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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good addition to the series. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Horus Heresy series is one of the best collaborative sci-fi series currently being published, in my opinion. All of the authors working on it bring their A-game, producing some of their best fiction. Deliverance Lost is Gav Thorpe's first novel for the series, and it is excellent. Like some of the other, more-recent Heresy novels, it offers something new and takes a...
Published on 5 Feb 2012 by Stefan

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Missed potential (slight spoiler warning)
A ripping yarn about a guy and a war. But, yes a but, it could have gone further, deeper, faster, stronger. The treatment of the subject was a little one dimensional. And I think a point was missed, an opportunity to embelish the novel with lavish helpings of 40K horror. *SLIGHT SPOILER* How on earth does matter from the warp only affect the physicality of a Legionnes...
Published on 17 May 2012 by Takoul


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good addition to the series. Thoroughly enjoyed it., 5 Feb 2012
By 
This review is from: Deliverance Lost (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
The Horus Heresy series is one of the best collaborative sci-fi series currently being published, in my opinion. All of the authors working on it bring their A-game, producing some of their best fiction. Deliverance Lost is Gav Thorpe's first novel for the series, and it is excellent. Like some of the other, more-recent Heresy novels, it offers something new and takes a slightly different approach to the fictional time and setting. Deliverance Lost is great - nuanced, tense and action-packed. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Deliverance Lost picks up right where The First Heretic finished up - in the aftermath of the betrayal at Isstvan, as the traitors hound the remnants of the Raven Guard across that planet. Thanks to some fortuitous timing, Corax and his near-decimated forces are rescued and whisked away, to Terra - where the Primarch insists on an audience with the Emperor. What follows are the Raven Guard's attempts to rebuild their forces amidst considerable opposition and suspicion; and a shadowy enemy manoeuvring to finish the job Horus's forces were unable to do on the landing fields of Isstvan.

[Something I should state: there's an awful lot more to the plot than I've just laid out, but to go into much more detail would offer up some serious spoilers. This should also explain why not much attention is paid to the characters and their general development over the course of the novel - there's a lot of intrigue, suspicion and hidden agendas, all of which should be read and experienced without prior knowledge.]

From the very beginning, it was clear that we were going to get a more intimate Primarch-experience with this novel, as the opening chapter (and much more besides) focuses more on what's going on inside Corax's mind than on others' perceptions of his actions. Thorpe provides readers with more of Corax's background, adding to our overall understanding of his history and the way it has shaped his approach to leadership and warfare. It's deftly done, avoiding info-dumps - instead, we get Corax's memories, evoked by `current' events that inspire recall. I knew nothing of the Raven Guards before reading Deliverance Lost (which was one of the main attractions), but now I just want to read more! Thorpe has done a great job of fleshing out this lesser-known Legion, giving it a really strong character and populating it with engaging individuals. I really hope there's another Raven Guard novel in the future.

Like all of the Legions, the Raven Guard are proud-bordering-on-arrogant. The betrayal at Isstvan was a tremendous blow to their psyche and confidence, and this novel is the story of how they worked to bring themselves back from the brink of destruction - however slightly. Corax becomes single-mindedly bent on succeeding in his Emperor-given mission, to the point where he becomes blinded to certain events around him.

We see how the Imperium has reacted to the news of Horus's betrayal: with a martial efficiency and heightened distrust of basically everyone, reminiscent of the paranoia following 9/11. The Imperial Fists captain who controls stellar travel into the Sol system is not unlike a TSA agent on steroids... The Betrayal has sown seeds of fear throughout the Imperium, and we see the early stages of confusion as loyalties are determined.

There are both tension and distrust within the ranks of the traitors as well - Erebus, the ever-present manipulator continues to lurk at Horus's side, and causing much of the discord. (Speaking of Erebus, I've never been entirely convinced of his position of influence - it seems to come out of nowhere and is just accepted. I would be really nice if someone wrote a little more in-depth about his story and rise to prominence.)

The Alpha Legion is one of the most interesting of the Legions (among, admittedly, many individually interesting forces), and their focus on subterfuge, espionage and so forth certainly promised an intriguing storyline. I wish we'd got a little more of the Alpha Legion's story, but by their very nature it would have perhaps ruined things to learn everything about them. They are ultra-secretive - of all the Primarchs, he was the last to be found and united with his Legion, with a secret kept from basically everyone, including his fellow Primarchs: he has a twin. That being said, the picture we get of the Alpha Legion is interesting - the Primarchs are constantly working towards some great endgame we only know a little bit about, but are not true converts to Horus's rebellion and certainly not to Chaos. The taint in the Word Bearers witnessed at Isstvan and elsewhere gives some Alpha Legionnaires pause as to whether or not their on the right side of things, and leads some of their operatives to quietly question the Primarchs' wisdom of allying with Horus.

