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sweetdaddyg

Black Library, anyone a fan?

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I liked that Nemesis wasn't about marines- the Heresy, as a setting, wasn't solely about marines and it's nice to have the occasional book that looks at it from another angle (Mechanicum is another of these). However, it's telling that, a year after reading it, I can;t really remember much of what happened - you're right that you could skip over it and not miss anything signifcant.

I totally agree that it's good to have outside viewpoints, but when you're reading a series which at the moment is around 20 books long and still not near the end, I just want to get on with the main story. I's have preferred it if books like this one and Machinacim are labeled as being around the HH series, but not essential. Kind've like the Garro audio series (which I'm listening through at the moment. I air-punched at the end of Legion of One :D )

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I think the point is that the heresy books aren't an ongoing series any more (and haven't been, really, since the first four books). It's a wide setting with a lot of scope and you have to look the synopsis for each book as it comes along and decide whether it appeals.

I do find myself wondering what will happen if they ever get to the siege of terra, and the fnal faceoff on the Vengeful Spirit. It's the one bit of the heresy that has been described in some detail.

Oh, and thanks for the after Ullanor tip. Listened to the lot last week and really enjoyed it. Interesting to hear discussion of books I haven't read for 7 years and how much I remembered. Made me want to go back and re-read, but I'll finish the book I'm on first. And I might give that garro audio a go. How long is it?

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The Garro series are short. Barely more than what would be a couple of chapters in an unabridged audio novel, I've only listened to the first two, Oath of Moment and Legion of One (making the mistake of listening to Legion of One first, because I'm an idiot) and both are less than two hours each.

But their production quality is excellent. Toby Longworth is one of my favourite voice actors to narrate audio (his work on Peter F Hamilton's Great North Road is especially good), and he hits the nail firmly on the head with his delivery.

Also, the ending to Legion of One had me punching the air. You'll see why ^_^

After I'm done with Garro I think I'll move onto the other BL audio shorts, but not the HH ones. BL only do unabridged audio versions, which is a huge loss IMO.

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There usually aren't many jokes in Black library books, but I got a proper LOL from Deliverance Lost this morning when I realised that The Emperor, beloved by all, master of mankind, and the rightful ruler of the galaxy

had used the old "shave and a haircut" as the secret knock to get into the Primarch project labs.

The vault beyond was barred by a harmonic lock, attuned to an extremely narrow frequency of sound wave. There were certain parts of the rock that were linked to amplifiers within the structure, and the location of these had been revealed to Corax by the Emperors memories. He raised his fist to the first area and ran through the position and timing of each blow required to generate the correct harmonic key.

He banged his gauntlet against the rock face, the blows resounding deep within the hollow beyond the cliff but muffled by the howling wind and snow.

Knock. Knock-knock knock-knock. Knock-knock.

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I used to be a great devourer of BL's work but grew kinda bored with it in recent years. The Heresey series is obviously the most interesting thing to happen for some time but it's rapidly squandering that intrigue by bloating to so many books with such varying levels of quality. My main frustration with BL's 40K books was that there could never be any 'game-changing' plots because the universe was largely set in stone, so if a new technology or threat was encountered then odds are it would be destroyed/buried by the end of the same book.

I think the paradox is that we want to know more about the Emperor/Primarchs, but the more we know the less they become. The Primarchs come across as children in super-human bodies, which brings nice fallability in some circumstances but bizzare incompetence in others, and similarly the Emperor swerves between 'I know all' and 'herp-derp-de-derp!' in his various decisions. Dembski-Bowden is probably doing the most interesting stuff as he really ponders such things. I loved his decision to show the Dark Angels as being autistic around humans, plus his Primarch interactions are always interesting. Mostly though, I like him because he pushes back against BL. Consistently late with their ridiculous deadlines because he refuses to turn in cookie-cutter boom boom bolter fare, refusing to have an 'official' blog because he considers their censorship ridiculous, and complaining about the double-standards of 'you just described this guy being eviscerated with a chain-sword, that's cool, but no sex scenes or naughty words please' in interviews.

Abnett's Prospero Burns was the last one I read but didn't manage to finish. It felt like a bizzare trap in that it started off with compelling action then, once you were invested, became some kind of dry academic's observations of the Astartes. I'm all for some character between the violence but this just felt oddly uneven, I know we were supposed to share a sense of 'wtf? Where? What?' with the main character but it just ended up irritating me after a while. I put it down and couldn't get back to it. Abnett was the one who first got me into 40K though, as I'm sure he did many others, I devoured Gaunts Ghosts before it jumped the shark (that would be the point at which a squad of Gaunt and his best take out some Chaos Marines. Not happening).

