The Chapter’s Due: Graham McNeill
War is unending in the life of a Space Marine. After defeating tau forces, Captain Uriel Ventris of the Ultramarines has returned to the Chapter’s Homeworld of Macragge, but there is little respite. The Ultramarines are thrust back into battle, and this time the enemy is the Chapter’s greatest nemesis. The traitorous Iron Warriors, led by renegade Warsmith Honsou, have gathered together a massive and brutal Warband. Their target is the realm of Ultramar. Their objective is total annihilation. It is a final showdown between legendary Space Marines, and Uriel Ventris must take on the might of Honsou if he is to save his Chapter’s Homeworld.
At Long last, we come to the sixth installment in the epic Ultramarines series, known as The Chapter’s Due. After everything I’ve read so far, I was hyped up to reading this book, and I expected it to be one of the best Ultramarines books so far.
318 pages later, and I’m deeply disappointed. I was tired of noticing small spelling mistakes and things like full stops and commas missing. Guess the Black Library editors were asleep on the job, and McNeill didn’t bother (It seems) to double check.
Sure, there were epic battles and the long awaited clash between 4th Captain Uriel Ventris and Warsmith Honsou. However, I feel that the fight between the two champions wasn’t done as well as it could have been. As you have seen in Fulgrim, Graham McNeill gave us a similar clash of traitor and loyalist – only then it was Fulgrim and Ferrus Manus, not Uriel and Honsou. That was written a lot better, whereas McNeill fails to deliver what could have been an epic showdown.
Even though McNeill has learnt one lesson from Courage and Honour and not splashed the warcry of the Ultramarines across every page, he’s certainly still stuck down the Bolter Porn route. But still, what could you expect from a war this epic?
Yes, the war was epic with the battle being fought across four planets, Calth and Talassar (Spelling check needed) included, which both spawned famous Ultramarines Captains; Sicarus of the 2nd and Ventris of the 4th.
Sure, given more time I reckon McNeill could have produced a better book, as I reckon he rushed this so it come out alongside the paperback version of Courage and Honour.
And has anyone else noticed that the books seem to go downhill as the series progresses? I mean, Ultramarines Omnibus was a great read, but then The Killing Ground wasn’t as good as that, and Courage and Honour wasn’t as good as The Killing Ground, and this proves the theory with The Chapter’s Due.
It was nowhere near as good as the Ultramarines Omnibus, actually, even Courage and Honour was better than this, and I was astounded to see that some people on Black Library had rated this book four or even five out of five. It’s a rubbish, rushed book. Sure, you will want to read to the end to see the outcome, but you just know who will win. It’s one of those predictable endings.
Also, there is a twist in this novel revolving around the innermost core of Honsou’s allies. I won’t tell you who, but a smart reader will probably guess.
Did I mention that we see some Raven Guard action as well? It’s weird, but I found Fourth Shadow Captain Shaan to be more likeable than any of the Ultramarines including Uriel and Pasanius, the two main characters. Shaan’s just become my favorite character out of the whole Ultramarines series.
Rating out of 10:
Should you buy this book?
Not unless you want to find out what happens between Honsou and Uriel, and watch Ultramarines get thrashed.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to reading the last few pages of Dan Abnett’s third Gaunt’s Ghosts Omnibus: The Lost.
Of Books and Wargames 3