With Corax providing a considerable proportion of the narrative, it is a slightly different Horus Heresy novel - where others have mostly relied on the perspectives of Astartes and other soldiers, this novel has a lot from Corax's and also Omegon's perspectives. This I really liked - being able to see the differences in how a Primarch and Astartes confront challenges is one of the best things about Warhammer 40k fiction.

However, this does lead me to my one complaint about the novel, and that is in the character of Corax: sometimes, he comes across as a little too perfect; too much the ideal of what a Primarch (or any leader, really) should be. In the first part, he seemed to lack some of the nuance and duology-of-character that defines all of the other Primarchs that we've spent much time with (Lorgar and Magnus in particular). His character is fully revealed and fleshed-out as the novel progresses, but I must admit that I was sometimes worried in the first third of the novel that Corax might be a little two-dimensional. Even his fit of pique when denied immediate access to the Emperor was a little half-hearted, I thought. I don't know if this was intended to elevate him above the other Primarchs in some way, but when you think that all of the others are deeply flawed and with multiple sides to their characters, Corax seemed just a little too pure. That being said he becomes far more interesting in Part II, as the events of Isstvan, his gift from the Emperor and the unfolding Heresy start to weigh heavily on him. He seems a little less stable, more quick to judge and prone to lashing out.

Deliverance Lost features quite a lot of references to the uprising of the Mechanicum on Mars. I think I'm going to have to get the eBook of Mechanicum (by Graham McNeill) to catch up on this and fill in the blanks (for some reason, I never read it when it first came out). It's interesting, though, that the Astartes forces have less difficulty in accepting the loyalties of an Adeptus Mechanicus operative, but not all Astartes.

Thorpe's writing is great throughout, and manages to avoid any and all cliche dialogue or clunky description. The pacing is, for the most part, very good - although there are just a couple of lulls in the action and overall momentum. Given the quality and scope of the story, though, they're completely understandable and forgivable, as the reader is just pulled right along with the plot.

A very worthy addition to the Horus Heresy series, this is a must read for fans of the franchise. I love the differences in approach and style that are starting to appear in the series, and to me they prove just how much better the series has become and will hopefully continue to do so.

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving along post Isstvan, at last..., 15 Jan 2012
By 
JPS - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Deliverance Lost (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
It has been a long, long time since the HH series have moved along: they have seemed "stuck" at Isstvan, with numerous books telling us what was happening elsewhere at the same time, and a few telling us about a few things about what happened immediately after. This one, however, seems to get things moving a bit as we learn about Corax, nineteenth Primarch of the Raven Guard, and his efforts to warn the Emperor about what has happened and reconstitute his badly depleted Legion (after Isstvan, of course).

As other reviewers have mentioned, this one is one of the good ones in the series. It is also full of information on four additional topics:
- one is the background an,d history of the Raven Guard and the reason for their speciality: guerilla warfare, hit-and-run tactics and sudden attacks more generally
- another is the defense of Terra, the fortification of the Imperial Palace and the role of the Imperial Fists and Rogal Dorn
- a third is that we learn more about both the Emperor and his creations - the Primarchs, although more is to come in the future
- the last is about the attempts of Corax to fight back after the traitor Legions and the struggle that Corax has to put up when his own system is attacked from within. The Alpha Legion's infiltration was great, but I will say no more about it so as to avoid spoilers.

