Friday, January 4, 2008

REVIEW: Deus Sanguinius

Review This bit doesn't give the plot of the book away

Deus Sanguinius is the second and final book in the Blood Angel saga that began with Deus Encarmine. I gave that book a poor review and I'm afraid things haven't improved at all for the next installment.

I was hoping that my difficulties with Encarmine lay with the fact it had to introduce lots of characters and the plot, and that once the characters were established the pace would quicken. If anything, it slowed.

We get page after page of dense blocks of text explaining the dull and earnest inner thoughts of the characters and yet still we don't care about them. For all the internal monologues the book feels very thin in terms of characterisation and none of the characters has any real story arc or significant emotional journey. It's all so predictable.

The writing is right on the nose, too, with no subtext at all. The bad guy you suspect in book one turns out to be the bad guy in book two. The goodies win. The baddies lose. There is no surprising 'twist' in the tale. Everything builds to a conclusion you already leapt to halfway through the first novel.

Just when you think the turgid prose will be jettisoned in favour of a decisive, pacy finale the descriptions lengthen. We get over 100 pages of the last climactic battle! The material in these two novels seems to have been stretched very thin indeed, in fact there is only enough plot for one book.

Very, very disappointing.

Summary Deus Sanguinius is as slow as an Obliterator moving through difficult terrain and as deep as an Ork who has taken a bolter shell to the brain.

Score 3/10


All of my reviews end in a score out of ten for the product. The table below explains what that score means.

  • 10/10 Perfect, absolutely nothing better
  • 9/10 Excellent, highly recommended
  • 8/10 Very good, recommended
  • 7/10 Good
  • 6/10 Above average, some problems
  • 5/10 Average, some good points some bad points
  • 4/10 Below average, some redeeming features
  • 3/10 Poor, major flaws
  • 2/10 Very poor, avoid if possible
  • 1/10 Absolutely appalling

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