Friday, February 4, 2011

Only In Death: A Book Review

Book Eleven of the Gaunt's Ghosts series, Only in Death closes out The Lost story arc. This one is a bit of an odd duck in the Ghosts' series, as far as I am concerned. While it was enjoyable, there was simply too much weird stuff going on for the awesomeness of the battle sequences to really be as powerful as they should be.
The Ghosts are sent by Van Voytz to hold the extreme east of the line on a 'Bad Rock' world. The seeming advantage of a formidable fortress holding the Ghosts' objective falls flat as strage goings on hinder rather than help the Tanith as they struggle to hold the Blood Pact out of the Eerie environs of Hinzerhaus.

PROS:
  • Merrt For The Win. I have no qualms expressing how much I like Merrt as a character. He's just a loser. No one likes him, and he tries to overcome a hideous deformity and make good, despite the fact that he can't even successfully string together a sentence. I mean, the dude fights elite Chaos stormtroopers with a secondhand rifle that he is pretty sure has 'Death' spelled out on it. Fatalistic.
  • Blood Pact At The Gate. Ban Daur and the Flame troopers holding the gate was a pretty cool scene. It was refreshing to see a good plan actually work well, and not fail just 'because.' Sometimes books seem to have misfortune befall the characters just as a plot point.
  • Loose Threads. I like when open plot tangles get cleared up. 'Nuff Said.
CONS:
  • The Weirds. Yeah, there is a lot of weirdness going on. A lot of it makes sense at the end, but not all of it. Even with the final explanation for all the strange hapenings, some of it just doesn't ring true at the end.
  • Blood Pact. This might just be my mind picking up on something else I was told way back when I started the series, but I am getting sick of the blood pact. This is like the eighth title they appear in, and they have stopped being interesting antagonists.
All in all, the pros beat the cons here, but I feel like, with just a little less weirdness in the middle, or a more plausible cause for all of it, this would have attained its potential better.

2 comments:

Porky said...

That's a satisfying review. I doubt I'll ever have time to read this, but I feel like you distilled it for me well enough that I don't need to.

Merrt sounds cool. His name makes me think of Alan Merrett, another BL author - coincidence?

CounterFett said...

Doesn't sound like a coincidence, but making him a disabled weirdo with a prosthetic jaw seems malicious.