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-   -   A review of Kill Team from Big_Cheddars (https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/black-library-book-reviews/105875-review-kill-team-big_cheddars.html)

Big_Cheddars 02-16-12 12:04 PM

A review of Kill Team from Big_Cheddars
 
I know what you're thinking. Why is he reviewing the second part of the Last Chancer's series before the first part? Well basically it's because I bought Kill Team by mistake instead of Thirteenth Legion, but I didn't regret it for long!

Kill Team's plot is actually very complex, if you've read it you'll know what I mean. It's got many layers of depth, and it's one of those novels where you can't trust or care for a single character, because you never know who's agenda is real and who is going to live through events. Basically, Colonel Schafer is assembling a team to hunt down a tau commander, and Kage has to train them. This forms pretty much the first half of the novel, and the actual mission is the second half. I don't know about you, but sections of books that deal with training are always awesome in my opinion. I don't know why I like them so much, but I do. The novel is a little bit shorter than other BL novels, judging by the row of dots you get on a kindle that tell you how large it is. However, it took me as long as a novel to read because the pacing was a little slow at first.

Now, onto the characters. Kage is brilliant! I love Kage, the mix of insanity and pure killing power combined with a sort of animalistic cunning makes him wonderful to accompany through the novel. And because it's Kage, we know that Schafer doesn't really want him around except as a killing machine so Kage is always paranoid. Then we have Colonel Schafer himself, the eponymous bastard that holds all their fates in his hand. You really get a sense of how much Kage hates Schafer, but the two work well in harmony when they get on. I don't believe Kage ever would kill Schafer, as in a way they are the only comrades they both know inside and out. Then we have the supporting cast of the kill team itself. Like I said, don't get attached to any of these guys, as half of them will die, and it's never the ones you expect. The tau characters and parts of the novel are well-presented, and it's obvious to see that the Imperium hates the tau and only works with them out of necessity. The reason they're working with the tau is explained in the novel, so I won't spoil it here. But safe to say it's an interesting set of circumstances.

Finally the action. I've always been a fan of Gav Thorpe's writing, even more so after Kill Team. The dialogue is punchy and direct, like its deliverers, and the action is fast-paced and brutal. Especially when Kage is involved. Many people die in this book, so like I said, don't get attached to anyone. The ending is satisfyingly well done, and contains quite an unexpected twist. People who have read Thirteenth Legion will be surprised by the ending of Kill Team, definitely.

To sum it up Kill Team is a n excellent novel with a large and varied cast. Gav Thorpe is a master of his characters, and evidently thinks a lot about what they would do. I would give Kill Team an 8.5/10 (not quite a 9, but definitely more than an 8).

Djinn24 02-16-12 01:40 PM

I must be the only person who dislikes Gav's writing style! Very nice review.

Big_Cheddars 02-16-12 08:14 PM

Thanks man :)

Mossy Toes 02-16-12 09:44 PM

I preferred 13th Legion and Annihilation Squad to Kill Team, personally. Though the training segments and the augur-surgery were nice touches. So: find the first and third books in the series ASAP!

Xisor 02-16-12 10:33 PM

Oddly, Kill Team is the only of the LC novels I've read, but I largely concur. It's a nice well-populated novel when it comes to characters and cameos. It's not obvious throughout what's going on, but it carries itself well and isn't so complex as to seem convoluted or absurd.

More'n that, I think Gav's earlier writing is perhaps much less 'his style'; it's more conversational and...non-technical? Gav's later work, especially in The Sundering and Path of the Eldar series, he really carries off a much stronger 'voice' to his work (and, alas, it's one that isn't always popular).

For me, I largely like the bulk of his work. A few 'dud notes' for me in places (the first half of Caledor, the prologue/epilogue of Purging of Kadillus), but broadly I think it's very neat. In particular, though, the early/old distinction is particularly noticeable. I think Kill Team and Angels of Darkness is probably nearing unrecognisable compared to, say, Malekith or Path of the Seer.

Big_Cheddars 02-16-12 10:42 PM

Hmm, Xisor, I gotta be honest; I haven't read any of the novels you just named. I've read five BL novels, and I've reviewed them all now (I've also read the entire hammer and bolter year one, plus a few other short stories), but from what I've read the sundering series is awesome, and I look forward to them. It's interesting what you say, and I must say Gav Thorpe's voice is repressed quite a lot in Kill Team. I wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't pointed it out, but I know what you mean. Kill Team is much more about Kage's story, and you can barely tell that it was penned by an author. You could easily believe it was Kage's memoirs. I don't mind, as I'm sure I'll like both styles, but you make an interesting point :)


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