Tuesday 12 January 2016

Book Review: Cybernetica

This Horus Heresy novella was published in July 2015 by long time Black Library contributor Rob Sanders who has written fairly broadly across 40k and 30k in his time. Interestingly Rob is an English Teacher at a secondary school in addition to writing for the Black Library - very cool to have as your teacher!

The book is set around the issue of what Dorn, Malcador and the Fabricator General of Terra think should be done about Mars. As you would expect the lead character convinces Dorn ("just give me 48hours chief") to let him try a clandestine mission to bring about victory over the traitors on Mars and the bulk of the story tracks his progress.

The lead character is a very cool Raven Guard known as the 'Carrion' who was badly injured, 'repaired' with extensive cybernetics and as a result began training to be a Techmarine on Mars prior to the outbreak of the civil war. He is an appealing character who takes us along the way in an engaging way starting off as a tortured soul following his extensive injuries which prevent him returning to the ranks of stealthy Ravens. He has some very cool in-built weaponry which uses power drained from enemies and friends alike. His main weapon is a grav-gun that he wields like a shotgun - very cool. He would make a great model with some awesome rules.

There are some interesting insights into Dorns thinking, Malcadors' relationship with the Primarch and the state of civil war on Mars but to be honest it's not revealing a great deal more than we already know. As a VIIth Legion fan I was happy just to see a bit more of Dorn and in some ways that's what these peripheral stories can offer most of.

If you like fight scenes you won't be disappointed - there are plenty of epic battles with leaps from collapsing buildings to conveyor belt fights against swarming Skitari.

I think you have to read these novellas knowing that they probably won't make a big impact on the overall story line but they can give you a look 'behind the scenes' of the bigger stuff or even develop a Heresy character further by filling in the blanks. Rob Sanders goes some way to doing this but this book is more about filling in the backstory than revealing much about any of our favourite characters.

The verdict: 6/10

I enjoyed the read but at times found the fights scenes to be a little repetitive. The character of the Carrion was interesting in the first half but became a little static thereafter. I think if you are interested in the war on Mars and Mechanicus related stuff then it's worth a read, if you love a good fight scene and like the sound of some cool weaponry not used much elsewhere you'll also not be disappointed.

If you are like me, and simply have to know what's going on in the Heresy then just get it!

1 comment:

  1. Cheers Rich, it's good to have someone giving us the low down as I'm sure these novellas won't be on everyone's shopping list