There is however one thing that I found odd or even confusing. The title of the book seems to suggest that Deliverance (the name of a planet) is lost. In fact, it isn't when the book end, although the title's meaning may have to be taken figuratively perhaps?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars About missed opportunities and less than interesting characters, 28 Mar 2013
This review is from: Deliverance Lost (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
As it has always been the case with the Black Library, some books are gems people rightly can't stop talking about ten years after their release, while others are just fillers for completists. When the company started doing the Horus Heresy novels, expectations were off course high, especially as so much of the individual storylines about this or that legion were barely touched upon. The Raven Guard has often been overlooked in favor of other legions, and after the disappointing audio Raven Flight, I hoped for something better in the shape of a full novel. One of the most intriguing aspects for me has always been what happened to the Primarchs, why they disappeared or whether there is a chance they might pop up again in future stories. Corax and his "never more" ending, having failed his legion after the creation of horribly mutated astartes, should have been the core of this novel ... but alas, what we get is hundreds of pages leading up to this key point. The characters simply fail to grab your attention, whereas both Corax's background as a rebel leader and their trek through the labyrinth on Terra were barely 40k at all. The labyrinth stuff was more Indiana Jones than Horus Heresy, and it is truly sad that this opportunity to awe us with this view of the underworld of the Emperor's palace was wasted in this way. The concept of a Alpha Legionnaire barely remembering his own identity because they are all going by the name of Alpharius, has been used too often and has by now lost its appeal. And last but not least, the horror of innocent young legionnaires going through horrible mutations was passed over so quickly and flatly ... well, enough said I guess. My conclusion is that the more BL books I've read, the more it seems a good idea to focus on the work of two or three authors that always manage to deliver the really great stuff. By saving money in not buying other BL books, that might free up a budget for the extra cost of hardbacks and such.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars flat, 13 Jan 2013
This review is from: Deliverance Lost (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
following the massacre at isstvan the raven guard escape greatly lessened,given a gift of gene seed to produce superior warriors.how ever more treachery is a foot.the massive failing of this book for me is how these super warriors are so easily fooled by a few infiltrators when they have vastly superior abilities,also how easy it is for a few infiltrators to defeat greater odds.then despite another betrayal the raven guard casually defeat the enemy and regain a whole planet for the emperor,the final chapter is laughable with the corax flying around on his winged pack.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Missed potential (slight spoiler warning), 17 May 2012
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This review is from: Deliverance Lost (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
A ripping yarn about a guy and a war. But, yes a but, it could have gone further, deeper, faster, stronger. The treatment of the subject was a little one dimensional. And I think a point was missed, an opportunity to embelish the novel with lavish helpings of 40K horror. *SLIGHT SPOILER* How on earth does matter from the warp only affect the physicality of a Legionnes Astartes and not their psychology??? This point still rankles with me I'm afraid...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horus Heresy #18, 22 Jan 2012
By 
Detra Fitch (USA) - See all my reviews
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Lord Corax, Primarch of the Raven Guard and Master of Deliverance, has suffered the bitterest of defeats. The Raven Guard has escaped from the trap on Isstvan V, but the Legion is all but wiped out. Corax returns to Terra to seek the aid of his father - the Emperor of Mankind. The Emperor grants Corax knowledge of the Labyrinth. Situated in the middle of the deadly maze and sealed within an inner vault are the secrets to the Primarch Project. Lord Corax would be able to rebuild the Raven Guard. What would normally take a generation could be accomplished in months. Corax is determined that the Raven Guard will rise from the grave of defeat, take the battle to his treacherous brother primarchs, and bring victory to the Emperor. But unknown to Lord Corax, the mysterious Alpha Legion has managed to infiltrate the Raven Guard survivors.

**** FOUR STARS! Author Gav Thorpe enters the Horus Heresy and leaves his mark upon the series. I do not recall another time (in this series) where a primarch had an audience with the Emperor. Thorpe handles the larger-than-life scene with ease. Brilliantly accomplished. Not only do readers follow Lord Corax and his Raven Guard, but they also get some insight from Horus's side. Seems the Warmaster cannot even fully trust his own anti-Emperor brothers.

Quite a bit of time is given from Lord Omegon's point-of-view also. Unknown to Horus and the others, Omegon has an alien, a representative from the Cabal. And Alpharius, his twin brother, does not believe he or his Alpha Legion to be indispensable in Horus's endeavors so he keeps secrets as well.

In my opinion, Gav Thorpe has done the series proud. Main characters' backgrounds are well developed. The maze is brutal and very deadly even for the Legioness Astartes. Conflict and betrayal are everywhere. It all adds up to make this story one exhilarating ride. ****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Story With Unfortunate Retcons, 29 Dec 2011
By 
A. J. Potter (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Deliverance Lost (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
In Deliverance Lost Gav Thorpe builds upon his previous forays into the history of the Raven Guard, the audiobook 'Raven's Flight' and the short story 'The Face of Treachery', and largely succeeds in writing an enthralling and genuinely interesting story. Dealing with the immediate aftermath of the Istvaan V massacre, where the Raven Guard lost the majority of their fighting strength, it tells the story of the Primarch Corax's desperate attempts to rebuild his legion and return them to the field as war rages throughout the galaxy. Conspiring against his ambitions are the sinister and shadowy forces of the Alpha Legion and their Primarch Alpharius who is intent in steering his own course in the Heresy neither for or against the Emperor or Horus (see: Legion).

