The First Heretic (long text)

For talking openly about the spoilers from Black Library fiction.

The First Heretic (long text)

Postby Vivia » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:20 pm

This is only my opinion and interpretation. I'm not sure this counts as a review.

The first chapters didn't make a good impression on me, the slow-moving scene at the beginning when Guilliman arrived, made me baulk at the idea of reading more of the same.
There were several chapters that peeked my interest, such as when they ventured into the Eye of Terror, it started good but left me disappointed in the end.

The scene between Magnus and Lorgar was my favourite, it was nice to see how much Lorgar cared for his brother, and who in turn acted like a big brother and the only time I felt sympathy towards Lorgar.
Their conversation about the Warp and their father was fascinating and it made me wonder this: Was Lorgar and Magnus more sensitive to the influence of the Warp because they were primarchs?
Sadly, it ended in an overly dramatic way and Magnus left the story, he was the best part in the entire novel.

At the end I found Lorgar less than likeable or alluring despite my initial thoughts of his personality. I thought he acted like an adolescent and not a little selfish. That his selfish pursuit for knowledge damned his legion didn't seem to affect him much despite what he said. That strikes me as the act of a spoiled child who was easily manipulated by his mentors and I could help thinking that he deserved it.
Guilliman should have hit back, that's what I'm saying.
The other primarchs had the same air about them, as giant space children ( I couldn't resist).
That the writer kept hammering on about the wondrous Lorgar made it even harder for me to like him as Lorgar moved into Mary Sue territory. Lorgar, so gifted, so fabulous, so shiny and on and on ad nauseam.
The primarchs are special but why must we keep hearing it in so many ways? We can see the picture, a golden being of 3 metres isn't an ordinary human. Let their actions speak for themselves. Or this was supposed to be read as Imperial propaganda, I have no idea.

The character of the Blessed Lady Cyrene felt like a vehicle to show off the glorious Lorgar and the marvels of the Word Bearers. Yes, a female character that obviously worshipped the male warriors and their superiority, there is a lot to be said about that and the feminist raged inside of me. The saddest part was that she worshipped a bunch of jerks. What is new? *dies*

I tried to like Argel Tal but he left me cold even when he turned into Chaos. His attachment to Cyrene was not very believable and the daemon inside him didn't invoke any fear or concern for his fate in me. It felt contrived and who knew daemons talked so much? The relationship between a daemon and their host in the Darkblade series is way better.

One particular hate-object was Aquillon and the Custodes and I was happy the WB felt the same way. Every time they were aggravated I felt a certain degree of schadenfreude.
Towards the end when Cyrene was killed by the despicable Custodian and that he called her "traitorous whore" made the feminist in me rise in concern again. What could possible Aquillon know about women as he was probably grown inside a tube somewhere. :D

Kor Phaeron, a creepy character to say the least. In my opinion he was the evil type of father, the glimpse of the relationship between the primarch and Kor Phaeron's was sort of disturbing.
The fact that he was a Terminator and first captain was a shocking revelation since he wasn't a full-fledged Astartes. It was clear he influenced Lorgar in a bad way, perhaps ever since the primarch was a child. He acted like one of those parents who lives through their gifted child.
He also reminded me of a sinister ancient priest of a Cthulhian cult and I was waiting for him to remove his mask of flesh to reveal the nameless horror beneath. :)
I was disappointed that Erebus and he was out of the story most of the time.

The writing style of the book was a big problem to me. As I mentioned in another thread, there were several aspects that stood in the way for me to completely enjoy the story.
Truth to tell, many things are unknown to me within the 40k universe but most of the time the stories keep my interest and I can check up facts later on. Not with The First Heretic, at times I was unable get grip of the characters and their surroundings. Sometimes I thought I had skipped something which led to many re-reads to check if I got everything right. I could never get a feeling for the numbers of Astartes within the Legion as the action seemed to focused on a handful.
Another irritating part was the endless, rather ham-fisted dialogue and to be honest, I skimmed past some of that.
I'm terrible with names and places but I remember a lot of them because it was so repetitive.

