Wednesday, April 5, 2017

40K...err.. um...30K book report

Pharos: Dying of the Light

Well the Horus Heresy continues to crawl forward.

A quick online synopsis of the book…..

“Just as Guilliman’s dream of Imperium Secundus seems finally to be realized, the Night Lords launch a full invasion of distant Sotha. Their target? The mysterious Mount Pharos…

With the noble Emperor Sanguinius ruling from Macragge, Imperium Secundus stands as a lone beacon of hope even as the Warmaster’s forces continue to ravage the rest of the galaxy. Roboute Guilliman, still Master of Ultramar, has convinced his brother that Terra has fallen and that the mysterious Mount Pharos on Sotha now holds the key to mankind’s future. But the Night Lords, those cruel and pitiless sons of Konrad Curze, have been watching from the shadows, and make ready to launch their long-planned attack on the Pharos itself…”

See the series continues to stagnate in the whole 500 Worlds of Ultramar/ Imperium Secundus. Why? I am so tired of asking that question.

Anyway there is a planet with an alien communication/teleportation beacon on it, the Pharos. Here the good guys have set up shop to be able to communicate to each other through the ruin storm that still plagues the universe.

Then the Night Lords show up to claim the Pharos and torture the population of Sotha. The Night Lord stuff is equal parts good and awful. The awful? Well we are introduced to twin brother Night  Lords. I guess I am supposed to like them, but they are dead end characters who serve no real purpose. We get it the Night Lords are awful, but having to learn about the previous lives of these two bros prior to their ascension to Astartes is drek.

I did enjoy the rest of the Night Lord stuff where we see them at their worst. Goo to see them then  and still now as vile twisted comic book villains in power armor.

The most enjoyable part was the interaction between Curze and Sanguinius ( Emperor of Imperium Secundus Sanguinius ). That was a good bit of alright. More Curze for me please! He is just so unlikable that he is likeable.

The rest of the novel plays out as expected. There is battle and loss, but the good guys ( Ultramarines and friends ) sort of win by the end and the sort of don’t.

See the epilogue had a sweet fan boy reveal that I never ( or I doubt anyone else ) expected. See with the Pharos reaching into the void of space someone or more likely something/ things heard the call to the Ultramar system!

Still this series stagnates. Why are they not moving forward? I need another Ultramarine world story like another hole in the damn head. Yet still I read hoping that every book will eventually lead to the start of the big showdown on Terra.

Path of Heaven

The follow up to the Hersey novel Scars about…yup the White Scars 5th Legion.

An online plot synopsis…..
“For too long had the Vth Legion ranged out beyond the sight of the wider Imperium, remaining ignorant of the Warmaster’s rebellion and the war that inevitably followed. Only once their primarch, Jaghatai Khan, had satisfied himself that the path before them was just and true did the White Scars choose a side, taking the fight to the traitors on every front. But, four years later, the Legion’s unfettered spirit has been broken by relentless attrition warfare against the Death Guard and the Emperor’s Children – the Khan’s Stormseers must find a clear route to Terra if they are to take part in the final, apocalyptic battle.”

Four years after the events of Scars and the White Scars are now trying to get to Earth to help. I guess they tired of just doing a bunch of hit/run attacks on the bad Legions. Now they are trying to get away and are thwarted at every turn, well until they stumble upon a derelict ship that houses a big secret. Now they have a way to Terra to help.

I just had to suffer through a lot of bad to get to the meaty part of the story. See this novel relies a ton on knowledge gleaned from the previous novel Scars. Sadly, I remembered the main plot and that was it. There were a bunch of characters there that I didn’t care for and they all reappear here,  and I really didn’t remember anything about them. Well besides there was a split in the 5th Legion and the Horus supporters were cast aside to go die in space battles somewhere. Having all that come back up after 4-5 other Hersey novels sucks. This would have been better if the release was I don’t know… right after Scars or maybe with a single book in between.

Anyhoo, there is stuff going on with the Death Guard and the Emperor’s Children here too. Not awful stuff, but not great either. You also get the typical Space Marine battles and associated spaceship battles. There is a bit with Mortarion and Horus that is fun. We get a look at what the Emperor has been working on and a glimpse of a certain Xenos travel route as well.

There is a lot of dichotomy of man bandied about too. The Death Guard are still pure for the taint of Chaos and they are working with the Emperor’s Children who are rife with debauchery and Chaos. The Jagahti Khan fights for a father that doesn’t care about him while he fights his brothers he cares about. The Death Guard are on the side of no psykers and warp stuff, but are trying to understand/ use it as well. A nice touch and not used with a heavy hand.

Well this is the first novel ,in some time, that actually advances the 30K story a bit and stays away from the Ultramarine worlds. That was a long time coming since this like book 36 in this series. Now that I have said that the next slew of books will probably move backwards or sideways, thus keeping the series away from the conclusion and giant battle on Earth. You know the super cool stuff this series was based and what we are all waiting for!

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