Sunday, July 25, 2010

Helsreach: A Space Marines Battles Novel

Okay, I will be the first to admit that I am unable to give an unbiased review of this book. I love the Black Templars. They were the first faction I got interested in when I first got into 40k, and appealed largely to my sense of adoration for this particular breed of sci-fantasy. After reading and not particularly enjoying the Blood Angels Omnibus, then suffering through the poorly written but still more entertaining Blood Ravens: Dawn of War Omnibus, I felt the need to reward myself with a sure thing. Sure, this cost only $2 less than another omnibus, despite being one one-third the page count. But still, Black Templars! Grimaldus! Orks!

This was a great read, though there is one obscure literary usage that annoys me. That is the changed perspective. I prefer, and have always preferred, a third person perspective in literature. I don't care much for first person, but what is really frustrating is when a narrative switches back and forth. This changes between a third person narrative, and the perspective of Grimaldus, newly minted Reclusiarch of the Black Templars, and leader of the Helsreach Crusade, a seemingly doomed defense of Hive Helsreach against the largest ork invasion ever at the Third War for Armageddon. Aside from this one quibble, it was an excellent read.

Another factor in the book's favor is that it also has a cameo appearance by my boys the Salamanders. All in all, this was a terrific story, if a little grim, and has beautiful cover art, if you go for that sort of thing. I highly recommend it.

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