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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
This is a Good Dark Angels novel and opens up the Ravenwing more to the warhammer universe to tie in with the new codex. Very good read and characterisation.
Published 14 months ago by Craig

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than average but not carried away
This is the first volume of a trilogy on the secretive First Legion of the Dark Angels. A few things might seem a bit familiar for those that have already read the Purging of Kadillus (a Space Marine Battles novel), although reading this one is NOT a prerequisite at all.

For once, I am a bit at a loss in writing a review. The book is not bad, but I was not...
Published on 26 Dec 2012 by JPS


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than average but not carried away, 26 Dec 2012
By 
JPS - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ravenwing (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Legacy of Caliban) (Paperback)
This is the first volume of a trilogy on the secretive First Legion of the Dark Angels. A few things might seem a bit familiar for those that have already read the Purging of Kadillus (a Space Marine Battles novel), although reading this one is NOT a prerequisite at all.

For once, I am a bit at a loss in writing a review. The book is not bad, but I was not "carried away" with the story as I sometimes have been in the past (with the Night Lords trilogy in particular). True to form, we essentially get the Ravenwing of the Dark Angels backed by elements of elements of another Dark Angels Company (the Fifth) who do not know the real history of their Chapter and its real priorities and whom we see carrying out their "offical" war on behalf of the Imperium, doubled by their own very secret war which takes priority whenever necessary.

I have a few problems with the Dark Angels in general, and this book in particular, because some elements just did not "feel" plausible, although this may be largely subjective. I have never quite understood the need for - and the usefulness of - keeping secrets within the Chapter and essentially telling lies, or at best half-truths, to the vast majority of the Dark Angels. In this book specifically, this kind of behaviour where some would be treated as "second-class citizens" while the others would be "in the know" felt a bit odd. It is even a bit surprising that no one seeks to ask questions when the Dark Angels just leave a planet still infested with Orks to pursue other more important targets - a mixture of pirates and heretics.

Then I also had a bit of a problem with the characterization: somehow, the characters did not come to life for me. They just did not "feel" and "sound" realistic or impressive, not even Grand Master Sammael, the commander of the Ravenwing.

There were some good ideas and exciting features, however. One was the war bikes of the Ravenwing. Another was the largely derelict imperial space station and port which has become a pirates' nest, although its name - Port Imperial - is another illustration of some lack of originality. The last scenes, once the Dark Angels get involved on the planet of Thyestes and manage to capture their prey through deception and some hard fighting against unexpected enemies are probably the best of the book. To a large extent, they somewhat "saved" the book because they revived my interest.

Three and a half stars, mostly because of the last fifty pages, which were great, and because of the assault on Port Imperial, which I found better than the rest.

PS: Although not on Amazon's Vine Program, I received a copy of this book well in advance of its publication date. I read it over Christmas.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bland, 12 Jan 2013
This review is from: Ravenwing (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Legacy of Caliban) (Paperback)
With a username like 'Cypher' you may expect me to have a pro-Dark Angels bias. However, this book disappoints in that it is largely a generic Space Marines novel that feels really dated in terms of characterisation and setting compared with the 'state of the art' in other 40k novels.

The main characters are dull and interchangeable, their identity is just their position in the Dark Angels. There are some interesting new glosses on Dark Angels culture that I was glad to see but I did not feel the weight of history in this Chapter. Also, the Ravenwing imagery and terminology veered too far into Raven Guard territory for my liking, Gav Thorpe (who has written about both Chapters) should have been more imaginative here to make a larger differentiation.

As JPS mentions in his review the book actually highlights the implausibility of the 'big secret' being kept within the Chapter. This is always going to be an issue but the book actually draws your attention to the problem rather than having a creative way to address it. For example, the book claims there are 2 types of Fallen - those who still believe in the Emperor and those who may have done so but have now fallen into Chaos. It then goes on to state that the Ravenwing are always at pains to capture the Fallen so they do not fall into the hands of the Inquisition - if the Inquisition learn the Chapter's true history the Chapter may be destroyed. A Fallen later in the book tells a Dark Angel (non-Ravenwing) enough that the Dark Angel begins to question his Chapter. Instead of talking to a Dark Angel, why does the Fallen not talk (directly or indirectly) to the Inquisition or other Imperial authorities who may stand to gain from disbanding or controlling the Dark Angels? There are enough factions who may treat the information cautiously at first but it would not take them much research to find there is a pattern to what may have just seemed like strange and uncooperative behaviour by the Dark Angels.

The book unfortunately does not delve into the motivations of the Fallen (what terrible trials did they face in those long years before succumbing to Chaos?) but gives us some statistics on them instead.

Some of the action scenes involving bikes are well done but referring to the bikes as 'steeds' seemed to be pushing an idea a little too hard. It seems a big error to force a Spartacus TV series-like syntax on the Dark Angels too. Although the Dark Angels may well have adopted a different way of speaking since the Horus Heresy this choice does not read well and feels very stilted in the written form (it was used to good effect in Spartacus to simulate Latin but if it is being used to simulate Gothic then surely every novel would have speech like this).

Lastly, detail on the settings seemed really light. The 'Port Imperial' name seems generic and the station itself certainly was. Enemy ships are identified by codenames rather than their actual ship names for most of the combat which just added to the bland feeling.