In terms of plot Deliverance Lost is easily amongst the upper half of the Horus Heresy canon quality wise, telling an interesting story and including deep insights into the Raven Guard and the Alpha Legion and offering some tantalising glimpses of Terra and it's prosecuting of the war against Horus. Thorpe knows how to spin a decent yarn and his writing is fluid and engaging if never on the same level as the Black Library's current 'Big Three' of Abnett, McNeill and Dembski-Bowden. However the novel falters when it takes extensive liberties with the previous incarnation of the Raven Guard's story, extensively retconning the disaster which will shape the future of the Legion both in the Heresy and beyond; and fundamentally changing the characterisation and motivations of Corax's contemporary and future actions as a result. Furthermore the existence of a certain deus ex machina (one word: Raptors) begs many questions which are never really explained in the book.

Viewed as a stand alone novel 'Deliverance Lost' would have scored 4/5 stars; however long standing fans of the 40k mythology and especially Raven Guard fans may find the contentious retcons to the legion's history hard to accept and as a result I've had to give it a strong 3/5.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kind of good, but kind of disappointing, 12 Jan 2012
This review is from: Deliverance Lost (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
Having previously read and enjoyed Gav Thorpe's books - and remembering that his Dark Angels book might have been the first Black Library book I read that I felt tried to address space marines in a way that made them seem larger than life characters - I was quite looking forward to this latest outing in the Horus Heresy series.

Unfortunately, somehow the book doesn't quite make it for me. There's definitely some good bits, but while Corax comes out of it as quite a good character, he doesn't seem overly 'primarchy' in the way that Abnett characterised Horus and Alpharius, McNeill described Fulgrim and Ferrus or Matthew Farrer did Angron in his short. Similarly the marine characters sometimes work as characters, usually in the backstory bits, but not really as highly disciplined super-soldiers, centuries old.

I wasn't overly fond of the overall plot either, but, that said, it's definitely not the worst in the series. If you liked most of the others, probably give this a read but it's not really up there with best.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A "Lost" opportunity - and another let down from Mr. Thorpe, 14 May 2014
By 
JBP (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Deliverance Lost (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
Hello and welcome to yet another JBP review.

This time around, I have finally found the time to read Gav Thorpe's "Deliverance Lost". To spare you the details which will follow below: buyer's beware - this book is not worth the time and effort to read it.

It is a bit of a conundrum, as I really WANT to like the pieces of work created by Mr. Thorpe, as it is clear to me, that he loves the setting; and for that I give him credit. He has written some excellent pieces of reading; such as his "Eldar Path" series, which I would recommend, as well as some short stories about Space Marine renegades. All good. However, they are beside the point, as this review is concerned with "Deliverance Lost".

The premise of the novel, is that the Raven Guard and their Primarch, Corvus Corax, return to Terra after their decisive defeat at the hands of the newly revealed traitors on Istvaan. On Terra, Corax gains information and technology essential to a quick rebirth of his decimated Legion, so that they can return to the fight against the arch-traitor, Horus Lupercal.

It is a story of subterfuge, infiltration and spying, and not so much "bolter porn", as other writes often fall to. The premise is exciting and it could have been brilliant. Could have been. Sadly, it is not. The suspension of disbelief required to make this story work is huge. So huge, that even in this world of super-genetically engineered soldiers, dark gods and sorcery, that it falls short. Mr. Thorpe gets lost in his own plot, and the story lags horribly at times, all the while it seems inevitable and obvious what will happen. Granted, I was misled and guessed wrong as to who a traitor was - but that solely by the "trick" of introducing the "real" traitor so late in the book, that the individual has not featured at all. Kind of like a murder mystery, where you are trying to solve "who dunnit", but the murderer has not been mentioned or introduced. It just feels cheap.

All in all, do not waste your time or money on this book. It is one of the series which should either never have been written, or else it should have been written by a better author than Mr. Thorpe, who again and again "succeeds" in disappointing.

Best
JBP
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2.0 out of 5 stars Gets a rating this high because Im in a good mood, 26 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Deliverance Lost (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
Throw away story that ruins established lore.
Poor entry into the series that advances nothing and the lore that was there before was better than the lore this monstrosity of a book leaves in its wake.
Buy, if like me you collect and want a full set, other than that avoid
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