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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just finished reading it and wow. For me the best book in a while, just beating Unremembered Empire and Scars as my favourite recent HH book.

However I've read a few reviews and some people felt it was too "megahugeshooty". I personally loved how the battles were written in a much more balanced way (my biggest hate of Betrayer was how it seemed so one sided against the loyalists). Although the loyalists lost the book showed them actually achieving something before dying.

The titan and knights were fantastic (especially when they fought Horus), the ambush of the 3 Primarchs at the beginning was great too.

A few of things I thought could have been improved though -

The Emperor being suspicious of the Khan - WTF?
The Blood Angels killing themselves - WTF?
Mortarion going from Scars where he's like "I hate the warp, psykers and witchcraft" to "Hey this Daemon thing coming back from the warp is fine and worth killing my Deathshroud and polluting all my legions geneseed for? - WTF
Fulgrim being on Molech but doing f**k all apart from trying to "turn" the Knight Commander - WTF

Don't let these things make you think I don't like the book though. I loved the book but I think the above should have either been left out or explained better.
 

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The Emperor Protects
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I thought it was quite shit. :wink:
Yep, pretty much.

There are just so many things I didn't like. You've already mentioned the inexplicable actions of Mortarion, that just go against everything that has been written about his character so far, having lead straight on from Scars no less, which showcased his anti-pysker stance as much as A Thousand Sons did. But yeah, that's probably going to be the most glaring complaints among many. The whole Blood Angels affair is something I had actually managed to forget until you mentioned it again just now, I was trying to think only the other day how they had died.

Russ and the VI having ended up on Terra also makes my head hurt. Just how many legions are they going to have actually make it to Terra only to leave again. Not only that, but we know as a cold iron fact, that Russ attacking Horus will result in failure, it's just a pointless plot line that won't go anywhere.

Then there's the whole pointless plot of the Knights Errant as well. I just don't get it. So Malcador is gathering to him, some of the most unquestionably loyal Astartes he can find. Ones of seemingly great value in these times and clearly a precursor to the Grey Knights. Most of them seem to be hugely gifted or with very desirable talents. However you want to put it. They are clearly a valuable commodity and pretty hard to come by. Yet here we see them being sent on what is quite obviously a suicide mission. Just baffles me, well no it doesn't, it just strikes a shit way to try and get Loken back into the mainsteam plot.


Edit: The Khan is the one thing I'm pretty willing to accept. From Scars and other accounts, he just seems like such a massive unknown, that I don't blame any of the loyalists for doubting where his loyalties lie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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I did like the bits of Horus being...Horus? He was charming and interesting. Not entirely a pawn of Chaos, but a Man With a Plan.

Now for the parts I didn't like.

Pretty much everything done with Malcador's men. The whole trip to "lead the way" made no sense.

The fight with Horus on the Vengeful Spirit was poorly done. A Primarch should have diced up half a dozen marines before the first one's body hits the floor. Then the whole shooting out the window scene was painful. Honestly, if you get to that point, I would have fried the entire area. Probably kamikaze into the place and send the engine critical and try to nuke Horus.

I wasn't happy that the Emperor approved of the destruction of the Thousand Sons. I always thought it was tragic (and interesting!) that the Wolves were unleashed on the TS as a plot by the Chaos powers to prevent the TS from aiding the Emperor against Horus. Now that the Emperor seems okay with it, the tragedy is lessened.

I was super praying hard that the Emperor class Titan wasn't going to die. This makes like seven out of 8 books where an Emperor class Titan makes an appearance in a book and dies.

I find it hard to credit a dozen knights being able to down an Emperor...even inside its shields.

The whole sub plot with the knights was painful. Just...terrible. I know they are returning characters, but they just offered nothing interesting.

The plot with the Perpetual woman was not interesting in the least. I don't know if she's from somewhere else, but she felt flat and just...there. Did she even accomplish her goal? I think it would have been fine just to write her out of the plot. She not being dead, though (and a Perpetual, of course) means we'll probably be seeing more of her. *Sigh*.

All in all, I'd probably have given it like a 2.5/10. It was pretty bad...but I read it just to keep my fluff up to date.
 

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Dazed and confused.
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If you don't mind me asking, which parts didn't you like? The bits I questioned or something else?
Everything. The overall quality of the writing was appalling, so much so that I think sometimes McNeill subcontracts out books to CS Goto.

I am also firmly in the Leave-Loken-Dead camp. I think his return completely devalues the sacrifice of the loyalists amongst the traitors. Especially considering all he did up to this point was be an angst-ridden gardener.

You do make some valid points that would be questioned in a better quality novel though, in particular Mort's complete flip on psykers and demons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I did like the bits of Horus being...Horus? He was charming and interesting. Not entirely a pawn of Chaos, but a Man With a Plan.

Now for the parts I didn't like.

Pretty much everything done with Malcador's men. The whole trip to "lead the way" made no sense.

The fight with Horus on the Vengeful Spirit was poorly done. A Primarch should have diced up half a dozen marines before the first one's body hits the floor. Then the whole shooting out the window scene was painful. Honestly, if you get to that point, I would have fried the entire area. Probably kamikaze into the place and send the engine critical and try to nuke Horus.

I wasn't happy that the Emperor approved of the destruction of the Thousand Sons. I always thought it was tragic (and interesting!) that the Wolves were unleashed on the TS as a plot by the Chaos powers to prevent the TS from aiding the Emperor against Horus. Now that the Emperor seems okay with it, the tragedy is lessened.

I was super praying hard that the Emperor class Titan wasn't going to die. This makes like seven out of 8 books where an Emperor class Titan makes an appearance in a book and dies.

