HH14 – Scars! Part II

Scars! Episode II – an advanced review

 

Scars

 

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s review of Episode 1 of Scars by Chris Wraight, those good chaps at Black Library Towers have kindly sent through an advance copy of Episode 2.  If you read my previous blog, you may have sensed how much I enjoyed the first instalment, so I tucked into this one with gusto.

 

Episode 2 (re)introduces another couple of main characters from Brotherhood of the Storm, with Wraight spending time to craft out their back stories to give more depth to the characters.  We also revisit our main protagonists, particularly seeing clandestine activity of the ‘I can’t say’ variety from one of the characters which really emphasises the internal factions within the White Scars legion.

 

This story also brings together a couple of elements of the Horus Heresy that have been hinted at, or covered in more detail, in earlier works.  The most obvious link is back to the twin Prospero novels (A Thousand Sons and Propero Burns).  We have references back to the Council of Nikea (where the Emperor banned the use of psychic powers), and the relationship between certain legions and individuals who featured heavily in the Council.

 

One section of Episode 2 harkens back to brief passage within the novella, The Serpent Beneath (written by Rob Sanders, and contained in The Primarchs anthology).  Clearly the seeds of this story were planted deliberately a long time ago, but it is developed seamlessly into this novel by Wraight.  The Serpent Beneath was an Alpha Legion novella, and throughout this episode of Scars, the threat of the Alpha Legion is palpable to us as readers (despite remaining unknown to the main viewpoint characters).

 

The last nugget, is that a third legion (not the White Scars or Alpha Legion) makes an appearance, possibly unexpectedly to some although probably not to anyone familiar with Horus Heresy Collected Visions art book.  This legion is fresh from action, and the depiction of their emotions at what they have been involved in is superbly executed.

 

Wraight’s prose remains excellent.  The descriptions are vivid, the characters are fleshed out in great detail, and there are many brilliant gems of background information to enthral any Heresy fan.  One description in particular, that of an Astartes space fleet mustering for deployment, is superb, a vivid, almost poetic description of the threat such a fleet contains.  Episode 1, the opening chapter of Scars, held the promise of greatness, and Episode 2 only enhances this.  I cannot wait for the next instalment!

 

Feedback

 

If you have any comments about this blog, or anything at all Horus Heresy related, please either comment here or drop me a message on twitter @Marcoos14.

 

All the best,

Marcus

4 thoughts on “HH14 – Scars! Part II

  • August 15, 2013 at 08:26
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    Hi Marcus
    I’ve never really delved into the 40k history/fluff since I’m more of a fantasy player, but I’ve always had a fondness for the Dark Angels and have begun thinking of picking up a book or two.
    Do you have any recommendations for a beginner with that certain view of interest? What books (both in the heresy series and outside of it) deals with them, and is it possible to jump straight on them or should I start at the beginning of the series and read in order (that looks like a very daunting task, since there are so many 40k novels, which is why I’m asking you) ?
    Also, I’ve not seen many audiobooks from the Black Library, do you know if they are available as audiobooks elsewhere, or if they simply don’t bother with that?

  • August 15, 2013 at 09:21
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    Mikael_Lindh I’d recommend getting Angels of Darkness (either second-hand or via the print on demand edition off Black Library). It deals with the, surprise, Dark Angels, their history and a good part of what is to come off the Heresy.
    Angels of Darkness also got a prequel in the Space Marine Battles series, with The Purging of Kadillus, which I have not read yet. Gav Thorpe also wrote Ravenwing, which was released last December/January, and is first in a trilogy which is actually building on Angels of Darkness. The second novel, Master of Sanctity, is scheduled for next summer (which annoys me, as I read and enjoyed Ravenwing in January, and now have to wait another year).
    As for the Heresy, there are Descent of Angels and Fallen Angels, as well as a short story in Tales of Heresy, one in Age of Darkness and a novella in The Primarchs. There’s another short in a recent event-exclusive anthology, and an audio drama called Grey Angel, which ties into another plotline of the Heresy.
    If you want to dive into the Heresy, however, I’d still recommend starting with the opening trilogy, being Horus Rising, False Gods and Galaxy in Flames. No Dark Angels, but an essential opening to the series. All three will be getting large trade paperback re-releases from February to April, which I am looking forward to replace my old paperbacks with.
    As for audiobooks, they did abridged ones for the above first three Heresy novels, which I cannot really recommend, as they cut quite a few plotlines straight out. From there on, they have released unabridged audiobooks for all Heresy novels up to Descent of Angels, the 6th, skipped to Fallen Angels, 11th, as it is a direct sequel, and there is an audiobook version of A Thousand Sons. From Prospero Burns on, every new Heresy book got an unabridged audiobook on release. The missing 6 books will receive hardback re-releases and audiobooks in due time, usually between new releases.

  • August 15, 2013 at 09:30
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    TheDarkChaplain Mikael_Lindh Thank you very much for that reply! I think I will start with Angels of Darkness then 🙂

  • September 24, 2013 at 20:51
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    Hi Mikael,
    Sorry for the delay in replying – I thought I had set it up to receive email notifications of responses but apparently I have failed! 
    I think TheDarkChaplain has given a pretty good summary, but I’d echo his comments about starting at the beginning. I’ve written a blog about this, so I’d recommend giving it a go.  http://baddice.co.uk/a-shortcut-to-catch-up-on-the-horus-heresy/
    Cheers,
    Marcus

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