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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I'd like to start this review by giving a quick shoutout to Dark Angel, Captain Stillios, bobss and Boc for the reps that I've recived for my reviews. Now that's over, here's the review. Enjoy :victory:.



Descent of Angels: Mitchel Sandon


The Next Installment in the Ground-Breaking Horus Heresy series, telling the tale of the civil war that tore the Human Imperium apart nearly ten thousand years ago. This novel explores the dark and mysterious history of the Dark Angels legion and their Primarch, Lion El'Johnson. When the Imperial Fleet rediscovers the Planet Caliban, The Emperor is reunited with his missing son and Primarch, Lion El'Johnson. As Dark Angels old and new join the Great Crusade, a chain of events is set in motion that will change Caliban, Its people and the legion forever.


This is the first Horus Heresy book in the series that I have not had to refer to the Dramatis Personae at the beginning to see who the charachters are as it is the first book in this epic series that follows one main charachter, called Zahariel El'Zurias, a boy who joins the Order of Caliban, and when the Emperor arrives on his home planet, he becomes a member of the Dark Angels Legion. However, the main focus of this book is not on the arrival of the Imperium, as that happens towards the end, but it centres on Zahariel's rise to knighthood, all the time being watched by the First Primarch, Lion El'Johnson.

Aside from Zahariel, we also see a lot of new charachters introduced to the Horus Heresy, Luther, Nemiel, his rival, Israfael, the Librarian who takes an intrest in Zahariel and many others. After Zahraiel is promoted to the Order, The Lion declares a beast hunt to eradicate the beasts on Caliban. It is of course, succussful, and shortly afterwards we have the arrival of the Emperor, the Commander of Mankind himself. Zahariel stops an assasination attempt on the Emperor's life by Knights of the Order who prefer the old ways of Caliban and don't want things to change.

As is revealled, only the young can have the Dark Angels geneseed, and Zahraiel and Nemiel both recieve it, but the old can only have surgical improvments, including Luther.

This book doesn't actually feature any heresy, but sets the stage for the events that could come later, but relies on there being a sequel to follow it.

High Point: The bit where Nemiel takes Zahraiel down to a secret coven of people who are trying to kill the Emperor.

Low Point: The Whole book, kind of felt as though it wasn't good enough to be a Horus Heresy novel as the others had been. I'm dissapointed as in some parts, it was similar to the fluff section of a codex.

Rating: 4/10

That's all for now folks, join me next time as I review Fallen Angels, the sequel to this low-rated book.

~Bane of Kings
 

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I really can't understand the hate for this book... the chivalric knights, the fights against the beasts, the subtle cracks between the lion and luther, the seeds of jealousy.

Ok the language left a little to be desired but as a plot i thought it was fantastic, the concept of the caliban order intriguing and entertaining. The lion's quest a clever concept that introduced the lion in a way never seen before.

It set the stage, set the stage for Luther's treachery, showed how he was changing, showed the bewilderment and hurt of the dark angels sent back whilst for the first time it showed the murmered resistance to imperial rule.

I didn't love it, it was no thousand sons but i really didn't despise it, it was easy to read and i flowed through it in a couple of nights.

Further explanation of the hatred desired please :)
 

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I thought it was decent, granted it felt more like a Great Crusade novel at best, but after reading Fallen Angels i realized that Descent was really just setting the stage for that awesome (doesn't begin to describe it) book.
 

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I think the hate for this book, is due to it not seeming like a Horus Heresy novel. It would have been better if this had been one of the first novels in my opinion, rather than being a later one. I found it was an alright novel if I am honest, although when I attempted to re-read it the other week I found it mind boggling. The best part is the Siege of the Knights Lupus fortress, I really enjoyed that. The worst is probably the last hundred or so pages, I simply did not like them :)
 

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I really can't understand the hate for this book... the chivalric knights, the fights against the beasts, the subtle cracks between the lion and luther, the seeds of jealousy.

Ok the language left a little to be desired but as a plot i thought it was fantastic, the concept of the caliban order intriguing and entertaining. The lion's quest a clever concept that introduced the lion in a way never seen before.

It set the stage, set the stage for Luther's treachery, showed how he was changing, showed the bewilderment and hurt of the dark angels sent back whilst for the first time it showed the murmered resistance to imperial rule.

