Friday, January 28, 2011

Traitor General: A Book Review.

Loose ends. Gaunt hates them as much as I do.
Traitor General sees Gaunt leading a Dirty Dozen-esque mission behind enemy lines to the recently Chaos conquered world of Gereon, in order to assassinate an Imperial General that has defected, before the secrets hidden in his mind can be unlocked by enemy Psykers.

PROS:
  • Limited Cast. Finally, a Ghosts novel without 47 guys whose names start with 'Mk.' It was a nice break from the typically mass combat oriented series. 
  • Character development. Understandably, with so few characters along for the ride, Abnett has to do a lot more with them. You learn a lot about how characters like Ana Curth tick, and Feygor, in particular, has his crowning moment of awesome near the end of this book.
  • Humor. This installment seemed funnier than most, with several very amusing exchanges between the assassination team and, surprisingly, their Chaos antagonists. Uexkull, in particular, had quite a hilarious introduction.
CONS:
  • Nomenclature. Behind enemy lines, the Ghosts encounter a lot of stuff they've never seen before. Since these books have been out a good while, I'm willing to guess that most of this is old news, but a lot of Chaos obscura is introduced in a very short amount of time. As always, when you throw too many terms and names and concepts at me, my eyes get lazy and just start scrolling down for the next place Larkin shoots someone.
  • Scope. The scale of Traitor General is vastly diminished (is that an oxymoron?) from the regular series. This could be a problem for fans of the series who get to this point and are expecting something different. I actually saw this as a plus, since it allowed me to get a better grip on some of the participants, which is why I listed something similar as both pro and con.
All in all, this was a terrific read. Not sure if it is my favorite of the series thusfar, since I seem to keep deciding I like whichever one I read most recently more than the one before, but it's definitely in the running. The pros definitely outway the cons here.

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