|Topic Review (Newest First)|
|02-04-14 06:38 AM|
|Brother Subtle||So I'm guessing this died in the ass?|
|06-14-13 05:03 PM|
This sounds like something I would really enjoy and I am planning on focusing more on BL here that they seem to be slowly getting their reviewer stuff back in line. Examples of my review:
The Hammer and the Blade by Paul S. Kemp [djinn24] | The Founding Fields
SIM by Andy Remic Book Review [djinn24] | The Founding Fields
Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole ? Advanced Review [djinn24] | The Founding Fields (My quick quote was published in the UK edition of the book)
Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole ? Double Review [Djinn24/Shadowhawk] | The Founding Fields
Garro: Sword of Truth by James Swallow ? Advance Triple Review [Djinn24/Commissar Ploss/Bane of Kings] | The Founding Fields
Reality 36 by Guy Haley ? Audio Book Review- Dual Review [djinn24/Commissar Ploss] | The Founding Fields
We are in the process of signing back up for Black Library advance reviewer status as well. They recently made a change to the way they do advance reviews shipments so a lot of folks have had to resign up for it.
I can also offer interviews with some of the authors and staff of Black Library.
|05-19-13 08:48 AM|
My Goodread's account - http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/11554340-stuart-west
Wouldn't mind helping you chaps out with this on Heresy. This is a review I've written on Goodreads for "Betrayer" :-
Brilliant, a return to form for the Horus Heresy series. Blistering pace. I felt like I was running along in the battle.
ADB's writing here is it's usual high calibre with punchy, immersive battle scenes and some excellent characterisation. Minor spoilers below.
One of the highlights of "Betrayer" is the sympathetic portrayal of rebellious primarchs Angron and Lorgar. They are shown to be thoughtful, intelligent beings, neither of whom believes they are evil. Rather they are victims of desecration of their honour by the emperor and the butcher's nails (Angron) or doing what is necessary to lay bare the emperor's lies and reveal an, albeit unpalatable, truth (Lorgar). Their monstrousness is more subtly revealed by the barely mentioned but obvious fact that the background to their actions is the destruction of civilizations and the ending of billions of ordinary human lives, which they seem barely to notice in pursuit of their personal desires. The background to why Lorgar and Angron are as they are is explored and draws the chain of events leading to the heresy past Horus "vanity and Erebus" machinations back to the Emperor's own actions more potently in this book than in most of the others in the series.
Certainly a strong point of this book is characterization. Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters, largely takes centre stage and is depicted in a way that makes him both credible and almost sympathetic, to the extent that such an enraged character can be. What makes this character (and Khârn, his Equerry and right-hand man) interesting is their somewhat tragic humanity as their try, at times at least, to maintain some sanity and fight against the Nails that make them into monsters. Another feature that I appreciated was that Lorgar was much more credible in this volume than when he appeared in "The First Heretic", where I found he was a bit of wimp. At least some of the secondary characters are just as good, such as Lotara Sarrin, Angron's flag captain, Argel Tal of the Word Bearers or Lhorke the Dreadnought and a relic of the past. I almost forgot to mention the arch-traitor, arch-schemer and loathsome Erebus, First Chaplain of the Word Bearers and Dark Apostle of the Word who is, of course, suitably horrid.
So lets talk WARRRRRR. Seeing as this is a potent weapon that ADB has a tight grip upon in regards to his writing. Some of the battle descriptions make up the second strong point of this book. Particularly memorable are the void battles and the battles opposing Titans against each other. Here, however, you get a feeling a "deja vu", to some extent, especially when one of the rebels' flagships comes crashing onto the planet (a bit like in "Know No Fear") that they are invading. You might, however, become a bit tired with the blood and gore scenes which are repeated, and perhaps a bit over-emphasized, at each of the World Eaters engagements. However, they do have the merit of showing how (and why) this Legion's warriors and its arch-gladiator Angron (loosely modelled on Spartacus) become possessed and completely berserk with bloodlust (due to the butcher's nails - thanks Angron). It is their utter carelessness and relentlessness, together with their superior hand to hand fighting skills that make Angron's legion so often victorious, and allows their Primarch to best two of his brothers. Other battle highlights are the titan battles and void combat.
However to play devils advocate here (as I've contradicted myself on purpose during this review, to give perspective) lets look at the theme "the running at the enemy whilst shouting wins every time" from the portrayal of the World Eaters in battle. The problem is that in highlighting the problem with the Butcher's nails and the importance of the non-marine characters, Dembski-Bowden repeatedly points out that the World Eaters are like rabid animals with poor tactics, poor unit cohesion, poor communications, little battlefield command (what tactical direction there is comes from the human flag-captain), friendly fire incidents, little use of combined arms (eg their titan legion bemoans its loss rate as higher than other legions because the world eater marines just don't work in concert with them), poor battlefield discipline, a high casualty rate etc. Despite this we have to believe they slaughter their way through vast numbers of Ultramarines, the most tactically sophisticated, numerous, disciplined, brilliantly led etc legion, on their own territory. And the reason they can do this? Well, its repeatedly explained that its because they are aggressive. Snarling and waving your chainaxe around whilst charging at the enemy slightly more often than you charge your own battle brothers pretty much trumps any fancy tactical, superior firepower, or other nonsense the enemy might try and will always win the day. And even if your casualty rate is stupidly high your legion will somehow never get worn down by attrition. Its so daft that it seriously undermines the whole book. That's for fans of the loyalists anyway.
