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Deathwatch (Warhammer 40000) Paperback – 11 Apr 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Paperback, 11 Apr 2013
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: The Black Library; 1st Edition edition (11 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849704465
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849704465
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 380,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Steve Parker was born and raised in Edinburgh. Scotland, and 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 his novel Rynn's World was the first book in the Space Marine Battles series.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found this to be broadly speaking a simple, but enjoyable 40K novel. It splits it's focus between the investigations conducted by two Inquisition agents on a bleak mining planet, and the training and later deployment of a newly constituted Deathwatch Kill-team.

Though I did like the Inquisitorial agents as characters, both being distinct and interesting, the investigation sections suffered somewhat due to the central mystery (ie what was happening on Chiaro) being glaringly obvious to me as an old 40K hand almost from page one of those parts of the book. Which was a shame. It's one thing for characters not to spot clues, due to arguably not knowing as much as a reader, but the author tries to tease the reader several times with this mystery - that is no mystery. It just doesn't work.

The gathering of the new Deathwatch recruits and their training is also a bit patchy in my opinion. The 21st century style military acronyms, used here and there during the training sections, actually felt somewhat out of place for Space Marines to me. Also I think the training was too long, it taking about two thirds of the book before the kill-team were actually sent into action.

On the other hand, the members of the kill-team are all well drawn and unique feeling Space Marines, each with a clearly recognisable and consistent character. The author makes full use of obscure Astartes Chapters, and the tensions between many of them. The Deathwatch itself is also described well, with the author having clearly used the Deathwatch RPG books for reference material, though I think the stealth/covert side of the DW's remit is somewhat over-stated.

I did also like the sneaky and clearly 'radical' Ordo Xenos Inquisitor 'Sigma', and I look forward to future stories of Karras and his team.
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Format: Paperback
This is another rather good Warhammer 40K book, provided you like the genre, of course. The topic, the Deathwatch made up of the elite of the Space Marines Chapters, is likely to appeal to many since there are similarities with special forces in general, and the SAS in particular. Those that like stories involving the Inquisition, and the devious intrigues of its members, or warfare against terrifying aliens, will also be satisfied: there are plenty of both in this volume.

Again, and as in Baneblade, the plot is not entirely original, with bits and pieces inspired by other volumes and some references to the "Alien" series of films. The growing alien threat to a strategic and largely inhabitable planet sparsely inhabited but full of rare minerals is not exactly original either. You will also see some of the Inquisition's servants at work and this may remind some of Dan Abnett's books. Also, the Death Spectres, the main hero's Space Marine Chapter, its secret and hideous source of power, and the secret and sacrifices that it entails, may also remind some of other deviant Space Marine Chapter stories. There are a few other features that might feel like "cliches" as well throughout the book.

Having mentioned all this, the story is however rather well told, exciting and reads well. A number of scenes are particularly good, such as those involving the Puppeteer, an intelligence agent of the Inquisition who is perhaps one of the most sympathetic characters of the book. The training of the new Deathwatch recruits is also interesting, with their insertion and search and rescue techniques and simulations inspired by current special forces training. The monsters are, of course, suitably horrible, lethal and abominable.
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Format: Paperback
A strong four! Steve Parker is a rarity amongst Black Library writers; an author who can do the epic all-action battle scenes for which we read the Black Library output; but is also good at the other stuff - characterisation, plot, pacing, and realistic interaction between characters. Aside from any of the nonsense involving a ship's captain, the story is interesting and well scripted, there is genuine dramatic tension at the right times, and the action bits are as explosive as you could hope for. There's some high-quality space opera here too, and the Inquisition are appropriately grey-area. All in all one of the best novels set in the Warhammer 40000 universe.
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Format: Paperback
This book turned out to be one of the highlights of Warhammer 40k fiction last year, in my opinion. The author does a great job infusing the characters with a sense of personality, history and intrigue. I genuinely want to know more about them and see where their loyalties, agendas and circumstances take them next. In many space marine-centric books, the human characters generally suffer from a lack of depth and purpose - not so here, the human characters are every bit as nuanced and pivotal to the dialogue as the astartes protagonists. The author also does a good job of showing and inferring the traits of the space marines via the dialogue and banter that goes on between them. In fact, if I could change one thing about the book it would be to see yet more of this.

The plot itself is well paced, with a good balance between action and plot/character development. In terms of lore, the novel provides uncommon insight into the workings of the mysterious deathwatch, the training of DW astartes and the sinister secrets of the relatively unknown Death Spectres chapter. The novel offers a lot to the new and seasoned 40k reader alike, its certainly a must for anyone with an interest in the chamber militant of the Ordos Xenos. Space marines and the inquisition - a killer combo. Highly recommended.
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