This book was an excellent read i found and kept me reading and entertained all the way to the end. It has the Blood Angels pitted against the Chaos Word Bearers and has alot of behind the scenes actions which wont be revealed to the second book but the graphic nature with which the author describes events is excellent and you feel like your there watching the events unfold. Without giving too much away you follow the events a Blood Angel Brother Rafen and unlike a usual soldier does not simply take things as they are and always probes and thinks about situations. But also this book has accounts from the other side from the Chaos Word Bearers and allows you to see how perhaps some higher up powers are playing the two sides together for a reason you have to read on to find out! I'm not stooped in the knowledge of the Blood Angels that well and so cant comment but know it does include key characters that any fan will know but the story is the main point of the book and what it tells is quite amazing. With all the events unfolding I cant wait to pick up the second and concluding book. A must read espically for those Space Marine lovers out there.
As a long time Blood Angel player (from Rogue Trader days) I was looking forward to reading this book. In my view the Blood Angels have had a hard time of late due to a very dodgy third edition codex. This was overpowering rules-wise and left many Blood Angels players and their opponents with a negative view of the chapter. The slim mini-codex also had little space devoted to background material, so new players had no real insight into the motivations behind the chapter. With a set of broken rules and no context to place them in the Blood Angels got a very bad reputation on the tabletop battlefields of the 41st millennium. I hoped this book would reinstate that.
Sadly it doesn't. Deus Encarmine doesn't really convey the full richness and depth of the Chapter. The Blood Angels have a lot of internal conflicts that could make for a great narrative but they aren't really developed or explored here. For example, the Blood Angels are created from shambling mutants on Baal and become shining Space Marines. Because they are so long lived they have the time to hone their artistic skills and have the most ornate armour and banners of any Chapter. At the same time they are susceptible to the Black Rage and can become homicidal maniacs. They are forever torn between the height of civilisation, art, and the depths of barbarism, murder. I got the feeling in reading Deus, that the Blood Angels could have been substituted for any other Chapter without much revision and without substantially changing the plot or characters.
I have another problem in Inquisitor Stele, who commands many Blood Angels. My understanding is that the Blood Angels are loathe to trust outsiders, especially Inquisitors, who may be exposed to their rage and therefore expose their failing geneseed. I just didn't buy his position of authority within the Chapter. He had to be there to make the plot work but I felt it ruined the internal consistency of the novel.
Another section of the book I struggled with was the flashback to Baal. That also felt tacked on and forced. It sketched out the relationships of the main characters in a very schematic way without conveying any real character. In the end I really didn't care much about the predicament of any of the protagonists.
In fact the whole book seemed very thin; on plot, on detail, on character.
There are some positive points, though. The action scenes are written well. They are pacy and very cinematic. In many scenes I could imagine a computer game version of the events running in my head as I read. And at least it is some focus and attention on the Blood Angels.
Deus Encarmine is a wasted opportunity to explore the Blood Angels Chapter. The plotting, character and detail are lacking but the action scenes are involving.
I have no idea of how this book got through Games Workshop's quality control. This is the pinnacle of milking the franchise by grinding out novels from talentless writers.
Characters so bland they are impossible to remember from one page to the next, TERRIBLE snorefest of a "plot", and a big departure from what I consider cannon in WH40k literature. This should be a criminal offence when you consider the Blood Angels have one of the most interesting and lest cliché of backgrounds.
It must be hard to write something this bland, even Mephiston comes across as consistent as wet cardboard, and that is a feat worthy of note.
I love Science Fiction. I love the Warhammer 40k universe. That is why I hate this book so much. Do yourself a favor, and if you like WH40k in general, or Space Marines in particular, check out other writers. You will definetly be disapointed if you buy this book.
His first foray into the 41st millenium and he screws around with my favourite legion/chapter. Seriously he clearly has no understanding of this chapter, its history, structure, traditions and beliefs. Having an Inquisitor commanding blood angels and reclaiming a sanguinuis artefacts is so wrong in so many ways. I agree wholeheartedly with the longer above written review.
If you want to read anything from James Swallow you should read Flight of the Eisenstein, which clearly shows he has grown and it is one of my favourite heresy books.
Call me a nerd if you like but this book was so inaccurate with its background knowledge of the 40k universe that it ruined what could of been a good book. While the auther took great pains to ensure he had the all the main characters from the Blood Angels chapter correct. He then made a compleat dogs dinner of the chapters organisation, tactics, religous and political standing in the 40k universe. This book is fairly well written and any person who is not as keen on his or her 40k general knowledge will probabley enjoy it. But any true 40k nut will probabley find it as anoying as i did.