There are also great non-combat plotlines such as the continuation of Argal Tal's storyline in an unexpected but satisfying direction and the development of Kharn. There are great new characters such as Lotara Sarrin the World Eaters flag-captain and other human and mechanicum characters. In the great non-astartes characters he creates the author tackles the question of how the World Eater's legion could be kept running if all Angron and his space marines want to do is charge the enemy head on at every opportunity. Its a well done reversal of the usual 'even though they were created to be warrior-servants of the teeming human multitudes the god like space marines do everything brilliantly and just allow the humans to tag along'. How Angron's insistence on his marines having the Butcher's nails is destroying the legion and how they cling to brotherhood as everything else that usually defines a space marine is stripped away is movingly explored.
Then there is the plot itself, with two dimensions to it. The first one is to cripple the Ultramarines by destroying as much of their forces, of their strategic assets (dockyards, industries, etc...) and of their worlds as possible and prevent them from reinforcing Terra. The second aspect, which the books focuses much more upon, is the use that Lorgar tries to make of such destructions on a massive scale in order to bring the forces of the Warp into the "real" world. This is another area where I found that ADB's narrative was perhaps not entirely convincing or perhaps a bit "overdone", although it is a rather minor quibble on my part, rather than a serious criticism.
"Betrayer" is a most welcome and worthwhile addition to the series. It is a continuation of both "The First Heretic" (from ADB also), to the extent that we learn more about Lorgar and more of his inner personality. He is the primarch of the Word Bearers, his devious schemes having been covered in part by the previously mentioned title. "Know no Fear" (by Dan Abnett) covers the traitorous attack on Calth and on the Ultramarines.
|05-17-13 01:06 PM|
|Lord of the Night||
I'll definitely give this a shot. My reviews here on Heresy are a bit dated, not quite the same style I use now, so i'll provide a handful of recent reviews on different formats from me all on The Founding Fields.
http://thefoundingfields.com/2013/03...ew-lord-night/ - Path of the Incubus by Andy Chambers
http://thefoundingfields.com/2013/04...rt-lord-night/ - Mark of Calth Two-Part Anthology Review
http://thefoundingfields.com/2012/11...ew-lord-night/ - Garro: Sword of Truth by James Swallow Audio Review
A few samples of positive/recent reviews. Would be nice to get this, since BL stopped their ARC shipments i've been reviewing just for the hell of it. Would be nice to have a real reason to do it again and to contribute something to Heresy.
|05-16-13 06:38 PM|
I will try out for this I think. I'm nearly finished Mark of Calth, so I'll throw together a review of that when I get it done.
EDIT: Here's one I prepared earlier instead.
Originally Posted by Khorne's Fist View Post
|05-16-13 03:31 PM|
I'll just put my name forward for this because I think it would be AWESOME.
Storm Of Iron by Graham McNeill
Storm of Iron tells the tale of siege of Hydra Cordatus by the Iron Warriors. This is one of the rare Warhammer novels that tells the story from Chaos point of view; or more precisely from the point of view of Honsou the half-breed, Captain of Iron Warriors. Hydra Cordatus is a wasteland, with only the mighty citadel resting upon its barren surface. It hides a terrible secret and that secret is the reasons why the Iron Warriors are knocking on its doors.
McNeill is a good writer; he captures the atmosphere pretty well and has a terrific sense of pace. Pacing is certainly the highlight of the book, the book draws you in its vile clutches and you can’t put it down until you’ve read it all. The plot also follows loyalist forces perspective and gives additional depth and intrigue to the whole thing. However, although many people claim that the book keeps you on the edge as to who is going to win to the very end, that’s not true. Halfway through the book I knew Chaos was going to win, since everything the loyalists had planned turned out bad for them. Chaos troops die by thousands, crushed under relentless artillery barrage, landmines, weapons fire, tank shells, Titan weaponry, bolter fire and Space Marine chainswords. Yet, at the end, they push on and take the citadel as if they had no casualties whatsoever. I don’t mind Chaos winning (actually, it was a nice refreshment from generic Space Wolves kick ass novels), but I would at least like to see that their victory, almost Pyrrhic in nature, bore some scars on the Iron Warriors. To me it feels like Honsou said: “Okay, we won this, now all our dead troops will respawn at out base camp for the next campaign.”
