DOW Blood Ravens review

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DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby sam vimes » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:07 am

Small review of each book below minus a review of the short which I don't want to spoil even here:

Dawn Of War:
Given how this follows the game and was rushed out I felt that it was a poor start for Goto at first, but read through and the Raven's grew on me. I felt at times that Gabriel's struggles were sometimes over and under done and that he spent too much thinking and not enough doing , but over all enjoyed it just wish it wasn't so bloody flawed and the dialogue ugh at times I wanted to reach across time and space and slap Goto for typing such crap, Bale and Sindri were good if a bit 2D for my liking but meh so was Eliphas and I liked him so what do I know? lol Battles were also several shades of awesome as well.

DOW Ascension:
In this one well the Eldar start to be even more interesting to me then they already are, shame about how arrogant they are and how that screws them over to be blunt at points, although I wonder if Macha was aware of the irony that the actions of the Dark Reapers very early on in the story led to what happened between the Ravens, Eldar and those fun loving walking toasters the Necron, bet the laughing god was tickled by that performance, the chaplain Praithos was a character that sticks in the mind and you do get a real sense from him that in effect the company chaplain is the closest thing to a father a marine will ever have, Jonas Uriele came across as a wise old grandfather figure which as well is rather appropriate and ironic when you think about it.

DOW Tempest:
Well know this is were IMO Goto has taken 40k and is sprinting towards a good finish, the beginning of this one is very well done and continues nicely from a important and costly action committed by Blood Raven Librarian Rhamah in the second one that on the surface of it makes you write him of as daemon munchies, but apply a little thought and take into account the character of the Blood Ravens chapter it does make sense for what happened to him happen in that way, Ahriman pops up in the story and sticks around all the way to the end and is genuinely again IMO well written and comes across not so much as evil in a dark emotional way, but more of a soulless cold logical scientific way. love how he makes the harlequins cack their pants towards the end of the story which can be best described as and this is in the story by the way "This wasn't in the script" and of course couldn't stop with out mentioning the relationship between Gabriel of the hidden heart (quite a nice title for the 4th captain I feel) and the very old and staggeringly powerful farseer Macha damn that girl don't half kick arse in the grand finale. the relationship is very well done and I think towards the end Macha swallows some of her arrogance (quite a feat for a pointy eared limp wrist) and Gabriel his hate for the alien as both realized that neither humanity nor the Eldar can defeat Chaos or the Yngir alone and that they both need one another no matter how much they don't want to see it, below is a short extract from the third novel that is possibly my favorite bit from all three novels, don't worry no spoilers I swear to the Emperor.

with all things in the future, we cannot see beyond our choices. We may hear, the music or listen to the voices. But the future is forged through our own devices. And in our choice of the future, the present is retold. We learn about the deeds of the foolish and the bold. We know whose heart is true, and which one is cold. And so a choice

I'm curious does anyone else find it odd that the blurb on the inside cover basically gives away the ending and the beginning of the second and third novels.
"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"
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby Vivia » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:17 pm

Nice one, Sam Vimes.

This review made me feel a little curious about reading the DoW series. Watched the game on YT so I know a few of the characters. Angelos is no favourite of mine, are the books written from his POV? Is Davian Thule in them? :)

DoW2 is what I want to read but from the look of it it isn't very good and I should just give it up.
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:40 pm

Vivia wrote:Nice one, Sam Vimes.

This review made me feel a little curious about reading the DoW series. Watched the game on YT so I know a few of the characters. Angelos is no favourite of mine, are the books written from his POV? Is Davian Thule in them? :)

DoW2 is what I want to read but from the look of it it isn't very good and I should just give it up.


Like I've mentioned before elsewhere, once you ignore the apparent wtf canon concepts that Goto introduced, the books are quite enjoyable. I've certainly never had a problem with any of his work canon wise.

The first book is a real slow page-turner and is not really fun to read as much as it could have been. Unfortunately it is also something that affected Chris Roberson's Dawn of War 2. In comparison, DoW2 ranks slightly higher than DoW but they still miss the mark. The games are definitely far more enjoyable than the books!

The second book really picks up steam and introduces us to a whole bunch of different things, like the discontent within the Biel-Tan leadership, the discontent between Angelos' own warriors, the necrons, the tablets found underneath the monastery on Rahe's Paradise, the "discontent" between the Sisters Dialogus and Eldar Rangers! It is a superb book. However, it breaks away from the storyline of the game Winter Assault as far I know (I have never played it). Not to mention, one of the best cliffhangers ever IMO.

