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Given the beloved Warhammer-40K universe and a script likely handed down by authors like Dan Abnett
on 3 December 2016
The teen-drama (Twilight) telling of a Horus Heresy tale. This is actually the second time I've read this book, the first being so forgettable, as I try to re-engage with the HH series; and as a Blood Angels fan I decided to give it another chance. Given the beloved Warhammer-40K universe and a script likely handed down by authors like Dan Abnett, how bad could this book be?
Well in general Swallow's writing style is so flowery and forced that it clogs up the story flow with needless description of pointless objects. Fine, I can push through that, but the characters are what I hate most about, all of his books in fact. In Fear to Tread everyone is a cliche of a cliche - the arrogant d-bag that redeems himself at the end, the lowliest humble medic is the hero at the end, the same old bad guy, the noble sacrifice, etc etc... the Primarch is tough to like and seems unintelligent and one-dimensional. The attempt here to humanize these characters just makes them seem like - babies.
It's like Swallow has never spent any time among men, and is writing about a teen soccer team struggling with their changing hormones. And to the Black Library in general - enough already with the Black Rage / Red Thirst trope... ok it makes sense here for once, but how does this chapter still exist if EVERY single battle or contest has them on the brink? Having a small Death Company due to the Rage is already interesting enough, it doesn't need to be the only defining characteristic told in every mention of the Blood Angels.
I read this alongside Know No Fear which has a vaguely similar plot line, but the comparison starkly highlighted just how silly this book is. As a Blood Angels fan I really wish that Abnett, or French or Dembski-bowden would take over as the "Blood Angels guy" and move away from this cartoony depiction.