Tuesday, 17 June 2014
Vengeful Spirit (Book Review)
It's hard not to notice the growing trend in the last several books of the Horus Heresy. While showing no signs of halting the ongoing exploration of the Imperium's last days as a semi-benevolent empire and the war which destroyed all, there has definitely been a big push to streamline and interlink the universe. Rather than the episodic or semi-individual stories we had previously, many novels now serve as a continuation for countless short tales and other books. We saw this with Betrayer, Scars and Unremembered Empire, even Vulkan Lives to a lesser degree, and that continues here. Unfortunately, despite Graham McNeill being an incredibly talented writer when it comes to weaving countless sub-plots and a broad focus, Vengeful Spirit collapses under the weight of the author's ambition.
Set sometime after the events of Scars and Angel Exterminatus, the books sees focus returning to the Sons of Horus once more. Having allowed the legions of his brothers to do most of the work and remaining on the sidelines for some time, Horus leads both his legion and the Death Guard in a seemingly pointless assault on the world of Molech. Heavily defended by a vast warfleet, Imperial Knights, companies of astartes from other legions and millions of Imperial Army troops, it will be a costly victory at best. However, Horus remains convinced something vital to his war effort remains buried on the world. Something long left out of sight of the galaxy, so potent that the Emperor wiped his sons' very minds to hide it...