I find it hard to credit a dozen knights being able to down an Emperor...even inside its shields.

The whole sub plot with the knights was painful. Just...terrible. I know they are returning characters, but they just offered nothing interesting.

The plot with the Perpetual woman was not interesting in the least. I don't know if she's from somewhere else, but she felt flat and just...there. Did she even accomplish her goal? I think it would have been fine just to write her out of the plot. She not being dead, though (and a Perpetual, of course) means we'll probably be seeing more of her. *Sigh*.

All in all, I'd probably have given it like a 2.5/10. It was pretty bad...but I read it just to keep my fluff up to date.
I agree about the Emperor Titan dying being obvious and annoying but at least it actually did some stuff before it died which makes a change for me.

Fair point about the perpetual :grin:

Everything. The overall quality of the writing was appalling, so much so that I think sometimes McNeill subcontracts out books to CS Goto.

I am also firmly in the Leave-Loken-Dead camp. I think his return completely devalues the sacrifice of the loyalists amongst the traitors. Especially considering all he did up to this point was be an angst-ridden gardener.

You do make some valid points that would be questioned in a better quality novel though, in particular Mort's complete flip on psykers and demons.
Thanks, always good to see how other people viewpoint :)
 

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I've had time to think about it - and sadly, like McNeils other books (including A Thousand Sons, sorry fellas), it falls flat. My biggest complaint about the books of 40K is Fridge Logic, in that as soon as you go away, get a snack out the fridge and think "hang on", that something's going on.

When Fridge Logic is happening as you're reading it, something's going wrong.

Things I did like; Horus actual portrayal as a Master of War.

Things I didn't like; The obvious as fuck Knight household (pretty much, as soon as I read the Devine Adoratrice I could see what would happen as soon as I realised that Vengeful Spirit would be there). The Blood Angels entire reason for being there, and their actions. They don't even fight overmuch, a charge and then, the Red Angel? Utter bollocks. Completely wasted. Massively differing levels of power between characters. The Hunting squad manage to get into the Vengeful Spirit, and do... what? Nothing. If they're able to plan that far ahead that they can plan in there already, then there's no need for the Pathfinders.

The stupid naming of the book, and the trying to make it tie in to everything. Is it the ship? Is it Horus? Is it the actual Vengeful Spirit summoned by the emperor? Is it Loken. Is it Slaanesh with the Knights, is it anything else that Graham McNeils childish writing can actually refer to. It seriously reads like a bad bit of GCSE coursework, where McNeil has attempted to fluff the book with such utter nonsense that it's a complete bit of trash - made up nonsense words/descriptives (at least Abnett and co make up nonsense nouns - which at the end of the day falls into the calling a Rabbit a Smeerp trope, but it more acceptable that trying to create an adjective or whatever - it is like describing a colour to someone who is blind for fucks sake.

The book is trash, and saved by big showpieces. It's the Michael Bay movie of the Horus Heresy, just with less plot and more explosions, and it doesn't help when reading it comes across as he's been given the writing equivalent of "painting by numbers" and we're reading him learning how to paint that way, where he connects the dots as he's writing it.

Black Library might as well consist of Chris Wraight and ADB for me from now on. Maybe get Alan Bligh to help with plot.



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There were definitely enjoyable parts to it but there were just as many annoying aspects, most of which were mentioned above. As a whole, it could have been so much. The saving grace was that Horus great throughout, tho the end was a massive let down. When he came out, he was "just Horus" to me with some grey hair. Not like how the feeling you get when you see the Emporer in Wolf of Ash and Fire for example.
Also, this was probably the worst emporer seen I have read in any book. He seemed so unaware of what was going on and his stances on the thousand sons and guiilliman were too blunt for the smartest being in the galaxy.
I was really in to that blood angel too during his cliff climb....then he did nothing.
 

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Good to see I wasn't the only one disappointed with this book. Everything from the Blood Angels portrayal, to the Emperor/Thousand Sons conversation, to Mortarion's apparent 180 about the warp, the Slaanesh corrupted Knights etc. had me cringing throughout the novel.

Pretty much the only interesting parts for me were the bits of history about the Emperor and how he gained his power, and how Horus gained similar power to confront him. Horus was reasonably well portrayed as well, unlike a few other novels where he just seemed angry.
 

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I'm am really not surprised by the Emperor's reaction towards Magnus and the Thousand Sons. They literally destroyed the future of the Imperium. I still think people don't understand what they actually did when trying to contact the Emperor. Magnus gave the Imperium its biggest blow.

The view of Khan is pretty realistic. Khan's and a couple of the loyalist view of the Imperium and the Emperor is pretty logical.

As far as the other crap, I felt it was a bunch of wild filler.
 

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Good to see I wasn't the only one disappointed with this book. Everything from the Blood Angels portrayal, to the Emperor/Thousand Sons conversation, to Mortarion's apparent 180 about the warp, the Slaanesh corrupted Knights etc. had me cringing throughout the novel.

Pretty much the only interesting parts for me were the bits of history about the Emperor and how he gained his power, and how Horus gained similar power to confront him. Horus was reasonably well portrayed as well, unlike a few other novels where he just seemed angry.
What bothered you about slaanesh knights? House Devine has been in the fluff since the 90s
 

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You means the ridiculous OTT monofaceted characters with the obvious plot switch that's been done a hundred times in 40k books, such as in Deliverance Lost, or Angel Exterminatus...
Or the Ultramarine-characters outside the books of Abnett, McNeill or at the Deathwatch RPG?
 
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