Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Mostly good, with some better than others
on 9 October 2012
This book is a collection of nine short stories of Traitor Space Marines by nine different authors. As such, it is somewhat more difficult to rate than a single story, if only because a reviewer has nine opportunities of being influenced by her/his personal preferences and biases. Another implication is about statistics: the higher the number of stories included in a single volume, and the lower the chance that this volume will be either one star or five stars, simpler because the chances for ALL stories to either excellent or worthless decreases with the number of stories included.
In this collection, some stories are, of course, weaker than others, and some have flaws. I particularly liked Bitter End (featuring Huron Blackheart), We are One (and another of the Alpha Legion's terrible deceptions) and Torturer's Thirst (about the Death Company of the Flesh Tearers).
I also found that, surprisingly given that I considered his Night Lords trilogy to be simply superb, one of the weakest was Aaron Demski-Bowden's Throne of Lies. While the idea inspiring the story is a good one, the story itself seems to lack consistency, although I may have simply missed the point. Contrary to other reviewers, I very much liked "The Long War". It is indeed confusing but I believe this is quite deliberate and reflects the author's attempt to show how the old Horus Heresy Iron Warrior is himself confused and mixes up past and present.
I was less enthusiastic about "Vox Dominus" (where Word Bearers come across an element of the Death Guard), although I admit that I might be a bit biased and unfair here: I do not like the Word Bearers very much and was not impressed by Anthony Reynolds books on it. As for the three first stories in the book, I found them ok to good, although, just like anopther reviewer, I had a bit of a problem with Liberator where a handful of Sons of Guilliman turn traitor for reasons that I found somewhat unconvincing.
So, after hesitating quite a bit between a "solid" three stars or an "only just" four stars, I finally decided to go for the latter. To be perfectly honest, I could have just as well tossed a coin, as it could have been either.