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Angels of Darkness V Fallen Angels (spoilers)

2798 Views 15 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  ckcrawford
Just finished Angles of Darkness. I enjoyed it, but reading it has annoyed me. Fallen Angles (which I dislike even more now) and Angels of Darkness hardly match up to say the least! Honestly, did Mike Lee even bother to read this before starting his book?? I know that authors have their own take on events and I understand this. But the two books each have fundamental and completely different histories for the Dark Angles. These are not minor discrepancies around the periphery but themes central to the Legions identity. AOD suggests that Luther was loyal (as does the opening blurb of Decent of Angels) but in FA he clearly was not. Astelan’s portrayal in FA is farcical to say the least and the whole thing seems a total mess.
I really enjoy Black Libraries work but I have to hold them responsible for this shambles. It’s easy to say “oh Astelan was just lying” but that is a cop out as AOD seemed to be all about why Astelan was not lying and in fact telling the truth.
The issue around the Lion’s fence sitting has clearly not been resolved and this could still go either way. Personally I would like to see Gav Thrope write the next Horus Heresy Dark Angles book and for the Lion to be a treacherous fence sitter.
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I'm sorry but what?!
First up, are you Mike Lee?

And so what? They are written by two different authors at two different points in time. Its no wonder they do not match up, theres no reason they should be.
Hmmm what about these reasons.
1 They are about the same Legion
2 There’re main topics are about the same events that shaped the legion.
3 They both cover three pivotal Dark Angels characters in both books (The Lion, Luther and Astellan).
4 Most importantly, simple continuity, by your argument it would seem that you would find it perfectly reasonable for an author to come in and write a book about the Ultramarines and portray them as chaos worshiping berserkers who fought for Horus. Or how about a book about the loyal Angron defeating Horus. Doesn’t’ matter, its written by a different author so anything goes.

Mike Lee does not have to write his story and make it fit in perfectly with whats written in Angels of Darkness.
The point I was trying to make is this. I don’t mind if the continuity is changed, however it must be changed for the better and for the good of the intellectual property as a whole. It’s been changed in the past and I agree with most of the changes. For example The Einstein story has changed dramatically from the original portrayal. A change I understand and appreciate. However to allow any author to come in and write whatever they want within very loose boarders, I feel, cheapens the IP considerably. It should not be beyond the ability of a good author to incorporate past history so that it fits their story.
I believe that Mike Lee’s attempt at Fallen Angles fell short on many many levels. His change in the history from AOD was FUNDAMENTAL not mearly ‘not fitting in perfectly’. This was not minor tinkering. This was a completely different portrayal of the monumental events that shaped the Dark Angels and goes directly to the core of who they are. If the story by Mike Lee had been great and it portrayed the fall in a more interesting way to that suggested in AOD then I would have accepted this quite happily. However Mike created a story with characters so bland and boring that I struggled not to fall asleep (Sergeant Kohl was blander than a meal of boiled rice topped with plain pasta and his squad members had less individual personality than a bunch of star wars battle droids). His new improved story of the fall consisted of Luther dabbling with chaos because of his own pride and jealously, amongst other things. Well that’s thoroughly original. Compared to works such as Legion, it’s just hopeless.

You quote ADB, someone who I respect enormously as an author. He’s also stated (and I hope he corrects me if I’m wrong) that he researches a topic thoroughly before writing about it. He's stated in the past that he reads what other authors have written and all the material GW can provide him with on the topic.

The post you have quoted is about his upcoming book The First Heretic (which I can’t wait for) and its discrepancies from Dark Creed. He states that his idea for TFH was presented and Ok’d by Black Library before Dark Creed was even released. The blame has to lie at Black Library’s door for any discrepancies. In any event I doubt the differences are as fundamental and I bet ADB story is better and more interesting than that which has gone before.
Gav Thrope set the scene magnificently in AOD and I just get the impression that Mike Lee didn’t even bother to read it! If he had how can his portrayal of Astellan be so poor? If he was going to use him in such a dreadful way (reaver worms anyone?) then why on earth use him at all?

It’s not about 2 percent who are paranoid about grievous transgressions because of evil maliciousiounes. Its about what people are willing to part with their hard earned for. I buy a book because I want to be entertained when I read it and I expect effort from the author who writes it.

With Fallen Angels I felt I got neither.

In the end the proof is in the pudding. I don’t believe that Fallen Angels was received critically well at all, although I do accept that some people enjoyed it. I have no idea what Gav Thorpe thought of it but I can speculate in my mind. I don’t know what the sales were compared to other HH books, but I bet this, Mike Lee will never again write another HH novel.
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Perhaps somone can explain (point for point) in which way Descent of Angels and Fallen Angels change the established history of the Dark Angels?
I'm not such a Dark Angels fan that I noticed something very wrong....
Could someone enlighten me?
This is going to contain huge spoilers so please be aware. Apologies that this is not more detailed but I’ve currently lent my Angles of Darkness book to my brother.

Here is a quick summery.

Angels of Darkness concerns the capture of a fallen Dark Angel by the name of Astelan and his interrogation by Chaplain Boreas. In it Astelan explains that he is and was loyal and that Luther was also. He states that Luther wanted the Legion on Caliban to go and fight Horus when they discovered the Heresy.
He goes on to point out to Boreas that of all the loyal chapters, the Dark Angles appeared to do very little if anything during the heresy. He states the reason for this was that the Lion was waiting to see which side won. Astelan admitted that he ordered the attack against the Lion because of this treachery against the Emperor.
Now of course the beginning of the fall is covered in Fallen Angels and it in no way matches the above. There is still some wriggle room for any author who picks up the story (Gav hopefully) from the end of Fallen Angles. I feel the situation can still be rescued by a good author.
There are other differences in the books but this is where the major discrepancies exist.

Now some might say that Astelan was lying when interrogated. However the whole book was about Boreas journey to the truth and why Astelan was not lying.
Now Gav Thorpe portrays this all much better than that and I thoroughly recommend the book, it’s a great read.
Interestingly the opening blurb of Descent of Angles hints that Luther was loyal also (page 17).
Hope that helps.
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