Friday, May 31, 2013

Horus Heresy limited edition novella round up!

If you're like me and a Horus Heresy collector, you'll no doubt be familiar with the limited edition novellas from the Horus Heresy series. What started out as a limited number of copies restriction has now become a time limited restriction where they are on sale for only one week. This has helped a lot with making the series less attractive to scalpers who were buying up heaps of copies and putting them on eBay the same day for double the cost. Good move Black Library! My copy of Corax: Soulforge arrived today in the post and I thought this would be a good chance to look over all of the limited edition novellas from the Heresy and check them all out in detail. So without any more gas bagging;

Promethean Sun by Nick Kyme. Blink and you missed it. As the first limited edition novella this one is by far the rarest for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was limited to 3000 copies worldwide, it sold out fast and unfortunately scalpers got quite a few. I missed out and had to get mine off eBay for you guessed it, over double what it originally cost. Secondly, it was only available with uber expensive postage options which bumped the price up well over $100AUS, this did put a lot of people off. Thirdly, it was the first limited edition novella for the Heresy, I guess many just didn't know what to make of it so the backed off buying it. Whoops.

Front cover with dust jacket.

Dust jacket removed, fake Salamander hide covering with texture.

Full size internal artwork.

3000 copies worldwide. Good luck getting one now!

Aurelian by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. The last limited edition novella restricted to number of copies. Again, scalpers hurt the fans on this one, and again I had to fork out over double on Ebay. Damn the time differences here in Australia! However, Black Library started offering free postage on these products which helped with the affordability. Anyway, this is by far my favourite of the four novellas. The story is simply fantastic but that discussion is for another day.

Front cover with dust jacket.

Dust jacket removed, notice the scrawling of a madman on the left? Awesome.

Full size internal artwork.

3000 copies worldwide. And yes, Aaron's signature does look like the Metallica logo.

Brotherhood of the Storm by Chris Wraight. Finally! With the release of the third novella, Black Library listend to the masses and banished number of copies restrictions to the warp and replaced it with time limited restrictions. From now on they go on sale for one week and however many they sell is however many they sell. It must have worked as I was able to buy direct from Black Library this time and didn't have to pay double on eBay. Praise the Emperor!

Front cover with dust jacket.

Dust jacket removed, red White Scars logo with some slight texturing.

Full size internal artwork.

5764 copies worldwide. You can bet Chris developed arthritis after signing these.

And finally, the fourth and final (thus far) novella, Corax: Soulforge by Gav Thorpe. You'll see when we get into it, you get a little more in this latest novella. Some cool little things not previously done. Let's have a look.

Front cover with dust jacket.

Dust jacket removed, matte black covering with gloss black print. I love it.

Cool touch. Blacked out page trim.

Inside dust jacket short story The Shadowmasters by Gav Thorpe. That's new!

 As usual, full size internal artwork.

4000 copies worldwide.

Well there you have it, all four Horus Heresy limited novellas. How many of these do you have? How many of these do you want? What do you think of them? What is the square root of pi? Let me know and leave a comment.

Introducing Mephiston: Lord of Death

New to the Black Library is the Lords of the Space Marines series. Apparently this new series will feature the backstories of uber popular and powerful Space Marine heros from the 40k timeline. The series looks set to be only limited edition novella, which for those of you who have bought limited novellas from The Black Library before, means a fairly sizable bolter hole in your wallet. But for your monetary sacrifice you get a first class product with all the bells and whistles. First up to get his backstory unveiled to the masses is your friend and mine, Mephiston, Chief Librarian of the Blood Angles chapter and allround psyker badass. Of course I'll review the book at a later date. But for now, check out what $80AUS gets you.

Fake red leather folder with reflective silver printing.

Side view showing the goodness within.

Folder, novella with dust jacket on, short story Eclipse of Hope and a postcard of the cover art.

Fold out cover art inside the novella.

Reverse of the cover art, details of Mephiston's armour and weapons.

Novella, dust jacket removed. Fake leather covering with some texture.

2434 copies only worldwide with author signature.

