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Descent of Angels
Old 07 Nov 2007, 07:58   #1 (permalink)
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Default Descent of Angels

Just read this book last week and wanted to post some thoughts. I was happy with the start at first, as the book gave great background before the coming of the Emperor. But it just kept dragging and then sort of ended abruptly with an annoying little, quickly fashioned sub-mission to a stereotypical human planet.

I felt really let down with this installment of what is otherwise a great series. This book made the Lion seem like a cardboard cut-out. Have to take the good with the bad I guess. Looking forward to the next one.

Anyone else read this yet?
What did you think?
Maybe I am looking at this from a wrong angle.

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Old 07 Nov 2007, 08:01   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Descent of Angels

I ordered it last week; so it should get here tomorrow, along with Fulgrim. I'll let you know how I feel about it when I get it.

That's a promise.
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Old 08 Nov 2007, 09:26   #3 (permalink)
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I've actually been holding in my anger over this novel for a while now. I really wanted to grab the author afterwards and shake him. Not because the novel was bad.. more because it was horribly horribly mediocre with way too much campy cheese.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD - Turn back now if you don't want to read spoilers.

The part in the Thunderhawk near the end was where it started getting beyond stupid for me. I mean they ask the sarge what the plan is AS they're about to be dropped? They don't even know they're getting dropped in via jetpack untill they're on the bloomin' T-hawk?! What happend to mission briefings?

I know this is for the benefit of the reader, but egads dude, there are millions of ways he could have done it better.

'Engage purity seals'?!? WTF?! The little pieces of paper stuck to their armor?

From that last 3rd of the book and everything involving the planet needs to just be ripped right out of that book and re-written.

The first half was acceptable. It lacked a LOT though and there were so many things that were awfully convenient. The Knights of Lupus being their Nemesis.. please what are we trying to tie this into the later animosity with the Space wolves?

Nemiel was annoying, right from the start. Unlike the characters in the previous Horus Heresy books whom I really built up an affection for. Nemiel is just an irritant.

The Lion as you say was a complete cardboard cutout, Luther was marginally more 'real' but still.

All I keep thinking about this book was: It could have been SOOO much better. I would have waited 2 more years for this if it was just written properly. Give it to Dan Abnett next time, or any of the other HH writers for that matter.

Damn, thought I was over this. I'm all annoyed again.
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Old 08 Nov 2007, 14:22   #4 (permalink)
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Plastic Rat, I have to agree with all your points. The best part about the Thunderhawk drop was that just a few pages before that, the Chapter had a briefing of sorts where the Chapter Master (Hradiel - or something), explained to them the plan and everyone was listening intently and with admiration, or some such phrasing. Then not 2-3 pages later they ask what the plan is while in the Thunderhawk...huh?

Despite the flaws in the book, I did enjoy this author's style of writing. I can't say exactly what it was about his style, but I found myself engaged in the book. If it weren't for the flaws mentioned previously, this would have been a great book instead of just good.
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Old 09 Nov 2007, 00:44   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Descent of Angels

Plastic Rat, that was right on the money. I thought I was being overly critical, but it was getting on my nerves near the end.

Yes, I would have cut Nemiels $#%!ing head off and not cared a whit.


Another thing...it always has to be a planet in secret league with chaos. The leader of the planet docks with the ship in their ancient shuttle...nobody checks it of course.

Man, I was cracking up in the thunderhawk scene. Reminded me of weekend two hand touch football...except we plan better!

One guy: "whats the plan?"

Leader guy: "We go in there...and get em!"

everyone: "hooaaahhh, get some, get some!!!"

Dan Abnett must be put in charge of quality control...his time as merely an excellent author must end. I am only partly joking.

I think the main problem is that it has followed such an excellent series (for the most part) of books by great 40k writers. So I do have a little sympathy for him.
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Old 09 Nov 2007, 01:53   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Descent of Angels

I dunno, I kind of get the feeling that the writer didn't really WANT to write that book. Like he wasn't particularly thrilled by Dark Angels.

It's easy to tell when a writer is passionate about the story he's writing. This one, among other things, felt like it lacked that passion for it's subject.
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Old 17 Nov 2007, 18:31   #7 (permalink)
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i'm against everyone who says that there should be one author to write the series, for about 3 reasons, maybe more if i get to that point and cant be bothered to change the number i wrote.

1) I'm enjoying the variation of authors, showing how the heresy can be viewed from several perspectives.

2) Everyone says it should be Dan Abnett, and if he wrote them all he wouldnt have time for the gaunts ghosts books.

3) Rate of release would slow to one a yearish

4) I read my first Ben Counter, Nathan Long and Graham Mcneill this way, and i have now read more of their stuff and enjoyed it. I may not have read them if i had not read Galaxy in Flames, Flight of the Eisenstein and False Gods.
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Old 19 Nov 2007, 17:22   #8 (permalink)
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Normally I leap to the defense of any BL book being criticized. I'm easy, book-wise. Heck, I liked Eldar Prophecy. This time, however, I agree with the majority. I found the book aggressively mediocre.

I also agree about liking the author's writing style. He provided an engaging portrayal of the events, they just weren't interesting events. The battle on their planet against the Knights of Lupus was, to me, the most interesting thing in the books.
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Old 21 Nov 2007, 07:25   #9 (permalink)
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Hmm, the book only just arrived at my local bookshop on Monday, and I've been struggling to put the book down (Considering I had an exam this morning - at which point I'd already read 3/4 of the book).

Anyhow, I just finished it, so I'm here in this thread. Yeah the Stormbird bit where they ask about the plan.. that did seem a bit silly. I feel as though the ending was rather rushed, as though the last book was all about concluding this story for the time being. It does leave a lot to be explained, like what the Lion and Luther were talking about, and why they're suddenly being sent back to Caliban.. doesn't make much sense.

Also, What happened to Lord Cypher after they became Dark Angels? I don't recall any mention of it.
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Old 29 Nov 2007, 00:05   #10 (permalink)
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[Edit: As I near the end of the Descent of Angels, I've actually become quite intrested in what's occuring. The arrival of the Emperor, his attempted assassination, Zahariel imprisoned, it seems that my opinion was grossly wrong, so for the sake of my Integrity I've removed my previous rant.]


Originally Posted by Otto
Dan Abnett must be put in charge of quality control...his time as merely an excellent author must end. I am only partly joking.
I admire Dan Abnett's writing style, he has a gift for developing characters so well, and associating them with us, the reader. I love Gaunt's Ghosts and I also wish he could do the entire Horus Heresy series, but it's such a major and important event in 40k that the varied author's are needed to keep it alive and intresting. But, I've heard that Dan will be doing the next book Legion, featuring the Alpha Legion and Ultramarines.
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