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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Paced, Great Plot, Memorable Scenes & Characters - Plus Surprises!, 4 Sept. 2013
This review is from: The Death of Integrity (Space Marine Battles) (Paperback)
This book sits alongside the best of the Space Marines Battles series. It explores in convincing detail the doubts and challenges faced by the 2 most senior figures in both the Chapters present in the novel - the Novamarines and Blood Drinkers. We see how Galt of the Novamarines is concerned about leading in the absence of the superior wisdom of his Chapter Master and how he values the wisdom of his mentor Veteran Sergeant whilst being concerned for his mentor's safety too. The Chapter Master of the Blood Drinkers, Caedis, is beset by different doubts, the threat of the Thirst and the Black Rage as well as his Chapter's unique methods of addressing these challenges. But also his concerns for humanity and his duty to protect the weak.

We also see the intermeshing of the 2 Chapters in battle with each side appreciating features of the others without either side being drawn into stereotypical positioning. Haley also brings to light a whole host of minor characters too. Probably not as well as Abnett can do when he is on form but creditable anyway.

Haley is particularly good at embellishing the traditions of the Chapters and differentiating these Successor Chapters from their respective parents. I particularly liked the depth he gave the Novamarines with the Shadow Novum and the purpose behind their tattoos. He really excels though when we see a Blood Drinker beset with the Black Rage and share his visions too. This feels like some really important writing.

I also enjoyed the tactical situation with the hulk itself. The main characters address risks pragmatically, they think through detailed battle plans and use their strengths to their advantage. We are a long way from this being a simple corridor by corridor search of a hulk that we are all too used to. He builds a great sense of menace, the adversaries are fearsome enough to warrant the fielding of nearly 200 Terminators and for the reader to still be uncertain of the outcome. This is particularly the case as the story is set in M38 - all of the characters could in theory be killed off in the novel without affecting canon which further heightens suspense. The 'natural' environment of the hulk is drawn well too - such as hulk quakes, radioactive fog and gravity issues as well as interacting with archaeotech.

There also some very interesting surprises in this novel too that come towards the end including one shocking revelation.

My disappointments were the Mechanicus characters and a situation at the end of the hulk part of the story which is confusing in its implications (I can not be more specific without this being a major spoiler). I felt the Mechanicus characters could have been better handled, they are fine but nothing original and nowhere near as good as those detailed by McNeill in the Priests of Mars series or Abnett in Titanicus.

I would also suggest it is worth reading the prelude to this book, which was released as 'The Rite Of Holos' in The Best of Hammer & Bolter 2, as this gives some additional insight into the turmoil within the Blood Drinkers Chapter as well the events that lead up to the Blood Drinkers' quest to discover the hulk Death of Integrity. It will also link in more closely to the main adversary in this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better ones, 15 Sept. 2013
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JPS - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Death of Integrity (Space Marine Battles) (Paperback)
This is one of the better Space Marine Battles. Although perhaps not quite as good as "the Battle of the Fang", which remains my favourite in the series, it is a rather close contender with almost all of the ingredients that make a good, exciting read. It tells the story of the purge of a space hulk infested with aliens that has the capacity of breaking in and out of real space and represents a large threat to all of the surrounding worlds.
Within this basic narrative, several other stories, dimensions and ingredients are weaved together.
One is the constant struggles of two Successor Chapters of Space Marines to continue to serve, despite being overstretched. One of these is an Ultramarine Successor chapter - the Novamarines. The other is that of the Blood Drinkers, one of the Successor Chapters of Sanguinius' Blood Angels. Both have their challenges, particularly the latter.

A second dimension is that of the two leaders of the two represented Chapters. Chapter Master Caedis, Lord of the Blood Drinkers, is determined to purge the xenos plague that the huge cemetery of lost ships harbours, although his days are numbered. First Captain Mantilio Galt of the Novamarines, is bereft with doubts about his duties, and these tend to affect his judgement.