What do you all think? Leave a comment and let me know.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ravenor The Omnibus By Dan Abnett

Ravenor The Omnibus contains all three Ravenor novels. Ravenor, Ravenor Returns, Ravenor Rogue and includes two linking short stories Thorn Wishes Talon and Playing Patience. Combined and bound the Omnibus weighs in at a hefty 891 pages and once completed could very well be used as a bludgeoning weapon on that neighbour who won’t turn down his music after midnight. Ravenor draws upon characters and events from Abnett’s other Inquisition novels, the Eisenhorn trilogy. While you don’t have to have read the Eisenhorn books to enjoy the Ravenor Omnibus, I highly suggest you do. Not only because the Eisenhorn series is a cracking read on its own, but it will give you the background knowledge needed to fully immerse yourself in the Ravenor experience. That said, let’s get stuck into Ravenor!

Ravenor is the first book in the omnibus and introduces us to Inquisitor Ravenor and his team. Ravenor’s character crosses over from the earlier Eisenhorn books, and after a horrific accident is little more than a lump of flesh sealed in his own floating, armed and armoured life support chair. Ravenor’s main way off communicating is via psychic casting to his team which is represented via the use of addition symbols on either side of the speech text, + like this +. I really enjoyed the way Abnett used casting throughout the omnibus, it makes for some interesting three and four way conversations when one of the characters is casting his thoughts from orbit. But where the real strength of the book lies, is in its development of the other characters. While I did enjoy Eisenhorn and his team, Ravenor’s team of agents are far better characters in their own right and manage to last longer than a single book without dying! Ravenor’s team includes Carl Thonius his apprentice interrogator, Patience Kys his pskyer warrior, Harlon Nayl his bounty hunter muscle and Kara Swole the acrobatic operative. There are other various members who breeze in and out of the team but these four represent the core of the outfit. Ravenor sets the scene with Inquisitor Ravenor and his team on the hunt for the source of a new dangerous drug called flects which are basically warp infused glass shards. The investigation takes them off planet and into the region of uncharted space imaginatively named Lucky Space, where the team walk straight into a trap by the flect dealers and are forced to fight for their lives. There is some great action later in the book and an almighty out of body psyker battle. However, Ravenor does take a while to ramp up to can’t put down speed and is probably the weakest of the three books. It is however a good read in its own right and is the perfect set up for the events to follow in Ravenor Returns and Ravenor Rogue. Ravenor is also the first time we meet Ravenor’s arch nemesis Molotch. His appearance is early on and brief, but he’s a character that will not only feature heavily in the future, but also bring Ravenor to his knees... if he had any.

Ravenor Returns follows on from the events of Ravenor and in my opinion is the best of the three books. All the action here centres around the hive on Eustis Majoris and Ravenor’s attempt to uncover the real evil behind the flect trade. What Ravenor finds is a planet wide conspiracy involving several different factions all trying to play out their own agendas. It’s a case of everybody for themselves as the different factions try to outwit and destroy one another, Ravenor and his team included! Several cool elements here include warp infused data that hides a hidden daemonic language that could control the Imperium, swarms of metal robot birds than can strip a man to bones in seconds and even the birth of a daemon named Slyte. However, what I found to be the strongest element of the book was the consistent struggle for truth. The whole storyline feels like a futuristic detective novel and you’ll be left trying to guess who to trust throughout the book. I just couldn’t put this down, and happily gobbled up the entire story within a day or two. It’s also the first time we meet some extra baddies Culzen and Worna who will feature heavily in the next and final instalment.

Ravenor Rogue once again follows on from where the previous book left off and brings the series to an explosive conclusion. It see’s Ravenor disobey his superiors instructions to stop chasing Molotch which in turn makes him a rogue agent and an enemy of the Imperium. The story spirals around Ravenor trying to destroy Molotch and Culzen once and for all while the side story of the daemon Slyte soon becomes the paramount problem. There is some serious mind bending stuff in Ravenor Rogue, not only to we jump around from planet to planet but also from time to time as Ravenor and company quickly become lost in a inter-dimensional portal that goes haywire. More than once I had a what the moment and had to flip back to the start of the chapter to check the date of the events. Some crazy stuff happens by the thrilling conclusion. Arch enemies unite, a daemon is fully born into the real universe and Ravenor dies... or does he? While very good, the last book in the omnibus is just under the high standard set by Ravenor Returns, but is still a great way to finish the series.

What Abnett does exceptionally well in the Ravenor series compared to the Esienhorn series is flesh out the other characters in the team. By the end of the book I felt as if Thonius, Kys, Nayl and Kara are all close friends of mine and you genuinely want them to all finish safe and sound. In fact, I’ll take that one step further and say id like them to all survive and for Kara Swole to do a bikini shoot. Abnett does a great job of describing her voluptuous figure throughout the book. The second thing I found that really brings Ravenor together was the detective element to it, across the entire omnibus, it felt like one giant intergalactic detective action drama. It keeps you guessing and throws you enough twists and false leads to throw you off the scent.