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I';ve just started Know No fear, which is the kickoff of the major Ultramarines / Word Bearers slugfest at Calth, which I;m enjoying. It's Abnett, and is written in the present tense, which is an interesting change of style form the other heresy books. it also doesn't have the little subheadings for each chapter, instead having timecodes.

complaining about the double-standards of 'you just described this guy being eviscerated with a chain-sword, that's cool, but no sex scenes or naughty words please' in interviews.

It's iuneresting you mention the "naughty words" because this book at one point has an Ultramarine describes there being "shit-loads" of something. Struck me as off, as you don;t usally get swearing, and it's just not a term you'd expect to hear from a Marine...

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I've been reading a lot of the Iron Warriors books recently. I read the Omnibus and really enjoyed it. Though annoyingly one of the major characters had some major, character driving events happen to them in some other book.

I'm slowly working my way through The Siege Of Castellax at the mo and it's pretty good so far...

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Reread the first ten books of HH after forgetting what happened previously. Currently reading Thousand Sons. I still find Astartes hard to root for. I know the lore of current 40k are that they are space fascists, I was hoping at the start of the crusades there would be more grey areas. The comply or die schtick is rather full on.

I would have liked Horus to turn because

of either lofty ambitions, or because the Emperor seems a bit of a bastard. Not because Chaos basically turned him. Same with Fulgrim. Alpha Legion are the only ones (so far) with an interesting reason to turn traitor.

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I finished Fulgrim, Legion and currently reading Mechanananananannananaicum

Fulgrim:

That was a messy book, liked the fall of Fulgrim, and felt sad for him in the end as he gives up to oblivion and becomes a meat sack for a greater daemon of Slaanesh.

The only thing I find odd is how the Primach of the Iron Hands gets beasted twice, the fights are short and very one sided.

So too the death of Vulcan, quick and brutal.

The arrival of the supporting legions - Iron Warriors, Word bearers etc :(

Legion:

Didn't really click with this book, felt pretty dull all the way to the end and the final big reveal that the Alpha Legion aren't traitors but still go on to fuck the Imperium and end up worshiping Chaos undivided is very unsatisfying.

Mechanicum

Still reading this but enjoying the journey so far, Throughout the books you get this aching sense of loss knowledge that is about to befall Mankind.

The close possibility of a unified galaxy rent asunder on the altar of corrupted pride.

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Perhaps, not knowing the history of the alpha legion save codex chaos in the 90s it just felt like it was akin to this:

Betray the emperor? HERESY!

Oh go on, please!

Ok then!

It didn't feel satisfying, fulgrims fall was better handled

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Legion probably makes more sense in context with the 40k stuff that's been written about them over the last decade, and the later Heresy books build on it too. Taken altogether, it's still not clear whether some, all or none of them really turned Traitor or ever worshipped Chaos. A few of the authors have commented how it's strange that, in a book filled with schemes and deception, everyone takes that final scene at face value.

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Alpharious might consider the 'true' Emperor to be the Warmaster himself.

I think the main problem with the book is that the Alpha legion are barely in it - does another book deal with the period up to Istvaan III from their point of view?

I am looking forward to the next After Ullanor podcast

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Reread the first ten books of HH after forgetting what happened previously. Currently reading Thousand Sons. I still find Astartes hard to root for. I know the lore of current 40k are that they are space fascists, I was hoping at the start of the crusades there would be more grey areas. The comply or die schtick is rather full on.

I would have liked Horus to turn because

of either lofty ambitions, or because the Emperor seems a bit of a bastard. Not because Chaos basically turned him. Same with Fulgrim. Alpha Legion are the only ones (so far) with an interesting reason to turn traitor.

Whilst it's not part of the HH series you may want to check out ADB's Night Lords trilogy. It covers their part in the heresy and their continued rebellion against the Imperium. There's a lot of soul searching (no pun intended) as to what their motivations for rebellion were and still are and they come across as a much more complex legion than those that fully embraced Chaos.

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Perhaps, not knowing the history of the alpha legion save codex chaos in the 90s it just felt like it was akin to this:

Betray the emperor? HERESY!

Oh go on, please!

Ok then!

It didn't feel satisfying, fulgrims fall was better handled

Funnily enough I feel the complete opposite. WHile I didn't dislike Filgrim, it was a very by the numbers fall from grace. Abnett handled Legion in a much better explained retional IMO. Until you get to My First Heretic it was my second favourite HH book after Horus Rising.

Whilst it's not part of the HH series you may want to check out ADB's Night Lords trilogy..... There's a lot of soul searching (no pun intended) as to what their motivations for rebellion were and still are and they come across as a much more complex legion than those that fully embraced Chaos.

This is kind've what I meant by the above. ADB did a great job in FIrst Heretic in explaining the descent of a traitor legion, and while I have no interest in the Chaos side in the game, I'd read this series to flesh out the other side of the war.

