Warhammer 40K – Although I suppose it should be Warhamer 30K since this is a Horus Heresy book. Hmm ... where to start. Well, this is a Blood Angel book, written by James Swallow. I'm not a huge fan of either however, I am a fan of the Horus Heresy series and a completist so I have an unnatural compulsion to read and own all of these books. Which apparently is a problem I share with many other people, as the Black Library has taken to releasing special limited edition short novella for limited periods of time to grab more cash from those addicted to the Heresy. I have stayed strong and avoided these as I'm sure they will eventually be released in paperback as part of an anthology (much like the audio dramas are coming out soon in the next book). Ah, and then they've decided to release these in hardcover first (like a real publisher to grab some extra revenue). Good for them I'm actually glad to see the Black Library having such success, as it means more good books (and a bunch of terrible ones, but lets stay positive).
Wow, that was quite the tangent. Anyway back to the review. The story finds Sanguinius and his entire legion sent to the far reaches of the galaxy to fight an alien menace as ordered by the Warmaster Horus. When they arrive a bunch of weird stuff starts happening (ala Event Horizon and Pandora) and the crew starts killing each other. As they go deeper into the system it gets crazier and crazier until the daemons reveal themselves as such and full scale conflict breaks out.
I like that this delves a little deeper into the Black Rage and shows that it has always been part of the flawed geneseed of the Blood Angels. Previous cannon texts have indicated that the Black Rage was a marine reliving Saguinius's final battle with Horus which never really sat right with me. If the geneseed came from before Saguinius died then how would it be tainted with what he experienced during that final battle?
Anyway if you can get through the first 2-3 chapters of the book the action picks up and it's a pretty fun read. Slaanesh and Khorne have teamed up to lure the Angels to become their chosen. The Word Bearers have set up the whole thing and there are Space Wolves around to police the Librarians. To fight the daemons and save Sangunius they must break the edict of the Emperor of mankind.
Some of the authors from the Black Library just rub me the wrong way. It's not that there's anything wrong with their style, I just don't enjoy it and unfortunately James Swallow is one of those authors (Nick Kyme is the other). Something about the way they write just takes me forever to read, like I'm working to enjoy it.
If you're a hardcore fan of the Blood Angels or Daemons then this is a must read. If you like the Horus Heresy series and are a fan this is a must read. If you're neither of these you'd probably be better off passing on this book as it's one of the weaker stories so far.