Gav Thorpe can do better than this (as he does with the 'Deliverance Lost') and the Dark Angels deserve better than this work and the 2 reasonably bad Horus Heresy novels they have received so far.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak, 20 Aug 2013
This review is from: Ravenwing (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Legacy of Caliban) (Paperback)
Angels of Darkness was the first 40k book I read and it got me hooked and this is the fourth book of Gav's I've read. The other three were excellent but Ravenwing is the worst 40k book I've read, probably one of the worst books altogether. The dialogue is clunky and difficult, making characterisation impossible to believe. The first fifty pages depict a battle between the Ravenwing and generic rebels that adds nothing to the story or characters and then it links up with the end of the events of Angels of Darkness. In Angels of Darkness Gave describes the marines repainting their armour to the white of the of the Deathwing, yet its now black in Ravenwing, not an important detail but it niggled me.

The rest of the story has long battle scenes but I've found myself getting bored and skipping pages and pages until something actually happens. Gav's other books often have two or three stories that intertwine later on. With Ravenwing there is only one story, no sub plot and that adds to the boredom. Gav clearly has the capability to produce excellent books and I gave the book a chance despite the reviews I read on here before I bought it and was disappointed to find the previous reviews had actually been to generous. I'm afraid I'll be giving the rest of the trilogy a miss. I could find 40k fan fiction on the web for free that is better than Ravenwing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 15 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Ravenwing (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Legacy of Caliban) (Paperback)
This is a Good Dark Angels novel and opens up the Ravenwing more to the warhammer universe to tie in with the new codex. Very good read and characterisation.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top stuff, 7 July 2013
By 
Gavlar (south wales U.K.) - See all my reviews
It's Warhammer, there is space marines and Gav Thorpe is writing. Interested, you should be! The Ravenwing aren't put across like the average space marine unit in your average 40k novel though, in an expected Thorpe style, there is way more than just your standard heavy artillery and massacre with just enough background to make it fun. There is a dark suspense about the unit that is played out and strong characters from the beginning. As far as I can tell, there is a bit of background from previous series' in the setting but, in no way is there anything lost by not having read these first. Loads of little threads being played throughout and just spot on writing from beginning to end in the first part of a trilogy I can not wait to get hold of more of.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ravenwing, Gav Thorpe- Book Review, 4 Feb 2013
This review is from: Ravenwing (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Legacy of Caliban) (Paperback)
Ravenwing is the brand new book from Warhammer 40k writer Gav Thorpe and is the first of a new three book series called The Legacy of Caliban Trilogy. The book is also a sort-of sequel to the other Warhammer 40k book, The Purging of Kadillus that I reviewed a few weeks ago. In this novel we follow Brother Annael; a new recruit to the Ravenwing. The Ravenwing are a group of Dark Angels that are above the usual Space Marine. They ride around on giant motorcycles and land speeders and are usually used as reconnaissance for the Dark Angels when they are fighting battles or chasing down their foes. However, unknown to Annael until his acceptance into the Ravenwing, they are also used to hunt the Fallen, the evil Space Marines who turned on the Emperor during the Horus Heresy and killed their own Patriarch- Lion El'Johnson.

When a distressing signal is received from the planet of Piscina IV, the Ravenwing are sent on the hunt for a powerful Fallen Librarian. The Librarian manages to `turn' the leader of the Dark Angels on Piscina IV, Grand Master Belial, (from The Purging of Kadillus!) and makes him doubt his faith in the Dark Angels, forcing him to kill himself and his brothers. However before his death, Belial leaves the leader of the Ravenwing, Grand Master Sammael, a message directing him to the infamous pirate Space-Port of Port Imperial. When the Ravenwing arrive at the Port, they find that the pirates have formed a cult around the Fallen Librarian and fight a fierce battle to protect him from the justice of the Dark Angel Inquisitors as he manages to flee. However, the trail is not lost and the hunt is still on as the Ravenwing follow the mysterious Librarian to his lair where more of his loyal and corrupt followers fight to the death to defend him.

This was another good book from Gav Thorpe but I honestly didn't enjoy it as much as The Purging of Kadillus. I don't know why this was, I think it might be to do with the fact that The Purging is a Space Marines Battle Novel and was really fast paced, full of battles, action and all in all, for someone like me, a great book to get into the Warhammer 40K literary world. Ravenwing on the other hand, is the first book in a series so perhaps was not going to be as fast paced as the one-off Space Marine Battle Novel. I also didn't enjoy the characters as much as I thought I would. I think that this might be because I'm not that big off a fan of the Ravenwing as a unit anyway- which probably explains why Telemenus was my favourite character!

Nevertheless, saying that the novel wasn't fast paced and then reading it in 3-4 days might seem a bit contradictory. Don't get me wrong I did enjoy the book but not as much as The Purging and I'd suggest that you read that book before you read Ravenwing. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to the next book in the series Master of Sanctity!

For more book reviews google adam-p-reviews!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delivers on all levels, 1 Jan 2013
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Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ravenwing (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Legacy of Caliban) (Paperback)
With there being so many secrets amongst the Followers of the Emperor, one of the darkest has to perhaps be the one hidden by the Dark Angels chapter themselves with only a few knowing it. It's definitely one hell of a hook and when added to the wonderful writing style of an author who knows not only how to twist the readers perception but deliver political machinations alongside goals whilst surrounding the characters within war with their foes as well as themselves and you know that it's a book that is going to deliver a hell of a lot.

Add to the mix some wonderful turns of phrase, some cracking Warhammer action alongside the use of fast action machines to take these hunters to their prey and all round you know that the reader is going to be in for a hell of a ride. Cracking stuff all round and definitely something that is going to earn the chapter a few more fans.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good story with interesting conflicted characters, 23 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Ravenwing (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Legacy of Caliban) (Paperback)
A good addition to the Black Library and a good overall book.Got to wait for the second one though which is a shame!
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Ravenwing (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Legacy of Caliban)
Ravenwing (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Legacy of Caliban) by Gav Thorpe (Paperback - Jan 2013)
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