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Rynn's World (Space Marines) Paperback – January 26, 2010
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About the Author
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, Steve Parker now lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. As a video-game writer/designer, he has worked on titles for various platforms. In 2005, his short fiction started appearing in American SF/fantasy/horror magazines. In 2006, his story 'The Falls of Marakross was published in the Black Library's Tales from the Dark Millennium anthology. His first novel, Rebel Winter, was published in 2007 and the follow-up, Gunheads, was released in 2009.
Aside from writing, his interests include weight-training, non-traditional martial arts and wildlife conservation.
Visit his website at: www.red-stevie.com
Top customer reviews
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So, this is the first WH40K book I've read. I picked it carefully based on reviews and my love of Orks. And it did not fail me.
The author does a wonderful job of showing the gap between the Space marines and the regular humans. The contempt that some Space Marines have for the humans (that they were once) is really quite amazing.
The battle scenes are well done and a rip roaring good read.
The governor doesn't get much screen time, but you do see her face reality as opposed to what her fantasy was like.
I wonder if there are different versions, as my copy is over 500 pages long with pretty big type, not the 400 pages listed. Easy to recommend for science fiction or for military action lovers.
I was also annoyed by the sloppy editing of this book. There were several homonymic typos ("martialled" instead of "marshalled" for example) and other errors that should have been caught. I don't blame the author for that, that's an editor's job, but it detracted from the book.
This is was the first Warhammer 40k book I have read that made the Orks seem menacing and not just a comedic enemy for the Space Marines to fight. The orks in this book feel like something you should be truly terrified that lurks in the darkness.
All the characters are great in this book as well. I was interested in see what happened to all of them form the space Marines to the humans.
If you are interested in see how the orks can be something to fear or in the Crimson fist’s fight to stay alive you will not be disappointed.
Having not previously read any of Parker's BL work (Rebel Winter & Gunheads), I didn't quite know what to expect from the story, which gives its focus to the brothers of the Crimson Fists and their struggle to defend their homeworld, Rynn's World. Primarily, the story focuses on three Astartes of the Crimson Fists: Chapter Master Pedro Kantor, 4th Company Captain Allesio "the Immortal" Cortez, and Captain of the 2nd Company Drigo Alvez and the struggles they go through defending their world from a massive Ork Waaagh!, led by a brutal and intelligent ork Warboss name Snagrod, Arch-Arsonist of Chadron.
To tell the tale, Parker breaks the novel up into three parts essentially pre-invasion, post-catastrophic event (which I won't spoil here, as it caught me quite by surprise), and late-invasion/turning point. It works very well. Parker uses the first part to introduce the main characters and builds them well enough that we will care about them later on. His work on Kantor, Cortez, and imperial governess Maia Cagliestra is particularly good, as we're shown quite a bit of breadth in characterization. Kantor and Cortez couldn't be more different, the former being more stoic and even tempered, the latter being fiery and impulsive, which allows them to balance their friendship--which Parker details exceptionally well--throughout the novel. Their friendship, and the way it meshes and interferes with the chain of command is a nice thing to see, as Parker has obviously put some love into developing a believable relationship between the two Astartes. Cagliestra serves as a strong heroine in the novel, while her adoration of the Crimson Fists, and Kantor in general, is a nice addition showing an interesting relationship between human and Astartes.
That human/Astartes relationship is another facet of the book that Parker seems quite concerned with, and is an addition to the narrative that I can't help but love. I've noticed a trend recently with many of the Black Library novels about Space Marines that has allowed the reader to see that the Astartes still have a human side and still form emotional relationships. Parker explores this through the Kantor/Cortez friendship, the Cagliestra/Kantor adoration, and further through the interactions the Crimson Fists have with the Rynnites they're sworn to protect. I think the latter relationship is where Parker's narrative really shines. I LIKE that many authors are showing the Astartes' humanity. It makes the characters a lot more likeable. While the Crimson Fists are concerned with their chapter's survival, Kantor realizes that they have no purpose without humanity to protect.
Throughout that protection of New Rynn City, Parker does give the blood-seeker some really great battle scenes, my favorite of which actually comes at the very beginning of the novel when we get to see some 10th company scouts doing a bit of Astartes wetwork. After those scenes, and after having read about Telion in Assault on Black Reach, I can't help but think the scouts need their own book. Regardless, Parker does a really nice job of painting a hectic picture of a city under siege, often bloody and brutal, but not without some nice tactical touches thrown in.
The layout of the book is also something I really like. The cover is white with the title across the top, with a nice picture of the Allesio Cortez and his Crimson Fist brethren wrapping from front to back. On the spine is, again, the title, but also a silhouette of the Crimson Fist power armour, a trend I'm sure will continue in future additions to the series that will make it look great as a collection on a shelf. Also, others have stated that there were errors within the text that distracted them too much from the story. While there are a few typographic errors - a "form" where it should have been "from"--the errors are negligible and do not distract from the text past a second to correct your own reading.
Overall, I'm very excited about the Space Marines Battle series. With Rynn's World, Steve Parker has created a very nice benchmark that I hope the future Space Marine Battles books can live up to. Parker had the unwelcome task of creating a unique and interesting story about a chapter that, aside from Kantor's codex entry, didn't have a whole lot written about it. He does a commendable job of establishing some canon for the Crimson Fists, all while spinning an enjoyable addition to the Black Library.
+ Great character development of Kantor & Co.
+ Excellent battle scenes that really depict a city under siege
-- Lots of characters can be a bit confusing at first
I enjoyed the story but the way Cantor was written bothered me in some sections. Otherwise its worth reading.
The battle maps are really just a few page color insert that doesn't contain a ton of information (really just a way to make it a premium book) these would be better served to be standard mass market paperbacks.