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Dawn Of War II (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Space Marine Battles) Mass Market Paperback – February 24, 2009
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Dawn Of War II (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Space Marine Battles) [Feb 24, 2009] Roberson, Chris …
Top customer reviews
My issue with this book is not it's childish prose (My Autistic 11 year old writes better than this guy.) It is not with the many pathetic mistakes in the background fluff (Service Studs are for 100 years of service not 50. They are called Gargoyles, not Hellbats, I could go on for day's) Not for the fact that, for the first time, I actually had to force myself to finish a Black Library book.
My beef is with the Black Library Editing, or total lack therof. This piece of literary garbage should have never been released from the Black Library in the first place! Chris Roberson has managed to give Black Library publishing a big black eye. I whole heartedly disagree with R. Bush's statement above, C.S. Goto kicks this guy's ass!
Chris Roberson really needs to stick to writing childrens and comic books. I'm willing to bet a hundred bucks that the only good reviews for this piece of junk is from the Authors friends or from Drones who have never read any of the Black Library's books.
I happen to be a fan of both the game and the Black Library 40K novels, but you do not need to know anything about either to enjoy Roberson's book. It seems clear to me that he consciously made an attempt to educate any newcomers to the 40K universe in a series of what I will call for lack of a better word--"information clusters." I made the term up for those moments in the novel in which Roberson explains space marine esoterica--like the importance of the "gene-seed," the special function of the "apothecary," the command structure of a space marine company, the cultural differences between Blood Raven space marines and other chapters, the way in which orks spawn, and, most importantly for this novel, the way in which the space marines recruit "initiates" to their elite society. The "information clusters" might annoy some 40K aficionados but I found them to be informative. Obviously, Roberson has studied the novels of Cassem Goto extensively for Blood Raven "facts," and I detected a nod and a wink to the brilliant Ultramarine novels of Graham McNeil.
The novel concerns the fifth company of the Blood Ravens, a space marine chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, who carry the sobriquet of "the fated." In this novel, the marines are fated to struggle against two foes--the orks and the tyranids. The book begins with a squad searching for a relic on the planet Prosperon. Prosperon is dying under the attack of tyranids, the insect-like scourge called the great-devourer.
Roberson structures the book like a game--he starts small with a squad and then escalates in action until the last battle includes the whole company.
Roberson has a fluid and pellucid prose style, which I found quite readable. The 40K world is Gothic in tone; however, Roberson's style belies that. He creates the Gothic world and fully inhabits it but he does not get bogged down in turgid Gothic prose.
"Dawn of War II" is Chris Roberson's first novel for Black Library. He is the author of "Set the Seas on Fire" and "The Dragon's Nine Sons" for Solaris. I recommend these books highly for people who enjoyed this book.
Finally, I love tyranids. If you enjoyed them in this work I also recommend McNeil's "Heroes of the Ultramarines," and Lucien Soulban's "Desert Raiders."
The only reason I can't give him a single-star is because of the fact that he did something which 40k fans have been clamoring for, for years; he actually incorporated real world science instead of pulling things out of his you-know-what (though he messed up saying that the Marine's specialist clotting cells, the Lahrimann cells, would travel with the Leukocytes seeing as how Leukocytes are White Blood Cells as opposed to Erythrocytes, which are Red Blood Cells, but it was a good effort none the less!), and he treated the lore with respect. Thus, even though I consider this novel to be a failure, I see good things coming from him in the future.
The writing is drab and I can't find myself actually caring about what happens to the characters. Actually, I was hoping for a total party wipeout just to put a quick end to the book, but I wasn't so lucky. At times I felt like I was inside the head of a petulant teenager hefting a bolter and was waiting for him to throw a tantrum.
I will admit, Roberson did a better job with keeping with the details of the 40k universe than the trash C.S. Goto wrote. But in all, if I see Dawn of War on the cover, I'm going to quickly move on to something worthwhile. Like tax law.