Sunday, May 17, 2009

Warrior Brood by C. S. Goto

It has been a little while since I have reviewed a Black Library book, and the time has finally come to return to them. While the two reviewed earlier (see Horus Rising and Assault on Black Reach: The Novel) received both very positive and not-so-positive reviews respectively, the universe itself really drew me in, and I couldn't wait to give it another try.

Warrior Brood by C. S. Goto is the first in what is currently a two book series by Goto about the Deathwatch Space Marines. This group of marines is pulled from all of the other chapters to form a special force for the use of the Inquisition branch of the Imperium.

When the world of Herodian IV is swarmed by tyanids, the Mantis Warrior Marines are there to try and hold them off, but the aliens prove too strong. After retreating off-planet, they call for help, and the Deathwatch crew arrives, along with Inquisitor Kalypsia to lead them. Their mission: to land on the planet and stop the hive tyrant, knowing that killing the leader will at least slow down the horde.

However, there is much going on behind the action. This mission seems fraught with faulty logic, and the alien tyranids seem far stronger and more intelligent than they have ever been before. On top of all that, the leaders are obviously not telling their marines everything. And it seems like their is some double dealing in very high places.

Goto creates a novel with huge amounts of action, both on planet with the Deathwatch Marines, and in space, as the ships surrounding Herodian IV fight the tyranid ships, yet at the same time one full of intrigue as Inquisitor Lord Agustius is snooping around trying to discover what it is about this planet that is making Inquisitor Lord Parthon so willing to sacrifice a monstrous number of lives. Everything wraps up in the end, and it certainly isn't quite the way you expect it to.

Goto does an excellent job handling his narrative, and really pulls off a lot of great things. While sometimes the narrative seemed to slow a tiny bit, and the first chapter required some patience before it all started to make sense, his depictions of the insanity of fighting a huge horde seemed very real, and his characters were very well rounded. This was a very fun read, and I can't wait to pick up the sequel.


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