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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, firstly thanks to Darkreever for helping me out, although it was a bit harsh i suppose - but it was needed. Anyway, hope this pleases you. Also, if there are any spelling mistakes, feel free to point them out. I did this on Word so there shouldn't be any.



Courage and Honour: Graham McNeill


THE NOBLE ULTRAMARINES epitomise the Space Marines, the genetically enhanced warriors who protect the Imperium from its foes. Newly returned from the Eye of Terror, Captain Uriel Ventris must redeem himself in the eyes of his battle-brothers, who fear he may have been tainted by Chaos. When the Planet Pavonis is invaded by tau, what better opportunity could Uriel have to join his Chapter in combat and prove that his honour is beyond reproach?​


Well, here we are again with a review for the next chapter in the epic Ultramarines series, appropriately Courage and Honour.

In a sense, this book is kind of similar to the first, Nightbringer. Especially since that it’s set on Pavonis, the site of Uriel’s first mission as a fourth company captain. As well as Pavonis returning, we get a host of characters from Nightbringer itself, despite them being a bit older. Also, we’re not fighting the Nightbringer this time. The enemy of the Ultramarines is the Tau, an upstart xenos race.

Graham McNeill’s portrayal of the Tau is something of a letdown – they don’t charge into close combat, they don’t hold their ground and they don’t throw away their soldiers’ lives needlessly.

Ignoring that, I enjoyed the fifth Ultramarines novel. Even though it was constant warfare all the way through, McNeill doesn’t just focus on the battles. He introduces or re introduces each of the characters, giving them their own turn in the spotlight despite the main plot being focused around Uriel Ventris’ battle for redemptation in the eyes of the Company’s Chaplain, Clausal. (R/N: Is this how you spell Clausal? Is it Clausel?)

We also get a few twists in this novel, and you can’t help thinking that you didn’t expect him to turn, or her to do what she did in the end. Of course I won’t tell you their names.

Now, continuing with the review, and let’s look at the Tau breed of xeno, once again. They’re normally shown to be the light-hearted race, the xenos that are willing to co-operate with others. However, McNeill shows the reader the darker side of these upstarts, and portrays the Tau as the type of people who say, “Join us or else we’ll kill you.”

All of this, so far and I haven’t even touched the message that Courage and Honour is trying to get across. And that message is, quite simply – Follow Guilliman’s 10,000 year old tome known as The Codex Astartes or you will be punished and fail any battle that you try to win.

And this is what Uriel’s trying to do. The Captain of the Fourth, having been exiled from Ultramar for breaking the Codex rules in the first place, is now trying to prove that he will not deviate from it.

Okay, despite the fact that there is little character development in this novel, I seemed to rather enjoy it. As stated earlier, the main focus is on action-packed fights between the Tau and the Imperium, which aside from his portrayal of the Tau, McNeill has done fantastically.

Oh, by the way, just to let you know, I’m not doing any more High and Low Points.

Rating out of 10: 6.5/10 – Not as good as the Killing Ground, but not the worst book ever.

Should you buy this book?: Yes unless you’re a Tau fan, or an Ultramarines hater.

~Bane of Kings, next reviewing The Chapter's Due.
 

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THE NOBLE ULTRAMARINES epitomise the Space Marines, the genetically enhanced warriors who protect the Imperium from its foes. Newly returned from the Eye of Terror, Captain Uriel Ventris must redeem himself in the eyes of his battle-brothers, who fear he may have been tainted by Chaos. When the Planet Pavonis is invaded by tau, what better opportunity could Uriel have to join his Chapter in combat and prove that his honour is beyond reproach?​
As an important known when writing, I know that the description you gave in The Killing Field is, word for word, what is written on the back of the actual novel and would not be surprised to go to my local book store and find that this is the same. If you are going to include a brief description like they do on the backs of the books, then either re-word or re-work things so that its your take, or make sure to credit the source. Right now, some people can look at this and cry out that your stealing the credit of someone else.

Graham McNeill’s portrayal of the Tau is something of a letdown – they don’t charge into close combat, they don’t hold their ground and they don’t throw away their soldiers’ lives needlessly.
This rather confuses me; are you saying the book was a let down because the Tau were like this or because they were in every way the opposite?

If its the first, then it makes perfect sense; they do not throw lives away because they do not have them in the numbers that the Imperium does, they do not charge into battle because that is not their style of warfare, they fall back or retreat when they cannot win because it is better to consolidate your forces rather than waste them.

If its the second, then I'll agree to that being a let down.

Now, continuing with the review, and let’s look at the Tau breed of xeno, once again. They’re normally shown to be the light-hearted race, the xenos that are willing to co-operate with others. However, McNeill shows the reader the darker side of these upstarts, and portrays the Tau as the type of people who say, “Join us or else we’ll kill you.”
Personally, I've always seen them as that kind of group; you do not expand and assimilate while remaining goody-goodies. So this 'darker' side actually sounds pretty good.

