Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rynn’s World by Steve Parker

NOTE: Rynn’s World was a free review copy provided to Luke Reviews by The Black Library.

Space Marine Battles is the new deluxe-styled series from Black Library, the kind people who bring you Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 fiction. The series focuses on pivotal battles in the Warhammer 40,000 universe through a series of stand-alone novels. They are a trade paperback size (the same as Black Library’s omnibus volumes) and include full color map inserts.

The first novel of the series follows the Crimson Fists, who are on their home world of Rynn’s World, celebrating the formation of their Chapter and all of their brothers who fell in the line of duty. However, on the nearby planet of Badlanding, Orks attack and take over the world. The Crimson Fists set out to stop the orks at Badlanding, but the mission fails and the Orks continue on to Rynn’s World. After a disaster that almost wipes out the Fists, they must protect their entire world from the oncoming horde of orks.

This book flopped for me. I was beyond excited for it, and it really let me down. Good reviews of it seem to be popping up frequently, and I don’t get it. One would think that a series titled Space Marine Battles would have just that: Space Marines in combat. While there were Space Marines aplenty, the battles in the first half of the novel were few and far between. After far too much unnecessary time spent doing nothing on Rynn’s World, we finally get a chapter on Badlanding as the Fists attack the orks there. Things picked up, then the orks won, and everything died right back down again. The orks attack Rynn’s World, I think things could get good, but right before things really hit the fan, disaster strikes and almost everyone dies. Battle over.

The characters also were flops. The Chapter Master is a sort of messianic character who can do absolutely no wrong and is always cool and calm, he is best friends with the unthinking hot head, we have the “I hate mere humans” Space Marine (who lets us know he hates mere humans over and over and over) and the “I pity humans” counterbalance character to fix things in his wake. They are all flat, and play on over-done stereotypes.

I got about halfway, so this one earned above a 1/10, and scores a 2/10 for still being unfinishable. That said, it wasn’t by much. For a series I had so much anticipation for, it sure started on a sour note. I’m now a bit hesitant on the next books in this series, but I’m hoping Aaron Dembski-Bowden can blow me out of the water again like he did with Cadian Blood.


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