Thursday, January 29, 2009

GENERAL: Bi monthly book update

I feel like I'm getting somewhere with my reading pile.

I finally finished American Gods which was a fantastic, flawed, sprawling epic road trip. It's the kind of book that gives you a tingle up the spine at the audacity of some of the ideas. Fortunately Neil Gaiman had the writing ability to take on the massive themes and still make the characters matter. If you only ever read Games Workshop novels this type of book is a reason why not to. The whole scope of the book and the sheer quality of the writing are eye opening. I'd put it into the same category as The Diceman and Catch 22. They're long books that you really need to put some effort into reading but it's worth it.

With that out of the way, and Fighter Boys before it, I concentrated on reading some Games Workshop publications.

First I finished off Imperial Armour 6: Siege of Vraks Volume 2. The second book in the Imperial Armour Vraks series was originally slated to be the concluding book but is now the middle book of three. This confusion in direction transfers to the book contents as the story meanders about without any real purpose and the rules seem counter intuitive. Why, when Forge World have produced Chaos Renegades with a distinctly Nurglesque feel, have they written a Khorne army list?

The narrative started out stronger than I expected with better descriptive passages and fewer spelling mistakes. I actually had the thought while I was reading it that it had been edited. Perish the thought!

Normal service is resumed about halfway through, though, presumably at the point Forge World realised that they weren't going to wrap things up in one book and had better just get this book out right now. The repetitious sentences turn up, as do the spelling mistakes.

Still, the photographs and art are just stunning with the Kopinski portraits in particular getting better and better. The models look great too.

Mechanicum was a must have and I started devouring this book almost immediately I got my grubby little paws on it. I am a big Graham McNeill fan and I rate him as probably the second best author currently working for the Black Library, just behind Dan Abnett. The good news is that Mechanicum doesn't faff about getting into it's stride. By the time the book starts the lines on Mars are already drawn, the sides have been chosen and everyone is just waiting for the incident that will spark off the coming conflict. The battles are well written and include the Skitarii, Knights and of course Titans.

The biggest controversy with the book is the whole 'Void Dragon' on Mars plot line. The book hints that the Emperor defeated the Dragon on Earth in AD 1100 and then imprisoned it upon Mars later. Really?

Unlike some of the other recent Horus Heresy novels the book does introduce a lot of new information regarding the Adeptus Mechanicus and the civil war itself so for this we should be thankful.

I wasn't blown away by this book but it is better than many of the more recent Horus Heresy novels.

Warriors of Ultramar was a good, solid read. It was like an amalgamation of all your favourite action movies rolled into one; I saw Aliens, Predator, every war film ever made and a host of others. Whether you think this is a warm-hearted reinterpretation of age old stories or just plain plagiarism I'll leave to you to decide. In any case it is action packed and gory and reads very quickly. It also has quite a nasty streak, which is a good thing and a little out of the ordinary for Black Library books. Recommended.

Books read.
  • Mechanicum
  • Imperial Armour 6: Siege of Vraks Volume 2
  • Warriors of Ultramar

Books bought.
  • None

Books wanted.
  • Red Fury
  • Planetkill
  • Titanicus
  • Imperial Guard Omnibus Volume 1

Here's what I already own and still need to read:
  • Imperial Armour Three: The Taros campaign
  • Liber Chaotica
  • Storm of Chaos
  • Imperial Infantryman's Primer (Damocles Gulf edition)
  • The Life of Sigmar
  • Faith and Fire
  • Dark Apostle
  • Cardinal Crimson
  • Dead Sky, Black Sun
  • 13th Legion
  • Kill Team
  • Annihilation Squad
  • Space Wolf
  • Ragnar's Claw
  • Grey Hunter
  • Soul Drinker
  • The Bleeding Chalice
  • Crimson Tears
  • Soldier
  • Imperial Armour Model Masterclass Volume 1
  • Codex: Space Marines
  • Warriors of Chaos army book

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