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Mortis


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#526
Knockagh

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I've also developed a nasty habit with John French books where I'm constantly rereading passages over and over and over to understand them... Having dense prose is one thing, but large chunks of this book are straight up unreadable in my opinion. He isn't writing this book in Greek or a different language, I just frequently don't understand what he wants me to see or be aware of

nice to know i'm not the only one.

thing is, there's so much about his work i really enjoy, he's easily one of the best in the BL stable at subtle yet deep characterisation but adb and abnett are both better at guiding the reader through their text

I’m with you guys. I find french is much better for short stories. The Horusian wars shorts are superb he doesn’t have room to get lost in endless pointless rambles. Mortis is probably his biggest physical book I’ve read of his yet so I found all his weaknesses are accentuated.
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#527
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*sigh* was looking forward to this but now...!!!!

The word “slog” doesn’t get me very excited!

#528
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I've also developed a nasty habit with John French books where I'm constantly rereading passages over and over and over to understand them... Having dense prose is one thing, but large chunks of this book are straight up unreadable in my opinion. He isn't writing this book in Greek or a different language, I just frequently don't understand what he wants me to see or be aware of

nice to know i'm not the only one.

 

thing is, there's so much about his work i really enjoy,  he's easily one of the best in the BL stable at subtle yet deep characterisation but adb and abnett are both better at guiding the reader through their text

 

 

It's very frustrating. It's like someone has tattooed a wordsearch onto my eyeballs. If this continues in French's future projects like Abomination, the Iron Cage (maybe) and a possible necrons-related Ahriman novel, then I won't be picking them up. I care not from whence the sentences flow, only that they do. The very first true chapter of Mortis, for example, begins with French describing a sunset/sunrise across the Imperial Palace, but it's written like the opposite of what it's supposed to be, so I'm wondering if it's supposed to highlight the sheer size of the Palace by stressing the sun's arc across the sky, and... my brain just :cussing melted. I had to give Jubal Khan Vs. Abaddon a quick reread just to picture exactly what happens, and I was fine. This though? It feels like some kind of exercise designed to unlock my third eye, and it's not just the example I provided, but one after another to the point of nausea


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#529
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I've described it as a 'word salad' in the past. But weirdly enough I don't remember the Ahriman series being like that...maybe it was and I just don't remember, but these days I just skim everything until i get to some kind of lore tidbit that seems pivotal or whatever


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#530
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French likes to indulge in rather detailed descriptions, some of which (to me) aren't very easy to understand intuitively...

#531
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I didn’t have that experience with this book, for what it’s worth. It’s not French’s best novel, but I read it in one day, and didn’t really struggle with dense prose or anything. 


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#532
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The very first true chapter of Mortis, for example, begins with French describing a sunset/sunrise across the Imperial Palace, but it's written like the opposite of what it's supposed to be, so I'm wondering if it's supposed to highlight the sheer size of the Palace by stressing the sun's arc across the sky, and... my brain just :cussing melted.

I laughed so hard when the Sun rose in the west and moved to the east.


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#533
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The very first true chapter of Mortis, for example, begins with French describing a sunset/sunrise across the Imperial Palace, but it's written like the opposite of what it's supposed to be, so I'm wondering if it's supposed to highlight the sheer size of the Palace by stressing the sun's arc across the sky, and... my brain just :cussing melted.

I laughed so hard when the Sun rose in the west and moved to the east.

The climate change folk believe this will happen if we all keep driving our q7’s. They have a theory it happened back in the mists of time and the poles reversed. Perhaps French read this theory and stuck it in.

#534
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Having read this sandwiched between Penitent and the Alpharius primarch novel, I am possibly connecting some dots that aren't there, possibly seeing some things ten thousand years in the making....... Guess I am running contrary to some others in this thread when I say I think the best parts of the novel was the perpetual arcs, followed by Shiban. The rest was like much of the SoT has been - overly bloated, overly described bolterporn. 