Final conclusion of the WB fate is that I'm very happy that the they turned into Chaos because frankly, they were rather insufferable as loyalists. They were so smug about their own superiority, it was hard to like them. In that sense I prefer the modern Space Marines who have grown into their unique nature and simply are what they are.
As a fan of the Chaos followers as I thought the primarch did not deserve to be a daemon prince. Lorgar, I can't stand him.

This novel is the first BL book that I struggled to finish and many times I thought I should give up, now I feel tired in the head and drained of life.
It doesn't have the newness the Eye of Terror had, when I thought I have discovered something unique with the BL books.
I don't think I'm the target-audience for the series as I don't want to know more about the primarchs, at least not the way the HH books depicts them, in my opinion they should be kept shrouded in mystery.
Except for Fulgrim I doubt I will read another one any day soon.
Last edited by Vivia on Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There is nothing gay about the Princeton fight song. "Oh, the men of Princeton are charging up the rear, holding all the balls..." Okay, I hear it now. – Jack, episode Queen of Jordan
User avatar
Vivia
 
Posts: 3811
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Stockholm, long nights


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby LordLucan » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:23 pm

Vivia wrote:
The character of the Blessed Lady Cyrene felt like a vehicle to show off the glorious Lorgar and the marvels of the Word Bearers. Yes, a female character that obviously worshipped the male warriors and their superiority, there is a lot to be said about that and the feminist raged inside of me.



Don't most mortals (male and female) act this way around the Primarchs? They have this 'my god I'm awesome' field around them that makes mortals fear and be awed by them. I'm not sure its a sexist thing to be honest. Also, they saved her from her miserable existence on Monarchia's ruins. Also, she was raised to worship the Emperor as a God, and Lorgar is her God's son, so...
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
User avatar
LordLucan
 
Posts: 3561
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:05 pm


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby Vivia » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:01 pm

I guess people would but there was way, way too much emphasis on this and I think Cyrene could have been handled a lot better. It's hard to get a female into the ranks of the Space Marines, I know, and making her into a the Blessed Lady was one way but it wasn't believable to me.
One thing that was forgotten was the fact she survived the destruction of a planet but it fell into oblivion, it had to had been a horrific experience. She was so overshadowed by the Astartes and acted mostly as a plot-device for Argel Tal and his "descent". Her character was hardly needed.
There is nothing gay about the Princeton fight song. "Oh, the men of Princeton are charging up the rear, holding all the balls..." Okay, I hear it now. – Jack, episode Queen of Jordan
User avatar
Vivia
 
Posts: 3811
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Stockholm, long nights


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby Tim the Corsair » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:26 am

Wow, um, to each their own I guess?

I personally think it's one of the best stories in the series, and quite liked the characters of Argel Tal and Cyrene. It also made Lorgar quite sympathetic.

I don't know, I'm not sure what you were expecting from it? The criticisms you're levelling just seem very...odd, I guess, when almost everyone else is stating the exact opposite.

Again, you have the right to your opinion, and I don't find your opinion wrong so much as I think it's bizarre.
User avatar
Tim the Corsair
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:10 am
Location: Sydney, Australia


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby Vivia » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:55 am

Yes, to each their own. There always has to be one reader like me who doesn't get it. :)

I found TFH to be a remarkable weird story actually and not in a good way, as I first thought, but in a way that made me want to finish and be done with it. Fulgrim reads a bit the same, even if it does have a baroque thing going on but I don't know whether to take it seriously or not.

What did you like about Argel Tal and Cyrene? Any specific parts of the story you enjoyed? What part of my opinion do you find bizarre? :)

At first I had sympathy for Lorgar but in the middle of the book I started to think he was an incredible jerk. Towards the end I felt a little for him, mainly at the situation he put his Legion in but it was too late.
There is nothing gay about the Princeton fight song. "Oh, the men of Princeton are charging up the rear, holding all the balls..." Okay, I hear it now. – Jack, episode Queen of Jordan
User avatar
Vivia
 
Posts: 3811
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Stockholm, long nights


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:05 am

When I first read the title and the blurb I thought the book was going to be directly about Lorgar. Upon reading however, it isso much more about Argel Tal.

