Jump to content

Welcome to The Bolter and Chainsword
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Space Marine Conquest: Apocalypse


  • Please log in to reply
60 replies to this topic

#51
Sandlemad

Sandlemad

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,888 posts
Dang browser ate my lengthy thing on this book but suffice to say that while it's not a great novel by any means, it's a stunning achievement for four weeks and offers a lot more interesting stuff than quite a few technically superior works. For one thing, when have we seen a genuinely suicidal marine? Not 'suicidal but can't recognise it', not 'seeking a glorious redemptive death', not 'weird morose geneseed thing' but suffering such a genuine emotional and spiritual crisis that he tries to take his own life multiple times? I ofund this surprisingly subtly drawn, even 
 
Apart from that, there's a good diversity of character sketches (and they are sketches, largely) in places, lots of references to non-40k literature, an excellent portrayal of daemons, a non-corrupt cardinal that the WS khan even lampshades, a wonderful dry humour. This gave me enough to chew on, enough to basically overlook the fairly standard plot, the weird pacing and kind of rickety structure.
 
The primaris stuff was.. fine, sort of off the shelf, but I liked the line from one firstborn WS character in response to grumbling from his brothers about being replaced: "Every new recruit is there to replace a veteran, what else is new". Rather amusing way to bump up against the limitations of slotting tabletop playerbase's concerns about their armies into in-universe supersoldiers' concerns about their futures.
 
It reaffirms my belief in Reynolds as one of BL's best and as someone who really puts a remarkable level of effort into his work. I would favourably compare how he has Amatnim muse on the heresy and Argel Tal with anything McNeill does with old characters, i.e. this blows stuff like Crimson King out of the water. McNeill makes the universe feel small with his references, Reynolds here engages deeply with pre-existing WB characters and background (and White Scars background from Wraight, for that matter) for the purposes of serious character development. Amatnim isn't Argel Tal come again but his whole character is in thoughtful dialogue with questions of the legion's direction from ADB's work.
 
To my mind this sort of puts the lie to the idea that writers have their subjects that they just can't do or should never be unleashed upon. A softer version is certainly true - John French does esoteric warp nonsense better than most and shadowy intrigue as well as any, good for him to play to his strengths - but Reynolds clearly wasn't super-invested in the WB but did his research, identified the points of interest and internal contradictions, and gave them a great portrayal. Just as with the wolves in the Lukas novel. It's a pretty frickin' professional way of doing things.
 
Also... I got a real kick out of the 'Apocalypse' element referring to spiritual revelation or literal unveiling rather than massive battles with titans and superheavies. In fairness there's no reason why it couldn't have been both, this isn't a huge battle by the standards of BL books, but I felt this went beyond simple wordplay. There's a thoughtfulness and a wryness to it and what it presents about the book's themes. It's on a similar order to something like the ambivalent meanings of the titles of The First Heretic or Betrayer. That's good stuff and to see it applied to a book written in a month is a delight and a wonder.

  • mc warhammer, DarkChaplain, Kelborn and 2 others like this

#52
mc warhammer

mc warhammer

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,289 posts

interesting how different boards react differently to certain books. reddit has responded to apocalypse better than here (but seems a lot of them hated "solar war")

 

I'm prepared for this not to be one of reynold's best, but I find even on his "off days" he still approaches characters and subjects in a way I always find fascinating and unexpected even if the structure is uneven.

 

I have a hunch that my take on the book will be similar to sandlemad's when I read it


  • Sandlemad and DarkChaplain like this
can't touch this
can't touch this
can't touch this
warhammer time!
 

#53
Kelborn

Kelborn

    ++ LECTOR HOSPITIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI ++
  • 4,909 posts
  • Location:Germany
  • Faction: None - I'm a fluff nerd.
Feel the same, MC.
I'm enjoying Joshs work in AoS more than I suspected. Gonna give his 40k stuff a try, as well. I was never into the Emperor's Children for example but if his Hallowed Knights series is anything to go with, I think I'm gonna enjoy Fulgrim, Apocalypse and so on.
  • mc warhammer likes this

Lost Legion, the Predators                                                     Liber Astartes Swap Challenge 2019   

 tn_gallery_87379_12273_68539.jpg gallery_26154_15777_13780.png 

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

This is my mod voice. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My mod voice is a means to an end.

Let us avoid it, alright?


#54
Roomsky

Roomsky

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 748 posts
  • Location:Canada, eh?

For me, Josh Reynolds remains a sort of perfect Black Library writer.

 

Perfect as in without flaw (think Portal) vs the best it could possibly be. His characterization is always on point, his prose is always good, and his plots are always interesting. Even here, in a 500+ page book written in about a month, he delivers all of the above. It's everything I've ever wanted out of a book with a pitch that probably sounded something like "space marines battle." We get a strong cast, good primaris vs marinelet dynamics, some excellent Word Bearers philosophy (perhaps the only WB that can rival ADBs in quality), and lots of fun subversion. My personal favourite is the inverted ecclesiarchy dynamic, where the priest character is reasonable and the most prominent battle sister is completely unhinged. The campaign is even a welcome treat, with a huge emphasis put on the void campaign and the Word Bearer's path through the system. Numerous contingencies are tried before the inevitable ground war, and even then that's more of a targeted insertion. This is a surprising breath of fresh air when most marine books are reduced to "everyone landed, we charged their lines for 300 pages."

 

Is it my favourite Black Library book? No, it's not the most interesting premise, it just does it's premise remarkably well. Is it my favourite Reynolds book? Again, no, it doesn't salvage an entire character arc like Fulgrim did, nor explore the same intriguing premise as Clonelord. It's just a really solid book, and should really be the new standard for Space Marine battle books.

 

Bulwark/10


  • mc warhammer, Sandlemad, aa.logan and 1 other like this

Hey I've started a web comic! You can read it here.

 


#55
DarkChaplain

DarkChaplain

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 2,074 posts
  • Location:Germany

On that note, it still boggles my mind like crazy that Josh was never asked to join the Horus Heresy team and contribute a novel to the series. The Blackshields audios are on point, his work on Fulgrim and the Emperor's Children is great, yet he never got to participate in the big blockbuster series, despite being fully qualified for the job.

 

Frankly, I'd love for him to write a novel or two about the Emperor's Children during the Heresy War, pre and post ascension of Fulgrim. They've been painted with such broad, rough strokes since Fulgrim, on top of being barely relevant in the war, a proper showcasing of the Legion via Reynolds would go a long way, and allow him to build more on the ideas of his Primarchs novel and Fabius Bile. He went into the EC topic relatively openly, but as always, he does his homework and finds a tone that fits, plots that are interesting and suit the cast, and makes the entire thing fun to read as well.


  • mc warhammer, Noserenda, aa.logan and 2 others like this

#56
aa.logan

aa.logan

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 308 posts
  • Location:Stockport
  • Faction: Kartash’s pious stink
I’m a little surprised that I haven’t already added my thoughts on this book, but I guess I did read it in the internet-less wilds of Scotland so had other things on my mind...

It’s a really solid book. Adds a load of depth to the Word Bearers- the exchange about shades of red armour and the vying for internal position and favour brings the Legion to life, as does the role of ritual and rite in their actions; often this can be played as evil for evil’s sake, but Reynolds almost manages to present them as having a dysfunctionally functional society.

I think I’ve said on here before that the opening of the Fulgrim Primarchs novel is up amongst my favourite in all of BL, and the scene with Ashu commanding his ship is it’s equal. I won’t spoil anything, but that sequence is would work in isolation. As with the opening of Fulgrim, Reynolds manages to convey so much about individual characters and the setting as a whole in such a little space it’s seriously impressive.

The Imperial focused stuff was good too, managing to make all three chapters look mighty cool.
  • mc warhammer, DarkChaplain and Roomsky like this

#57
mc warhammer

mc warhammer

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,289 posts

was lurking but had to sign in to second all the above. whether it's a character, situation or topic...there's always something in his writing that just grabs me. it's a shame he wasn't on the HH team proper


  • aa.logan, DarkChaplain and Roomsky like this
can't touch this
can't touch this
can't touch this
warhammer time!
 

#58
b1soul

b1soul

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 4,601 posts
Like French, Reynolds is very solid

#59
mc warhammer

mc warhammer

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,289 posts
finally read this, and i really enjoyed it. once it got going, i couldn't put it down. along with abnett and adb, reynolds is the only author who's books i never skim it skip chunks of.sonething about his style just flows and isn't hard to ingest.

i was looking out for a lot of the criticisms but either didn't see them myself, or they didn't bother me. predictable plot? i guess, but i don't think i've read any BL books with surprising plots (interesting relevations, sure but not plot). bland stereotypical loyalists? not for me. the thing i love about this author is the characterisation is subtle; he sets up characters within the expected cage (stoic fist, joyful barbarian scar, introverted raven) but it's how they react I'm small moments that reveals levels of complexity. whether it's questioning themselves or disagreeing with a comrade or being thrust into an uncertain situation or their rare moments of humour- those are the times that reveal character. they don't need to be huge displays...just small reactions that add up to a fully rounded character. annandale is better than most at making "red shirts" people with their own specific mindsets and motivations. i felt like i understood one page characters almost immediately.

i wouldn't even say it was a great read despite the deadline and editorial pressure- it is regardless. books with more time and less interference have been much less enjoyable.

if i could pick at anything it would have been for karros and suboden to have arcs as satisfying as the rest of the characters

i know it's some sort of "battle" or "campaign" book but if reynolds had just released a novel filled with nothing but his character conversations...i'd have eaten it up

edit: author name corrected thanks to the marshal

Edited by mc warhammer, 02 January 2020 - 04:52 AM.

  • aa.logan likes this
can't touch this
can't touch this
can't touch this
warhammer time!
 

#60
Marshal Loss

Marshal Loss

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 3,928 posts
  • Location:New York
  • Faction: Legio Mordaxis

annandale

 

Reynolds.
 


bl-logo.jpg

Sons of Horus 29th Company
ἐλεφαντάρχης


#61
mc warhammer

mc warhammer

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,289 posts


annandale

Reynolds.
yeah, i...was just spelling it... differently...

thanks for the correction

Edited by mc warhammer, 02 January 2020 - 04:51 AM.

can't touch this
can't touch this
can't touch this
warhammer time!
 




2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users