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I've been reading The Primarchs which has a good short story about Lion el Johnson. Whilst so much of the focus is on the traitor primarchs it's interesting to read about how the loyalists dealt with the heresy. This is an area that isn't so black and white with Johnson and Guileman having very different views on how to respond to the breakdown of the imperium.

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Stalled recently with my reading of them. Up to Nemesis at the moment, and have to say it's the first one which isn't really doing much for me. Found that the ones I liked the most are the Dark Angel ones...

Love the way they come across as absolute wankers, whilst the 'rebels' are the ones I wanted to cheer on throughout. Lion El'Johnson's a tosser...

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The Dark Angel ones did zero for me (I have only read the first two, I don't know if there are more). The first meandered for thee quarters of the novel, then changed direction with apparent point to it other than to tick off a legion, and the second... thinking now I can't even remember hat happened in it, and I read it in the last year.

I think GW missed a real opportunity when they ditched the original native american style of the DAs. The short story Deathwing in the Deathwing Space Hulk expansion was awesome. They could have done much more with it.

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I've finished reading Betrayer and I'd rate it as one of the best in the series. Some of the battles could have been cut down but that's my personal preference. Otherwise ADB has done a fantastic job with the difficult task of making the world eaters into something more than one dimensional berserkers. Kharn is a much more thoughtful and rounded character than I had expected and is now a favourite of mine.

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Finished Know No Fear last week - pretty good, though mostly an all-out battle book. That's fine, but I do tend to enjoy the ones that are more about intrigue. Plus, post-fall word bearers just aren;t all that interesting.

Started Angel Exterminatus, which seems very good so far. It starts out looking like it's going to be just an imperial Fists Vs Iron Warriors Seige story before quickly going off in another direction.

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Travelled a lot this month so crunched through Decent of Angels, Fallen Angels and The First Heretic

Angels

I had skipped these books due to the unfounded hatred of them, true they lack bolter porn but I liked the change in pacing, unlike most traitors Luther and co seem justified. I don't quite see how no one quibbled at the fact that Luther was covered in Chaos symbols though

The First Heretic

Again we face the issue of the reason for turning against the Imperium being 'but but but he lied to us!' I'd liked to have seen more explanation of Kor and Erebus activities in the 50 years leading up to Istvaan. I'd also like to understand what Lorgar saw during the Eye of terror.

The reveal about the room with the astropath was pretty grim, stuck with me for a while after reading.

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Travelled a lot this month so crunched through Decent of Angels, Fallen Angels and The First Heretic

The First Heretic

The reveal about the room with the astropath was pretty grim, stuck with me for a while after reading.

Yeah that was very well done.

I didn't dislike the Dark Angels books for what they were, although less than a year after reading them both I struggle to recall any one scene from either of them, but being a a Warhammer, and in particular Space Hulk, player of the old school I've never forgiven GW for going back on the original Dark Angels background of a native american analogue. That was so much cooler than the bog standard generic medieval one they're lumbered with now.

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The First Heretic

Again we face the issue of the reason for turning against the Imperium being 'but but but he lied to us!' I'd liked to have seen more explanation of Kor and Erebus activities in the 50 years leading up to Istvaan. I'd also like to understand what Lorgar saw during the Eye of terror.

The reveal about the room with the astropath was pretty grim, stuck with me for a while after reading.

If you want to know what happened to Lorgar you need to read the Novella 'Aurelian' you can get it from blacklibrary.com or at a games workshop. If really good Lorgar's motivation makes more sense and gives some hints as to what will happen later in the heresy .

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My problem with Descent of Angels isn't so much that it's a bad book (or the lack of bolter porn - I like the more character-based stuff in general), rather that it's all background that could have been woven into the second book. With a bit of editing, you could mash the two DA books together into one really good book about resentment and internal conflict- instead of two not-that-great ones.

and on The First Heretic

It's not so much "but he lied to us!"

it's more than that.

"He Humiliated us. Shamed us in front of an entire legion. We had to put up with being patronised by the Ultramarines for years, and we were right all along!"

In a way, it;s simliar to the emperor's mis-step with Magnus. the resentment's not just about finding you've been lied to, It's about the censure in front of the other legions and primarchs.

I'm liking Angel Exterminatus - It picks up Fulgrim's story and is making the Iron Warriors and Perturabo quite interesting.

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It's interesting you mention the "naughty words" because this book at one point has an Ultramarine describes there being "shit-loads" of something. Struck me as off, as you don;t usually get swearing, and it's just not a term you'd expect to hear from a Marine...

Huh, that's weird. As the defence often levelled by BL fans, and sometimes BL itself, is that present day swearwords aren't used because it's all 38,000 years in the future (so we get all the nonsensical made-up ones. Plus if you went with that line of reasoning, the characters wouldn't even be speaking english as we understand it). Sounds like that one slipped past them.

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