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Embers of Extinction

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Do not read this short story if you like the characterization Perturabo has received in Angel ExterminatusThe Hammer of Olympia, Slaves to Darkness, or any time he comes up in the context of Magnus.


Edit: added more details and spoiler.

Edited by jaxom, 19 March 2021 - 11:32 PM.

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The Observer

The Observer


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Read it on a whim.




This is easily one of the worst BL stories I have read in the past few years. The plot is nonsensical and this is probably the worst characterization outlier Perty has received. Like ever.
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People like to whinge and moan about "the good old days," when things "were cool" and now somehow aren't.
One would think that this energy would be better invested in pursuing things one finds more to one's liking.
Then again, common sense doesn't seem to be all that common.




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Posted my thoughts on the Christmas story thread already:



Started reading the Perturabo story, about a quarter through. I'm having a really hard time with it. It simply hasn't clicked yet. Feels clumsy, especially the exposition about the climax of the Battle of Phall.


Maybe it gets better, but as somebody who finds Perturabo one of the most compelling Primarchs for their martyr complex, this is putting on the wrong coat of paint so far, telling us he's proud of his "at all costs" meat grinder approach, while making the point that he's not really about logic but "Perturabo logic" when fighting wars. To me, he seems too proud of the things that should make him resentful. Like he's actively choosing that way to fight rather than (pretending) he's being forced into that way by others, while stoking his ego by way of how they should be thankful for him doing it.


So yeah, I guess I'll finish it later, but those first 25% are kind of a turnoff.




Finished Embers of Extinction and my frustration only grew. I simply do have to wonder if Easton even read Hammer of Olympia (which features the rebellion on Olympia, which he references) or Angel Exterminatus (which he also references in the end, yet fails to pick up anything from in terms of Perturabo's character).


The prose - and I'm not even somebody to really comment on that much in the first place - often feels Codex/wiki-level dry, a lot of tell, don't show. I can dig a lot of telling, especially when interspersed with evocative scenes of showing, but this here? It doesn't work. Especially when there are timeline problems (like making Forgebreaker out to be a way for Horus to get Perturabo to join him, when he doesn't even get it til after participating in the Dropsite Massacre and taking those toys from the Lion after Isstvan III happened), or the writing goes on and on about how coldly logical and efficient Pert is, as if that was the only character trait he actually had next to his anger management issues. It wouldn't have been so bad focusing on that, though, if the void battle at the end at least had SOME tension, some stakes at all. It didn't. It's just there to have Perturabo showing off and gloat about Imperial Fists. He's never tested, never actually questioned or confronted, only ever showing off or presenting himself as the bestest dude, in a superficial way.

The explanation as to the Legion's name is decent enough, if clumsily presented, but even then it relies on Perturabo being at least partially out of character. If anything, it's kind of "most logical of them all! Perturabo is the strongest!"-level drivel, while misunderstanding who the character has been built to be.


If you told me this was a story from 2012/13 when The Crimson Fist released, I might have believed you and been fine with it. But Perturabo has been written much better than this on numerous occasions since then - including by McNeill, with the direct follow-up to this story.


Yeah.... Not great, at all.

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I haven't read the whole thing, but I have read the free e-pub preview you can download from bl.com, which probably contains most of the story.


This was the biggest disappointment for me about the xmas BL line-up. My hopes were high based on Brandon Easton's cv (https://www.imdb.com...f_=nm_ov_bio_sm)


If this guy is a Warhammer fan too, then how could this miss? Unfortunately it came across like he'd only just read a couple of wiki articles on this Perturabo fellow and dashed out a few thousand words while on his commute to work.


Apart from the dry expository prose (and prose style is important to me), what started to turn me off was the opening description of Perturabo being enraged that the Fists had killed more of his men than he'd planned. Isn't Perturabo's whole thing just using his men as a meat grinder to achieve his aims? It's like the author didn't even try to understand Perturabo and went with his own thing because either (a) previous context be damned, or (B) he couldn't be bothered.

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