Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dan Abnett's Hereticus: A Book Review

That's right, folks. I have finally finished Hereticus! Talk about taking a hiatus in the middle of a book. I seriously left this one and came back about a month later. Unlike during the Arbite Omnibus, it wasn't because I didn't like it, but rather that my interest shifted after I was a few chapters in, and I wanted to give it a fair shake by not reading it when I had to plow through it.
Hereticus is the final tale of Inquisitor Eisenhorn on his descent to radicalism, as well as a tying of loose ends of one of the more memorable villains of the series.

PROS:
  • Ravennor! Yes, Old Gideon makes an appearance. I really like Ravennor as a character, and he's as cool in this book as he usually is.
  • The conclusion. Abnett, once again, restores my faith in SciFi authors by remembering and accounting for his own loose ends. Unlike most authors of the genre, he does not leave big plot holes where at the end you stop and think 'well what about?' It all falls into place, and without being too contrived.
Cons:
  • Body Count II: Count Harder. This was my biggest complaint about Malleus as well. At least the series is consistent, but really, why do I bother learning all these names?
  • Everybody knew about it, we just didn't tell you. Vessorine Janissaries. Everyone in the story has heard about them and knows where they are from, and what they are all about. This is sometimes a symptom of a sci-fi universe where an author tries to build a reputation for something recently introduced, but in a universe like 40k, where so many people know so much, it seems rude to shoehorn it into one chapter. It's not like they're Kroot or Kasrkin, these are some random mercs that, to my knowledge, have not been in any 40k before or since, yet every character in this story knows about them. Mention a Necron though, and all of these characters will look at you funny.
  • All of a sudden. The end. Really, just as I was starting to get interested in the story, and things became interesting, I realized there was about 20 pages left. Umm, what the heck?
I feel bad about this one, I really do. It's the first time I have given Abnett more cons than pros. And Hereticus is still alright, especially in the context of SciFi in general, but it's not as good as the previous two installments.

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