Wednesday, May 27, 2009

GENERAL: Bi-monthly book update

I got two new Games Workshop novels through the post recently but I still haven't broken my New Year resolution not to buy Games Workshop novels. Confused? Angry? Apathetic? Just sit down, have a nice cup of tea and a biscuit, and I'll explain all. It'll all be over soon.

I explained the exact details in this post but the short story is that I won both The Killing Ground and Courage and Honour in a competition on Graeme's Fantasy book review blog. They are books four and five in Graham McNeill's Ultramarine series and I look forward to reading them later in the year, having already finished the first three books.

Unfortunately the acquisition of books continues.

I was in town with an hour to kill before a dentist's appointment and found a second hand book shop to browse in. I came across Bomber Boys by Patrick Bishop. I had previously read and enjoyed the companion book Fighter Boys so I bought the book for £3. I hope that reading this book will give me some inspiration for my Aeronautica Imperialis games.

Of course I had to buy the new Imperial Guard codex on the day of it's release. I've just started reading the book but I'm already further through it than the Space Marine codex that I picked up a few months ago. I guess it shows which book and army I prefer.

At least I showed some uncharacteristic self control by not buying the models to go with it (the Valkyries were flying off the shelves while I was there - boom boom).

Oh, and I did actually read a book too!

It was 13th Legion by Gav Thorpe, but calling it a novel is a bit of a stretch. It is really a collection of short stories in which the Last Chancers first appeared along with a longer novella which attempts to tie everything together. Gav makes a decent stab at this but the roots of the book are obvious and there is no strong narrative to hold the reader's attention.

The characters come and go with alarming, and refreshing, regularity so the only continuity we have is with Lieutenant Kage. Indeed we see all of the action through his eyes in a shift way from the third person perspective of most Black Library fiction. This is both a positive and a negative.

I like it because we experience the Warhammer 40,000 universe from the inside and just as we settle into our nice, comfortable 21st century morality Gav jolts us with some 'challenging' behaviour via Kage. I felt some affinity with Kage despite the fact that he is a rage filled killing machine which is no mean achievement for the writer.

Where it fails is in the story telling and as I've mentioned the narrative isn't strong enough to grip. There is also a technical problem in that Kage has to be present at all the major plot points so that we know what is going on - if he is knocked unconscious in a fight scene we don't see the rest of the fight. I'll be intrigued to see if Gav keeps to this point of view in the later books.

All in all I'd say that this book has interested me in the idea of the Last Chancers and I'd like to see what happens to Kage but the book itself ain't that great.

Books read.
  • 13th Legion

Books bought.
  • Bomber Boys
  • Imperial Guard codex
  • The Killing Ground
  • Courage and Honour

Books wanted.
  • Red Fury
  • Planetkill
  • Titanicus
  • Imperial Guard Omnibus Volume 1
  • Creatures Anathema
  • The Horus Heresy: Collected Visions
  • Imperial Armour IV: The Anphelion Project
  • Tales of Heresy
  • The Grey Knights Omnibus
  • Heroes of the Space Marines
  • Scourge the Heretic
  • Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium
  • Rogue Star
  • Star of Damocles
  • Lord of the Night

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
  • Kill Team
  • Annihilation Squad
  • Space Wolf
  • Ragnar's Claw
  • Grey Hunter
  • Soul Drinker
  • The Bleeding Chalice
  • Crimson Tears
  • Soldier
  • Codex: Space Marines
  • Warriors of Chaos army book
  • Disciples of the Dark Gods
See you again in two months.

No comments:

Post a Comment