What I like about him is that he is very much the Garviel Loken of the Word Bearers. But, and here is the difference, he goes along with everything his Primarch does even though he knows deep down inside that what they are doing is wrong.

Nowhere is this more apparent then when Argel Tal kills Vendatha, who had sort of developed into a friend, and he knows that he is going to eventually have to kill Aquillon, his closest friend. And Argel Tal is the only human in a legion of a hundred thousand that the Custodes leader even faintly trusts!

Argel Tal is very much the titular character of the novel and we see the degradation of the legion through him. He latches on to Cyrene as some sort of confessional saviour and that is quite telling since she is a regular human and any of the legion chaplains could have fulfilled the same role for him. She is his Kyril Sinderman and Ignace Karkasy analogue.
Shadowhawk's Shade My 40k/writing/review blog. You can check out all my reviews here.

My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
User avatar
shadowhawk2008
 
Posts: 7716
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:17 am
Location: Battle-barge Spear of Lycaeus of the Angels of Retribution


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby Vivia » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:39 am

Of all the characters he seemed the more likeable but I couldn't invest any emotions in him.

The murder of Vendatha was the turning point for me as I could no longer support Lorgar. Despite my strong dislike for the Custodians, it was a gruesome kill but it lack the emotional impact it should have had because I couldn't care for the characters in general.

Argel Tal continued to care for the primarch and that was morally wrong and I always hoped he would tell the Custodians and ask for help but they were jerks too. His possession left me uncaring which I thought was rather strange since it was a big part of the plot. He was like a victim of Lorgar and the daemon. Astartes as victims. Ugh.

I kind of want to forget I ever read the book, daemon princes are tainted to me now, if someone like Lorgar is one I don't know what to think, give me Magnus the Red any day. To think that Marduk and Burias are from the legion, at least they're true their evil selves. :)

This is my first HH novel so Gavriel Loken is recognisable from Fulgrim, I think. I'm so bad with names. XD
There is nothing gay about the Princeton fight song. "Oh, the men of Princeton are charging up the rear, holding all the balls..." Okay, I hear it now. – Jack, episode Queen of Jordan
User avatar
Vivia
 
Posts: 3811
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Stockholm, long nights


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby Mauthos » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:57 pm

To be honest Tne First Heretic is among one of my favourite HH novels and I think it is because of the main things you dislike.

I like seeing an Astartes as a victim of sorts because it is unusual and I enjoyed the struggle he seems to have accepting the path his legion has chosen but because of his devotion to his Primarch he feels he must go along with it no matter how much he disagrees with it.

And as Shadowhawk mentioned, he does use/see Cyrene as an outlet to confess to, someone who doesn't judge him outright for what he has done and probably the only person he can actually discuss his feelings with who wouldn't mock him or more than likely kill him for, even in spirit, disagreeing with the path Lorgar has chosen. The custodes don't fully trust him and the rest of his legion are more than happy with the changes they are undergoing.

Unfortunately it does mean I do disagree with you as I really enjoyed this book as it was a break from the normal portrayal of a space marine's fall into chaos. ;)
Simplicity is the key to brilliance.
User avatar
Mauthos
 
Posts: 334
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:43 pm
Location: Bristol


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:56 pm

Vivia wrote:Of all the characters he seemed the more likeable but I couldn't invest any emotions in him.


While my connection with him wasn't that strong either, it wasn't something that bothered me since I was already drawn into his journey and his experiences.

Vivia wrote:The murder of Vendatha was the turning point for me as I could no longer support Lorgar. Despite my strong dislike for the Custodians, it was a gruesome kill but it lack the emotional impact it should have had because I couldn't care for the characters in general.


Gruesome enough that Ven killed three Word Bearers in less than as many heartbeats ;) And Lorgar stands there like a love-struck fool.

