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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
That's a bit of hyperbole, but dammit.

While there are good mythology books in the HH series, like Angron's and Fulgrim's ascendance to Daemonhood, the VAST majority seem more like "Raiders of the Lost Arc", where the book blurb promises an intriguing story of relevance, but if the characters the books talks about never existed, nothing would have actually changed.

I just finished Kharn: Eater of Worlds, and I don't care if I get banned for this, but I swear to god if I see the author I am gonna punch him in the teeth.

If you read the wiki from ANY Warhammer 40k website, there is no need to read the book. No character in the book is of any relevance, the story ends right at the start of the battle of Skalathrax, and nothing said or done by any character (like the humans who no one cares about, or the interchangeable, forgettable World Eaters) has any bearing since they all die or get fragmented in the battle the book avoids talking about.

Yes, I am pissed about it.

It's like I read the whole book, filled with mindless drivel and silly conversation from humans and legionaries complaining about who should lead and blah blah, and near the last 4 pages Kharn wakes up, and with a SMALL group of WE they meet the Emperor's Children on the surface and a single WE captain starts the fight, then the book ends after that initial skirmish. With the VAST majority of the WE and EC fleets still in orbit above and the actual fight still to come.

" In this story, you can witness his transition from the Captain of the World Eaters Eighth Company who stood against the Emperor during the Horus Heresy, to the Blood-mad betrayer that he becomes."

FUCKING LIE....

Kharn wakes up at the 95% mark and talks to one dude, talks to the EC leader, tells the legion to fight on Skalathrax and the book ends after his speech.

:angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry:

ps. Dear Author, stick to writing Word Bearers man....
 

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Kharn: Eater of Worlds is about the lead-up to Skalathrax rather than the actual battle itself. Truthfully we didn't know anything about what caused Skalathrax before this, the old lore just said that the World Eaters and Emperor's Children just met at the planet and started killing each other for no reason. Stupid. There is always a reason and now we know it, the World Eaters wanted control of the Skalathrax system and to unify themselves through a war.

Kharn did not "wake up in the last four pages." He woke up halfway through the book, which was necessary to show how the World Eaters are faring without a real authority figure to command them and reign in their excesses. I'll admit that the final tagline in your post is inaccurate to the novel, but not to the series that this book is the beginning of. We'll see Kharn become The Betrayer in due time, but before that Skalathrax needs to be more than just a punch-up between Legions, the book transforms it into a proper campaign with goals, backstory and a reason for it to have occurred at all.

As to the characters, I enjoyed them. I felt that each one had a different voice and ideal for the World Eaters, the Emperor's Children were appropriately depraved and arrogant, and the human cast added some interesting moments, especially Skoral Wroth who provided a strong female character, something that more Black Library books should have.

Fact is; the book is not as simple and stupid as you have made it sound.


LotN
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
My value of a book = Does it make me know the characters better, do I enjoy the journey.

This book fails at both of those things. In horrible, horrible fashion.

I could have avoided reading this and would not have missed an iota of Kharn's development. Therefore it fails in it's primary purpose as described on the BL page.

There is not a hint of a transition in this story, and yes I am annoyed and I tend to use hyperbole when I'm annoyed...

If they said "this book is about Kharn's fellows arguing about the direction of the WE while he stays comatose", I would have been fair warned and stayed the hell away.

A book called "The Story of Automobili Lamborghini", that ends when Ferruccio started his tractor factory, would get nothing but jeers, and that is exactly what this book does. It is a bait and switch of the most egregious kind.
 

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Its the first book in a series. Save your vitriol till the whole thing is out.
Sorry Lucian but thats not much of an excuse. While some people may be aware that this is to become a series, there is nothing on BL that tells you that and the description itself claims that this story will show his change. Now that could be referring to the over-arcing story from the intended series, but theres no indication to halt said vitriol.
 

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I wrote a super long response and deleted it.

The gist was the book was decent insofar as I read it because I wanted to read about World Eaters tearing Emperor's Children apart.

As far as this story being about Kharn, it wasn't really. It was more about the final moments of the World Eaters as a unified legion. They really dropped the ball on the Kharn stuff, imo.

Are we supposed to assume that a sequel will come out? I never got that impression from BL about anything, other than the main storyline of the HH.

Maybe not everything in the 40k fluff needs to be fleshed out? Angron and the butcher's nails added a surprising amount of depth to the World Eaters, but in 40k they're pretty one dimensional. As far as Kharn himself, I see him sort of like Wolverine and Batman. A mysterious past is pretty cool, but when you try to show the audience exactly what happened in the past, it sort of dilutes the cool mystique of the present (or future, as the case may be).

Just my 2 skulls worth.
 

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I admit that I too am not fond of the irrelevant humans included in many BL stories.

Haven't we all pretty much come far enough in this age of mature science fiction that we don't need fragile, pathetic normal people like us, living beside trans/post-humans in order to understand the story?