I didn't love it, it was no thousand sons but i really didn't despise it, it was easy to read and i flowed through it in a couple of nights.

Further explanation of the hatred desired please :)
Though directed at the writer of the review, I will attempt an answer of my own, my dearest bringer of death. :)

Realistically, Caliban is a death-world, surrounded by, what we presume, Chaos-mutated beasts, by the ever-changing, maddening amalgam of the Warp. Like Ultramar signifies Post-Constantinian Holy Roman Empire, with a heavily Byzantium theme, and the Iron Warriors a Hellenic theme, the Dark Angels are ressonant of the Late-Medievil Knights of Hungary, Romania and Ukraine; generally the Christianised Eastern States of around the 13th Century. The Beasts signify the hordes of barbarians: Goths, Vandels, Huns, and later Mongols. The Orders of Caliban are representative of the Knightly Orders created to defend the people of these Kingdoms against the ever-encroaching tide of barbacy and chaos. Think the Teutonic Order as an example, whilst they are cut off from the shining light of Byzantia, or in our case: The Imperium, until finally, once the hordes, or beasts are beaten back, these stoic lands/planet are brought back into the cultural fold.

Interesting stuff, surely? I know I`m an avid fan of Post-Roman Empire History, and as with the Ultramarines and Iron Warriors, I hoped this rich and unique culture could be absorbed, piqued and enhanced by the collected genius of Black Library, into an enthralling culture, like the Nordic Space Wolves.

Wrong. This book was doomed to die for a myriad of factors: The cover art induces me to vomit, the characters are of mild interest, the Primarch isn`t written to his full glory, and the utter excuse that is the latter third of the book, against the Chaos-saturated forces is laughable.

Scanlon took a wealth of history, culture and flung it into a recess, taking scraps, ruining them and slapping them into an ultimately boring book. A book, one may forgive had it been anywhere but The Series to End All Series. I feel it a gross insult to the genius of Fulgrim, Horus Rising and Legion. :(
 

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Bobss's last point is quite interesting to note. Descent of Angels is an interesting novel, I thought it was ok and could be a solid BL entry, but for the company it keeps. A Thousand Sons, Fulgrim, Nemesis. Descent of Angels cannot compare to them, and as such it is doomed to low reviews because it will inevitably be compared to them. On its own it could have been a good entry, and Fallen Angels could have as well. But this is the Horus Heresy and only excellent is acceptable.

However ill admit I found the Chaos foes interesting. They were so welcoming and friendly, and so easy to blend in. The Dark Angels did not question their culture of masks, if they had then they would have unmasked the enemy within, instead they were fooled into near complacency and it nearly cost the eldest Primarch his life.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay guys, I'm going into town tonight and will pick up a book alongside the BA codex which I'm gonna get. So what book do you guys want to be reviewed? I'll see what the GW / Waterstones has and pick it up.

Fallen Angels is almost finished, last few chapterish to go and then I'll post a review. I didn't particulary enjoy the book, though.

~Bane of Kings
 

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Well i'd recommend you get A Thousand Sons, since you've nearly finished Fallen Angels and the Sons of Magnus are the next in line in the novel order.
 

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I'd say d something a tad more original than a Heresy novel. They are good, don't get me wrong, but what are you going to do one of the latest ones? Its nice to find out what people's thoughts are on the latest of them, but then you also have to contend with the opinion of other people who have recently reviewed that same book as well; and woe betide you if you disagree with them.

Personally, I say look for something a tad older, maybe think about doing a review for something like Warrior Brood, or Nightbringer, maybe Ice Guard or Fifteen Hours, perhaps Caves of Ice, Space Wolf, or Warriors of Iron.
 

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I'd say d something a tad more original than a Heresy novel. They are good, don't get me wrong, but what are you going to do one of the latest ones? Its nice to find out what people's thoughts are on the latest of them, but then you also have to contend with the opinion of other people who have recently reviewed that same book as well; and woe betide you if you disagree with them.

Personally, I say look for something a tad older, maybe think about doing a review for something like Warrior Brood, or Nightbringer, maybe Ice Guard or Fifteen Hours, perhaps Caves of Ice, Space Wolf, or Warriors of Iron.
darkreever don't be a bastard- suggesting he subject himself to Warrior Brood is beneath you :biggrin:

I agree with the idea of reviewing some of the older novels- get them some attention from people new to the hobby who might not of heard about them.
 