 

Not to take a dump on French. It was a serviceable novel. It's more a criticism of the wider SoT series at this point. Too. Much. Bloat. 


Edited by Brother Lunkhead, 10 May 2021 - 03:35 PM.
off topic


#535
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=][=

 

Let's keep the discussion respectful AND focused please. Illustrating your point with current scientific, political, historical views is fine, but not an invitation for discussion in these areas.

 

=][=


Edited by Brother Lunkhead, 10 May 2021 - 03:40 PM.

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sml_gallery_49400_16059_1314.png sml_gallery_49400_16059_25207.png


#536
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Anyway, overall, I liked it, but I don't think it quite adds up to the sum of its parts.

 

Having just finished this one myself, Urauloth sums up my overall impressions well here. Some things become more than the sum of their parts, this one oddly feels like less.

 

The Siege as a whole suffers from dividing its attentions up too much, and Mortis sadly continues that. The Solar War remains the champ because it had the best focus; Lost and the Damned the weakest because it has the least. First Wall is a mix because it feels like three separate stories thrown together, and Saturnine is a struggle to get into early on though it does have some good pay-offs by the end. Mortis, in a way, feels like Lost and the Damned 2.0. Setting aside the interludes with the Emperor in the Warp, the bits of organisation by Dorn and the minor overview bits, we have about six main plotlines here, seven if we count Perturabo's parts. I did a very rough page count of each to see what proportion of the book they constituted:

 

Spoiler

 

So even the biggest single plotline only makes up about a third of it, and most of these plotlines have very little to do with one another (beyond their setting during the Siege). And I get that some books can have these huge, epic narratives spread across multiple POV characters that have little interaction with one another, but I feel like it doesn't work in the Siege as well as it should. I think part of this is because some of these characters just haven't been built up sufficiently over the wider Heresy series: Corswain has had his moments, but I can't say he's often stood out to me. Oll and his crew have a lot of potential, but we just haven't seen enough of them up to this point, it feels like there should've been at least a novella focused purely on them. In other cases we're still getting entirely new POV characters introduced even at this stage, and in books that are themselves hugely split up. I don't really care about Mauer or Tetracauron, and the short time we spend with them in this book isn't anywhere near enough to make up for that.

 

It results in a book that feels more like a themed anthology than a cohesive novel. I've heard talk of it serving a purpose as a nexus novel, and I might be more understanding of that if it didn't feel like every book in the Siege so far has been a nexus novel.

 

I do feel that there's at least a solid attempt at a unifying theme and the like, but it needs more tightening up to really work for the novel as a whole. We're seeing the war descend into something more truly chaotic, seeing the growing influence of Chaos and the will of the defenders draining away. I feel like

Spoiler
We also could've seen more of Dorn's impressive defensive works crumbling or failing in the face of this new, unpredictable way of war.

 

Despite all the above negativity, I do think there's a lot of good stuff in the constituent parts of the book.

Spoiler

 

The individual threads that make up this story are solid, but they just don't feel like they come together in a proper, unified narrative to me. All told, I'd rank this above Lost and the Damned (which had similar issues of cohesion, but the writing felt more solid here), below Solar War and Saturnine, probably somewhere on par with First Wall overall.

 

Oh, and more an amused observation than a criticism, but the book describes characters smelling or tasting "sugar" (usually "burnt sugar") 12 times. Not quite to the same level as the wet-leopard growls of Prospero Burns, but close tongue.png


Edited by Tymell, 10 May 2021 - 08:49 PM.

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#537
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In defense of French, I will say I've probably enjoyed his Author's Afterwords from the SoT the most. They feel the most personal, in a way, and you can really feel his passion for writing the novels and how important they are to him.

 

I think he's had the most engagement with the larger Horus Heresy hobby aspect, what with his involvement in Forge World's campaign books and working with Alan Bligh, so perhaps the whole thing has more personal meaning to him.

 

It's interesting, because I think Saturnine's Author Afterword was more interesting from a craft perspective, as Abnett delved deeper into some of the mechanics, techniques, decisions, and stylistic choices of how he constructed various parts of the narrative.