Okay, despite the fact that there is little character development in this novel, I seemed to rather enjoy it. As stated earlier, the main focus is on action-packed fights between the Tau and the Imperium, which aside from his portrayal of the Tau, McNeill has done fantastically.
Alright now this is good review stuff right here, and it totally turns me off from the book. I get this warning that its pretty much bolter porn scene after bolter porn scene; but for the sake of things I will ask it anyway: are there just a heavy number of action scenes compared to non action scenes or do they just completely dominate and overshadow everything else with ease?

The lack of character growth is another hit for me, because now I would be aware of the fact that the characters in this book have to rely on whatever merits they had in previous books and some, like Uriel and Pasanius, are rather bland or suffer from Superman syndrome.

Rating out of 10: 6.5/10 – Not as good as the Killing Ground, but not the worst book ever.

Should you buy this book?: Yes unless you’re a Tau fan, or an Ultramarines hater.
Sadly, from what I am getting out of this review the book seems to be not worth getting. At least for me, it has gone to the bottom of my pile of books to get my hands on.


So thanks for that at least, its no fun spending your money only to discover you got shit or sub-par stuff.


Now I haven't read the book, but Bane did you actually include any spoilers in this one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As an important known when writing, I know that the description you gave in The Killing Field is, word for word, what is written on the back of the actual novel and would not be surprised to go to my local book store and find that this is the same. If you are going to include a brief description like they do on the backs of the books, then either re-word or re-work things so that its your take, or make sure to credit the source. Right now, some people can look at this and cry out that your stealing the credit of someone else.
Thanks for that, and I'll credit the source from now on, cheers.

This rather confuses me; are you saying the book was a let down because the Tau were like this or because they were in every way the opposite?

If its the first, then it makes perfect sense; they do not throw lives away because they do not have them in the numbers that the Imperium does, they do not charge into battle because that is not their style of warfare, they fall back or retreat when they cannot win because it is better to consolidate your forces rather than waste them.

If its the second, then I'll agree to that being a let down.
It's the second, mainly because I was a fan of the Tau Empire (I'd almost been tempted to start an army), and I've read loads of fluff which states that they do not tend to do what they did in Courage and Honour.

Alright now this is good review stuff right here, and it totally turns me off from the book. I get this warning that its pretty much bolter porn scene after bolter porn scene; but for the sake of things I will ask it anyway: are there just a heavy number of action scenes compared to non action scenes or do they just completely dominate and overshadow everything else with ease?

The lack of character growth is another hit for me, because now I would be aware of the fact that the characters in this book have to rely on whatever merits they had in previous books and some, like Uriel and Pasanius, are rather bland or suffer from Superman syndrome.
Well, basically, there is a heavy number of action scenes which are the main focus of the fifth Ultramarines Novel, and yeah, it doesn't leave enough room for charachter growth. And, now that I've finished Chapter's Due, I have to agree with you on your last statement.

Sadly, from what I am getting out of this review the book seems to be not worth getting. At least for me, it has gone to the bottom of my pile of books to get my hands on.

So thanks for that at least, its no fun spending your money only to discover you got shit or sub-par stuff.

Now I haven't read the book, but Bane did you actually include any spoilers in this one?
I don't think I included any spoilers in this that actually give away any huge plot twists, heck, the only charachters that I mentioned are Uriel and Pasanius, and a reference that the charachters in Nightbringer were returning.

And yes, this book is not worth spending your money on unless you're a fan of bolter porn. And I'm suprised, because the reviews that I read came across that Courage and Honour was actually good.

Anyway, thanks for your response. I take it I've improved from the previous reviews?
 

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No spoilers in this one, I can easily find the review part, the whole thing gives me a fairly impartial idea of the book and whether or not its something for me. Yeah I'd say its definitely better than previous ones which, in all honesty, did little more than spoil things or gush about how good a book was without any real reviewing in the mix.

The fact that you put this up less than fifteen hours after the previous one had me a little worried. Because no matter how good a book is, if we go through it to fast we will miss something; pacing for the reader/reviewer is as important as the pacing in a book can be after all. I was rather glad to see that the worry from this was largely unneeded though, so pretty good in that regard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I finished both books a few days ago and wrote both reviews up at the same time although I figured I'd wait a few hours before I posted both.

Problem is, now that I've finished The Chapter's Due, I'll now have to wait for a bit until I post it up. Also, I picked up The Lost in town today as well.

~Bane of Kings
 

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Once you finish a book, thats when its time to write the review. I'd never advise starting up another one until the review itself is finished, because you never know when something will disgust or enthrall you so much that you cannot get it out of your mind and it goes in the wrong review.
 
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