Vivia wrote:Argel Tal continued to care for the primarch and that was morally wrong and I always hoped he would tell the Custodians and ask for help but they were jerks too. His possession left me uncaring which I thought was rather strange since it was a big part of the plot. He was like a victim of Lorgar and the daemon. Astartes as victims. Ugh.


I think that was the point though. Coupled with the "revelations" about the WB gene-seed that their loyalty was coded into their genes, it makes wholesome sense that AT would support Lorgar. The whole possession thing was a whole WTF for me too. It was a little too abrupt when that section started.

Vivia wrote:I kind of want to forget I ever read the book, daemon princes are tainted to me now, if someone like Lorgar is one I don't know what to think, give me Magnus the Red any day. To think that Marduk and Burias are from the legion, at least they're true their evil selves. :)


Well Lorgar and the others are Daemon Primarchs, roughly on equal standing with the Greater Daemons is my understanding.

Vivia wrote:This is my first HH novel so Gavriel Loken is recognisable from Fulgrim, I think. I'm so bad with names. XD


Kyril Sindermann is the Prime Iterator of the Imperial Truth, i.e. he is the head of the organization that disseminates the values of a secular (?), scientific, logical, gods-don't-exist Imperium. He was attached to Horus' fleet and served as an unofficial tutor to many of the Astartes and was Loken's mentor.

Ignace Karkasy was a poet attached to Horus' fleet. After an incident involving Army troops Loken took him under his wing and served as sort of a truthsayer to him. He exposed sort of Erebus' deviousness to Loken, or more like confirmed it.
Shadowhawk's Shade My 40k/writing/review blog. You can check out all my reviews here.

My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
User avatar
shadowhawk2008
 
Posts: 7716
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:17 am
Location: Battle-barge Spear of Lycaeus of the Angels of Retribution


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby Vivia » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:09 pm

Mauthos wrote:To be honest Tne First Heretic is among one of my favourite HH novels and I think it is because of the main things you dislike.

I like seeing an Astartes as a victim of sorts because it is unusual and I enjoyed the struggle he seems to have accepting the path his legion has chosen but because of his devotion to his Primarch he feels he must go along with it no matter how much he disagrees with it.

I can see that, but that's not how it came across to me. It just painted him as weak and the daemon possession was a plot device to make the reader feel sorry for him.

It's totally cool to disagree with me, we can discuss likes and dislikes and it's very interesting to see what people enjoy about the story. So far almost everyone like Argol Tal, and he leaves me cold.
Shadowhawk2008 wrote:Gruesome enough that Ven killed three Word Bearers in less than as many heartbeats ;) And Lorgar stands there like a love-struck fool.

That part was so upsetting, Lorgar was exposed as a giant, bio-engineered fool of epic proportions. For once I agreed with the Custodian, they were the lesser of two evils. After that shock I shifted my focus onto feminist issues, and minor details. :)
Shadowhawk2008 wrote:Well Lorgar and the others are Daemon Primarchs, roughly on equal standing with the Greater Daemons is my understanding.

Aha, I see. I get my info from Lexicanum and it just says daemon prince but since they rose to daemonhood so quickly, it says something about their power. I still don't buy that the Chaos Gods would see Lorgar as worthy.

Fulgrim was totally right in his judgement of Lorgar, when I read that part I felt a little sorry for Lorgar, poor unloved gigantic child but it quickly faded because that wasn't enough to justify what he did to his Legion.
Interesting, I don't think less any more about the some of the primarchs (Guilliman and Ferrus) but they died, and Lorgar remains.

I don't think I agree with the Imperium in the 30th millennia. Fulgrim leaves me with doubt and perhaps I will leave it be. It may end the same way and then I would complain again about unsatisfactory plot and what not, lol.
At least it isn't like the time I bought three Gaunt books despite not getting the story in the first book or Execution Hour, where the spaceship action went right above my head. :D
There is nothing gay about the Princeton fight song. "Oh, the men of Princeton are charging up the rear, holding all the balls..." Okay, I hear it now. – Jack, episode Queen of Jordan
User avatar
Vivia
 
Posts: 3811
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Stockholm, long nights


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:18 pm

Vivia wrote:I can see that, but that's not how it came across to me. It just painted him as weak and the daemon possession was a plot device to make the reader feel sorry for him.