The third book is set after the events of Winter Assault and has no connection to Dark Crusade. It is also a direct sequel of its predecessor. The cliffhanger from the second novel is carried on and expanded on quite a bit more. More Farseer-awesomeness. Some intensely enjoyable Eldar goodness of another variety. Chaos is back on the centre-stage with the long cameo of everyone's favourite sorceror lord, as are the Necrons. I cannot recommend it enough. Parts of it are rather slow but on the whole, the book redeems itself with all its action.

All the books contain significant narration/prose etc from Gabriel Angelos' point of view. Davian Thule and the 'Fated' Fifth never make an appearance however.
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby JackCrow » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:31 pm

Awesome books, no matter the critique we hear about Goto as author all the time.
In the omnibus it is worth mentioning that the short story The Trials of Isador is included, you should not miss it, as it complements the first book.
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby Vivia » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:12 pm

Someone was a traitor. The Blood Ravens have a shady past, I read it in Lexi.
Do we find out more about this? Is the focus on the conflict with the xenos and Chaos or is it a spoiler?
Thule was in the first game but not in the novels.

All right, both the DoW and the Grey Knights omnibus are on my wishlist, which one to get first. I sense GK is bleaker and greyer than DoW and I want something fun. :)
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:18 pm

Vivia wrote:Someone was a traitor. The Blood Ravens have a shady past, I read it in Lexi.
Do we find out more about this? Is the focus on the conflict with the xenos and Chaos or is it a spoiler?
Thule was in the first game but not in the novels.

All right, both the DoW and the Grey Knights omnibus are on my wishlist, which one to get first. I sense GK is bleaker and greyer than DoW and I want something fun. :)


They do have a real shady past and both the novels and the games really play up to that. Not to mention the stuff in the short story Rebirth from Age of Darkness.

The focus in all three novels is the conflict against the xenos/Chaos. However, I believe Goto did play well with regards to unlocking more about the Blood Raven's past. And I will leave it at that so the information in the book(s) isn't that spoiled for you. But do be patient until you get to the third book :)

The GK omni has only the first two novels right? Does it have any extra content? I would recommend the BR omni simply because it is 3 novels plus a short story. Not to mention that I am a fan of Goto. I love his Deathwatch novels and they were part of the inspiration behind my own Deathwatch novel I am currently writing.
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby Vivia » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:18 am

After watching the games on YT I changed my opinion about the BR and I kept mistaken them for the Blood Angels. :)
Then I read the article in Lexi about Thule and Angelos I was hooked. It seems they have being doing things of dubious character and it reminds me of the BA covering up their flaws. It's easy to forget that no one outside knows about the Black Rage. Mhmm.

The GK omni has 3 novels but it doesn't say anything about short stories and the DoW omni is cheaper. I only read one story of Goto in LtGB collection and it was a pain to finish.

I really shouldn't be ordering books this late. Books books books. :)
(I was disconnected from the site last night when I tried to leave a comment.)
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby Viking Phil » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:21 pm

I'm reading the Grey Knights Omnibus now. There are no short stories included in it. Just the three books collected.
I can heartily recommend it though. Very good!
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby flick » Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:57 pm

Isn't there a entire dark angels successor chapter, dedicated to catching the fallen? That's a lot of marines, with a very powerful secret...which 90 percent of their daddy chapter doesn't know about. I'd be smug if I was them. :lol:
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:01 pm

flick wrote:Isn't there a entire dark angels successor chapter, dedicated to catching the fallen? That's a lot of marines, with a very powerful secret...which 90 percent of their daddy chapter doesn't know about. I'd be smug if I was them. :lol:


Guardians of the Covenant I think?
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby Liliedhe » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:08 pm

*casts raise dead*

Well, lets revive this thread, since I just finished the Omni, too. I kinda liked. Except for the end, which was a catastrophe.

But actually, I didn't come to this thread to whine... Ok, maybe a little. I liked Rhamah. That was pointless, cruel and idiotic. Just so Gabriel can be a bit more of a sue than he already is.

There. /whine.

What I really wanted to discuss is the secrets of the Blood Ravens. Actually, If I had not know the hints from HH, I would never have guessed that they are supposed to be TS. Because, all Ahriman does and says is generic. Generic seduction to chaos he could have done for any lost little sheep. "We are not so different, you and I", really? "Oh, why do you think Librarians wear blue?" I don't know, because Guilliman liked the color? :P He never calls him brother or anything, just "Friend of Ahriman".

