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Okay, here we go again guys! :)




The Killing Ground: Graham McNeill

In the Nightmare world of Warhammer 40,000, no servants of the Imperium are more dedicated than the Ultramarines, who follow the teaches of the legendary Codex Astartes to the letter. Having escaped from the Eye of Terror, Uriel Ventris and Pasanius now face a greater challenge – they must fight their way home to their Chapter, for safety and redemption.​


Okay, it’s been a long time since I’ve read and reviewed any new purchased 40k stuff, and I’m leaping back into action with The Killing Ground, the Fourth instalment in the six novel strong Ultramarines series, written by one of Black Library’s more popular authors, and one of my favourites – Graham McNeill.

As I found out whilst reading The Killing Ground, you don’t have to read the Ultramarines Omnibus beforehand despite McNeill referencing several incidents from the three novels Nightbringer, Warriors of Ultramar and Dead Sky, Black Sun. However, it certainly helps you to understand the two main characters, and you get a load of information about the Unfleshed.

Ah, now the Unfleshed. For any readers of Dead Sky, Black Sun, you’ll remember these beings worship the God Emperor despite being on Medrengard, fortress of the Iron Warriors, and they actually help Ventris and Pasanius to escape from The Eye of Terror.

Now, onto the actual novel. Aside from the return of the fourth Captain of the Ultramarines and his Sergeant, we get the Lord of the Unfleshed back along with several humans that each have a background linked with the mysterious area of the planet Salinas, known as The Killing Ground, which is off limit to humans and regularly patrolled by the Planetary Defence Force known as “Screaming Eagles”.

And these are the first Imperial humans that Uriel and Pasanius meet since before the Eye of Terror, but they don’t believe the exiled Ultramarines are still Astartes, as if you remember, they look like Renegades, as stated by Colonel Kain, a woman who is commander of the Screaming Eagles and one of the main figures in the Killing Ground Massacre.

As you start The Killing Ground, not much is revealed about the back story to Salinas, but turn more pages and it kind of drags you in by a hook and keeps you there, not letting you go until you've finally finished the novel.

Before I started these Ultramarines novels, I’ve been a hater of the “Ultrasmurfs,” but after reading the first three books, my mind has changed and now, having finished the fourth and midway through Courage and Honour, I am now torn between collecting the Ultramarines 4th and my beloved Blood Angels.

Also, Uriel and Pasanius are not the only astartes we see in this book, but that’s all I’m going to give away. This thing’s already got Minor Spoilers written all over it. Don’t make me go back and change it to Full Spoilers, okay?

Well, one thing’s for certain when you pick up the Fourth instalment of this Ultramarines series - Plot twists. And plenty. Again, this is a touchy subject that I don’t want to reveal too much about it.

It’s kind of a shame that most people won’t read these series simply because they’re plain, dull and boring Ultrasmurfs. They often place two and two together and think that the Chapter is boring, so the book must be boring. Trust me on this, it’s not. (If anyone can guess this reference to the “Trust me on This”, then they get a rep!)

High Point: The High Point for me in this novel was all the rich background to the Killing Ground and its earlier inhabitants.

Low Point: I read the book too quickly; it’s a curse that I seem to have. I can get through most books that I really like in an evening or so, despite trying to drag it out.

Rating: 7/10 – Great, but not as good as A Thousand Sons and other fantastic Black Library books out there.

Should you buy this book?: Defiantly, especially if you want to know what happens in the next instalment of the Ultramarines series. Also, stay tuned for my review of Courage and Honour, the 5th Installment in Graham McNeill's potrayal of the Ultrasmurfs.

~Bane of Kings, over and out.

Of Books and Wargames 3
 

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I agree, this was an awesome book. The trials they go through from start to finish was in itself great. The real kicker was how well built most of the characters were good or bad.
 

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I found myself liking most of the book, but I am sorry Bane_of_Kings this review of it was rather shit. You do more blathering on of things having nothing to do about the book, giving some things away, or mentioning how you do not want to spoil more of the book, that I have trouble finding any actual review contained within.


Honestly; how was the pacing? What about the action and character development, did one dominate the other and how did that affect things? Were the characters well done or just paper cut-outs in the end? Were any shocks or surprises predictable?

There is so much this is lacking, that I feel it insults the works of others to call it a true review.


Also, something that went the extra mile to pull this whole thing down were the many spelling errors. There were not to many, but every time I ran across one it made me grind my reading to a halt; might just be me, might not, but it does deserve mentioning.


Edit: Made an error in my post earlier; I stated I mostly liking the book but upon reflection this is not so. Of the four books in the series, I honestly found this one to be the worst of them, and in the end I did not have much love for Dead Sky, Black Sun either. (It did present my favorite character, but one character does not redeem a whole book no matter what we might like to believe.)

Nightbringer and Warriors of Ultramar were pretty good, and I have found myself liking Learches far more than Uriel or Pasanius. When I do eventually work my way to purchasing the remaining two books, I eagerly await to see how he and Ventris interact. At the very least, he seems like a much better captain and the excerpt of Courage and Honour has served to further my like of him and dislike for Uriel 'the plot armour will protect me!' Ventris.
 

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I found this series too going downhill since Warriors of Ultramar, though havent read Chapter's Due yet. Its like Mr Niceguy Uriel is just total generic good character which goes through almost unbelievable feats facing rediculous challenges. And i would suggest that people read this series from start and not skip directly to this book. Its about Uriel and his ventures what this series is about.

Graham's books have been almost best ive read from BL, but this along with next of series has been his worst works. Like earlier said, there is almost zero character development on this series especially on Uriel. He is just generally too nice to be Astartes. Most interesting characters on this series have been almost all others except these two.

I think this novel was ok and was atleast better than Courage and Honour which is next on series.
 
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