It's totally cool to disagree with me, we can discuss likes and dislikes and it's very interesting to see what people enjoy about the story. So far almost everyone like Argol Tal, and he leaves me cold.


Funny enough, that whole part just wasn't strong enough I felt. There was no consequence, no limitation to Argel Tal and the survivors of his company being possessed.

Vivia wrote:That part was so upsetting, Lorgar was exposed as a giant, bio-engineered fool of epic proportions. For once I agreed with the Custodian, they were the lesser of two evils. After that shock I shifted my focus onto feminist issues, and minor details. :)


Giant, bio-engineered fool is just how I see him as now as well. Magnus was right. Lorgar is just too hungry to have something to worship that he doesn't care about anything else. He does act like a spoiled child with his toys taken away.

Vivia wrote:Aha, I see. I get my info from Lexicanum and it just says daemon prince but since they rose to daemonhood so quickly, it says something about their power. I still don't buy that the Chaos Gods would see Lorgar as worthy.


Well I don't know about the others, but Perturabo ascended after the Iron Cage incident, having sacrificed the gene-seed of all the dead Imperial Fists. Magnus ascended sometime between escaping Prospero and the Siege of Terra.

Vivia wrote:Fulgrim was totally right in his judgement of Lorgar, when I read that part I felt a little sorry for Lorgar, poor unloved gigantic child but it quickly faded because that wasn't enough to justify what he did to his Legion.
Interesting, I don't think less any more about the some of the primarchs (Guilliman and Ferrus) but they died, and Lorgar remains.


Well I think it would be more correct to say that Guilliman is terminally ill rather than dead ;)

Vivia wrote:I don't think I agree with the Imperium in the 30th millennia. Fulgrim leaves me with doubt and perhaps I will leave it be. It may end the same way and then I would complain again about unsatisfactory plot and what not, lol.
At least it isn't like the time I bought three Gaunt books despite not getting the story in the first book or Execution Hour, where the spaceship action went right above my head. :D


You don't agree with the principles the Emperor espoused in that time? I can see how some people could go that route. Interestingly enough, a part of the Imperial Truth ties in with a certain Lord Magos on Mars, Koriel Zeth, who believed that 'scientific' knowledge was scientific and not spiritual. A switch is just a switch and doesn't have a machine-spirit that must be worshipped before being used.
Shadowhawk's Shade My 40k/writing/review blog. You can check out all my reviews here.

My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
User avatar
shadowhawk2008
 
Posts: 7716
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:17 am
Location: Battle-barge Spear of Lycaeus of the Angels of Retribution


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby Vivia » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:02 pm

Yes, Guliiman was poisoned and is preserved in a stasis field, I forgot.

shadowhawk wrote:You don't agree with the principles the Emperor espoused in that time? I can see how some people could go that route. Interestingly enough, a part of the Imperial Truth ties in with a certain Lord Magos on Mars, Koriel Zeth, who believed that 'scientific' knowledge was scientific and not spiritual. A switch is just a switch and doesn't have a machine-spirit that must be worshipped before being used.

Agree and agree, I haven't read much about the principles. I'm not that into the Imperium. :D
I prefer the Imperium in the 41k, things have grown into a natural flow and the pompous air of the 30k is gone. The same can be said about the Space Marines, they don't need to assert their own superiority at every turn, they just do their job. I find it much more appealing.
There is nothing gay about the Princeton fight song. "Oh, the men of Princeton are charging up the rear, holding all the balls..." Okay, I hear it now. – Jack, episode Queen of Jordan
User avatar
Vivia
 
Posts: 3811
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Stockholm, long nights


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:12 pm

Well there isn't much in the way of principles other than "there are no gods in this galaxy and the Imperium is to be founded on that truth and cold, hard proper scientific knowledge (as we understand it today) that we can expand."
Shadowhawk's Shade My 40k/writing/review blog. You can check out all my reviews here.

