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Descent of Angels: Loyalty and Honour (The Horus Heresy) Mass Market Paperback – October 30, 2007

2.7 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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About the Author

Mitchel Scanlon cut his teeth as a comic book writer. He has also written a number of short stories, and the popular Imperial Guard novel Fifteen Hours. He lives in the sheep-infested vales of Derbyshire.

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Product Details

  • Series: Horus Heresy (Book 6)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 413 pages
  • Publisher: BL Publishing; 1st edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844165086
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844165087
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #715,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on November 29, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If this wasn't supposed to be a Heresy novel, it would've been closer to 4 stars. The plot was decent, the protagonist well done, the interactions between characters and the Primach appropriate. Even the brief appearance of the Emperor was well written.

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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The chances are if you're reading the Heresy series, then you'll pick this up as soon as you see it, so this review is probably a waste of time. But for those that haven't, save yourself the trouble and the cash.

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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been a huge fan of the Warhammer 40K universe created and built-upon by the creators of Games Workshop. The mixture of gothic and sci-fi gives this particular literary universe it's own unique voice. The Horus Heresy series of novels have ranged from very good to great in trying to explain the beginnings of the Horus Heresy event from different points of views. Descent of Angels is the latest entry in the series and details the role of the Primarch Lion El'Jonson and that of his Dark Angels Legion will play in the coming galactic civil war.

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.
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