I completed listening to this Warhammer 40,000 novel and felt like it was definitely worth a review!
I feel less experienced than other members of the group in doing book reviews, especially when not to give away spoilers.
This will be a spoiler free book review with a touch on the view of the characters and brief cover of the storyline, as well as voice acting.
The start of the story like many, starts out of context to the rest of the story and I got a little lost after the first couple of chapters. I still can’t remember if it was relevant to the rest of the story. But once past this area of the book I feel like the storyline starts to improve.
Around chapter 3 (if I remember right) you start to meet the rest of the Deathwatch team, which will take part in the main mission in the storyline. The book presents a fairly rigid set of characters. They tried to pump some flair into a few of the characters to try and liven things up, but it’s typically Space Marine and Inquisitorial stoicism throughout.
The storyline is a pretty interesting one for a Deathwatch deployment. It demonstrates that it’s not always ‘bolter bolter bolter’ all the time, but shows the clandestine elements that the Deathwatch typically put up with before things collapse into chaos or the strike occurs. Also, the fact that a bunch of Space Marines wouldn’t be able to pull off all of their missions in all circumstances on their own.
It was good to include the human elements i.e the human Inquisitorial agents that are part of the operation, and how they mixed and operated with Adeptus Astartes forces throughout the book. I thought they were portrayed well in the book and their performance speaks volumes about the top tier class of warrior that the imperium can offer, who are just normal human beings. In fact, the team leader was not Astartes but a human officer.
The mission takes us to Tau space and the depth and understanding of Tau culture before the mission is undertaken is impressive. The operatives, including the Deathwatch, are fluent in the Tau language (yet clearly express they wish never to utter such foulness), which is mostly used to translate and decipher what can be heard in communications or written on doors.
Without ruining the main plot, which I must say is very intriguing for a novel involving the Tau, and an Inquisitor that’s not checked in for a while. It’s got a few turns in the story which keeps you going at certain times. In the end, a great book to read and a pleasure to listen to via Audible.
I give the book a solid 4/5 for voice acting. It wasn’t bad at all and wasn’t over the top, which some voice actors do often due to not understanding the 40k universe prior to recording.
The story line gets a 4/5. Its slow moments compliments its fast moments, so stick with it, the intrigue is great stuff!
Characters come across a bit bland but these are serious Inquisitorial agents and so I’ll award a 3/5 for them. I must admit that I did actually laugh a couple of times during this book.
All in all a great book. Get stuck in if you like the Ordo Xenos and Deathwatch. I hope my review was balanced and not too revealing.