A third dimension is the irruption of a Mechanicum squadron, just as the two Space Marine ones are about to destroy their target from afar. This irruption leads to a major reconsideration of the initial battle plan, with the devious and untrustworthy magi striving to recover as much lost technology while using their allies rather unscrupulously and keeping their own secrets, and in particular the one that lays at the centre of the hulk.
Well-told and fast-paced, even if not entirely original - Mechanicum expeditions to recover lost artefacts seem to be rather fashionable these days among Game Workshop authors - the book is both gripping and easy to read. It also contains a number of interesting twists where past, present and future collide and interact, with an undertone of gloom and doom, as the beleaguered Empire of Man and the human race declines and struggles to face multiple challenges.

I did, however, have at least one significant grip. The book never explains how the main prize that the Mechanicum priests are after ever got to be part of the Death of Integrity, especially since, given its age, it must have been one of the main components. Apart from this, and a few other minor quibbles which are not really worth mentioning at the risk of providing spoilers, this was a superb read. Four stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect..., 16 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: The Death of Integrity (Space Marine Battles) (Paperback)
This book is everything a perfect 40k book should be. You have the interaction between 2 space marine chapters which is extremely well done, you have a mission of dramatic scale with a massive space hulk which needs to be cleansed. You have the xenos written very well, not just bolter fodder but providing a real challenge even for humanities greatest warriors. You then also have mystery and intrigue with a great little insight into deep history which provides a gripping end.

Probably not quite as good as Battle for the Fang but certainly jostling for a high ranking place amongst the Battles series. I'd put it second. Definitely a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action Packed with lots of background about two Space Marine Chapters, 17 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The Death of Integrity (Space Marine Battles) (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this Warhammer Battles book. Guy Haley introduces the reader to two chapters - the Nova Marines and Blood Drinkers. Both Chapters are quite contrasting. I found the background information concerning the history of the chapters engrossing. The actual story is a Space hulk fans dream. It nice for a full book to be based around a mission involving Terminators fighting Genestealers. There is plenty of action throughout and story builds to a big finale.
I particularly enjoyed the involvement of the Adeptus Mechanicus. This added extra spice to the story and an element of Imperial Politics and shenanigans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read, 15 Nov. 2013
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G. Mackenzie "Grimsdale" (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Death of Integrity (Space Marine Battles) (Paperback)
Brings together 2 Chapters of Space marines as well as my favorite pantomime villains the Priests of Mars, builds up good characters and a decent story line, plenty of action nice twists in the plot, all in all well worth the price, I also agree its not as good as the Battle of the Fang but that was a special book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, good space hulk story, 28 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Death of Integrity (Space Marine Battles) (Paperback)
Good book but something was not quite right, I loved the battle scenes and terminators. But found the ending could have been better, I was so impressed with Helsreach and other earlier books from this series that its hard to like this one like the earlier ones. Compared to the others this is quite original with the space hulk setting except for the first story in the Architect of Fate anthology. Liked the Blood Drinkers but found the Novamarines a bit dull but still liked them, but needed more personality I think. Everything a good space hulk book should be, terminator armour (which is not featured enough in 40k books for my liking), narrow corridors, different types of ships and most importantly Genestealers. However I still prefer the older books of this series, however this is still a good read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars As subtle and well-written as the best of the Horus Heresy books, 17 July 2014
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This review is from: The Death of Integrity (Space Marine Battles) (Paperback)
Very well written and subtle book, on a par with any of the Horus Heresy books, though set long after them. There are several mysteries in the book, with the truth about each gradually revealed as the book goes on. Lots of political intrigue among the Imperials too - especially between the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Legions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read, 16 Nov. 2013
This review is from: The Death of Integrity (Space Marine Battles) (Paperback)
A good solid book with lashing of descriptive writing transporting you into a gritty world of battle, brotherhood and death.
Superb read wholly recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 22 Mar. 2015
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M. Hiscocks "lizzie" (south wales/uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Death of Integrity (Space Marine Battles) (Paperback)
Excellent buy I was very pleased with my purchase
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 14 Nov. 2014
Excellent!
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The Death of Integrity (Space Marine Battles)
The Death of Integrity (Space Marine Battles) by Guy Haley (Paperback - 29 Aug. 2013)
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