19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A stunning return to form,
This review is from: Mechanicum (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
Literally just finished Mechanicum and I am utterly blown away. In my last review of Battle for the Abyss I suggested that 'movie moments', scenes written well enough that you can instantly picture them in the glorious technicolour of your minds eye, are what make books in this genre successful - achingly cool scenes of action, or soaring emotion, or punch the air moments of triumph. The first three books of the series were laden with these moments, Flight of the Eisenstein and Fulgrim to a lesser, but still stirring degree - hell, even BFTA had a couple of these moments, albeit too late and too little.
This entire book is a movie moment.
After the disappointment of DOA and BFTA, and the downright weirdness of Legion, Graham McNeil has conjured something epic, wonderful, tragic and glorious. This book in the adrenaline shot the series needed, and what's even more astonishing is that this is accomplished with the almost total absence of marines, apart from a cool few scenes (and a reference to one of 40k's great secrets that will have fans drooling - the '13/15' moment).
My only slight grumble is what I feel is a recurring problem with the whole series - the apparent readiness of formerly loyal subjects to switch allegiences with really not much soul-searching. In my opinion, this happens a little too easily throughout the whole series, and Mechanicum is no different in this respect. However, this is a minor blip in an entralling tale.
If you have been put off this series by some of this books very average predecessors, and can see that what the series needed more than anything is a fresh perspective, with characters with more depth than the now sadly two-dimensional marines, then this will restore your faith. McNeil manages to invest even the machines of this book with more character than BFTA's main players.
What a shame that, at the moment, we only have an anthology of short stories to look forward to, and more Dark Angel ramblings, neither of which is going to move the series along. Having said that, Mechanicum doesn't really move the series along either, but when it's this well written, you just dont care....
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Initial post: 18 Feb 2009 22:02:21 GMT
Tremendously good review -- I agree with everything you have said, although I loved Legion.
Posted on 24 Apr 2009 13:34:57 BDT
Le Grand Barbare says:
I think I must have been reading a different book. It picked up a bit towards the end but that's about the highest compliment I can pay it. See my own review.
Posted on 1 Dec 2009 22:01:29 GMT
"In my last review of Battle for the Abyss I suggested that 'movie moments', scenes written well enough that you can instantly picture them in the glorious technicolour of your minds eye....."
Brilliantly described, that's also what I liked about Abyss (besides some flaws but hey, nobody's perfect) I honestly liked Mechanicum but I still have to agree with many points from the bad reviews. Especially about the Mechanicum Guards talking about the ultra secret Furious Abyss, that did it for me, I do hope that some day BL will bring out 1 (proabably 3 or 5) Mega Volume edited Horus Heresy books, just to correct all these discrepancies. And this time; they should take more time, one get's the sense (in every book) of hurried writing and editing.
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