 

But French's afterwords leave me with the impression of a person opening up a part of his soul, like he's processing the closing of a particular chapter in his life and letting others share in it.


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#538
RedFurioso

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The Solar War remains the champ because it had the best focus; Lost and the Damned the weakest because it has the least.


In defence of the Lost and the Damned, almost all plotlines of the book were tied to attack on Daylight wall. For me it had a strong focus.
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#539
Bobss

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Anyway, overall, I liked it, but I don't think it quite adds up to the sum of its parts.

 

The Solar War remains the champ because it had the best focus

 

Completely agreed. Absolutely loved that book. The only Siege book that completely delivered on what it set out to do in my opinion


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#540
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The Solar War remains the champ because it had the best focus; Lost and the Damned the weakest because it has the least.


In defence of the Lost and the Damned, almost all plotlines of the book were tied to attack on Daylight wall. For me it had a strong focus.

 

 

Maybe 'focus' isn't quite the right word, or maybe I just put it badly. It's just that, for me, it felt like it lacked a central character (or small number of characters) or solid narrative of its own. The closest the book has to main characters are Katsuhiro and Sanguinius, and even they each don't actually appear in the majority of the book. I came away from it not feeling like I'd read a story about Katsuhiro, Sanguinius, or any specific person or even group. I just felt like I'd read "the next part of the Siege".

 

Also to clarify, I don't strongly dislike Lost and the Damned, I think it's okay, but I felt Solar War is a stronger offering because, while it still tells the story of a big, expansive conflict, most of it feels grounded to either Abaddon, Mersadie/Loken or a small selection of Imperial Fists defenders.

 

And ultimately, this is all just me trying to translate my gut feelings into words, so I don't mean to suggest you or anyone else is "wrong" for feeling otherwise smile.png


Edited by Tymell, 11 May 2021 - 11:55 AM.

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#541
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Doubtful. The DAOT notion is from a war criminal who was executed for stealing water, so she is unreliable and would purposefully mislead. And ADB discredited it on Reddit. And Oll Persson has things that prove the memories of The Perpetuals. And he was one of Jason's Argonauts.
The Cabal recruited Damon Prytanis at Iwo Jima. So the memories are real.

It was an idea bounced around outside of print, too. And I've seen ADB discredit anyone that tries to firmly define things one way or another. I've learned not to judge anything based on "but the author said this...." and I've been personally responsible for a fair amount of that. I don't think they appreciate when we weaponize anything they say to pull "actually"s on each other.
But I did completely forget Damon Prytanis even existed, frankly. Some of the perpetuals just blur together in my head. I don't know man, I could probably come up with something if I read back to whatever he's in (Old Earth?), but that seems like a waste of time when I'm confident I could do the mental gymnastics. I'm going to skip the step where I do the work and just assume I made it work. That's how invested I am in the perpetual plot stuff.
It was not bounced around outside of print.

The memories of the Perpetuals are real. Overwhelming evidence.

Edited by Just123456, 12 May 2021 - 08:09 PM.


#542
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I've also developed a nasty habit with John French books where I'm constantly rereading passages over and over and over to understand them... Having dense prose is one thing, but large chunks of this book are straight up unreadable in my opinion. He isn't writing this book in Greek or a different language, I just frequently don't understand what he wants me to see or be aware of

nice to know i'm not the only one.

thing is, there's so much about his work i really enjoy, he's easily one of the best in the BL stable at subtle yet deep characterisation but adb and abnett are both better at guiding the reader through their text

It's very frustrating. It's like someone has tattooed a wordsearch onto my eyeballs. If this continues in French's future projects like Abomination, the Iron Cage (maybe) and a possible necrons-related Ahriman novel, then I won't be picking them up. I care not from whence the sentences flow, only that they do. The very first true chapter of Mortis, for example, begins with French describing a sunset/sunrise across the Imperial Palace, but it's written like the opposite of what it's supposed to be, so I'm wondering if it's supposed to highlight the sheer size of the Palace by stressing the sun's arc across the sky, and... my brain just :cussing melted. I had to give Jubal Khan Vs. Abaddon a quick reread just to picture exactly what happens, and I was fine. This though? It feels like some kind of exercise designed to unlock my third eye, and it's not just the example I provided, but one after another to the point of nausea
Alright.

Edited by Just123456, 13 May 2021 - 01:07 AM.


#543
mc warhammer

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Doubtful. The DAOT notion is from a war criminal who was executed for stealing water, so she is unreliable and would purposefully mislead. And ADB discredited it on Reddit. And Oll Persson has things that prove the memories of The Perpetuals. And he was one of Jason's Argonauts.
The Cabal recruited Damon Prytanis at Iwo Jima. So the memories are real.

It was an idea bounced around outside of print, too. And I've seen ADB discredit anyone that tries to firmly define things one way or another. I've learned not to judge anything based on "but the author said this...." and I've been personally responsible for a fair amount of that. I don't think they appreciate when we weaponize anything they say to pull "actually"s on each other.
But I did completely forget Damon Prytanis even existed, frankly. Some of the perpetuals just blur together in my head. I don't know man, I could probably come up with something if I read back to whatever he's in (Old Earth?), but that seems like a waste of time when I'm confident I could do the mental gymnastics. I'm going to skip the step where I do the work and just assume I made it work. That's how invested I am in the perpetual plot stuff.
It was not bounced around outside of print.

The memories of the Perpetuals are real. Overwhelming evidence.

 

just 'cos you haven't personally seen it, doesn't mean it wasn't. i haven't read every quote from adb or wraight but that doesn't mean the writers didn't play with the idea of perpetual memories being metaphysical or blended or whatever.

i also agree with letsyoudown that it can be a trap to lean too heavily on authorial statements of intent after the fact. what's published should come first, with the writer's opinion on their own work is an interesting ancillary to what's on the page.


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It always amused me that the GW Mail Order ‘Trolls’ as we (starting with me) had always styled ourselves insisted as being rebranded ‘Space Marines’. Why anyone would want to be associated with semi-lobotomized, hypnotically indoctrinated slave-soldiers in thrall to an uncaring (and possibly non-existent) god I couldn’t imagine. - Rick Priestley

 2019

#544
Just123456

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Doubtful. The DAOT notion is from a war criminal who was executed for stealing water, so she is unreliable and would purposefully mislead. And ADB discredited it on Reddit. And Oll Persson has things that prove the memories of The Perpetuals. And he was one of Jason's Argonauts.
The Cabal recruited Damon Prytanis at Iwo Jima. So the memories are real.

It was an idea bounced around outside of print, too. And I've seen ADB discredit anyone that tries to firmly define things one way or another. I've learned not to judge anything based on "but the author said this...." and I've been personally responsible for a fair amount of that. I don't think they appreciate when we weaponize anything they say to pull "actually"s on each other.
But I did completely forget Damon Prytanis even existed, frankly. Some of the perpetuals just blur together in my head. I don't know man, I could probably come up with something if I read back to whatever he's in (Old Earth?), but that seems like a waste of time when I'm confident I could do the mental gymnastics. I'm going to skip the step where I do the work and just assume I made it work. That's how invested I am in the perpetual plot stuff.
It was not bounced around outside of print.
The memories of the Perpetuals are real. Overwhelming evidence.
just 'cos you haven't personally seen it, doesn't mean it wasn't. i haven't read every quote from adb or wraight but that doesn't mean the writers didn't play with the idea of perpetual memories being metaphysical or blended or whatever.
i also agree with letsyoudown that it can be a trap to lean too heavily on authorial statements of intent after the fact. what's published should come first, with the writer's opinion on their own work is an interesting ancillary to what's on the page.
Aaron is not the type of author to set things in stone. And he only does things with Games Workshop' approval. One time he wanted to kill off Lorgar but Games Workshop said no.

