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Descent of Angels: Loyalty and Honour (The Horus Heresy) Mass Market Paperback – October 30, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot revolves around Zahariel, a native of Caliban, who is part of the last of Lion El'Jonson's crusade to cleanse Caliban of the monsters that have plagued it. This is followed by the arrival of the Astartes and the Emperor, and Zahariel and his brother/rival Nemiel are swiftly inducted into its ranks as some of the first true Dark Angels.
The problem is this book may have flown as part 1 of 2. As it is written however, its very disappointing. Zahariel and Nemiel don't exacerbate or resolve their ongoing one-upmanship. Other characters are dealt off to the side or introduced without rhyme or reason.
And the central plot never moves. The end of the book doesn't coincide with the revolt of Luther and the Fall, or the Lions wounding, or the schism even beginning, but rather with Luther and Zahariel being sent back to Caliban after a minor battle with Chaos forces for.... no reason thats apparent at least. The book that should've ended with as much a bang as Fulgrim instead dies a crib death, with characters perfectly placed, resentments stoked, and the bonds of brotherhood under strain. Had the entire book been crammed into the first hundred pages instead of being the whole novel, the author would've been off to a great start.
Mitchel Scanlon is not up to the task of dealing with the Heresy series. It's dramatic tragedies, deep character development, brutal violence and well-crafted story-telling are all things we've come to expect from these books, all of which are lacking from Descent of Angels.
Approximately 3/4s of the book are set on Caliban before the arrival of the Imperium. What is Caliban? A forested world with lots of monsters. Knightly Orders hunt them, and Descent of Angels chronicles the rise of a young supplicant who ascends to knighthood before the arrival of the Emperor's forces.
The main character is completely flat and dull. He is not remotely likeable, in fact, he's totally undeserving of all the lucky breaks he gets. He never develops at all, even from the age of 8 or so to adulthood, he stays constantly shallow and you know exactly what to expect from him. There are never any surprises at all.
The combat scenes are few and far between and what there is seems incapable of conjuring up any images of danger, heroism and the trademark all-out violence the series is known for. It's just plain boring.
The only vaguely interesting part of the book is the fleshing out of the Primarch Lion El'Jonson and there's not much there at all. It's totally out of sync with the rest of the books where primarches are displayed as awe-inspiring figures that stun even grown men to silence and demand fealty and reverence via a single-glance. In comparison to these mighty figures, The Lion is, like the rest of the novel, flat and dull.Read more ›
Mitchell Scanlon gets the writing duties and he does a good job in explaining the backstory of the Dakr Angel Legions' origins and the time of their Primarch's life before being rediscovered by the Emperor's Great Crusade. As much as I thoroughly enjoyed reading about pre-Great Crusade Caliban it added little to the story of the Horus Heresy which has been building up from the previous five books in the series. Maybe the story and the role of Lion El'Jonson and his Dark Angel Legions was just too epic to do in one book, but Scanlon did the unforgivable by ending the book on such an abrupt manner that it literally screams Book 2 to finf any sort of meaning and closure to Descent of Angels. Maybe it will happen later down the series. I sure hope it does or this entry in the Horus Heresy series would be the worst and a bad step back on a series which has been done well, so far.
While the book was well-written and the characters given much room to grow to have distinct personalities the flaw of not having much to do about the series theme of the Heresy and having such an abrupt ending makes this entry the weakest of the bunch. Hopefully, the next book in the series which is titled Legion will bring back the series to talking about the Horus Heresy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My husband's review of the book in his genre.
Descent of Angels is just a badly written story. Read more
Several of the negative comments said this book should not be part of the HH series. When compared to the other books, I agree. Read morePublished 24 months ago by E. L. Sapp
I understand why people were put off, because this story wasn't what they were expecting. I appreciated the change of pace and would love to have a novel like this for each of the... Read morePublished on June 28, 2014 by Destructa
This book has gotten a lot of negative responses. I also felt this book did not deliver at first. The reason is that it came on the heels of several Horus Hersey books that kept a... Read morePublished on May 30, 2014 by Kip Perkins
Bought it as a gift for someone who enjoys 40K. I am quite unfamiliar with the series so I cannot say good or bad.Published on April 17, 2014 by D. Hardy
This is by far the poorest book in the series (out of over 25). The first half of the book could easily have been boiled down to no more than three chapters. Read morePublished on February 6, 2014 by Janne Lauridsen
The story is great, and it is interesting to see the origins of a legion, but the story telling is all over the place. Read morePublished on December 21, 2013 by Tekkhar
Probably one of my favorite Heresy books. It stats the Dark Angels story off quite nicely and fits in with existing canon about that Legion.Published on December 9, 2013 by Mike Jackson
As if the dark angels weren't boring enough already this book was written to make sure they are. Terribly written and Lion L Johnson comes across as an idiot. Read morePublished on September 20, 2013 by 40kscore&7yearsago