Could be worse; I have read some HALO comics where the SPARTAN-IIs were a literal backdrop to a 6-issue arc about a security guard and an unattractive pop-singer fleeing the battle.
 

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I've always been of the opinion that truly well written sci-fi doesn't exist from BL/GW. Almost all of the books I have read from this fictional universe (over half the HH series, several other novels including the Gaunt's Ghosts series) have been written so that a kid could understand it, what can you truly expect? At best it's bolter porn, and at worst it's just background noise to the plot developments that you're actually interested in.

If you're constantly disappointed, why not wait a while after the book comes out and check reviews/synopsis's of them before committing your time and money? That way you can at least have some idea of whether or not it's worth it.
 

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The general quality of their novels has dropped off considerably in the last few years. Over the last five years or so I can probably count on one hand the number of novels that have given me that satisfied feeling that finishing a good book gives. But I love the 40k universe, so will in all likelihood keep buying all the full novels they bring out.
 

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When I was a kid and had no money for the models I wanted the fluff was all there was for me, really. It's all about expectations, the books have never been stellar but at least they're there.

If you want to wash your eyes out after a rough go with Black Library just get down on the Dune series (wonderfully expanded upon by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson) and you'll make it out alive.
 

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I have to admit that my appreciation of most aspects of art is...well minimal. A lot of what is considered "Good" goes over my head and I am often told that what I like best is the least of any given medium; Osprey paintings, Kipling Poetry and the most non-literary fiction. I admit I frankly loath "literature" and I adore Baen publishing's products.

So It's no surprise that I don't quite cotton to most of the BL criticism. Given I have my problems with it, and the Op's point about the pointlessness of the novel mentioned has some resonance with me.

Overall though I'd really like to hear what would make BL products better. Or alternatively what makes them so bad? I'd read over a dozen HH books now from Horus Rising and loved them all. I also loved the Night Lords books.
 

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I must be in the minority here but I really enjoyed the book, I agree with the post in that Black Library are a constant disappointment at the moment but I felt this book bucked the trend.
 

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I have to admit that my appreciation of most aspects of art is...well minimal. A lot of what is considered "Good" goes over my head and I am often told that what I like best is the least of any given medium; Osprey paintings, Kipling Poetry and the most non-literary fiction. I admit I frankly loath "literature" and I adore Baen publishing's products.

So It's no surprise that I don't quite cotton to most of the BL criticism. Given I have my problems with it, and the Op's point about the pointlessness of the novel mentioned has some resonance with me.

Overall though I'd really like to hear what would make BL products better. Or alternatively what makes them so bad? I'd read over a dozen HH books now from Horus Rising and loved them all. I also loved the Night Lords books.
While there is some literary snobbery that's going on, people have come to expect a bit more quality from the Heresy, given its pretty much Flagship status for BL.

There are some notably capable writers - Aaron Dembski-Bowden, who wrote the Night Lords books are pretty much universally liked by readers - his mastery of the setting is pretty complete, and it's not too jarring or controversial when he introduces new ideas (even the frankly ridiculous ones like the Harpoons on the Titans). Chris Wraight is less well liked, but I find him an excellent author with a capable, clever and engaging writing style. His work so far doesn't introduce as many plot twists, but he adds a fantastic amount of character in the setting (but I did find his work in Scars enjoyable, but struggled to identify who was who a little bit). Abnett is more hit and miss. Abnett works when he's given a blank canvas to work from - when there is a background story, but no established fluff. That was why Know No Fear was adequate (I say adequate, because that's all it was in comparison to other novels, like Betrayer), but the follow up to that was absolute dogshit. Maybe that was forced on him as he was attempting to do a summary novel, but quite a few showings of Abnett have been seriously lacking - and I think that's to do with the nature of Abnett's work taking him to lots of different settings. In regards to his other books - he plagiarises a little bit less from Sharpe or Pearl Harbour as he moves onwards, but I think since his illness, his writing has taken a dive in terms of quality.

Then we get to Graham McNeil. His writing I find is childish, with monofaceted characters without personality, instead having only traits used to advance a plot that are about as in depth as the names of Team Fortress 2 characters. "The Heavy", "The Sniper", "The Spy" etc. His writing is frequently questioned as not fitting in with the setting, and he's a great believer apparently in a writing style where to prove how good X is, he'll make Y seem more stupid than they are. I.e, much of the hatred against the Ultramarines has come as a result of not Matt Ward, strangely enough (he just made it worse as of 5th edition Codex), but from McNeill - the entirety of the Ultramarines were presented as hidebound, stuckup, unthinking automatons who did not have the individuality to work out what to do if a situation unknown occured - presenting their "Big Book of What to do when the shit hits the fan" or "Tactics for Dummies" written by Rowboat, a Primarch, as a couple of pages essentially saying "when shot at, shoot back". Know No Fear, as mentioned above, is adequate, but is put on a pedestal because Ultramarines were no longer presented as Derp machine plot devices to make Uriel Ventris or Captain Titus seem totes amazeballs.