The next thing that caught my attention was lack of any serious descriptions of locales and characters, as well as loyalist characterizations. The Chaos side was well developed, especially Honsou, who is among my favourite Warhammer 40k characters. The Imperial side however feels like copy/pasted from a Codex with their genericness. I don’t even remember who the Castellan of the citadel was nor is there anything worth remembering about Captain Eshara of Imperial Fists. They feel like cardboard cut-outs. The verbosity in describing battles is also somewhat lacking. I know that most people prefer their action fast and hard, but several times I found myself re-reading certain paragraphs to understand who was killing who, especially the part when loyalists stormed the trenches in a desperate counterattack.
Storm of Iron is a good novel, and a recommendation to anyone interested in Warhammer 40k universe. However, it falls short on some basic points, and it’s definitely not the best there is among other BL books, compared to Abnett’s or Werner’s work. If you’re interested in Chaos novels, this is a good choice, and I recommend that you read it before Dead Sky, Black Sun, which continues the story of Honsou.
|05-16-13 09:30 AM|
I'll throw my name into this should you need people. Review below:
Salvation's Reach by Dan Abnett
The Tanith First-And-Only embark on a desperate mission that could decide the fate of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade in the thirteenth book of this popular Imperial Guard series.
The Ghosts of the Tanith First-and-Only have been away from the front line for too long. Listless, and hungry for action, they are offered a mission that perfectly suits their talents. The objective: the mysterious Salvation’s Reach, a remote and impenetrable stronghold concealing secrets that could change the course of the Sabbat Worlds campaign. But the proposed raid is so hazardous, it’s regarded as a suicide mission, and the Ghosts may have been in reserve for so long they’ve lost their edge. Haunted by spectres from the past and stalked by the Archenemy, Colonel-Commissar Gaunt and his Ghosts embark upon what could be their finest hour… or their final mission.
For me personally this book represents a sort of return to form for Abnett in regards to GG. I thought that Blood Pact kind of lost its way a little and “The Lost” sequence was a little too forgiving for members of the Tanith 1st. Salvations Reach however is a different beast. It combines the best of the more character driven parts of say “The Armor of Contempt” with some of the action sequences of “The Guns of Tanith”. It’s close in tight action for the Tanith First with help from some of the Imperium’s heavy hitters and some Vergast and Belledon new arrivals which while re-enforcing the Tanith also shake several characters to their core.
Words on the page wise its Abnett as usual. Fast paced and laden with description it’s a good read. Nothing really jars in the syntax and he’s still the best action writer than BL has be it infantry firefights or Navy vessels blasting at each over thousands of miles in space. My only gripe with the book in regards to the way Abnett writes is some new slang he’s introduced. “Lasman” (a slang for a standard guardsmen or a soldier’s officer) is hammered home so frequently in the first half of the book it becomes irritating.
Mabbon is still around and his interactions with the IG are a driving force behind the novel but it's still not confirmed whose side he's on which is great. Effectively the book can be broken down into two halves: The transport to Salvation’s Reach and then the battle that takes place there: a litteral smash and grab mission to take enemy artifacts back for study in the hopes it will help the war effort which is faltering because Slaydo's replacement isn't anywhere near as good as the old man was. Again we see more of the behind the scenes workings of Chaos something that Abnett basically single handily introduced BL readers to in Traitor General. How they work, how they think and how they protect themselves. We also see the factions within the Imperiam at work and how they aren't all chummy with each other. Again a very nice touch which reminds me of First and Only.
The grand ending and result of the battle feels a little under developed but there is a personal moment in there for two of the long running characters that pulls on the heart strings a little.
Over all I really enjoyed the book. I ripped through it in about 3 days and it wasn’t a struggle at all unlike some other books I won’t mention. Can’t wait for The Warmaster to see what happens next.
|05-16-13 09:02 AM|
How many reviews a month will be expected Jez? This could be the perfect reason to get back into reviewing. I've been out of the game for a bit but have been considering getting back into it. You know where to find my reviews, but ill chuck one up here anyway. Its a little long, but it was an omnibus so you get that.
|05-16-13 08:09 AM|
Heresy Online Black Library Book Review Team RECRUITMENT
In the near future we're going to add a team of 4 active members to the staff. These guys will form a new "Black Library Book Review Squad".
Eventually, this team will read and conduct book reviews every month on new Black Library Titles (which we will pay for and have shipped to you). All you need to do is read through them and write a fucking AWESOME book review.
In order to be considered for the position I'll need examples of your book reviews. Each person that want to join us should post a Black Library book review here in this thread. Any genre, any book, any author.
Just as long as its concise and fairly good.
Once we've got the entrants I'll write them all down, pull out my favourite wankopaedia and FAP. Whichever it lands on joins the team!!!
Actually, we'll just decide as a team and pick who we like best then BINGO - you get to be a book reviewer for us, get free books and hell, I'll even let you choose what color you want your usernames to be!!!
So in brief.
We need 4 Black Library Book Reviewers
You get free BL books
You review them
You post reviews on Heresy
You become a reviewer by posting a review here (that we pick)
If you don't want to join the staff, or write book reviews, or receive free BL books in the post click back and sod off.