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The Siege of Terra: The First Wall


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#201
Gongsun Zan

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I agree with Roomsky, this book really could have used a bit more time in the editing room. There are a couple of minor POVs that don't really add anything to the book, and feel like they were just there for the sake of being there (Khârn is a notable example). 

 

already so that Rann can personally go lead some fight or another. Gav also struggles a lot with capturing the scale of the siege - it seems his solution is just to add a bunch of extra zeros to everything, but he doesn't seem to get that a fight between 40 guys is vastly different from having multiple brigades and divisions shooting at each other. Instead of trying to figure out how such a force can even function on any operational level, we just get repeated instances of Rann assuring the reader that his second-in-command knows all this

 

On the flip side, the book is a lot better when it tackles the siege on a much smaller scale - i.e. the parts with Zenobi, Amon and Forrix.  

 

Overall I found it to be a rather uneven book. It's good when its good, but its very underwhelming when it isn't. 

This sort of thing was always going to be an issue for a sub-series that is basically a massive complex multi-front battle, at least if it's an aspect that bothers people generally in BL books. None of the BL writers have ever really demonstrated that they have much talent or more likely even an interest in a harder/more realistic military tactical focus on the battles in their books. That's generally fine by me as i don't look to 30k or 40k (or most of my sci-fi and fantasy in general) to excel or go too far in depth there, though it surprisingly bother me quite a bit on a reread of Solar War. French more or less handwaves away the Terran and Luna defences in that with one big ritual.

 

very much doubt when the series is done we are going to have the purely military engagement side of The Siege be too strategically intricate or skilfully done on a tactical level. It's not what the series has ever really been about. I imagine Forgeworld black books on it will be the place that goes a lot more in-depth there, if they ever get that far.

 

 

To clarify, I wasn't expecting or asking for hard sci-fi military realism - in fact, I think Solar War did an impressive job of sketching out the opening salvos of the void war, and I don't recall having much of an issue with Haley's writing either. IMO I think with such a large scale battle you either zoom out to an omniscient level, or you zoom all the way in and focus on a few tiny scenes within that larger whole. My issue with this book is that it is not zoomed out or zoomed in enough - instead its a bit of a middle ground where the author constantly calls attention to the number of participants involved and wants us to keep those numbers in mind, but doesn't manage to carry that across with the POV of his characters. 

 

I feel it might have helped if the book had just (i) chucked the obsession with numbers entirely, or (ii) have Rann's arc told from the perspective of Dorn's control room in an AAR style, so that  things could just be described on a macro level.    


Edited by Gongsun Zan, 08 December 2019 - 12:39 PM.

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#202
DukeLeto69

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Time of yet another imprint to join Warhammer Horror and Warhammer Crime, to be announced next year at the Black Library Weekender:


Warhammer SciFi

In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future,

Sometimes there even is Hard Science

Lol just being pedantic but that is soooo the wrong typeface for “hard sci fi”

Edit - weird it changes font in the quote

I figured Comic Sans would nicely underline the hyperbolic, silly announcement. I'm German, I'm still trying to learn how this comedy/humor thing works, apologies.

It was very funny but my attempt at humour failed!

Saying that Comic Sans would be perfect for Warhammer Romance ;-)

#203
Kelborn

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Back to topic, guys.

 

If we want to discuss or make fun of potential, yet ridiculous new imprints, let's do that in another thread. Or the Amicus subforum.

=][=


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#204
hopkins

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"None of the BL writers have ever really demonstrated that they have much talent or more likely even an interest in a harder/more realistic military tactical focus on the battles in their books."

Yes, the Siege of Terra is/will be reading more like Tolkien's Fall of Gondolin (the better written portions of the Siege) and less like a hard military sci-fi version of Stalingrad or Leningrad in space. 40K is that type of setting and more importantly, the BL stable doesn't have that type of authour.

