Friday, 11 November 2011

Books in Brief : A Thousand Sons by Graham McNeill

This is without doubt a great book and goes into the favourites section of my Heresy collection alongside Horus Rising, Legion and Mechanicum. It's the first Heresy book in a while that actually moves the series forward despite its events remaining before Istvaan.

Graham McNeill really defines the 'Sorcerer Astartes', fleshing out these very different Marines and orchestrating the most believable and moving fall of a Legion to date; casting a shadow of doubt over my own staunch loyalist views *shudder* somebody call the Inquisition!

He makes a sterling effort to forge coherency amongst the broken and confusing cannon of the 40k verse (at one point openly questioning and including in the story arc one of it's contradictions) with many questions that have niggled me for years finally answered and some great hints dropped about others.

Some faults, McNeill still loses himself occasionally (although he is getting better) in overblown and unnecessary description, how many times we need to hear how totally awesome a Primarch is, or how the Son's control and balance their powers, we hear you we get it, please stop repeating yourself Graham. All this does is slow down the flow of what is a captivating story and fills up extra pages, are you trying to meet a certain word count?

Also I lost track of how many times he used the word Impossibly... something was Impossibly strong, Impossibly bright, Impossibly Impossible!!! Really grated and I found myself cursing out loud every time I bumped over one, there must be host of better words for describing an amazing power or technical feat.

Other than these minor quibbles (what do I know, I'm not a bestselling author) this is an awesome read and I highly recommend it.


Terrible T said...

Agreed, one of my favourites to date. You may be interested to know that when I was at school, in English lessons, they said don't repeat the same words too often. I'm an amateur writer and sometimes muck that up, especially when characters are conversing: 'he said' said he' said, said, said! Ahhhh! My English teacher, therefore would agree with your minor quibble. Fortunately, I never noticed.

Bix said...

Hi Terrible T, welcome to the Veil's Edge and thanks for your comment.

Yeah I shouldn't gripe, I'm sure my English Teacher would find plenty to criticize in my own efforts; see my Dark Tales and take along a red marker pen. ;o)

But it was just like a ticking clock, once noticed it became 'Impossible' to ignore.

Munky said...

I found the book to be "impossibly" revealing!
I took from it a more rounded view of the Thousand Sons and their curse.
Overall one of the better books, as you said it does move things in the right direction.

Terrible T said...

Just read part one and it was great. The first paragraph is always the most difficult, but that had me hooked. No red marker pen required.

Terrible T said...

Death Guard and Thousands Sons fighting each other while Eldar look on. Ultramarines lauch a torpedoe volley into the squabbling chaos fleets ony to have them unite against them. Blood Drinkers turning up to undoubtedly join the fight. You have the makings of an entire book series there. Great work!

Bix said...

@Munky, lol yes revealing indeed. I'm hoping they can keep this momentum up now, like the Son's I too thirst for knowledge and there is so much more to learn. :)

@Terrible T, cheers for taking the time to read all that and for your kind words. Sadly that plotline has been gathering dust for a while as the campaign the tales were extracts from got a little bogged down and I’ve been pushing ahead with my painting.

I'm hoping to find some more time to finish it off as there are some important developments for both my Blood Drinkers Fandex and the armies of my fellow gamers.

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