Review: Betrayer – Aaron Dembski-Bowden

I have finished Betrayer and as unpopular as this might be, I was not enthralled by it. It was ok, not amazing, not terrible. I’ll start with the good.

This novel has some exceptionally good side characters. I really liked Lotara Sarrin, the captain of the World Eater flag ship. She comes across as a tough, mean woman who compliments the legion she works with. The World Eater dreadnought was another interesting one. Erebus remained well written, and I wanted to punch his smug face throughout the novel – a normal reaction of course.

One of my favourite parts of the novel was reading about the Titans. I mean, I love Titans anyway, but this part – a pack of Warhounds do battle against an Imperator – was exceptionally fun and exciting to read.

The dynamic between Argel Tal and Kharn is excellent too. They work well together and despite their clear differences, manage to get along and fight well. I liked reading about their interactions and their ventures together.

So what was off with the novel? Perhaps it is because I am not really a fan of World Eaters or Word Bearers. I got irritated by Angron’s whining – when he was lucid, all he did was moan and gripe about how everyone else had it easier than him. It might be true but it doesn’t make interesting reading. Lorgar was equally frustrating with his fanaticism. That is in character for him I guess but it really did nothing for me.

The pace felt a bit off as well in my opinion. The book is set in two parts, and the majority of these parts are battle scenes. At some points they felt dragged out and went on for far too long. I kept waiting for interesting things to happen and although there were scenes that were really good, I just kept waiting for the bigger picture to get going.

Maybe I am being unfair, having just thoroughly loved both Angel Exterminatus and Know No Fear. It could be that I am just not a fan of the Legions this novel focus’ on.

It’s worth reading, but I doubt I will read the book again.

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