3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not as good as the first few books but still a good book,
This review is from: Fallen Angels (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)The latest Horus Heresy book is a direct sequel to Descent of Angels and folows the two cousins from the previous book in their new lives as Dark Angels. If you're hoping for the story of the actual split of the legion and the destruction of Caliban then you'll be disappointed as this book instead follows the disgraced Dark Angels putting down a rebelion on their homeworld while a small group of the others go and capture a forge world from Horus's rebels. The story of the actual legion split will no doubt make the third in the series at a later date.
This latest installment in the series is not nearly as good as any of the first five books and as with all the books since Descent of Angels, suffers from being far too short. The great thing about the inital trilogy and Fulgrim especially is that plenty of time is given to get to know the characters and expand the story whereas the later installments have all seemed rather rushed, with many of the characters coming across as a little one dimensional and seeming to jump to conclusions and chage their opinions really, really quickly.
In the same way that Battle for the Abyss missed a trick by conclusively failing to explore any of the reasons for the Word Bearers' treachery, so this book does little more than skirt the surface of how Luthor eventually turns to the dark side. Yes, it's written out and explained but so much more could have been made out of this story and it'd be nice to have a bit more depth of character for the people involved. Explaining the entirity of the plot in an internal monologue across two paragraphs at the end of the book is no substitute for slowly developing it over a decent length book.
The Dark Angels attacking the forge world are slightly better realised but there seem to be slightly shoe-horned in characters, as in we've previously had an apothicary, so now let's have a techmarine. This half of the book is the better half in my opinion though, perhaps because it's dealing with less reasoning and plotting and more direct action, so the brevity isn't as noticeable. Someone should probably have told Mike Lee that the Sons of Horus painted their armour green before Istvaan too but that's a minor, pedantic nerd point.
Overall though it was an enjoyable read, not as good as the first five but better certainly than Abyss and the abysmal Mechanicum. I actually quite enjoyed Descent of Angels and this is a good sequel. I only hope that when they come to round off the series, they allow the authors plenty of space to do so and don't impose a restrictive maximum word count as I'm sure was the case with a few of the more recent books.