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Space Marine Conquest: Apocalypse


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#26
Wulfburk

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How are the imperial fists portrayed? Well? Could it be said to -be- an imperial fist book, or at least half of it? 



#27
rookie40K

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How are the imperial fists portrayed? Well? Could it be said to -be- an imperial fist book, or at least half of it?


I’m halfway through audio and the loyalist side seems very bland. That’s coming from an Imperial fanboy. The Word Bearers side is actually interesting and done well.

#28
Marshal Loss

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Bought this on a whim because I like the Word Bearers. Overall SMC:A reminds me of the 40k novels I read when I was younger. Decent action and a decent (albeit incredibly predictable) plot. Don't expect anything near the lofty heights of ADB/Wraight/French etc out of this.

 

The Loyalists are pretty dull and their characters largely forgettable, as rookie40k said above - by and large Reynolds just plays off sterotypes. The Primaris commentary felt a little ham-fisted and pointless, and I much preferred the way they were dealt with in Spear of the Emperor. The Traitors were a bit better. The main Word Bearer character is an acolyte of Kor Phaeron - an ex-Ashen Circle marine, still wearing grey rather than red, powerful and devout in his own way, but heavily divergent from the XVII stereotype. The cast of supporting characters on both sides is good; I enjoyed the Cardinal-Governor & a few of the Sisters from the Loyalist side, as well as a handful of the less cackling-style Word Bearers.

 

There are some genuinely interesting ideas in this book. My favourite was where we saw a Word Bearer looking to understand his Legion's place in the new reality post-Cadia - in a world where the Black Legion are powerful conquerors, the Death Guard are being led by their Primarch, and the Emperor's Children are "more united than they have ever been" - possibly a hint for the future, or just a reflection of his work on the III Legion? - what world is that for the XVII? Shouldn't the Architects of Heresy be on top? Why is Lorgar not leading them? Why do they settle for their leaders kissing the boots of the Despoiler? Why are they not unified? How do they feel about the Imperium's religion being based off their original holy texts? Some really fascinating questions are posed here, but ultimately that's all we get: questions and an ending that doesn't feel like it did enough to round off such a great premise (at least in my opinion).

 

The plot is ok. The Traitors lose (gasp) and it never really felt like they were going to win at all which undermined any sense of urgency. I won't spoil the secret that brings the XVII to Almace, but it's a good one. Ultimately if I was assigning this book a numerical value it would be a 6 or a 6.5 out of 10. It's a capable read with some good moments, an astonishing achievement given the circumstances detailed on the last page, but it's also far from Reynolds' best. Luckily his talent and sense of humour make the most out of what he's got.

 

Little tidbits from the book for interested readers:

  • There is a statue of Zardu Layak alongside other fallen Legion heroes (Argel Tal, etc). So obviously he dies, which isn't a surprise. But why would marines loyal to Lorgar be putting up a statue of Zardu Layak, the guy who chose Horus over his own Primarch?
  • In the Imperial Fists, the Huscarls have been reinstated
  • There are singing Space Marines in this book
  • Two Cultists hook up for about 3 seconds before a Raven Guard marine slaughters them. I laughed
  • Apparently daemons and mortals can have children together (yuck)
  • As noted above, it's cool seeing the Word Bearers encounter the Loyalist texts derived from Lorgar. What I would give to see Lorgar's reaction to this...
  • Corax is mentioned as still hunting throughout the Eye (in the form of a rumour, anyway)

One final thought: for a novel titled "Apocalypse" it really doesn't have much (anything) that marks it as "Apocalypse". The stakes don't feel large at all, although there is some clever wordplay by Reynolds to justify the title. At the end of the day I think this would have been a lot better if it weren't a tie-in and Reynolds had been given more time to develop it as a project. He's a good author with some great ideas though so I hope to see more from him.


Edited by Marshal Loss, 10 July 2019 - 08:43 AM.

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#29
Apothecary Vaddon

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given how he's been saying he's burned out on 40k, i'd expect little from him. unfortunate but the situation that led to apocalypse probably hurts even more


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#30
theSpirea

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I suggest reading his web/blog: https://joshuamreynolds.co.uk/ and to check his books/shorts done for other IPs. Currently, it seems he is involved in new projects (not part of BL) and it looks he's very passionate about it.

 

Also, here's one of the questions he was asked: Which is your favourite chaos space marine army?

"I don’t have one. Space Marines, Chaos or otherwise, aren’t really my bag. If I had to pick…Emperor’s Children, I guess? I’ve read enough about them to have some affection for their utterly broken way of existence."
 
I'm still waiting for my Apocalypse copy to arrive :(

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#31
Knockagh

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It comes across he’s not much of s space marine fan. The Bile books are the only books I’ve returned to Audible since I joined, I just couldn’t get into them. But I’ve enjoyed his AoS books.

Edited by Knockagh, 11 July 2019 - 07:48 AM.


#32
SkimaskMohawk

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That's odd, as the bile books are very highly regarded.

#33
Panzer

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I guess he had more fun writing the Bile books because Bile himself is a very unique character and the whole cast is basically a bunch of very different characters from different legions interacting with eachother instead of your typical one-legion/chapter squad/company where the individual Marine kinda blends in with his brothers. The parts in the Bile books where he wrote about the "generic" Emperor's Children were very bland as well.


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#34
cheywood

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Reynolds seems to imbue most of his works with a slightly off-kilter sense of humor that I don’t think works all that well with most Marines (and probably fits AOS more than 40k in most cases). I think he’s mentioned he struggles with Marines’ relative lack of humor as well. He is one of the more openly mercenary BL writers, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear he writes SM in some part due to the sales numbers being so consistently good.

#35
theSpirea

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Just got my copy. I have to say, Black Library disappoints with their packaging, as usual. Interesting thing is, it was printed in the UK, all other books I get from BL are printed in China. Now, one would think it means higher quality but far from it. The paper is very thin and the print is much smaller than usual hardcover. If this is the new standard for these Limited Edition, them I'm probably going to pass.
 
Apocalypse
Apocalypse

 



#36
Knockagh

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So it’s worse than a standard hardback but more expensive? The UK printing probably means it was printed in GWs own print which usually only takes care of the paperbacks but it explains the poor paper quality as the press will be set up for pulp paper used for paperbacks.
I’m all for supporting UK businesses and would fully back them sourcing locally but surely they can find a local print that can do a quality job.

Edited by Knockagh, 11 July 2019 - 07:28 PM.


#37
theSpirea

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The paper in standard hardback is thicker, feels/looks better and, I think, might last longer. Also, the Apocalypse LE is the binding is glued = poor quality.


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#38
Biscuittzz

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Any info on the Raven Guard - how they are presented, the main character etc? Or just sneaky beakies as is usual?

 

Very little seen of them since 8th edition dropped.



#39
Kelborn

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Same question regarding the Scars.

Are they the ones singing?

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#40
rookie40K

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I’ve been listening to the audio since the day it came out. I’m a huge space marine fan, especially Raven Guard. I’m not a fan of Chaos and usually find them boring. In this book chaos is the more interesting of the two. There is a surprise towards the end that is okay, but the book has been really boring. I’ve started it over several times because I lose interest and focus. This is definitely not a must have.

#41
Osteoclast

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Same question regarding the Scars.

Are they the ones singing?


Nope, Fists alongside Sororitas.

The book itself was alright and I thought a fairly good look at the aspects of faith in 40K. The space battles and landing sequences were pretty meh; no one has ever really gotten close to Execution Hour on it and for the life of me I can’t tell if this was supposed to be set in a system or subsector. What I wouldn’t give for David Drake or John Hemry (aka Jack Campbell) to write some Imperial Navy novels.
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#42
b1soul

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"Nope, Fists alongside Sororitas"

Not off-pitch I'd hope

#43
godking

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Finished it today not bad. The word bearers where the more interesting characters. Apis was my favorite character in the book. Not a religious zealot just a soldier doing his job

#44
Espresso

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Apart for the interesting dialogues between the Word Bearers and the crash of their various philosophies exemplified by the two main villain characters, I have found the narrative in the book rather shallow. It seems that no matter how many books people write, no one dares to make the loyalist marines original. It is sad to see characters limited in scope due to being typecast into their chapter/legion trope. 


~ Espresso ~

 


#45
Knockagh

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Apart for the interesting dialogues between the Word Bearers and the crash of their various philosophies exemplified by the two main villain characters, I have found the narrative in the book rather shallow. It seems that no matter how many books people write, no one dares to make the loyalist marines original. It is sad to see characters limited in scope due to being typecast into their chapter/legion trope.


I’m no avid marine fan but they have been done wonderfully at times. Try Spears of the Emperor. Horus Rising (they were loyal back yonder), Dante, Brothers of the Snake, Lucas the Trickster, Helsreach and dare I say it the dark angles trilogy. Heck if you want weird you can go back to Mr Watson.

It can be done but it is rare. The big guy standard marine book can be a little boring after the second book you’ve read. But some folks love them!
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#46
b1soul

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Plenty of good SM entries in the HH series.

#47
ZakarMorXVII

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I've read it. Really great book if you want to see more of what you saw in the Word Bearer Omnibus.

 

The book's two main sides are between the Imperial Fists and Word Bearers. You get the see the motivations and goals of the Word Bearers through their two characters, Captain Amatnim and Dark Apostle Lakhmu who are each opposed to each other based on religious beliefs with one following Kor Phaeron and the other Erebus. The Word Bearers of past also get a lot of mention with them talking about Zardu Layak, Argel Tal, Xaphen, Lorgar's solitude, the cold war between the Dark Council. the inner-strife of the chapter, and the betrayals in the Legion.

 

The Imperial Fists however are a drag with much of it being dialogue between the Cardinal of the world their defending, and the Imperial Fist Lieutenant who talk mostly about reinforcing areas, their chances at victory, and such with the Cardinal hiding a secret that could "unravel" the Ecclesiarchy. 

 

All in all, I liked it a lot.


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#48
Apothecary Vaddon

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Enjoyed it. The 'bombshell' isn't really much...different, tbh, then what we already know of the Ecclesiarchy and how it started. But it's still nevertheless a very interesting facet of the beginnings of the Ecclesiarchy, though I'd be interested in seeing how that ties into where DI:PW went, if at all.

 

I thought the Primaris/OldMarine commentary was well done - it was there, and obviously never came to a resolution, but was a good angle to look at the situation with. IMO Calder had enough personality (he's a First, how much charisma are they supposed to have to begin with?) and was an interesting character with callbacks to his experience from ages ago, as he was a First Generation Primaris. Suboden Khan was equally amusing, a good WS. The RG probably got the least amount of screentime but they had their moments as well (nice bit with the resolution of the Asteroid Mine situation, great call back to the origins of the RG). 

 

As others have stated, the WB were good too. 

 

Plot was fine for me. Traitors 'lost' in the end, there were some interesting lines about what the Gods were really after with this entire endeavor, which'll soften the blow - maybe - for any Traitor fanboys out there. Some very equally interesting potential implications about belief in the Emperor and how it might tie into Colchisian. For a 4-week crunch novel, pretty damn good. Kind of open ended at the end with the potentiality of a sequel to follow some of the characters, but given where Reynolds might be going in terms of his career I feel that's pretty unlikely anytime soon.


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#49
b1soul

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Spoiler


#50
Apothecary Vaddon

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Spoiler


Edited by Apothecary Vaddon, 29 July 2019 - 05:43 AM.





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