, and it feels crammed in, and a little crammed down your throat, and it makes it a little hard to chew.

There are good bits, particularly the Legion’s history, and the story builds nicely but to a climax that takes just a couple of pages and feels a bit of a let-down.

It’s such a shame, I was so looking forward to this book, and it failed to enthral me, although it did marginally entertain it. I won’t be back for any more.

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.