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.