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Meh, if your out there to review a book, then don't care if its good or bad. Be the judge yourself and give it your own views and rating.
 

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Whats wrong with Warrior Brood?, I thought that the Deathwatch series was pretty good, not the best but a good solid entry. Though now I dont really care for Goto's Eldar.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Okay, turned out the GW had Nemesis (yay!), so I picked that up along with A Thousand Sons. (Gold writing, double yay for both!) So I guess they'll be reviewed after Descent of Angels, and towards the end of August I'll read the Ultramarines Onmibus on my holiday and review it when I get back, if all goes to plan. Also, if anyone could check out my short stories, it'd be great as I need some feedback on them.

~Bane of Kings
 

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Didnt think it was bad novel as many have said. Its certainly not the usual HH novel that people are used to reading. So far has been only novel that shows primarch before emperor found him.

It little slow though, it has great backround info of who Dark Angels are and where they came from but training phase were they become marines felt little rushed. Also wasnt impressed by this "mandatory" end battle. But i understood that this will be series so its kinda hard to review. Overal would give 6/10. Battle for the Abyss has been worst for me overall.
 

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I'll add my two pennies worth. I read the book some time ago and it was OK, nothing special and not a lot to do with the Heresy (but we won't go over that again).
I have started to go through the HH series again and D of A came along. Began reading it, began to get into it until I realized something that just was not right. The competition between Zahariel and Nemiel. They are apparently the nearest thing to brothers and locked in a constant battle of competition over who is the best etc. They were fighting away (for over 15 minutes) in front of their instructor and the rest of the young Knights. Zahariel finally won after using some unorthodox method of taking his brother out. Class leaves and the two of them have a long and complex philosophical conversation about life, the world and everything in general. A good conversation, a conversation between Knights. Then the next sentence said that they were both in their ninth year... nine years old??? :scratchhead:
I have two sons who are 8 and 9. Their conversations are not as complex or structured as these two 'Knights', they do not think about the future and the fate of everyone and everything; they just do not act or talk like Zahariel and Nemiel. I thought the 2 knights were grown men, in their mid-twenties perhaps; by the way they were going on. It is just not realistic and these mature 9 years olds, ruined it for me.
So, unfortunately, I closed the book and put it back on the self and went back to reading 'Nemesis' in earnest! :read::eek:k:
 

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In it's own right, I suppose DoA doesn't really deserve such a bad reputation were it a standalone novel...

However, given its context and the style/theme of the HH books prior to DoA, it was like a very dull kick to the groin. It lacked the excitement that the others had, the weight of importance around nearly every action taken. It did not tie into any of the other books, and really served only as DA fluff and background than actual Horus Heresy events. It felt, to me, as though the author just wrote a novel to answer a question that really wasn't that urgent or important when compared to the first 4 books.
 

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I actually really liked this book. I wasn't looking forward to it as I herd it was the worst in the HH series but I loved it, the characters were all great, even though I never warmed to lion. It does a great job of setting up fallen angles which is one of the best in the series, which I jumped to reading right after this one.
 

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This is the first Horus Heresy book in the series that I have not had to refer to the Dramatis Personae at the beginning to see who the charachters are as it is the first book in this epic series that follows one main charachter, called Zahariel El'Zurias, a boy who joins the Order of Caliban, and when the Emperor arrives on his home planet, he becomes a member of the Dark Angels Legion. However, the main focus of this book is not on the arrival of the Imperium, as that happens towards the end, but it centres on Zahariel's rise to knighthood, all the time being watched by the First Primarch, Lion El'Johnson.
I agree on the personae part, but then again by this time I had gotten used to what characters to focus and my reading had improved great, by this being the 7th novel Ive read by BL. :biggrin:

This book doesn't actually feature any heresy, but sets the stage for the events that could come later, but relies on there being a sequel to follow it.
Its the beginning of what I believe a kick-ass continuation. Fallen Angels was IMO really good, except some minor details.

Low Point: The Whole book, kind of felt as though it wasn't good enough to be a Horus Heresy novel as the others had been. I'm dissapointed as in some parts, it was similar to the fluff section of a codex.
Thats because the fluff in the Dark Angels latest codex is based upon these books, as the latest codex came out after these were published. Try and read the older codexes and youll see the difference.
 
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