Saturday, 16 April 2016

Horus Heresy Book Review - Scars by Chris Wraight (No spoilers)

I am slowly getting through the Black Library Horus Heresy series and thoroughly enjoying my trip through Warhammer history. I find it incredibly interesting to read each author's interpretation of the legions and the events that have taken place in the Warhammer universe. In truth some of the books have been brilliant - Horus Rising, Flight of the Eisenstein, Outcast Dead, Deliverance Lost & Fear to Tread to name just a couple - and some have been pretty boring - Descent of Angels, Battle for the Abyss, Nemesis, Mechanicum, Legion. I would say that on average though you can't go too wrong with this series of books as there is always something in these novels that is enjoyable and worth finding out about.

When it came to reading Scars I have to say that I was definitely NOT looking forward to this book. I generally have no interest in the White Scars and before the book had no idea about the chapter, their Primarch or their history in the Horus Heresy. Also I hadn't read a lot of Chris Wraight's novels previously although the one I had read (Battle for the fang) I thoroughly enjoyed. So with this slightly negative view off I went to join the Khan...

In the novel we are treated to many different legionsof Space Marines - From the White Scars & Space Wolves to the Alpha Legion, Word Bearers and Death Guard. We also get to meet 4 Primarchs - Khan & Mortarian in the main and Russ and Magnus chipping in with bit parts. With the meeting of these primarchs and legions we are treated to some interesting reveals and backstory of the Horus Heresy that has not been covered before and the characters in the book are extremely compelling which made me want to keep reading to find out more.

The story has a number of sub-plots and distinctly follows two storylines which can be a little disjointed but are both important to the story and the Horus Heresy as a whole with a great reveal about the workings of the Word Bearers and how they are controlling things.

The most enjoyable parts of the story for me were the interactions between the primarchs which just make me want to know what would happen if.....(once you've read it you'll understand!) and the decision that the Khan must make whether to be loyal to the Emperor or Horus. Chris Wraight did a magnificent job of getting the feeling of confusion across to the reader as bits of information, messages and rumours about the wider galaxy reached the White Scars creating division and corruption amongst the legion.

The poorer parts of the book in my opinion were the pace - I thought that at times it slowed down when things had just started to get going - which is probably due to this book being originally released as a series ebook in parts. Also I thought that some of the fighting and battle scenes weren't as engaging as they should have been. I'm not sure why but it just didn't feel like I was in the battle with shells and swords clattering around me.

As a whole I really enjoyed the book and I think it is well worth a read. It compliments and extends the Horus Heresy background, tells the story of the White Scars chapter of which little has been written before and is an interesting standalone story with some great characters.

I give this book an 8/10

Let me know what you think


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