Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Savage Scars - Book Review

Savage Scars by Andy Hoare

Dal’yth. The forces of the Greater Good have established a stranglehold on the planet, and the time has come for the Imperium to move against them. The White Scars lead the ground assault against the tau, launching into combat with speed and fury, shedding blood as they gain ground against their enemies. Meanwhile, the members of the Crusade Council are determined to pursue their own agendas, and their politicking and back-stabbing will place the entire war effort in jeopardy. But little do they know that Inquisitor Grand has more extreme measures in mind, and the White Scars must achieve victory quickly or the cost to Dal’yth will be devastating.

This novel is the second white scars novel from the black library as far as I’m aware and the same from Andy Hoare. The novel itself is actually the third in the Damocles gulf/rouge trader series and despite this works equally well as a standalone novel that concentrates on the imperial expansion.

As mentioned this novel follows on from the Damocles gulf/rouge trader series and reintroduces many of the characters, mainly the Gerrit Family dynasty and Aura, not to mention Grand and a few others, in their adventures in the Damocles Gulf. This novel mainly concentrates on the fight back against the tau and the assembled crusade force battling against them. The main forces involved are those of the Imperial Guard, the Tau and some of their pets and finally a crusade force made up of numerous different chapters of Space Marines.

The novel follows the actions of three main characters previously mentioned, to work well this novel puts them each in different aspect of the crusades push and then plays on their motives and responsibilities. Firstly there is Lucian Gerrit who to make a name for the family and link it to the crusade for profit takes to leading an Imperial Guard Force. We also have Lucian’s daughter Brielle, whose motivations don’t become clear straight way. Finally we have Sarik, the White Scars character and the crux of the book, leading the crusades ground force we find this whole process to be a learning curve for him and certainly action packed.

The novel is well laid out and flows nicely, the scene setting at the start is a welcome addition as it means anyone that didn’t get to read the first two novels doesn’t need too. I would recommend them but they aren’t necessary for this novel. There are only one or two points where the book gets confusing, this is usually due to characters having not only different names (i.e. first names, family names or dynasty names) but also by some of the characters having similar names. The other is with the Space Marines involved, so we know we have the White Scars involved but they fight alongside Ultramarines, Scythes of the Emperor and Iron Hands. There other chapters mentioned in passing, such as the Black Templars or the Warbringers, but to be honest the three chapters I mentioned first seem done to death. Whilst there is the odd White Scars casualty it seems every other marine that gets killed is usually a Scythe or an Ultramarine, there is little mention of any other force really suffering. I know their big chapters and in the case of the Scythes this is pre their destruction (could this hint at a novel in the battles series for them?) but it just seems in places they are mentioned more than the lead characters own chapter!

Those two small niggles aside I actually liked the book. Some of the descriptions of the action and the tau were brilliant, the imagery of the titans superb and the action snappy. All in All a brilliant installation in the series, or a standalone, and one that leaves you hoping that the events discuss at the end of the novel are followed up and we learn more about them. A solid four and a half stars from me and a recommendation to pick it up given a chance.

Available from:
Savage Scars by Andy Hoare
Softback, 416 pages • ISBN 9781844165643

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails