Read The Death of Antagonis by David Annandale Online

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The latest Space Marine Battles novelThe Black Dragons fall upon the world of Antagonis, summoned to combat the plague of undeath that has engulfed the planet. Allying themselves with Inquisitor Werner Lettinger and a force of Sisters of Battle, the Black Dragons endeavour to save the souls of the Imperial citizens who have succumbed to the contagion. But there is more thaThe latest Space Marine Battles novelThe Black Dragons fall upon the world of Antagonis, summoned to combat the plague of undeath that has engulfed the planet. Allying themselves with Inquisitor Werner Lettinger and a force of Sisters of Battle, the Black Dragons endeavour to save the souls of the Imperial citizens who have succumbed to the contagion. But there is more than a mere infection at play – the dread forces of Chaos lie behind the outbreak, and the Black Dragons stand in the way of the Dark Gods’ victory....

Title : The Death of Antagonis
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781849703192
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 416 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Death of Antagonis Reviews

  • DarkChaplain
    2019-05-07 20:11

    Getting through this one was a breeze. It never bogged me down, no scene overstayed its welcome and before I knew it, I was getting mad at the Internet and my Computer for throwing games and videos at me again.This was one of the few books that made me wish restarting the machine or booting up a game would take longer than it did, so I could read just another few pages...But I digress.The book provides a really fantastic view on the Black Dragons Chapter, from their non-Codex organization to the way they fight and the mutations they bear, but also shows the risks inherent in deviation from the Imperial norms. My knowledge about the Chapter was minimalistic at best, but the way the Dragons were presented really clicked with me.The antagonists were fairly unique as well, not least due to their origin, and there was plenty of tension at all times. The main villain of the story is told to have a longer history with the Black Dragons, and the connection gets deepened throughout the book in various ways.Once the Dragons realized who their enemy was, he became more than just a villain covered in mystery, but an everpresent threat.But the titlegiving Death of Antagonis marks more than just the first of many genocides the reader gets to read about; it also opens the curtain for a schism within the Black Dragons themselves. Especially in that regard did David Annandale score highly, in my opinion. He developed a very intriguing conflict between very contrasting characters, and made it the leading theme of the novel.The book also gets you around a lot; from Antagonis itself to tiny moons and massive Hive Worlds. I might go as far as to call it the most diverse SMB novel yet, in terms of interesting locations. All locations were described tangible ways, no matter how exotic they were, without ever losing their charme. The Death of Antagonis tells us a story about many Phyrric victories and how they wear a company of Space Marines down not only in strength of numbers but also erodes their confidence, convictions and unity of purpose.It is not just a Space Marine Battles novel, but one about sacrifice, doubts and finding one's place and role in the service of the Emperor. The book did have some rare lines that had me scratch my head, but nothing that broke it for me in any way, or took away from my enjoyment of the story.If there's anything I can say about David Annandale, judging from The Carrion Anthem (printed in Treacheries of the Space Marines), Yarrick: Chains of Golgotha (and Evil Eye) and now The Death of Antagonis, it is that he simply nails characters, settings, universe and the grimdark side of the franchise down. This novel specifically presented the bleak side of the Imperium, the hopelessness inherent in a galaxy that has never been kind to humanity, in believable ways. There are no shining victories to be found here, and faith is a limited currency. What it delivers, though, is a well-presented series of events that lead up to a satisfying, characterful climax, and a good balance between SMB-action and character interaction.David clearly embraced the grandiose and the macabre once more, and I cannot wait for his next offering.

  • Callum Shephard
    2019-05-11 19:38

    In this world there are many kinds of bad novels. Those which serve had no research put into them. Those which aren’t so much stories as badly disguised hate crimes by the authors towards fictional characters and fans of said characters. Those which are not bound by any logic and those which are in bad taste. The Death of Antagonis is a new kind of bad novel, the sort which seems to intentionally torment its reader.The story this time is about the enigmatic Black Dragons, a force spawned out of the cursed 21st founding and sufferers of gene mutations. Specifically their overgrowth of bones resulting in members of their kind being massively proportioned even by space marine standards and with some even developing retractable bone blades which they coat in adamantium. Feared by the people of Imperium, hated by higher ups in the Terran hierarchy, shunned by many chapters; they’re effectively one Canadian away from fighting for a better tomorrow under Chaplain Xavier.Fighting this time for the planet Antagonis as it is struck by a plague of undeath, the Black Dragons’ second company is deployed to rescue the planet’s populace. This is where things start to go horribly wrong. Oh not for the marines, that comes later, but for the book itself.Most authors actually take the time to establish things. David Annandale does not.Within the first three pages you jump cut from a remote event from weeks ago to the plague already overrunning the planet, the Black Dragons already conducing and operation and everything going to hell in a handbasket. You don’t know who anyone is, what their character traits are, who the people they’re protecting are, what state the planets in or even how the virus got there in the first place. Nor does the novel offer any initial attempt to even try to explain who is who.You’re given no incentive to become involved and aren’t so much eased into the plot as slammed into and expected to keep up. For all the impression they make and meaning the names of the Black Dragons have for the first few chapters it might as well be Ron, Harry and Hermione purging heretics with their bolters. It’s so bad that you end up over a hundred pages in to the novel before you’re properly introduced to some characters who were there at the very start.While there’s a bit of context for what is going on there’s no real introduction to get you invested in events. Something which doesn’t get any better when you start to run into the book’s moments of stupid. The Death of Antagonis has a very special kind of stupidity. Whereas Warrior Brood was a relentless bombardment of Whisky Tango Foxtrot, this one paces itself. It tricks you into a false sense of security with some admittedly decent writing for several pages. It knows exactly when the pain from its last moment of ridiculousness will ebb and you’ll lower your defences before it drops the proverbial hammer and tries to reduce you to a gibbering wreck.Halfway down page sixteen of chapter one you encounter the first of these. Just when you start to get into the book it throws out a moment of such glorious insanity you’re left repeatedly read it to make sure you’d gotten it wrong –“Load-bearing walls had become heretical.”Believe it or not, that line actually makes even less sense in context. And this is the first of many such moments in this, each being somehow worse than the last one. Ones which find entirely new ways to make you desperately seeking the nearest source of alcohol and new things to screw up.Just take the next moment, a surprisingly reaction on the part of an inquisitor upon being confronted by the Black Dragons about his association with His Divine Majesty’s Hallowed KGB –“Only Grey Knights were supposed to know that there was even such a thing as the Ordo Malleus.”Yes, no other chapter knows about the inquisition. People must just shrug their shoulders at the looming daemonhunter fortress worlds littered throughout the Imperium and pretend they're not there. I’m also sure the other two Ordos have no idea who keeps quietly closing Warp rifts and lynching daemons every time they turn up on an Imperial world. No, no, no one knows Ordo Malleus exists at all.Even giving the author the benefit of the doubt and blaming this on the convoluted, contradicting, contrived mess which was the Grey Knights codex the novel manages to contradict it itself. Following this bit not too long afterwards with the same damn Inquisitor stating this –“We both know the relations between my Ordo and your Chapter have been difficult.”So yes, he thinks the Black Dragons have no idea there’s even an order of daemonhunting Imperial spies but knows they’ve been quite unhappily talking to each other for the past several hundred years. They also reference multiple actions by the Ordo Malleus such as purging the Flame Falcons and the fractious history between the two. Completely unknown aren’t they.This is something the novel never really addresses or tries to rectify in any way. Plus it’s the first of several instances where a specific fact is introduced, made very clear to the reader, then blatantly contradicted. It’s so bad at times that if the story suddenly pulled time devouring chainsaw teethed meatballs out of its rear it would only solve plot holes. Thank you to the five Steven King fans who got that reference.The reason I’m making such a big point of this is it’s because it’s these moments which really ruin The Death of Antagonis. When it sticks to just the facts, action and some of the more wider scale stuff it’s not bad. Hardly Abnett tier literature but far better than what James Swallow was writing when he joined Black Library. You could see traces of a really good idea forming on the pages, one which looked like it was worth getting invested in. But as soon as you do you’re blindsided by things like a human reveal himself as corrupt by quickly slashing what’s suggested to be the eight pointed star of Chaos into the air with a chainsword. Or lines like “This building is a sorcerer.”Even ignoring all of these problems the villains only help to compound this issue. Whereas the Black Dragons at least have background from some old White Dwarf issues to be worked off of, the villains in the form of some extremely badly defined traitor marines. Usually you get some form of background on the enemy, a few distinguishable characters or even their patron god. In this case we’re lucky to get a name, colour scheme and basic emotion. The Swords of Epiphany are traitor marines obsessed with purity, are evangelists and are always blissful, but that’s it.Unlike, say, the Word Bearers however we don’t get any indication of their culture or presence of power, just that they really like gold and are led by a human traitor cardinal. They’re effectively defined only by the fact they are the complete opposite of the Black Dragons in every respect, but the book never approaches it in the right way. We never learn their bloody history or anything or real value about their origins or even the past conflicts between the chapters. You never even hear them declaring any praises towards any god of Chaos or worship to any aspect of the four major powers. They effectively serve as little more than an excuse to die at the hands of the protagonists, thread out an increasingly loopy doomsday plot, and make the wild moodswings of the real villains seem more believable.To try and make something out of the mutations present within the chapter, Annandale opted to write about an internal conflict between the two. There’s nothing wrong about that except rather than a smooth curve towards the two sides coming to a head he opted to get Chaos involved. Which results some character shifts so sudden it’s all but impossible to see who they originally were.-----SPOILERS-----The characters, whose names I shall not reveal, start by wanting to turn the Black Dragons back onto what they perceive to be the right path. Avoiding mutation, adhering to the codex, all that good stuff. The resentment towards some of the changes they implement lead to frustration, leading to more extreme methods, which leads their head honcho to shooting up the company’s chapel and blaming the Emperor for their failures. Which then leads them to deciding the chapter isn’t worth saving nor was anything which knelt beneath the Golden Throne and joining the Swords of Epiphany without question.At the beginning of the novel they were reasonable good loyal servants of the Emperor. By the end they are the Battle-brothers Von Doom. While there is a somewhat traceable curve towards turning traitor throughout the book it keeps making leaps which don’t add up or feel believable.A key example of this?Page 199 has one traitor saying this - “Captain, both you and the sergeant have avowed commitment to purity. Let me remind you that evil has its own perverted purity.”Fourteen pages later the same character talking about how purity must be maintained at all costs to some very questionable degrees. All without the slightest indication that the previous line had ever been uttered.At least in Soul Drinker with Sarpedon when he was turned against the Imperium you could see how most things added up and his faith in the Emperor could be used to turn his chapter. Here there’s no such reasoning and the turn will only leave you scratching your head. Or facepalming repeatedly and groaning, whichever you prefer.Speaking of facepalming, there’s the final act and the doomsday weapon of the book. If you somehow want to still read after all this, then abandon all hope ye who enter here. This is what the whole story leads up to:Swords of Epiphany are after a big Warp powered weapon capable of devouring entire systems. One which is two giant reinforced adamantium planetoids which slot together when in use, start grinding devouring any world in their path and powered by the souls of its victims.Let me just repeat that – The big feth-everything-I’ll-kill-the-galaxy weapon is a giant pair of Chinese baoing balls which chew up worlds by crashing into them and are powered by the blood of the innocent.This is the sort of thing you’d put in a parody and it’s played straight faced right from the beginning, right to the end. Unfortunately that only makes its inclusion funnier. With this monstrosity’s introduction the book finally, completely and utterly, jumped the rails and never looked back. Any interest, any tension you might have had falls to bits as you figure out that the remainder of the novel is taking place on what's effectively a giant-sized Warp traversing Pacman.-----SPOILERS END-----If you’ve not gotten it by this point, The Death of Antagonis really is not a good novel. An abrupt beginning, a shaky middle and a thoroughly ludicrous end peppered with moments so insane they might as well have read “Al'whya al Cthulhu fhatagan, K'kili'far al is ar'arkas fal dep'wa”.That being said let one thing be made clear – While this is a bad story David Annandale is far from being a bad author. When he actually has his head screwed on straight and gets going for a few pages there is some definite talent at work from someone with considerable skill. The battlescenes, while a little lacking in description, are fairly visceral and the locations are surprisingly imaginative.Furthermore while the villains fell flat, the Black Dragon protagonists definitely deserve to be brought back in a far better tale and Annandale can write Sororitas like no other. No, really, if there was one aspect of the book I would suggest reading it’s any part where Canoness Setheno is the centre of attention. Trying to describe some of them here really wouldn’t do her scenes justice. It’s just unfortunate the good is thoroughly smothered by the bad.If you want a story about a damned chapter shunned by the imperium, at odds with the inquisition, trying to seek redemption and suffering from mutations; try The Bleeding Chalice of the Soul Drinkers saga. It’s not perfect but it’s a hell of a lot better than this.

  • Abhinav
    2019-04-21 23:26

    You can find the full review over at The Founding Fields:http://thefoundingfields.com/2013/08/...Shadowhawk reviews David Annandale’s first full-length novel for Black Library’s Space Marine Battles series.“One of those rare novels tackling a chapter of the Cursed Founding, The Death of Antagonis does well in serving as a vehicle to explore the Black Dragons and offer a great action treat, but fails to provide a wholly consistent plot.” ~Shadowhawk, The Founding FieldsDavid Annandale is one of the most recent authors to have started working for Black Library in the last two years or so. Starting with a short story about the infamous Death Guard Captain Typhus, he has gone on to write some really top-of-the-line stuff, like this year’s Yarrick: Chains of Golgotha novella about the famous Imperial Guard Commissar Yarrick and Eclipse of Hope, a Blood Angels short story. He has also taken some dips in the Heresy series with his short audio drama Veritas Ferrum which is set during the disastrous Istvaan V Dropsite Massacre and has also written a short story for the recent Mark of Calth anthology. In short, he’s being kept busy by the powers that be, and that’s perfectly fine with me, since I enjoy his work.Having prior experience with his work, I definitely wanted to see a full-length piece from me, mostly because I was interested in how he would tackle the larger format. Writing short stories is different from writing novellas and that’s completely different from writing novels, as I’m discovering personally. For the most part, The Death of Antagonis is a fairly good read and it matches a lot of the expectations I had from it, but at the same time, it does disappoint in a few areas.First and foremost, the novel is about the Black Dragons, so naturally I’m looking to see how David is going to approach their culture, their beliefs, their idiosyncrasies, their attitudes and so on. The Chapter has a very rich background, in terms of… quality, not quantity, and I wanted the novel to get as in-depth as possible without taking away from the narrative. And the author does exactly that. Reading the novel, I got a good sense of what makes the Black Dragons who they are, how they identify and represent themselves in an Imperium where lesser Chapters would already have been destroyed for the… shortcomings that plague the Black Dragons and others of their ilk.For those who don’t know, the Black Dragons are a part of the 21st Founding, known infamously as the Cursed Founding. Every Chapter that was created during the Cursed Founding is a victim of genetic mutation, like the Black Dragons, or other more ephemeral effects such as extreme bad luck, such as is the case for the Lamenters, a Blood Angels successor Chapter. For the Black Dragons, their mutation manifests as bone growths on their heads and arms, usually taking the form of claws that the inflicted warriors of the Chapter take care to sharpen into extremely effective “backup” weapons. The only reason that the Black Dragons still exist to this day is because whenever their genetic samples are tested for mutation, results state that there are zero genetic drifts to indicate anything that is wrong with them. This has created a rather precarious position for the Chapter since the Inquisition is always on guard to condemn and eradicate them for their faults.In Death of Antagonis, this is the central theme and concept that the author plays with it, and turns over its head for the Black Dragons we see here, forcing them to confront the very idea and what it represents: that they are monsters, with the most pertinent question in relation to that being whether they are the monsters that the Emperor meant them to be. Quite fascinating really, and David explores this conception really, really well. I loved his interpretation of the Chapter’s practices and culture, as well as his characterisation of the characters, for the most part.Toharan and Volos, both senior Sergeants of the Black Dragons Company that we meet in the novel, are decorated warriors who have served their Chapter for a number of years, with distinction. But there is a growing disconnect between the two of them. Toharan is of pure gene-seed stock, one of the majority Black Dragons who do not suffer from any genetic mutation. Volos however, leads the Dragon Claws, an elite formation on the Company-level within the Chapter that consists of all those Black Dragons who do suffer from genetic mutation and are trained to use their outsized bone-growths as deadly weapons. As the two primary characters in the novel, they represent the two sides of the Black Dragons nature that are at odds with each other and through their characterisation, the author explores how deep these divisions can go, and how adverse an effect these divisions can have on the cohesion of the Chapter’s warriors.

  • Stuart
    2019-05-09 17:26

    "The Black Dragons are a handsome bunch, that's for sure""The Death of Antagonis" starts off as many Space Marine novels do, fighting a Chaos infected world. The 2nd Company of the Black Dragons chapter (a 21st Founding chapter) battle against and a unknown foe during the War of Lamination. In this case the unknown foe is warp-parasites. That's right, big worms! Do I sound sceptical? Only a little. I'll say no more. The opening salvo from the War of Lamination is just a taster for a wider conflict that takes the Black Dragons off-planet in search of their arch-rivals, the traitor chapter Swords of Epiphany. Led by Cardinal Nessum, this heretic chapter are guided under the loving hand of Tzeentch. Sadly we never are presented with any back-story into the conflict between The Black Dragons and Swords of Epiphany, which I found to be a wasted opportunity to at least embellish the somewhat lacking story. The clashes between both chapters become very one sided, with the Swords of Epiphany taking a damn good thrashing. Which is no bad thing, but it gets borderline laughable in parts.Another area for disappointment was the characters. Other than Canoness Setheno who really is a standout persona, I found the rest to be fairly stereo-typical cardboard personalities. The two main characters Dragon Claw Sergeant Volos reminds me so much of Sarpedon in so many ways and Toharan whom is like Eumenes in character. They are both well written, just rather bog-standard Space Marines in my opinion.I'd like to get something off my chest. One of the cardinal sins that Black Library are guilty of is story re-use. Similarities to other stories is fine, but when reading "The Death of Antagonis" I found that it was near the same as some other BL novels I've read. That being the Soul Drinkers. The jeist of their background story goes something like this - A renegade chapter who suffer from mutation, whom are wrongly accused of being tainted by the warp. This chapter becomes embroiled in a civil war to clear out the tainted and from an extension of this suffer mutation. Unbeknown to them, Chaos has infected part of the chapter. Now compare this to this novel. The Black Dragons, accused of being tainted from the warp, who suffer from mutations. They are therein investigated by a Inquisitor, who becomes influenced by the warp - along with a large number of the 2nd Company. Conflict breaks out between the two opposing sides. The core of the story is to similar for my liking. The main problem I really have with this book is that it is competently written by David Annandale, but there is nothing to make it standout for me. The Canoness as I've mentioned is interesting but only stands out insomuch as the other characters aren't interesting in anyway. Perhaps the problem also lays with the fact there aren't any human characters to balance the super-human warriors. Everything needs a foil - it's missing here. The battles are well written, but you'd expect that from 40K novels, it's possibly the core posit of any BL novel. Overall, it wasn't for me - but I'm sure there are those who will beg to differ.

  • El-jorro
    2019-05-12 21:41

    Warhammer once more…there will be more of these in the future, just FYI. The Good:The Black Dragons are a (rumored) successor chapter of the Salamanders, a personal favorite. What makes this chapter unique is that by some unknown means the members of the chapter have strange, bony, growths on their heads and forearms. Often times, the Battle Brothers, hone these growths into parts of their already formidable arsenal. In spite of this their loyalties are often called into question by the Inquisition and other Imperial organizations due to the fact that oftentimes physical deformities are often the harbingers to demonic possession. Deepening the mystery is the fact that the genetic samples sent by the chapter are as pure as ever. This drives one of the main plot points as a member of the Inquisition is inspecting the chapter for corruption and the Black Dragons have to continuously prove that they are loyal to the Emperor. This makes the text compelling. The Black Dragons are very much black sheep among the Imperium but the way they still carry on the fight is very inspiring, that while they have not been excommunicated officially by the Imperium they are very much persona non grata, but they still bring death to the foes of the Imperium. This is illustrated by the character of Volos, the most mutated of them all. Underdogs are always compelling. But Inquisitor Lettinger believes they are corrupted and in spite of later events that won’t be given away Let’s make no mistake: The Imperium of Man is the cruelest, bloodiest regime that has ever been imagined. It is a universe that Bookworm never wants to live in, only a quick visit. At the same time, one gets the sense that in spite of being a totalitarian nightmare, doing so has probably been was has kept the Imperium alive in a hostile galaxy. It became this way in order to survive, and it makes sense considering the things the Space Marines fight. The FlawsThe Warhammer 40k universe has been on Bookworm’s mind a lot recently and he has found it very fascinating but it would seem that Bookworm has finally hit his first dud among the novels. The main problem is the pacing. First off, there are a multiple of characters that are all given passages in the book. This is common in Warhammer books, but it has to be done very carefully or else it can get confusing and muddle up the pacing of the text. The constant head hopping between Black Dragons, Inquisitors, and Traitors become very confusing. It also makes it sluggish. Books in this series are known for their action packed stories but the constant back and fourth between heads makes it very confusing and also makes it difficult to determine which character to root for because at some points it is hard to determine which character is which after so many. A good way, at least in Bookworm’s case, to determine how good a book is how long it takes to read it. If it is finished in a day, it probably means the plot was compelling. But if a book of similar length takes several days with long gaps in the cycle that probably means it was not made compelling enough to completely engage the reader. Slight Spoiler but the title is a bit of misnomer. The majority book seems to have very little to do with the subject of the title. It’s not that important, but it is one of those things. Final Verdict:Ultimately this book, felt like the first one that was truly a bit of a struggle to read through. Still, it is an interesting look in a unique Chapter of the Space Marines. Three out of Five Stars. For reviews and more: jordan.danbrantley.com

  • Marc Jones
    2019-04-30 18:20

    I had hopes for this, I really really wanted it to be good.It started with promise, a pseudo zombie plague, Black dragon space marines and what I assumed would be an epic battle for the world of Antagonis (given that thats the title of the book. After a fairly decent opening few chapters and a pretty decent twist behind the zombie everything went down hill.The meat of the story is really about the interal strife within the black dragons and how the choose to embrace or reject their mutations that turn them into a space marine version of wolverine from the x-men whilst trying to get to the bottom of the true motive behind the death of Antagonis (not really a spoiler it happens pretty soon into the story).From that point it became cookie cutter fan fic fodder.Characters are pretty much a single trait rather than any real depth. Fanatic to the point of crazy inquisitor, wolverine clone, evil chaos marines that lack any real motive or developement you can find them all her. The only charcter that stuck out was Setheno,a sister of battle attached to the Black dragons to see that the imperial will is carried out. Shes somewhat fanatic yet resonable, willing to do whatever needs to be done to ensure the survival of the imperium and kicks a lot of ass doing so.But its all a bit stupid, we have a bit of a fetch quest to unlock the key to a super weapon....a stupid super weapon, we have an amount of deaths that would deplete a chapter let around the company strength for sent to Antagonis and a Mary sue wolverine clone who manages to cut down anything in his path with minimum fuss. The whole thing is laughable and poor editing fails to catch several moments in which David Annadale seems to show a complete lack of knowledge in the background of the universe hes chosen to write in.Really avoid like the plague

  • Patrick Hayes
    2019-04-24 22:34

    A solid and surprising saga in the Space Marine Battles book series. The title is not appropriate for what this book is truly about, as the "the death of Antagonis" is only the first salvo in this telling of the Black Dragons.The Black Dragons are a group of Space Marines whose DNA has become tainted over the decades and several members actually have bone growths coming out of their heads that resemble horns and/or the ability to have bones come out of their arms like swords. These fighters have drawn the attention of the Inquistion, who sends an Inquistor among them, and he has already determined that this unit needs to be purged of their living heresies. A growing schism grows in this unit between those who have mutated and those who still appear normal, and it will ultimately end in a war among its members. The first battle occurs at Antagonis and it's an epic battle. I would have accepted this as an end to a Warhammer 40,000 novel, not the beginning. The battle on this world ends with the birth of several creatures that worthy of H.P. Lovecraft. The battle to fight the Emperor's foes continues on other worlds, slowly building to something I've never read/seen in other W40K books. This was an incredible read. This book is a slow burn of chaos and pride following one soldier, Volos, and his attempt to remain pure for the Emperor, but having to make the hard choices. By the book's mid-point you'll be unable to put it down. The final two pages are bitter brilliance. If you've never read one of these books before, this is one to start at. This is a stand alone novel that is the perfect introduction to this universe where "(t)here is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods."

  • Tomas
    2019-05-19 18:25

    If you like the Space Marines of Warhammer 40k, there is a lot to like in this book. The Black Dragons are a cool addition to the mythos, being very unlike many of their brethren in nature, and this story's adventure takes them through often-spectacular battles as well as intrigue that deepens the plot. I found the ending a bit lackluster, and it's typical of the Space Marine books where the characterization is concerned which means that you should expect them to all be superhumans capable of feats that would be incredible for anyone, have dialogue that is sometimes corny, sometimes great and inspiring, and sometimes just functional enough to keep the plot moving, but on balance, I liked and enjoyed both the villains and heroes in this book, which makes me give it a 4 star rating despite the ending being a little bit of a letdown. It felt too preordained and predictable, despite everything that had led up to it, and there was a moment as well where some nameless Devastator Marines were mentioned that had never shown up before previously which threw me for a loop briefly. It felt like a throwaway line but for the entire book previously... no Devastators mentioned. It remains a mystery. Anyway, I recommend this to anyone who reads the Space Marine Battles and in general to anyone who likes 40k as one of the better books out there that you could pick up. In particular, the beginning has quite a hook and would work well as a short story.

  • Christian
    2019-04-26 21:28

    Fantastic read of, initially, space marines versus zombies. And then, it got even better. The Black Dragons Chapter are a non-codex chapter with genetic mutations that bring their purity into question. When an overzealous new captain is taken in by a Chaos tainted Inquisitor, there is a battle for the very soul of what it really means to be pure. The best line in the book: There is no greater faith in a lost cause.

  • Alex C
    2019-04-25 20:23

    Probably one of the worst read in warhammer 40k. There's no proper introduction to the characters, and backstories are lacklustre. To make it worst, the plots are scattered - the story jumps around in a confusing way, and I found myself lost halfway through the book. Can't really bring myself to finish it.

  • Scooter
    2019-05-16 00:19

    This novel I found to be a bit thick in the first half and didn't get into the flow of it until someway into the second half, even then I found myself lost in the narrative and having to read sections again to get my head around what was going on.Not a complete waste of time reading it, but I'm not going to be singing it's praises to the masses.

  • Taddow
    2019-04-27 23:20

    The Black Dragons are one of my favorite Chapters from the Curse Foundings and I'm glad to see a book that features their unique background. While this both does have a few things that might bother the hardcore Warhammer 40K expert, overall it is a great read that I had no trouble powering through to the end.

  • Denis Reynolds
    2019-05-13 21:31

    I was a bit disappointed at how poor this was, I've read some on Annandale's other books and found them much better. Most of the characters felt a bit flat, and at times there was poor pacing to the story.

  • Squeak
    2019-04-30 17:13

    Very good over all lots of plots and a story line that keeps you guessing. Over all compared to some of the Space Marine battles novels that can be a bit dry and predictable. This is one of the best i have read so far as it keeps the reader guessing and is very unpredictable.

  • Dave Kirlin
    2019-05-21 01:28

    While I enjoyed the story, I found myself lost in some of the narrative. Often I would have to re-read sections to understand what was going on.

  • Andrew Vice
    2019-05-03 17:22

    It was very very boring.