An Open (Video) Letter to Games Workshop

I couldn’t agree more with what is said in this video!

Book Review: Enforcer

Enforcer by Matthew Farrer

Enforcer is an omnibus of books about the Adeptus Arbites (the Imperial law enforcement and judicial body). The books include Crossfire, Legacy, and Blind as well as three small dossiers of bonus material. The stories are focused on Shira Calpurnia, a recently promoted Arbites officer who arrives at her new post to begin her elevated duties. The post is situated on the capital planet in a foreign system with unfamiliar customs and traditions. Amidst the chaos of trying to find her bearings, she is subject to an assassination attempt and quickly thrown into a full-fledged investigation without time to adjust to the new environment. Read more of this post

Book Review: Soul Hunter

Soul Hunter by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Aaron Dembski-Bowden is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. He has an incredible ability to draw the reader in to complex scenarios without getting bogged down on unimportant details while maintaining a rich atmosphere and intriguing characters, even when they are destined to die a chapter into their introduction. The other book I’ve read by him is Helsreach and, as with Soul Hunter, I had trouble putting it down. Read more of this post

Book Review: The Horus Heresy – Books 1 through 5

HappyDD was kind enough to send along his review of the first five novels in The Horus Heresy series:

Throughout this review I am going to use a lot of jargon from the 40K universe without defining it, as it would be too laborious to define everything. This is intended to be read by those with a passing familiarity with the universe.

The first five books of The Horus Heresy series by Black Library are part of an indefinite series that currently stands at 50,000 books (ok, so it’s currently at a book 18 being published in January 2012, but damn this is a long series). Read more of this post

Audio Book Review: Heart of Rage


Heart of Rage by James Swallow

What I liked:

  • The production level was high and used some nice sound effects and ambient noise to help portray a vivid environment.

What I didn’t like:

  • The voices for many of the actors were irritating. One of the main characters sounded more like a spoiled brat than a space marine.
  • At only 72 minutes long the story was far too short and there wasn’t enough time to develop the characters. I found myself not caring about what happened to any of them.
  • The arrogant self righteousness between characters was irritating. This has long been a peeve of mine with 40k fiction.

Conclusion:

I was hesitant to write a review for this at all because I was very unimpressed with it, but maybe someone who is considering buying or listening to it will read this and save their time and money. Unless you are a completest, avoid.

On a more general note, in regards to 40k fiction, one of my biggest dislikes is the tired repetition of the obvious, something that plagues the Heart of Rage. I understand that a book or audio drama (as Heart of Rage is marketed) has to be somewhat self supporting and supply a new reader with enough information to understand the subject matter… especially in a universe as complex as that of W40k. That said, the reader should not be presumed to be mentally incompetent and doesn’t need to be reminded every 15 minutes. Further to that, the mechanisms used to do this in 40k fiction are often annoyingly illogical. I’ll never understand why genetically modified super humans who train for decades before serving in elite units of dedicated brethren need to be reminded who they are and what they fight for. A narrative that simply explains it without a bunch of ridiculous dialogue would be much nicer in my opinion.

Book Review: Storm of Iron


Storm of Iron
by Graham McNeill

What I liked:

  • The characters are believable and appropriately developed.
  • There are various Imperial groups represented in the story and they interact with each other appropriately. While some groups are more secretive, elite, or bound to protocol than others they still support each other and show mutual respect because they all fight for the Emperor. This is lacking in other stories where you wonder how anything in Imperium is accomplished at all.
  • Excellent job of portraying the power struggle that Chaos characters are faced with and how they deal with it differently. I would have preferred more of the political maneuvering but it may not have been suited to the pace of the book.
  • Multiple sub-plots that serve the main plot well and intertwine believably.
  • Unpredictable twists and betrayals.

What I didn’t like:

  • My only gripe with the book is that some of the combat was a bit too drawn out for my own taste. It’s something that I struggle with in many books about warfare but I suppose it is appropriate given the subject matter. I heard it referred to as war porn once and that sounded like a great name for it. That said, it’s not over board in this book and it didn’t tarnish my opinion of the story.

Conclusion:
I had heard and read a lot of good things about the book before picking it up, so my expectations were high. I wasn’t disappointed and definitely recommend giving it a read. That said, I typically assume that I shouldn’t be expecting a mind blowing read for anything associated with a saga or ‘world’, such as Dragon Lance or Warhammer 40k, so take that for what it’s worth. As these sorts of novels go I thoroughly enjoy Storm of Iron and can see myself reading it again at some point. This was the first novel by Graham McNeill that I’ve read and I’m looking forward to reading his other books in the future.