Nick Kyme - being fair to ol Nick, there was an audio I was listening to, Censure - which was actually pretty good. Just... his Salamanders suffer the same issues as McNeil's ultramarines, with frankly ridiculous names that make it hard to concentrate on the story that's happening - taking Symbology into the realms that surpass setting fluff or background flavour into making it some insider jokes how many times he can create a character called "Fur-nas" or "Ann-ville".

And that's just a select few authors - sadly the last 2 seem to get an unfortunately high ratio of books that we're essentially "forced" to read (because the BL know of their readers kleptomania and completionist behaviours), when the majority of the book has only minor tie-ins with the actual Horus Heresy timline (such as Damnation of Pythos - the relation to the Heresy pretty much boils down to the front cover telling you it's the Horus Heresy in that book) people get annoyed at having wasted their money on a self contained book about events that do not matter in the wider scope of the heresy novels. The other side that people hate is the major events that take place, but just aren't done the justice of - a War on Molech, Signus, Prospero... All were given pretty terrible books - no ATS was not a good book, in my eyes. It was good for McNeil, but still a poor showing of a novel.

Throw in the "shady" business practises of releasing "Limited Editions" which are then accessible 2 years later at half the price, and 15 or so versions of the same book, and many long term fans are getting pissed off with them.

Without wanting to be elitist, "oh I've been doing this longer than you", it WAS better in the old days, and you can't miss what you didn't have.



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I've always been of the opinion that truly well written sci-fi doesn't exist from BL/GW. Almost all of the books I have read from this fictional universe (over half the HH series, several other novels including the Gaunt's Ghosts series) have been written so that a kid could understand it, what can you truly expect? At best it's bolter porn, and at worst it's just background noise to the plot developments that you're actually interested in.

If you're constantly disappointed, why not wait a while after the book comes out and check reviews/synopsis's of them before committing your time and money? That way you can at least have some idea of whether or not it's worth it.
Have you read Eisenhorn or The Talon of Horus? Those are some of the best and finest examples I think BL has to offer, they are anything but bolter porn and offer real depth and substance to the setting. I would almost say they are required reading, although they do admittedly make everything else you read seem a little worse in comparison. That bring said, I do love Gaunts Ghosts, few other novels maker care as much about their characters as that series does.
 

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Have you read Eisenhorn or The Talon of Horus?
I'll check them out. There's been a few good ones, to be sure. Just...the sheer repetitiveness of some of the authors gets me down sometimes is all. It got to the point where I read about how fast Space Marines run compared to humans and how much taller than the humans Marines were (and taller still, the primarchs...or some shit) so many times I just turned off. Gaunt's Ghosts was awesome, I think I read/own the first two or three that came out when I was young. Definitely more character development there, though like I said I read them when they first came out.

My main problem is that I grew up reading sci-fi from Frank Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson, Issac Asimov...I'm sure you see the picture I'm painting here. Similar to what you said in reference to Eisenhorn and The Talon of Horus, my scale for what to expect from a good book is calibrated a bit differently now. I truly don't really care when it comes to BL, I'm still going to read the occasional book or listen to one while I paint. I just don't get my expectations up so high that I'm let down in the way that the OP has been. You know...don't get pissed at the hole you're digging if you're using a bendy straw to dig it.
 

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I'll check them out. There's been a few good ones, to be sure. Just...the sheer repetitiveness of some of the authors gets me down sometimes is all. It got to the point where I read about how fast Space Marines run compared to humans and how much taller than the humans Marines were (and taller still, the primarchs...or some shit) so many times I just turned off. Gaunt's Ghosts was awesome, I think I read/own the first two or three that came out when I was young. Definitely more character development there, though like I said I read them when they first came out.

My main problem is that I grew up reading sci-fi from Frank Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson, Issac Asimov...I'm sure you see the picture I'm painting here. Similar to what you said in reference to Eisenhorn and The Talon of Horus, my scale for what to expect from a good book is calibrated a bit differently now. I truly don't really care when it comes to BL, I'm still going to read the occasional book or listen to one while I paint. I just don't get my expectations up so high that I'm let down in the way that the OP has been. You know...don't get pissed at the hole you're digging if you're using a bendy straw to dig it.
Yeah fair enough, especially with the kind of sci-fi you've been reading before. Eisenhorn is just very different from any other BL that I've read. It's pretty much the only novel I've read that has the character going around planets of the Imperium, when not at war, carrying out investigations, interacting with other Inquisitors, agents and building up mystery and intrigue. The first person perspective was off putting at first for me, but then I grew to really appreciate it, especially for how much harder I think it is to write well from this perspective.

As for Talon of Horus. Well it just changes so many of my perceptions of chaos, Abaddon and the war in the eye post-heresy.
 
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