I loved it. Yes the first book was a bit slow till about half way, but as an omnibus it represents an epic journey that gives leaves you with feelings of disappointment at the end. Disappointment that it’s all over. Is it better than Esienhorn you ask? That’s a tough one, but id hazard a guess it’s about equal. Esienhorn as a main character is stronger and more relatable than Ravenor. I mean really, how much can you relate to a lump of flesh suspended in a floating metal chair? That said, as a team of strong characters Ravenor trumps Esienhorn. Either way you spin it, Ravenor, like Esienhorn is a must read in the 40k library. If you don’t have, go out and buy it. And grab the Esienhorn omnibus while you’re there too. Thank you Mr Abnett.

High Point: The Wych House portal in Ravenor Rogue. Whoever through one little wooden door could cause so much trouble?

Low Point: The first third of Ravenor. Just a little slow and takes too long to get going. But trust me, stick through it and you will be rewarded.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The First Heretic By Aaron Dembski-Bowden

The First Heretic is Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s first venture into the Black Library’s iconic Horus Heresy series. His previous books have been well received within Black Library circles, but can he step up to the crease and knock his first Horus Heresy book for six? Let’s find out!

Aaron’s main protagonist in The First Heretic is Argel Tal. A Word Bearer captain who rises through the ranks over the course of the book. Argel Tal is one of those characters written you instantly like, which is a change from other Horus Hersey books I’ve read where you either don’t relate to the main character at all, or by the time you feel any empathy for them the book is over. Through Argel Tal’s eyes, we bear witness to the Emperor chastising Lorgar and his legion of Word Bearer for worshipping the Emperor as a god. Lorgar is devastated by this and returns to his home world of Colchis for some serious soul searching. After a heated talk with his brother Magnus and some serious ear whispering by his twisted first captain Kor Pheron and Chaplin Erebus. Lorgar decides that if the Emperor is not worthy to be worshipped as a god, then there must be beings worthy of his devotion somewhere in the void. Lorgar then takes Argel Tal to the ends of the galaxy and back and ultimately finds exactly what he was looking for, unfortunately at the expense of Argel Tal and a large number of his Word Bearers. The story then fast tracks back to the Drop Site Massacre of Istvaan V and adds the Word Bearers perspective to this epic event featuring in many of the Horus Heresy books. If you’re after plenty of Space Marine action, Primarch’s fighting to the death and deamonic possession then Aaron has really catered to your needs.

As with Aaron’s other Space Marine book Soul Hunter. Aaron writes his Space Marine dialogue with plenty of witty banter. At first I was a bit unsure how this would play out, a funny Space Marine? Surely not! But as the chapters flow, you begin to enjoy the sometimes sarcastic and sadistic conversations the Word Bearers have. I think some will not appreciate the way Kor Phareon is portrayed in The First Heretic, Kor Phareon tended to be a bit snivelly at times, which was a bit of a distraction to his otherwise fearsome persona. Erebus is still the ever scheming playmaker and is written as he should be. This then brings me to Lorgar. Lorgar was an enigma to me. Aarons writes the Word Bearers Primarch like a lost child. He seems to spend a majority of the book confused and lost like an abandoned puppy dog. I felt that Kor Phareon and Erebus were able to twist his faith in the Emperor a little easily. Could a Primarch of the God Emperor be so easily swayed by his own men? I’ll let you be the judge of that, for now I’ll just sit on my fence. I did find Lorgar to be the most Human like of all the Primarchs written thus far. He feels emotions more intensely and is far from the most physically powerful of his brothers. While some will read him as the weakling of the Primarchs, Aaron does well to counter the negativity by showing Lorgar’s inner strength and conviction. Something many of his brothers lack.

