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About missed opportunities and less than interesting characters
on 28 March 2013
As it has always been the case with the Black Library, some books are gems people rightly can't stop talking about ten years after their release, while others are just fillers for completists. When the company started doing the Horus Heresy novels, expectations were off course high, especially as so much of the individual storylines about this or that legion were barely touched upon. The Raven Guard has often been overlooked in favor of other legions, and after the disappointing audio Raven Flight, I hoped for something better in the shape of a full novel. One of the most intriguing aspects for me has always been what happened to the Primarchs, why they disappeared or whether there is a chance they might pop up again in future stories. Corax and his "never more" ending, having failed his legion after the creation of horribly mutated astartes, should have been the core of this novel ... but alas, what we get is hundreds of pages leading up to this key point. The characters simply fail to grab your attention, whereas both Corax's background as a rebel leader and their trek through the labyrinth on Terra were barely 40k at all. The labyrinth stuff was more Indiana Jones than Horus Heresy, and it is truly sad that this opportunity to awe us with this view of the underworld of the Emperor's palace was wasted in this way. The concept of a Alpha Legionnaire barely remembering his own identity because they are all going by the name of Alpharius, has been used too often and has by now lost its appeal. And last but not least, the horror of innocent young legionnaires going through horrible mutations was passed over so quickly and flatly ... well, enough said I guess. My conclusion is that the more BL books I've read, the more it seems a good idea to focus on the work of two or three authors that always manage to deliver the really great stuff. By saving money in not buying other BL books, that might free up a budget for the extra cost of hardbacks and such.