I finished this novel a while back, and I am on the fence about it. From a technical point, it is well written. And I found the fleshing out of the Imperium Secundus arc quite interesting. I also liked the development in Guilliman's character. Guilliman has gone from probably one of the most hated primarchs before the HH series, to one of the most well liked (at least to me).
What I didn't like, as others have mentioned, was the stupid Vulkan Lives plot being brought into this novel. All traces of that story arc should be burned, the ashes collected and then dumped into the deepest ocean. And I felt ripped off to have Sanguinius on the cover, assume he plays a big part in the novel, only to have him pop up at the end in like the last 20 pages or so.
As to primarch portrayals, I personally didn't find Curze overpowered, but the others underpowered. We have Angron getting thousands of tons of rocks dumped on him only to piss him off, Rogal Dorn moving so fast a marine could barely register it, Lorgar (in minutes at the most) mostly recovering from pretty much being disemblowled by Corax, Corax himself having skin literally impervious to hard rounds, Fulgrim taking punches that would crush a terminator's skull... to name just a few examples. But Guilliman has his flesh pierced by shrapnel from rounds that didn't even hit him directly, and then takes several days to recover from his injuries. Hell, Krueger, a regular marine, sustained very similar injuries to Guilliman in Angel Exterminatus (he also got hit by mutliple bolter rounds) and walked away from that battle. And the bit about him being possibly caught off guard by the Space Wolf strike the Lion blocked was just ridiculous to me. All the other showings of the primarchs so far have had their speed and reaction times so far above that of a regular marine, that the idea of a single Space Wolf catching a primarch off guard with a blow he in fact knows is coming is preposterous to me.
And it isn't just a situation of different authors with different interpretations, because Curze is a total beast who sustains almost no damage despite all the fighting he does in the novel, even when Vulkan finally has a proper go at him in the end. I personally hope Sanguinius gets a hold of Curze when they continue this plot, and lays a serious smack down on his ass, one that sees Curze fleeing Ultramar in fear for a change.
The human appendix. Proof of a higher power. A divine kill switch so to speak.
No one really likes a smartass, but people tend to like a dumbass even less.
Last edited by Chompy Bits; 01-25-14 at 03:44 PM.