I won’t lie, I was a bit wary of reading this. I did not get along with Dark Imperium when I read it and so was unsure whether I would get along with this. All hesitation was blown away after the first few pages however and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel.
What makes this novel exceptionally good, is how invested I was in the characters. I knew of Mephiston of course, and his friends Rhacelus and Antros, and I knew names of the others but not what they were like. It did not take long for me to become truly involved with them and want them to win. Every character in the novel plays a part but there are no carbon copies, not one of them is the same as the other, despite claims to the contrary and it comes off well. They all compliment one another in some way and seeing them all work together is a delight – even if they don’t want to! This is a true writing skill, and shows how masterful Haley is.
I don’t do spoilers in my reviews because I want readers to go out and wnjoy books for themselves but character highlights are fine:
- Gabriel Seth of the Flesh Tearers being an angry meathead at everything forever.
- Dante’s speeches, actions and general heroism despite his personal doubts.
- Mephiston’s questionable deeds, and the dynamic between him and the other librarians.
- The genuine sadness as the planet and its system is devastated.
- The Lictor.
Other points that made this book readable: pace, dialogue and balance. The pace is good. It kept me reading until late as I wanted to know what happened. It was punchy, didn’t linger too long on a single point and wasn’t too heavy on the description either. The dialogue between the characters is good, whether a rousing speech, bickering or banter, it works well. Again, it is not over written but in some places, it is funny. It hits the right tone throughout.
This novel is well balanced, quick paced and has some truly emotional points in it. I didn’t cry (only Graham McNeill makes me do that these days), but it was close. I was afraid, gutted and relieved through the book and that is down to the skill of Guy Haley.
I also bought Gabriel Seth so I can have my very own Angry Meathead to glare at the other Angry Meatheads in the cabinet!
Thanks for the great read!