But there's something much more interesting about the Blood Raven origins in that book. You basically CANT turn a page without a hint that they are connected to the Eldar. A LOT. Their great Father wrote a book about an Eldar book and it is in the library of Arcadia. They built a tomb to seal the Necrons, with the Eldar. They lose one of their worlds to the Eldar, and they have a beacon on their ship so the Eldar don't go extinct... And they have the sword of Lantrilaq, which Vidya took from the Eldar.

Now, if, say, it's true, they are TS, who were not on Prospero and that's why they surivived... What then? I bet their secret, and why their founding and a lot of their History was obscured is nothing to do with them being TS. And a lot more with having a pact with the Eldar. Now, I guess we can probably accept the TS thing as fact. Then, they'd have a lot of trouble in the beginning - and their little mutating problem, too. So, maybe they turned to the Eldar, who hid them, 'cured' their problem and in turn used them as cannonfodder or whatever? And Vidya, the great father, was the one who finished this, lead them to freedom and erased their past. That's why nobody knows where they come from. being loyalist TS isn't really the secret, the secret is being Eldar playthings.

Oh, and there was ONE hint in the book, but I think it was unintentional - the fleshchange in the end. Guess, the Eldar called their boon back, or the accelerated process is too much and can't cope with their cure anymore.
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby Vivia » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:29 pm

Mind-blowing. I love the BR as successors of TS so much.

*Spoilers*
Those must have been the secrets Thule destroyed, and kind of drove him insane for a bit in his Dreadnought shape? I thought it was a Chaos taint.
Now I want to read DoW2, even if it's not that good, but we might get new background (for some reason DoW2 is much more expensive than a regular BL novel).
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby Liliedhe » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:58 pm

I have it, but I had to buy it used on Amazon, so I'm afraid it won't be that easy to get. :( Not sure if it will contain hints, or not.
"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby sam vimes » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:46 am

Yeah Gabe was annoying at times but other bits made up for it and yes what Rhama left me with a shocked and hacked off look on my face, I'll post more tomorrow need sleep glad you liked it lil
"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"
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:24 am

Lil... that's an interesting deduction and certainly one I'd never considered. Now I'm wondering if that REALLY was what Goto was driving at. Because come on, the guy loved his Eldar!! Hmm, must ponder more on this and avoid the insistence of my brain that I should re-read the DoW books.

Viv, which artifacts are you referring to? The ones from DoW: Dark Crusade?
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby Liliedhe » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:46 am

I bet it was. I mean they are successors of the TS? So what? Yeah, ok, it's probably not something you want to paint on the frontgates of your nonexistent monastery, but given how many other chapters are rumored to be successors for the traitor legions, too, it's hardly that exciting.

But if they are, there's the question why they are stable, when the TS fell apart. Now, given that whenever you start digging at their secrets, you look at Eldar, it seems to be quite intentional. Why else is a book with the blood ravens symbol on the cover in an Eldar Library? Written in Eldar runes?

I'm not even sure Ahriman knows about the TS connection - sure, he makes one mention of "the TS wearing the red of Magnus in the past" but he then connects their blue armour with the Librarian blue - and all librarians wear blue, or almost all. But he does seem to know about the Eldar secret, and it would make sense why he keeps Rhamah around then - he hopes they still know stuff about the Eldar.
"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby Vivia » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:20 am

Shadowhawk: there is a cut-scene in the DoW2 game, when Thule was still unstable in his Dread form (he mistakes one of his comrades for Gabriel), and randomly starts babbling that he won't speak of the 'secrets', which according to Lexi, it was evidence that would had incriminated the BR, from events that happened during the first game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF7TKEGIU6w&feature=relmfu
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:38 am

Vivia wrote:Shadowhawk: there is a cut-scene in the DoW2 game, when Thule was still unstable in his Dread form (he mistakes one of his comrades for Gabriel), and randomly starts babbling that he won't speak of the 'secrets', which according to Lexi, it was evidence that would had incriminated the BR, from events that happened during the first game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF7TKEGIU6w&feature=relmfu


Hmm don't remember a scene like that in Dawn of War, but in Dark Crusade there IS a mention of Thule destroying a bunch of artifacts.
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby Vivia » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:19 pm

This might end being a totally pointless endeavour, I'm watching DoW 2 videos on YT, to see if I can find any clues. There are so many, and might take a long time, but the Swedish winter season is long and dark. :P
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Re: DOW Blood Ravens review

Postby Liliedhe » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:35 pm

Well, tell me if you find anything, this interests me now.
"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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