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Thoughts on The Grey Knights Omnibus SPOILERS INCLUDED
Old 10 May 2009, 03:38   #1 (permalink)
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Default Thoughts on The Grey Knights Omnibus SPOILERS INCLUDED

Okay, so I've just finished reading the Grey Knights omnibus. This is going to be just my opinions on the series, and some particular parts later in the series may come up, which is why I've mentioned spoilers.

I'm going to go on a book to book basis, with final overview at the end. I'll assume that you've either read the book or looked at the plot summary somewhere, so I'm not actually going to go over the plot unless it is specifically asked or is involved in my overview.


Grey Knights

An good story, IMO roughly equal to the first three Horus Heresy books. (Haven't read the others) The opening threw me off a little, as I started out expecting Mandulius to be the main character, but that's just because it was my first BL title other than Horus Series. I liked how Alaric was first introduced in a moment of weakness, so there was the possibility that he might fail for the rest of the book. Alaric and his squad took a while to connect to, even more than the characters of HH due to their further separation from humanity. Valinov was an excellent character, always staying one step ahead of the Inquisition and playing forces against each other constantly. Legia was, for me, easily the strongest character in the book. She had just the correct amount of strength as an inquisitor, but always the chance of failure due to her psyker abilities making her vulnerable. Her madness was extremely well done as it gave the impression to everyone, even the reader, that she had truly gone insane. During her questionings I thought she was attempting to curse those interrogating her, rather than help them.

I only have one real criticism: The guardsmen kill the insanely powerful daemon at the end. Umm... this is Grey Knights? And yes, I know that the Guard only finished it off, but come on. Here we've been watching these Grey Knights kill hundreds of this daemon's followers, and it gets killed by TANKS??? Wouldn't, you know, an epic duel have been better?


Dark Adeptus

This story suffers from a lack of interesting motivation in my opinion. For much of the book, the main villain was basically part of a hive mind, not a powerful daemon. Also the "Hawkespur is dying! We have to get medical attention!" motivation didn't really work. Hawkespur is basically unknown when we meet her. Yes, she was in Grey Knights, but she didn't even speak in it. Really, what would have lived up the dying human bit would have been Legia, as there's already quite an attachment from the last story. Unfortunately for Dark Adeptus, Legia is dead. Her death worked well for Grey Knights, and provided a great foil for Alaric, but it doesn't do much for Dark Adeptus. In comparison, Hawkespur just seems like a pale copy of Legia.

One part that I think does work is Saphentis, as you never really know which side he is on. When you have a small group of characters, it works well to have one with undefined motives. The final duel with the Casitagator also worked well, but I didn't buy the "the daemon doesn't remember it's a daemon" thing. If you had power of the material world, wouldn't you remember it?


Hammer of Daemons

This book is excellent as part of a trilogy, but on its own I think it wouldn't fare too well. Too many references to the rest of the series. But I do think it is good. Alaric has had other people to help him for a long time, and pulling the rug out from under him is a great way to shake things up. The cast of characters introduced was great, allowing a lot of inter-faction tension and breaking up the idea of a set group of people as the good guys. The side story of the Chaos Lords' squabbles was good too, with each of them gaining a lot more character then if it was all from Alaric's perspective. The one thing that always bugged me was that the author forgot about the collar of Khorne as a problem. It was put on and then forgotten, and I always wanted Alaric to bust it off in the middle of the fight and really start kicking Chaos D'yi. Another thing that bugged me was Skarhaddoth. Once he killed Haulvarn, he disappeared until Vel'Skan. While the one blow kill was awesome, it would have been cooler if Skarhaddoth had featured in other gladiator battles as well.

The Hammer of Daemons itself was also worked well. When it was first revealed that the Hammer was a ship I was pissed, because I wanted an epic fight. Fortunately, I got my fight and it also got to be a ship.


Final Thoughts

Overall the series is a good read, not the best novels in the world, but after all it's Black Library. I rate them as Grey Knights being the best in the series closely followed by Hammer of Daemons, with Dark Adeptus trailing along behind. One thing I noticed was that Ben Counter has a tendency to kill off supporting characters too soon, and then wishes he could bring them back. Alaric remembering someone dead happens all too often, and while I understand needing something to inspire the character, it's a little annoying to always have him thinking about Legia. Good as an introduction to Space Marines, the Inquisition, and generally the Imperium. There's some in it for the Chaos player as well, since a good chunk of time is spent on the villains.

I originally picked up this Omnibus as a Chaos player, since I figured Chaos would figure a larger role in Grey Knights novels than in most other chapters. As a result, I was satisfied by the Chaos and the series even got me thinking about going over to the good side.

While it's not highbrow literature or high fantasy, The Grey Knights Omnibus is a good read.

Comments/Opinions on my thoughts and/or Omnibus welcome. Anybody else read it/have an opinion on it?

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Old 26 Jun 2009, 18:10   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on The Grey Knights Omnibus SPOILERS INCLUDED

I'm slightly more critical than you of these books. I'd rate them, collectively, as tolerable.

I also agree with your ranking, though I'd say that Grey Knight was actually a pretty good book, while Hammer of Daemons was a bad book (don't get me started), and Dark Adeptus was wretched.
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Old 12 Jul 2009, 23:48   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on The Grey Knights Omnibus SPOILERS INCLUDED

The final duel with the Casitagator also worked well, but I didn't buy the "the daemon doesn't remember it's a daemon" thing. If you had power of the material world, wouldn't you remember it?
actually, when i read that i decided the intnet was that it had been an insane AI, but after exposure to the warp and all the pacts it had made with chaos entities, it basically turned into a demon one it realized it had the potential. Alaric's speech at thr end to the inquisitor about it always having been a demon, it just forgot i just chalked to typical "imperial faith+ignorance = missing the forest for the trees" stuff.
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