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Legends of the Space Marines (Warhammer 40,000) Mass Market Paperback – April 27, 2010
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Here is what I thought about the stories in order.
<<< Hell Night by Nick Kyme >>>
This story fits into Kymes Salamanders Story Arc. I realize that Nick is a new author, but Warp Storms are a really big deal. They are not localized phenomenon that can just appear over a city. In the 40K universe there is no such thing as a Stephen King style "ghost", angry specters are ALWAYS demons of some form or another. I was waiting for Casper the friendly ghost to make an appearance. The characters in this sorry story are bland stereotypes. Nick must have been in a hurry, because the improvement that I have been following in his writing seems to have regressed with this tale. This story is a huge letdown to fans of the Salamanders series of which I am one.
<<< Cover of Darkness by Mitchel Scanlon >>>
Mitchell did a good job with this White Scar story as I felt as if I was there. His usual illustrative writing style is in full effect here. The end of the story wrapped up a little too quickly for my taste, but I do not like good stories to end. The end of the story will leave you with questions which seem to hint at a possible White Scars series.
<<< The Relic by Jonathan Green >>>
I think that this story is supposed to fit into Green's Black Templars "Armageddon" story arc. In this yarn he tends to seriously push his boundaries. I know Brother Jarold is a real badass, but destroying a whole Speed Freaks Warband? Digging up a Crimson Fist Dreadnaught that has been buried for 50 years, but the pilot waking up in 10 minutes? Elements of the story seem rushed. This story is not the high point of the series.
<<< Twelve Wolves by Ben Counter >>>
I really like stories that take place before the 40th millennium. I was happy to see a new Space Wolf story even if it is not part of the Ragnar Blackmane series by Willian King. Ben Counter is an experienced Black Library author with a firm grasp of what life is like in the 41st millennium. This was a well balanced story that I liked and would have liked it to be longer.
<<< The Returned by James Swallow >>>
I read this story before I read "Red Fury" in the Blood Angels series by the same author so I was a little skeptical in parts of it. Since I just finished "Red Fury", I like the story a lot more. The story is well written and provides insight into the Doom Eagles Chapter. There is not a lot of fluff about the Doom Eagles and in fact I have only seen one other story about this chapter "On Mournful Wings" in "Crucible of War" by Simon Spurrier. James Swallow is a good author with an excellent grasp of the overall 40K universe. I highly recommend this story even though there is no battle in it.
<<< Consequences by Graham McNeill >>>
Graham McNeill, need I say more? As with all of his work this is top shelf. Since I am a huge fan of the Uriel Ventris saga, this was my favorite story in this book.
<<< The Last Detail by Paul Kearney >>>
This is the first Dark Hunters story that I have read. There is not a lot of chapter specific fluff in it as it is written from the standpoint of a normal human. I do not think that I have ever read anything from this author before, but he did a good job of conveying the gritty nature of the 40K Universe. Additionally, and most importantly, he portrayed Space Marines in the correct light and did not try to humanize them. Very good read.
<<< The Trial of The Mantis Warriors by CS Goto >>>
I have been a fan of CS Goto for quite a while (Even the Dawn of War series). I was first introduced to the Mantis Warriors Chapter in the 1st book of the Deathwatch series "Warrior Brood". This story provides detail of their involvement on the side of Huron Blackheart and the Astral Claws (later renamed Red Corsairs in the Badab War). As with the rest of Mr. Goto's work, this story is well written escape.
<<< Orphans of the Kraken by Richard Williams >>>
THIS STORY SUCKS!!!
It actually pissed me off. Richard Williams did an outstanding job with his Imperial Navy Book "Relentless" and other short stories that he has written, but actually did a worse job of mis-portraying Space Marines than Chris Roberson does. This guy has done a huge disservice to the Scythes of the Emperor. Let me sum this up, Space Marines do not get depressed!!! They do not allow subordinates to bad mouth them!!! A Space Marine stuck for 50 years in a live Hiveship would have been dissolved!!! Only Chaos Marines are driven by Ego to the extent in this story. I cannot think of a single good thing to say about this story.
<<< At Gaius Point by Aaron Dembski-Bowden >>>
Aaron Dembski-Bowden is my favorite new Black Library author. He is a master wordsmith who I think has the skill to make it up to Dan "The Man" Abnett & Graham McNeill's level. He paints a very different picture of the Flesh Tearers than James Swallow does in the Blood Angels stories.
That said, the stories are relatively well written. They take place in a number of settings and involve various space marines on their home worlds or involved in various campaigns across the galaxy. These settings may be of some importance to the reader who also plays the game. To me they were just names.
The emphasis isn't so much on the military side of things or strategy but rather the personality and thoughts of the various marines featured. There is a heavy emphasis on the religious, spiritual and supernatural aspects of each story. This is where the Fantasy part of the Science Fantasy genre comes in. It did get a bit repetitive at times but I guess is in keeping with the world developed for the game. While I didn't expect this to be the case, it was somewhat enjoyable.
I can't speak to the fact of how true the stories are to the game world, but I would guess that barring any glaring issues that I missed, a player of the game would enjoy seeing the world brought to life.
There are quite a few stories, and I found that it got to be a bit too much to just plow through them all at once. I broke up the reading, taking time away between stories. I don't see this as a weakness but rather as a strength. There is a lot of value her in that I think this collection of stories will entertain for a while. Even if one were to read straight through, there is a lot of material.
Any other sci-fi fans looking for additional material may enjoy adding this in as long as they go in knowing that they'll be reading about spirits, possession and dark forces as well as marines that view their mission as a religious one. It's interesting and fun, but not something I would spend the bulk of my time reading.
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I dislike and not these short stories of heroes
who are all but human in their genetic manipulation.Read more