My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
User avatar
shadowhawk2008
 
Posts: 7716
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:17 am
Location: Battle-barge Spear of Lycaeus of the Angels of Retribution


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby Dorian » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:56 pm

shadowhawk2008 wrote:When I first read the title and the blurb I thought the book was going to be directly about Lorgar. Upon reading however, it isso much more about Argel Tal.

What I like about him is that he is very much the Garviel Loken of the Word Bearers. But, and here is the difference, he goes along with everything his Primarch does even though he knows deep down inside that what they are doing is wrong.

Nowhere is this more apparent then when Argel Tal kills Vendatha, who had sort of developed into a friend, and he knows that he is going to eventually have to kill Aquillon, his closest friend. And Argel Tal is the only human in a legion of a hundred thousand that the Custodes leader even faintly trusts!

Argel Tal is very much the titular character of the novel and we see the degradation of the legion through him. He latches on to Cyrene as some sort of confessional saviour and that is quite telling since she is a regular human and any of the legion chaplains could have fulfilled the same role for him. She is his Kyril Sinderman and Ignace Karkasy analogue.


I absolutely agree with you.

Also, I love ADB's writing style. He always keeps me hooked. He's the reason I spent many sleepless night while reading TFH, SH, Helsreach or BR. I always tell myself "I only finish this chapter and then I'll go to sleep". Needless to say I always fail.
Wyrd bið ful aræd.

We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things.

If the world is at peace then it means someone is planning war.
User avatar
Dorian
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:04 pm


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby Vivia » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:13 pm

Interesting.
For me AD-B writing style was one of the main problems with the book. I had a similar problem with CS Goto.
The stories premises were interesting enough but I couldn't get pass the writing. Something with the sentence structure, words that cling false, unnatural dialogue, stuff like that.
Last edited by Vivia on Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
There is nothing gay about the Princeton fight song. "Oh, the men of Princeton are charging up the rear, holding all the balls..." Okay, I hear it now. – Jack, episode Queen of Jordan
User avatar
Vivia
 
Posts: 3811
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Stockholm, long nights


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:13 pm

Goto I can understand. The first Dawn of War novel is a real pain to get through. The other two also seem to drag on needlessly at times.
Shadowhawk's Shade My 40k/writing/review blog. You can check out all my reviews here.

My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
User avatar
shadowhawk2008
 
Posts: 7716
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:17 am
Location: Battle-barge Spear of Lycaeus of the Angels of Retribution


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby Xisor » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:21 pm

That's almost the complete flip for me, Vivia. A D-B, for me, probably writes some of the most 'natural' writing I've known. Well put, well constructed, but anarchic and with suitable confidence in disregarding or subverting rules and conventions (the infamous 'reveal the outcome of the battle before describing it', which I really found very endearing [and very well used; enhancing the scenes rather than ruining them]).

I don't care for dialogue sounding natural as much as it has to keep me reading. I don't mind that in TV or in film: fiction is inherently different from reality. How many toilet visits have been described in all the BLP novels ever published? In all novels ever published? Clearly we don't want actual reality, but we do want it to read well, to read plausibly.

As much as I loved The First Heretic, I do wonder if you (Vivia) have hit some more interesting points. Cyrene was, in my mind, well used. But, then, she wasn't exactly a resounding stand-alone character. It's difficult to remember, especially in light of the Night Lords books, but A D-B is a new author. They're top-grade books (especially BLP), but I think it's plain there's still a ton of room for improvement; a lot to be worked out. A lot of making the connection between "neat premise for a story" and "a decent story". As noted, the Night Lords ones are damn decent, but still...not perfect.

(Well, actually, Blood Reaver was pretty close. I can't pin-point anything IMO wrong with it so to speak.)
"When my housemate puts his bike in the middle of the living room floor, I find that inordinately jarring, annoying and rude, but for me to refer to it as "genocide" would be incorrect." -Ath
xisor.wordpress
Xisor's Dice-o-matic Maiminator
User avatar
Xisor
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4930
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:13 pm
Location: Canterbury


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby Vivia » Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:50 am

Well, I disagree with you about dialogue. To me dialogue has to feel natural to find the characters believable, sure they may talk crazy but it has to be believable within the context of the world they live in.
In my opinion A D-B didn't have a clear grasp on the world he created and it reflected in the characters. Less than credible characters in a less than believable world and the story starts to crumble for me.
If you can get pass that then it works or you don't then you become like me and fidget on your sit, it was very hard for me to take the plot seriously, sometimes I was wondering what I was reading.