I talked to Graham Mcneill and another author about the Perpetuals on their internet pages. They basically said the memories are real.

Edited by Just123456, 13 May 2021 - 04:19 AM.


#545
mc warhammer

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well, all the authors only do things with GW approval as far as publishing goes. that's kinda the deal.

but aaron has admitted to going a little over the line on public forums before and getting into hot water with the gw powers that be.

feel free to post the relevant quotes from mcneill and others, i think it'd be interesting for all of us. beyond that though, not all authors agree. that's just how things work.

It always amused me that the GW Mail Order ‘Trolls’ as we (starting with me) had always styled ourselves insisted as being rebranded ‘Space Marines’. Why anyone would want to be associated with semi-lobotomized, hypnotically indoctrinated slave-soldiers in thrall to an uncaring (and possibly non-existent) god I couldn’t imagine. - Rick Priestley

 2019

#546
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And let's not forget that Josh Reynolds was told off by GW legal about tweeting his headcanon (which I'd 100% subscribe to) about the End Times -> AoS transition, giving fans and characters a proper sendoff that GW Studio forgot about in their books, and he had no room to explore in the final novel.

 

The IP overlords really don't want authors going around espousing their ideas, no matter how great, in public, while the risk of people taking it as official word of god exists. Always gotta be a big disclaimer. There's also a bit of a difference between an author clarifying their work (see: Alpharius and Praetorian of Dorn) and telling part of your story on social media.


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#547
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The memories of the Perpetuals are real. Overwhelming evidence.

I talked to Graham Mcneill and another author about the Perpetuals on their internet pages. They basically said the memories are real.


Memory is incredibly fallible. Try remembering the details of a day from two weeks ago. From last year. From 10 years ago.

Steven ericson has memory and it's unreliability be core theme of the malazan series. There's ancient gods and demi gods, but their recollection of events that drive their current motivations thousands of years forward is...nebulous. As of course it would be.
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#548
Just123456

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well, all the authors only do things with GW approval as far as publishing goes. that's kinda the deal.
but aaron has admitted to going a little over the line on public forums before and getting into hot water with the gw powers that be.
feel free to post the relevant quotes from mcneill and others, i think it'd be interesting for all of us. beyond that though, not all authors agree. that's just how things work.

Can you prove Aaron said that? And Aaron has been in fluff meetings with all the authors for the Horus Heresy, so he is reliable.

Edited by Just123456, 13 May 2021 - 07:58 PM.


#549
Just123456

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The memories of the Perpetuals are real. Overwhelming evidence.
I talked to Graham Mcneill and another author about the Perpetuals on their internet pages. They basically said the memories are real.

Memory is incredibly fallible. Try remembering the details of a day from two weeks ago. From last year. From 10 years ago.
Steven ericson has memory and it's unreliability be core theme of the malazan series. There's ancient gods and demi gods, but their recollection of events that drive their current motivations thousands of years forward is...nebulous. As of course it would be.
As the spoilers for Mortis show, Oll Persson meets Theseus while time traveling and Theseus was his old friend. And memory is not that faulty.

The DAOT notion is from a character who was executed for stealing water.

Edited by Just123456, 13 May 2021 - 08:10 PM.


#550
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The memories of the Perpetuals are real. Overwhelming evidence.
I talked to Graham Mcneill and another author about the Perpetuals on their internet pages. They basically said the memories are real.

Memory is incredibly fallible. Try remembering the details of a day from two weeks ago. From last year. From 10 years ago.
Steven ericson has memory and it's unreliability be core theme of the malazan series. There's ancient gods and demi gods, but their recollection of events that drive their current motivations thousands of years forward is...nebulous. As of course it would be.
As the spoilers for Mortis show, Oll Persson meets Theseus while time traveling and Theseus was his old friend. And memory is not that faulty.

What does this add to the story about the Galaxy spanning Civil War, between forces loyal to the Emperor's ambitions, and those who fell to Chaos?
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