As with all Horus Heresy books, the story is divided into three parts. It was the second part Pilgrimage which really blew me away. Instead of the usual A to B style of writing, Aaron begins pilgrimage with a bloody and brutal ending, and then begins to fill you in on everything in between. Within the first few pages of pilgrimage, Aaron had me hook line and sinker as I devoured the entire middle section of the book in a few hours. In my opinion, this is by far the most revealing and interesting part of the entire book. Without spoiling it all for you, events unfolded include The Great Crusade’s first contact with the Eye of Terror, how the Eye of Terror was created including the downfall of the Eldar, how the first Space Marines where touched by Chaos and how Lorgar was fully turned from the Emperor’s path. Now that’s a lot to mentally digest, I know, but Aaron does so with a pace perfectly set to allow you to ingest huge amounts of new 40k lore without it reading like a boring Codex. Each chapter ends leaving you scanning the start of the next and thinking to yourself... ‘Just one more chapter, I promise’. Next thing you know its 2am and you have to work the next day! Damn you Aaron!

One of my favourite parts of the book included the use of Ingethel the Ascended as the Bringer of Truth to the Word Bearers. For those of you playing at home, on page 263 of the Horus Heresy Collected Visions art book is a beautiful picture of all the main players in the Heresy. To the far right was a Daemon named Ingethel the Ascended who until now, was completely unknown. Suggestions were made in 40k circles that he may even be completely written out of the Heresy series. Not only did Aaron include him in The First Heretic, he did the original art work justice and based his description of Ingethel solely off this picture. Well done Aaron, a subtle nod to people more involved with 40k lore.

I think Aaron has pulled something amazing off with The First Heretic, it’s a well paced, one way ride into the depths of hell and back again. Finally the Word Bearers have their side of the heresy revealed and come out on the other side ultimately far cooler than they were before. Aaron ticks all the boxes with this one and asserts himself as the new Black Library heavy hitter who can stand confidently beside Abnett and McNeil and no longer in their shadows. A must read.

High Point: Daemon possessed Space Marines. Or more to the point, what it’s like to be one. I just loved everything about them. From the twisted gifts the warp allows, to the conversation the marines have in their heads with their individual daemons. Twisted...

Low Point: I was really searching for this one, but maybe Lorgar was a little too... human natured. At times he seemed a bit of a pushover for Kor Phaeron and Erebus. Surely a son of the Emperor of mankind would be harder to manipulate? Maybe? Maybe not? Food for thought.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nemesis By James Swallow

Nemesis is the 13th book in the current Horus Heresy series of books from the Black Library. While some books in the series run sequential or standalone to one another, Nemesis falls somewhere in the middle. While it uses characters established in previous books, it introduces enough new fresh faces to allow someone with a basic Heresy knowledge to get away with reading this as a standalone. However, as with all Heresy books, reading them in sequence allows for the best character and plot emersion and thus, the best reading experience. Well, in this reviewers opinion anyway.

Nemesis introduces the reader to the cloak and dagger world of the Officio Assassinorum, which is basically an Imperial assassin’s guild set in the 31st millennium. As Horus continues on his bloody warpath to Terra, decisions are made in secret to combine the might of all the different Assassin Clades (guilds) to form a specialised Kill Team with the single goal of dispatching Horus before he can get anywhere near the Sol system. Considering the Assassin Clades are not fans of one another at the best of times, and until now all Assassin missions have been solo ventures organised by individual Clades. It makes the joint venture quite a big deal in the world of the Officio Assassinorum. Swallow does his best to breathe individuality and personality into each of the members of the Kill Team. I was particularly fond of the Kell (Vindicare sniper), Koyne (Callidus shapeshifter) and Iota (Culexus psyker killer) who in my opinion was the best character of the Kill Team. Iota is a puzzling character, she was test tube raised and has little connection with how humans think and interact. She spends a good proportion of the book trying to understand human emotions and feelings which is an interesting twist. The fact that she’s stealthy, deadly and female further add to her ultimate coolness. I did find the characters of “The Garantine” (Eversor rage-killer), Soalm (Venenum poisioner) and Tariel (Vanus data-freak) a little clich├ęd and dull. But the way Swallow writes his interactions between members of the Kill Team allow the better characters to make up for the dullness of a few.

While the kill team go to work setting up the greatest hit in Imperial history, Erebus of the Word Bearers decides that ‘what they can do, I can do better’ and creates his own assassin, Spear. Now I won’t go into too much detail about Spear, as the unfolding of what Spear is, and how he came to be is an integral part of plot development. What I will say is Spear is badass. As the story progresses and you find out what Spear is and what he can do, it’s hard not to like... it. I often found myself rooting for Spear and enjoying the various ways he can take the human body apart... Opps, I’ve already said too much. I’ll leave the juicy details till when you read the book yourself.

The different story arc’s of the Kill Team and Spear are set on an eventual collision course on the planet of Dagonet which is in the middle of a planetary civil war. What at first appears as the perfect set up for the Kill team quickly turns into a desperate struggle to stop an even greater threat to the Emperor of man-kind than Horus... The Spear thing. If your thing is action then once you slog through the first third of the book, there is violence and mayhem aplenty. Between the Kill team and the Spear thing, the book racks up a nice body count, and as previously mentioned. Some of the things Spear can do simply boggle the mind. For all intensive purposes he seems unstoppable... or is he?

Overall, a cracker of a read! Slow to start, but comes home like a power fist to the face. It does little to advance the Heresy plot in the grander scheme of things, but I guess that’s not the point of the Assassin Clades, they work in the shadows, behind the veil of normality. And in that same way, that’s why this book works so well. So much happens on Dagonet, yet ultimately it affects the Heresy in such a small and insignificant way that it could not have happened at all. And that’s why I like it.

High Point: The paragraph where Kell the sniper takes his shot at Horus. You follow the path of the bullet from hammer fall to target in a way that makes you feel like your right inside the gun. It’s well written and very cool. Hang on... was that even Horus?

Low Point: Iota’s final outcome. I hated it so because I liked her character so much. But I guess it had to happen, this is 40K after all, and there are no happy endings in 40K.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Raven's Flight By Gav Thorpe

Raven’s Flight centres around the events after the drop site massacre at Istvaan V. Sequentially, it fits in where Galaxy in flames and Fulgrim left off. So if like me, you’re desperate to find out what has become of the Raven Guard, Salamanders and Iron Hands after Galaxy in Flames, then this audio book is the answer to your prayers. The story involves Primarch Corax and what’s left of his Raven Guard legion of Space Marines and their desperate struggle to survive against the combined might of the traitor legions on Istvaan V. You see, Corax managed to escape the drop site betrayal, and along with a few thousand of his Space Marines, is fighting a losing battle to stay hidden and alive. Meanwhile the combined might of the Iron Warriors and World Eaters legions attempts to hunt down and destroy them. The narrative jumps between Corax and his efforts on Istvaan V, to the Raven Guards homeworld Deliverance. Where a Colonel of the Imperial army is having dreams he believes are a warning that all is not well at Istvaan. Unfortunately, the small force of Raven Guard left in charge at Deliverance fail to agree with the Colonel, and an ensuring debate about whether to rush to Corax’s aid or stay put on Deliverance as ordered, slowly unfolds to the listener. I won’t reveal all the details as to the fate of the Raven Guard and Corax, but if you know your 40K history, then you’re bound to know the outcome before beginning this audio book.

Despite one chapter of the audio book dedicated to a battle between the remaining Raven Guard and an armoured Iron Warriors force. The book surprisingly does not contain much action. Instead, Thorpe uses this time to reflect on the history of the Raven Guard and in particular Corax. This is done mostly by flashbacks and Corax’s memories as he contemplates the fallout of Istvaan. For those of you interested in Raven Guard history, it’s a fantastic insight into Corax before the Emperor’s intervention on Deliverance, and also into the thinking and rational of the Raven Guard Primarch as he stands now during the Great Crusade. I did find the alternate storyline back on Deliverance rather boring. Most of the time I was just waiting for it to be over so the action would shift back to Istvaan which was far more interesting and engaging. The one battle that is described is unique in that it’s told from Corax’s point of view. If you think a Primarch couldn’t take out 3 Thunderstrikes, a predator tank, a terminator squad and several squads of tactical marines single-handedly, then I’m afraid you’re dead wrong.

The voice acting in Raven’s Flight is quite good. The narrator Toby Longworth does a commendable job of differentiating his voice to make the reader believe they are listening to several different characters speak. I’m pleased to say that unlike in previous Horus Heresy audio books, the Primarch doesn’t sound like he hasn’t hit puberty yet (see my review regarding Rogal Dorn in The Dark King/The Lightening Tower). Primarch and Space Marines voices are deep and resounding like you would imagine them to be, although one of Corax’s veterans could use an asthma puffer. The sound effects for this audio drama have also improved over earlier versions, not so much the battle effects. More so the general sound effects in the background during non-action sequences. In particular, listen out for great shower, shaving and dressing effects as Colonel Valerius gets prepared in the morning. You really do feel like you’re there with him, well not directly in the shower with him as that would be a little uncomfortable.

Overall, I did enjoy the audio book. Some parts did get a little boring, but the ensuring action back on Istvaan does more than enough to make up for these slower parts of the story. The history regarding Corax is the real treasure here, as until now, Corax has been a very absent figure from the Horus Heresy series. However, some plot holes regarding the extraction of Corax and his men from Istvaan V did bother me, and despite all the action centred around the Raven Guard Primarch. There is no dedicated describing of Corax’s appearance, so the entire time he’s speaking it’s hard to imagine how he looks, because of this I found his appearance more of a mental blur in my mind rather than a defined figure. A bit disappointing.

High Point: Learning about Corax’s unique and very secret special ability. I will say no more.

Low Point: The plot hole regarding Corax’s rescue from Istvaan. How did one single Raven Guard ship slip past all the Traitor Legion fleets anchored around Istvaan V, make an aggressive rescue drop and get back out alive again? I just can’t see how this is plausible. And there is no description in the audio book as to how this was achieved.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rynn's World By Steve Parker

Rynn’s World is the first in a new series of Space Marine Battles novels from the Black Library. Essentially, the new Battles series is the retelling of famous battles the Space Marines have participated in over the time since the Heresy, the series will involve many different chapters and will all be stand alone titles with no sequential reading needed. Rynn’s World involves the historic battle of the Crimson Fist’s Space Marines chapter against a massive Ork Waaagh!(a massive Ork crusade for those playing at home) descends upon their homeworld. Imaginatively called... Rynn’s World.

For the first time, The Crimson Fists chapter finally get to have their moment in the spotlight, Author Steve Parker spends the first few chapters of the book really delving into the chapter’s inner most workings from structure, doctrine and important characters to describing their fortress monastery Arx Tyrannus. Unfortunately, you don’t get much time to get acquainted with many of the chapter’s characters as before long an Ork Waaagh! of unseen proportions, descends upon their homeworld and goes to work on systematically reducing it to a burnt cinder. Without spoiling the plot too much for you, a chance event renders the Crimson Fists chapter to ruins with the majority of their number dead and Arx Tyrannus a smoking crater in the ground. What’s left of the chapter remains fighting off the Ork horde from the planets last bastion of defence, the homeworld capital New Rynn City. Much of the book centres around the fighting at the capital city, but to break up the action, a parallel side story involving the survivors from Arx Tyrannus gives the reader an experience of the Ork Waaagh! from a more up close and personal perspective. If you don’t already know, which as a 40K fan you should, the Crimsons Fists only barley survive the Ork Waaagh! and are left with a Chapter and homework in tatters.

While I did kind of enjoy the book, there were things I did not love about Rynn’s World. Firstly I found that I had some trouble connecting with a lot of the Crimson Fist characters. To some degree this is due to most of the characters dying very quickly. But even the characters that manage to make it to the end only started to grow on me by the last third of the book. By the time I found myself actually caring for their welfare, the book was over. I wonder if that comes down to the actual way it is written by Parker, or the Space Marine chapter itself, which tended to be lacking some uniqueness. The story could have easily been about the Imperial Fists or Ultramarines... just with different colours.

Secondly, what I felt the story was crying out for is a known 40K conundrum. With such a heavy Ork influence, the book begs for a chapter or two from the Ork’s perspective. The major problem with this being, writing such a chapter would be near impossible considering humans are supposed to have no idea how an Ork thinks or feels. This is further compounded by the fact that reading Ork language for any long periods of time gives most readers headaches. Yet, I just kept feeling like a few small chapters telling the same story from the Ork’s perspective would have made what is an ok book into a good book. On the positive side, Steve Parker does his best to describe in detail Ork culture and warfare from the eyes of the Imperium. In this respect he does a commendable job.

Besides the above problems I had with the book, the series is called Space Marine Battles for a reason, if you love fighting, fighting and more fighting. You won’t be disappointed by this book. Once the first few chapters are out of the way it’s basically action all the way to the finish and beyond. While some readers may love this, others may like their 40K with engaging dialogue and complex plots. Although I enjoy the latter, you can’t pick up a battles novel and expect it to be the next Horus Rising can you? In that respect, Rynn’s World delivers exactly what it intends to. The telling of a famous event in Imperial history with a dump truck of action thrown in. Just don’t expect an emotional roller coaster.

High point: Space Marine death match with a power armoured Ork Warboss (basically a Terminator equivalent Ork). And just when you think it’s done and dusted, someone makes a surprising comeback.

Low point: Not getting to see some Titan vs Gargant action!