Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Just finished Chapter's due, the 'final' book in the Uriel Ventris Ultramarine book series. This one does a great job of cleaning up all the loose ends for the other books and brings a satisfying end to them in the process. This is a nice change from some of the other 40K books where story lines end without coming to a final conclusion.
This time up instead of a single story about Uriel fighting the forces of chaos in the form of Honsou and the Iron Warriors, it is 3 different battle front with Deamons, Iron Warriors and the Bloodborn forces. Each battle is lead by a different captain including Chapter Master Marneus Calgar and Captain Cato Sicarius. In each battle you get to see them at their best and worst as Honsou stays one step ahead of them.
The battles are fierce and show you allot about how each captain thinks while in battle, Uriel's loose read of the codex, Sicarius' loose grip on patience and the Chapter Master's willingness to fight to the end to save humanity. These differences show you how dangerously threatened the Ultramarines are. There is tension there that you wouldn't expect from the poster boys. Most noticeably with Sicarius and what I feel would be a dark time if he rose to Chapter Master. The personalities are that distinct between the players.
There are a few twist that felt a little too contrived, almost like they needed to just throw something in like with the brain eating from their battle with the Tau. I can forgive them for this but it sort of pulled me out of the moment. It made the battle feel a little cheap. There is the familiar predictability I have grown to expect from a 40k book with all the major battles showing themselves in advance. In a few cases several chapters in advance. Understanding this and knowing that X will fight Y and Y will escape is all part of the series though so no fault on their part. The only real issue was with the wrap up. It was a little too neat and predictable even for 40k. Sure we all know how the story is going to end but really there could have been so much more. Something to 'goose' the reader a little. Killing is the business of 40k and too many come out of the book alive.
On the technical side the scenes are well painted so you feel the rush of reentry and the guns shooting over your heads. Every character has a distinct personality in the book though quite a few of them play on the stereotypes and are easily picked out . Even then they all add to the story without dragging it down.
This is a good read and does a good job bringing the series to an end.
4 bolter rounds out of 5