Sunday, April 18, 2010

Storm of Iron By Graham McNeill

First and foremost, this novel is essentially a siege novel. The entire story centres around the siege of Hydra Cordatus by the Iron Warriors chaos space marine legion and the defence by the local imperial forces of their 'supposed' impregnable fortress. What I loved throughout the book is McNeill's details on the siege techniques of the Iron Warriors, at stages I found myself looking up actual siege techniques used by invading forces (thank you Wikipedia) as McNeill’s tactics seems very accurate and make a lot of sense! You end up thinking "Hey that’s quite smart" or "Yeah, I’d do the same thing". It should be just the thing you need next time you consider laying siege to your next door neighbours home.

The great thing about this particular book is the way it shares itself between the Chaos Space marines and the Imperial forces equally. You end up liking characters from both sides, and McNeill does a great job of making it very hard for you to decide who you want to win, I found myself constantly shifting between favourites as the battle progressed! Also, you never quite know who’s going to win as McNeill makes sure that just as one side gains an advantage, the other seems to strike back.

McNeill introduces several new Iron Warrior characters that you instantly seem to like (but dislike at the same time as they are filthy chaos scum remember) and the ensuring inter squabbling between all of them keeps the action within the Iron Warriors camp as hot as the bloody trenches of the Hydra Cordatus Citadel! I loved seeing the battle field and war tactics through the eyes of a Chaos Marine instead of a loyalist Space marine for a change, their hatred of Imperials and utter loathe of human life does make for a nice (but brutal) change of pace over the sometimes ‘goody two shoes’ way a loyalist Space Marine sometimes operates.

For those of you not in the know, you may like to read Mechanicum from the Horus Heresy series before this (It’s almost a standalone so you don’t need to read the Heresy books first if you don’t want) as some of the titan action from that book crosses over here with some notable 'building size' appearances.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat (well chair) and was a great introduction to the mighty Iron Warriors, in particular it introduces the Iron Warriors character Honsou. Who in this readers eyes, is probably the best bad ass baddie ive ever read from the Black Library. Plenty of surprises and twists! A must read in my humble opinion.

Also, It fits in perfectly between book two of the Ultramarine series Warriors of Ultramar and book three Dead sky, Black sun, both books are also by McNeill. In fact, the events straight after Storm of Iron is where Dead Sky, Black Sun takes off. So if you want to slot this book in here during your Ultramarines Saga reading then it’d be very worthwhile as characters from Storm of Iron are reintroduced within the first two pages of Dead Sky, Black Sun.

High Point: Guardsman Hawke evening up the battle with a well timed cyclonic torpedo! take that Forrix you douchebag!
Low Point: The ease at which some of the Iron Warriors seem to kill other Space Marines (not saying which legion, but if you know who the Iron Warriors bitter rivals are you can figure it out)... but seriously, aren’t they supposed to be somewhat evenly matched? hhmmm...


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