EDIT: *is not


3 words. Storm Of Iron

With the subject matter at hand, I was hoping this book would be Storm Of Iron on steroids

One sentence from Kroeger reeling off the number of tanks deployed, and that was pretty much it for siege chat and tactics

Then you get sentences like this

"Rann could see the metal armour and yellow and white stripes of Iron Warriors squads"

Enjoyed the Amon/Malcador bits

Did not enjoy the Zenobi arc, would have sat better in a novella

6.5/10

Bring on ADB, Wraight and Abnett
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#205
b1soul

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I agree, bring on Dan, Chris, and Aaron...likely in that order.

Saturnine, WS retaking the Lion's Gate, and something by ADB

#206
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Finished. I didn't really like it and so won't bother doing my traditional highlights reel. It's certainly not the raging dumpster fire that some people are apparently making it out to be but I still can't help but be disappointed. Thorpe just isn't a good enough author to capture the grandeur of what he's trying to describe. Books in this series need to form part of a cohesive whole, but they also should be able to stand on their own feet. The First Wall, in my opinion, does the former reasonably well, but not the latter. The Dorn vs. Perturabo subplot, as others have already noted, was one of the stronger parts of the book and is nothing at all like it is described by the screeching critics found on Reddit.

 

But at the end of the day this, like LATD, isn't a book I'd recommend to people. It's just a book that is fortunate enough to be part of an important and long-awaited series and any importance or meaningfulness it has is derived purely from that fact. I don't regret reading it but I also can't see myself picking it up again.

 

Hows the rest of the series? I'm looking to pick them up over the holiday and I trust your word above most others.


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#207
Marshal Loss

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Finished. I didn't really like it and so won't bother doing my traditional highlights reel. It's certainly not the raging dumpster fire that some people are apparently making it out to be but I still can't help but be disappointed. Thorpe just isn't a good enough author to capture the grandeur of what he's trying to describe. Books in this series need to form part of a cohesive whole, but they also should be able to stand on their own feet. The First Wall, in my opinion, does the former reasonably well, but not the latter. The Dorn vs. Perturabo subplot, as others have already noted, was one of the stronger parts of the book and is nothing at all like it is described by the screeching critics found on Reddit.

 

But at the end of the day this, like LATD, isn't a book I'd recommend to people. It's just a book that is fortunate enough to be part of an important and long-awaited series and any importance or meaningfulness it has is derived purely from that fact. I don't regret reading it but I also can't see myself picking it up again.

 

Hows the rest of the series? I'm looking to pick them up over the holiday and I trust your word above most others.

 

 

Good to see you around mate. Solar War (book 1, by John French) is exceptional and can stand on its own as one of the all-time best HH novels imo. Starts the Siege with a bang. Lost and the Damned (book 2, by Guy Haley) & First Wall (book 3, by Gav Thorpe) have their moments, some good some bad, but aren't anything special. Not the worst thing either Haley or Thorpe have ever written for what it's worth but I'm just viewing them as filler until Wraight & ADB get their time in Sol's sun.


Edited by Marshal Loss, Yesterday, 02:27 AM.

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#208
m_r_parker

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Have to agree with Marshal Loss, Solar War stands out as the best of the three by a mile and rivals some of the best from the previous Heresy series. Lost and the Damned is the weakest of the three, but First Wall is surprisingly good given the author. 

However, I don't think it's going to be a case of 'skip book X and go straight to Y' - there's going to be narrative threads through the series that will require you to stick through (and probably buy) all of the novels.

 

Go ahead and get Solar War - as the first in the series you won't need much prior reading, and it's the best of the lot. Whether you ant to carry on is up to you, but there will be Wraight and A-D-B later on in the series...


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#209
Kelborn

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But if you want to have some prior reading, I'd go with Slaves to Darkness and maybe Wolfsbane, though I'd emphasize the former.


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#210
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Thx guys. I did get Slaves to Darkness, and it was good. I've been pretty off everything 40K/30K when my local scene died off, but hopefully these books scratch the itch.


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