(When I got to the part in the Emperor's laboratory my first thought was "space child!" and I found it endlessly funny. Later when I went to bed I got a giggle-fit with my remark about the "giant space children", and fell asleep. :D)

Cyrene and Argal Tal had the most natural sounding dialogue, which it doesn't say much and I found Lorgar to have the worst. So either did the author have more emotional connection with the those two and not so much with Lorgar. You may argue that Lorgar was a primarch and not human but he wasn't an effective one, none of the annoying description of his golden figure or what he said could ever convince me he was a special snowflake.

You're probably right about A D-B being new to BL and there is much to improve. I also have read Strange Horizon's Stories We've Seen Too Often and I sense point 14, 28, 32, 33 are at work in TFH.
There is nothing gay about the Princeton fight song. "Oh, the men of Princeton are charging up the rear, holding all the balls..." Okay, I hear it now. – Jack, episode Queen of Jordan
User avatar
Vivia
 
Posts: 3811
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Stockholm, long nights


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby sam vimes » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:09 pm

for me the biggest let down was how much of a wuss Lorgar was, I thought your the primarch thats the most religously minded due to your upbringing you fought in the big E knows how many religous wars and you dont want to be a general?! Excuse me while I scream you are a primarch lorgar, a son of the emperor created to help build and maintain a galactic empire warfare is kinda of a given so grow a pair and get on with it! Another thing that did my tree in was the constant mention of the asartes acidic spit I mean really did it have to crop up as much as it did?

I know its a really cool thing and all but mentioned to much for my liking, and to flag something that viva mentioned asarates as victims is stonking great as long as its done well, uriel ventris anyone? He got put through the ringer from warriors of ultramar onwards till the chapters due and you know I sympathised with him every step of the way, lorgars lads and argel tarl in particular I couldn't give two frags about as they came across to me as whiny and emo.

Now the legion as whole bored me as after reynolds had shown us the word bearers after the hh, if he had been given the WB in HH I think we'd be a lot happier with them.
"Huron-Fal’s systems were on the verge of shutdown ... ‘This death,’ rasped the voder, ‘this death is ours. We choose it. We deny you your victory.’

"Abandon your fear. Look forward. Move forward and never stop. You'll age if you pull back. You'll die if you hesitate."

"From iron cometh strength. From strength cometh will. From will cometh faith. From faith cometh honour. From honour cometh iron." "And may it ever be so"
[CENTER]Image[/CENTER]
sam vimes
 
Posts: 2010
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:32 am


Re: The First Heretic (long text)

Postby Vivia » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:28 pm

Yes, that's what I thought too. At first I was happy about it, it broke the mould of the primarchs but then I started to see Lorgar as a petulant child that wanted to do "other" things.

Oh god, the acidic spit. It was so random and I was taken aback for a moment, I had forgotten about the gland. I can't imagine the Blood Angels behaving that way (they are gentlemen!) also dignity. :)

Uriel Ventris wasn't a victim IMO. He went through seriously bad things but he made it through. I felt for him but I never thought he was a victim.
Argel Tal and the WB were painted as victims, in a way to get us to care for them. They were punished by the Emperor, victimised by the daemons, and sold-out by the Lorgar, the whiner primarch (lol).

I'm trying to separate the ancient WB with the new improved one, they have dignity and horns.
There is nothing gay about the Princeton fight song. "Oh, the men of Princeton are charging up the rear, holding all the balls..." Okay, I hear it now. – Jack, episode Queen of Jordan
User avatar
Vivia
 
Posts: 3811
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Stockholm, long nights

Next

Return to Board index

Return to Spoiler Zone

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest