Betrayer

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Re: Betrayer

Postby sam vimes » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:26 pm

Butchers Nails audio isn't it? I'd check the bl site but I'm on my phone at work and the site is bit clunky for it.
"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: Betrayer

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:42 pm

sam vimes wrote:Butchers Nails audio isn't it? I'd check the bl site but I'm on my phone at work and the site is bit clunky for it.


Yes. It has scenes with the two of them sparring and their dialogue is as it'd be between old friends.
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Re: Betrayer

Postby sam vimes » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:39 am

just finished the book and by the eight, what a novel it is quite rare for me to buy a book and finish it on the same day, the last book to do that was Eisenhorn I'll post my full thoughts later but ace from start to finish.
"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: Betrayer

Postby sam vimes » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:08 pm

has lorgar just used enucia?
"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: Betrayer

Postby Liliedhe » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:39 pm

YEs, he has. ;)
"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: Betrayer

Postby sam vimes » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:26 pm

I thought so Lil I'm on my second read through so details I skipped over first time are more apparent, and I never thought I'd feel something for world eaters Kharn is a very very awesome character can sort of see why you see sevtar in him but didn't fuss me much, Lorgar has finally become his own man it's took a bloody while and was a painful journey but he's kicking arse and taking names as well as despite being a bad guy, a villian with class which are my favorite to root for, his dressing down of Erebus and his mockery of Kor Phaeron were very well done, why wasn't this a best seller?
"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: Betrayer

Postby Flashgordon » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:10 pm

Hmm... Because its hardback? :P
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Re: Betrayer

Postby ribbons69 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:31 am

Flashgordon wrote:Hmm... Because its hardback? :P

I didn't even know it was out until I saw the big paperback in GW Bristol last week and even then the thirteen quid price tag almost put me off. Glad I relented though,cracking read
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Re: Betrayer

Postby Gaius Marius » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:37 pm

So I read this the other day. I liked it a lot, but it seemed kinda short almost? A lot happened, there was a large scale, there were a lot of characters who developed a lot over the course of the story (Lorgar in particular has changed massively as has Argel Tal and even that one Titan commander). But for some reason I just felt like the events covered happened almost too quickly.
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Re: Betrayer

Postby Anakwanar » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:08 am

This novel is one of the best 3 in HH to date. The action, characters and void warfare are all just awesome. The only problems with belief i have about the Imperator shackling and Conqueror vs all Ultramarines rag-tag fleet. Same for Trisagion. This 2 ships seems just toooo perfect and undestructible. :evil:
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Re: Betrayer

Postby LordLucan » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:34 pm

At long last, I finally managed to get this novel in the correct format (the small one, like the rest of my books).

vimes: I suspect the others are correct, in that the splitting up of the release over several formats has affected the best-seller status of the novels. Have any of the recent HH novels since the format shift been best sellers like the ones that came before? I'm honestly not sure.


Anyway, onto my take on this novel.

Betrayer and Angel Exterminatus both seem to be novels with a similar goal; buddy up two traitor Primarchs, get one to the point of ascension, and start to develop the corrupting influence upon the traitor legions. The traitors becoming heretics, essentially. I felt Betrayer did this in a far better way than AE, which seemed to very obviously telegraph scenes of 'look guys, the chaos space marines are getting equipped with their 40K weapons!'. The characters in AE felt as if they were just ciphers and a means to tie that novel in with the rest of Mcneil's 40K books.

Now Betrayer does have some fan service too in how it addresses certain momentous scenes. However, I thik because it has lots of characters that aren't from 40K, we don't instantly assume 'well obviously Skane's going to survive, because I saw him in book [X]' or what have you.

Also, Betrayer, I felt, was able to achieve a well-executed depiction of a truly broken legion. Throughout the novel, while the world eaters are always portrayed as dangerous, ADB uses his trademark humour to make the world eaters a laughing stock; their monstrous savagery is faintly ridiculous, and their constant buzzing implants lead them to make inept decisions, almost against their will. Leaving ships undefended, deliberately falling for traps, etc. At some point in the novel, this become more tragic. I particularly liked the scenes where it became evident that Kharn's ability to converse like a proper person was being eroded away, and he found laughing about something that wasn't about killing something was painful to him.

Similarly, when you see Angron, you can see the disappointment everyone has in him. He is a broken primarch, and he can't really do anything other than kill things. I liked the scenes where he deliberately annoys people, and is stubborn to the point of frustrating even the eternally-patient Lorgar (the scene where Angron cannot comprehend taht he lost against the Space Wolves is both hilarious and tragic to me. Also, Russ's cameo almost steals the show for me. See below for more on that)

The word bearers were better in this novel than they have been in recent novels. They aren't the moustache-twirling inept cartoons they were in Abyss (I liked that ADB subtly mocked the previous novels' depictions of the WB with Lorgar dismissing those as the random fringe loonies of his chapter, that he deliberately allowed to kill themselves. It seems a bit contrived, but I appreciated the in-joke nevertheless :lol: ). However, I think ADB tried to make some of the word bearers into loveable monsters like the night lords, but I don't think the word bearers should be cynical about their faith; it isn't in character. Argel Tal is a contradiciton in this book for me; one of th emsot highly exalted of the Word bearers, yet he doesn't really care about the fundamental truth of the universe he's found. I didn't find him very convincing personally.

I liked the Ultramarines in this, from what little we got to see of them. I'm never really that interested in the battles in 40K/HH books, so the complaints about them not being sufficiently hyper-competant doesn't bother me as much as others, but they seemed effective enough to be convincing to me.

I enjoyed a lot of the smaller side scenes that the novel shunts to one side.

Cyrene and the Perpetuals/Cabal - I loved these parts, but I am annoyed that yet again, the Perpetuals are simply thrown into a story, get name-checked, then are never resolved or developed. It is getting annoying, because I've wanted to know more about these fellas ever since Oll appeared in Know No Fear. I'm hoping Vulkan Lives remedies this, or else I'll be annoyed.

Lhorke and Esca - The War Hounds within the legion were an effective way of emphasising the true degeneration of the world eaters, but I don't think enough was done with these guys either, and their demise was signposted very obviously early on.

Leman Russ/Angron - I loved both these scenes, and the way Russ played off Angron. I like the hint that the 'executioner' role Russ has fashioned for his legion is one he has invented without the Emperor's blessing, to make up for the fact his legion isn't really as special or powerful as he'd like to think. Also, the revelation that Angron was only really loyal to the Emperor because of his nails, is an interesting subversion of expectations. Also, the fact Russ won the fight due to his space wolves' brotherhood was my favourite scene of the novel (especially the part where Lorgar also realises this, and Angron is just too pig-headed to see it)

Lorgar/Magnus - A nice counterpart scene to the one in the First Heretic

Erebus and his contempt for Primarchs - I think this builds on a theme I think xisor first made me aware of in the hH books; that Kor Phaeron, Erebus, Typhon, Abaddon and others within the upper echelons of the traitor legions consider themselves the true harbingers of chaos; the kingmakers of the Horus Heresy. In this novel, you can sort of see why they might think that, because Lorgar is only concerned with playing the warp melodies correctly, and in helping to ascend Angron. Lorgar is looking always with a mind to return to the warp; he doesn't care about the materium, he's in love with the warp, which would explain why most traitor primarchs in 40K don't bother leaving the eye; they've won, and they don't give a damn about the Imperium their space marine progeny want to conquer. Erebus and Co are invested in surviving and prospering from the Heresy on the material plane in many ways.

The mortals in the shadow of the marines - The moderati and the other mortal, human characters are, as ever, ADB's best characters. They get some of the best lines, and interact in much more human and interestingly dramatic ways. They aren't burdened with being as grandiose and overexaggerated like space marines and primarchs can get. Even the archmagos seemed more human in some ways.

Akilles and Golyat! - I always love the thinly veiled mythological references thrown into these books! :lol:

Things I wasn't so happy about:

- I don't think we needed another two Furious Abyss ships. It retroactively makes the battle for the Abyss even more irrelevent to the HH as a whole, and makes the main villain in that somehow even more incompetent, for building a giant ship in terran space, when there was really no need to do so at all.

- Kharn becoming his 40K counterpart too early. This isn't as egregious as in AE with Lucius and Fabius, who have the same personality they have in 40K, and won't develop anymore. Kharn still has some character development, which is good. I was also glad the WE didn't repaint their armour yet either.

- The question 'why did the Emperor not let Angron win his slave revolt' was explicitly raised, and once again, never answered. There must be more to it that we weren't told.

- Nuceria. The bit where Angron finds his brothers and sisters' bones was a moving scene for me, but otherwise, this part felt like a wasted opportunity. I thought we might have actually learned more about the nails here, or why the eldar came to kill Angron specifically as a boy, or why, being so close to Ultramar, Angron wasn't found until much, much later. Basically, I wanted this world to be more than just another world smashed over the course of nine pages. It felt like a hastily drawn backdrop to the Ultramarine/WE/WB scrap, rather than a proper fleshed out world.


Overall, I thought this was a great book, which overcame its formulaic brief to become something more, due to ADB's writing and his earnest desire to really get his teeth into the mythology of the setting, and shows an author confident enough to tackle canon head on, while deftly avoiding contradicting the established lore in the process.

On a scale of one to ten, I give this book a solid: I don't do numerical ratings! Read the dang review! :P :D
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Re: Betrayer

Postby Lord of the Night » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:48 pm

LordLucan wrote:However, I think ADB tried to make some of the word bearers into loveable monsters like the night lords, but I don't think the word bearers should be cynical about their faith; it isn't in character. Argel Tal is a contradiciton in this book for me; one of the most highly exalted of the Word bearers, yet he doesn't really care about the fundamental truth of the universe he's found. I didn't find him very convincing personally.

It isn't the same thing. Argel Tal is cynical about his faith because he is the only Word Bearer that has seen through it. He knows whats on the other side and it scares him, so he has become jaded and cynical to mask the despair he feels at becoming an unholy hybrid of man and Daemon, the fact he's whored his soul to cruel Gods who couldn't possibly care less about him and that he failed to protect Cyrene from a man he considered a friend. He's realised that there are Gods in the universe, but unlike Lorgar and the Word Bearers he has seen them for what they really are, and he knows that there's nothing he can do about it and he and his Legion are damned eternally. I find him the most interesting of all the Word Bearers for this, he's realised the truth but there's nothing he can do about it, so as a Space Marine he does the only thing he knows how. He keeps fighting.

LordLucan wrote:Nuceria. The bit where Angron finds his brothers and sisters' bones was a moving scene for me, but otherwise, this part felt like a wasted opportunity. I thought we might have actually learned more about the nails here, or why the eldar came to kill Angron specifically as a boy, or why, being so close to Ultramar, Angron wasn't found until much, much later. Basically, I wanted this world to be more than just another world smashed over the course of nine pages. It felt like a hastily drawn backdrop to the Ultramarine/WE/WB scrap, rather than a proper fleshed out world.

There's nothing more to learn about the Nails. They are human constructed archeo-tech that rewires the brain to cause a state of constant fury, but Angron's superhuman physiology constantly heals him only for the Nails to keep trying to rewire him, putting him through intense pain 24/7 and slowly killing him. And the Eldar came for Angron because they foresaw what he would become.


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Re: Betrayer

Postby LordLucan » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:17 pm

Lord of the Night wrote:It isn't the same thing. Argel Tal is cynical about his faith because he is the only Word Bearer that has seen through it. He knows whats on the other side and it scares him, so he has become jaded and cynical to mask the despair he feels at becoming an unholy hybrid of man and Daemon, the fact he's whored his soul to cruel Gods who couldn't possibly care less about him and that he failed to protect Cyrene from a man he considered a friend. He's realised that there are Gods in the universe, but unlike Lorgar and the Word Bearers he has seen them for what they really are, and he knows that there's nothing he can do about it and he and his Legion are damned eternally. I find him the most interesting of all the Word Bearers for this, he's realised the truth but there's nothing he can do about it, so as a Space Marine he does the only thing he knows how. He keeps fighting.


I know what ADB was going for. He outright tells us this in the book. What I'm saying is, it didn't feel convincing to me.

There's nothing more to learn about the Nails.They are human constructed archeo-tech that rewires the brain to cause a state of constant fury, but Angron's superhuman physiology constantly heals him only for the Nails to keep trying to rewire him, putting him through intense pain 24/7 and slowly killing him. And the Eldar came for Angron because they foresaw what he would become.



Is it so unreasonable that I'd like these elements elaborated upon further? For instance, if Angron keeps healing, why would removing them be so bad? What about them makes them so utterly lethal to Angron, that the wounds they leave can never be healed? And why did the eldar only come to kill Angron, and not Fulgrim or Lorgar or Horus or the others? Also, which eldar were they? They sounded like commorrites fromt he flashback, but it was only a momentary glimpse and vague.

A few books back, we'd all have said 'oh there's nothing more to learn about Ollanious Pious. He was just a mortal guy who defied Horus in the old HH lore', but the HH books have gone on to hint at far larger things.

There is notihng more to learn about the nails yes; but that is because ADB decided there wouldn't be anything more to them, not because there couldn't be anything mroe to them. There was a whole part where the captain and the archmagos and the contemptor were having secret meetings about the nails, and the Archmagos had classified information about them. To learn that this classified info was taht the nails were killing Angron was a servicable reveal, but not particularly revelatory cosidering the nails were already implied to be doing it earlier iirc.
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Re: Betrayer

Postby Xisor » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:38 pm

I had some other thoughts (listen to them here: soundcloud.com/xisor/response-on-betty-at-the, any that haven't listened yet) and a few bits I'd like to continue chatting with Lil & Sam about, but as LL's right here, I'll go to him first!)

LordLucan wrote:I know what ADB was going for. He outright tells us this in the book. What I'm saying is, it didn't feel convincing to me.


Basically: I agree.

It's something Lil made me aware of too (and which you mentioned in the SB earlier this evening) - that Argel Tal doesn't quite feel right. Whilst I generally like what ADB does, I think the awkward thing here is in realising that this is ADB getting it... wrong. It's still good enough, still passable and still enjoyable, but it's lacking in a lot of the grandness, subtlety and wonder that's been put forth in other places - even the touches with other characters in the novels.

It's interesting, and I think it comes to the heart of my main disagreement with Aaron (and the rest of the HH team, starting way back in the opening trilogy), which is this: Erebus & Kor Phaeron.

Whilst I liked the characterful touch for Erebus in this, my boy, and the monumental wonder of seeing Kor Phaeron 'throw it all away' in Know No Fear, I rather despise their roles otherwise. Kor Phaeron in The First Heretic was a bit... flimsy, Erebus in almost every appearance has largely been to punch children and ruin Christmas.

The cleverness and terrible drive, the alluring 'rightness' of their wrongness really isn't conveyed. I wonder if really anyone else wants or sees that, the idea that Erebus is so catastrophically beyond everyone in terms of shaping the universe. Even Kor Phaeron, as a 'mere human' is quite an astonishing thing. (Actually, a lot more so, but still.)

With Argel Tal being one of the three top-tier Word Bearers, his faith just felt... flimsy. He's literally Chosen by the Gods, but beyond that he's incredibly dull. Like Harry Potter and Hazon Da'kir (Salamanders). The biography of their life is much more interesting than the people.

Having cynical non-faith all felt a bit flat. Pedestrian. Sure, it works, some people in Chaos must be like that. But, as LL says, it didn't feel convincing this time. (Unlike the odd Night Lord or two who genuinely isn't in denial about being nostalgic and sentimental, despite everything.)

Contrast that with the decision that Lorgar's 'crisis of faith' is literally to do with:
1- He believed before.
2- He was told not to.

His conviction in the Emperor's divinity as implied prior to the The First Heretic just doesn't feel substantive for a super-mega being. It's the same category as Marijan von Staufer's (and many others') criticism of The Last Church: for all that it's a neat concept, it's a terrible presentation of sci-fi/fantasy divinity and a commentary therein. As in, really terrible.

Sure, TFH and now Betty gave a much better rendition of things than the bulk of the Heresy so far (especially the McNeillus Heresy), but it's still a flimsy thing as, for my tastes, it still rests a little too heavily on the statement-of-fact reality of the Gods. So, for example, Magnus & Lorgar chatting about it was glorious (and remains the stand-out highlight of ADB's Heresy work, across all three major pieces where it appears).

But, it still doesn't go deep enough or really deal with the consequences. How did Lorgar rationalise and reconcile the Imperial Truth? Why wasn't he clawing away at the esoteric and the 'indications' of divinity along with the other Primarchs (or whichever other bits of the Imperium were delving quietly into the Emepror's domains)?

A lot of the answer to this is pretty obvious in the subtext (or even just text) of Betrayer: Malcador. But it's, again, not a brilliantly delivered answer. We saw a hint of it in The First Heretic, but it's really not the same.

All told, I'm pleased ADB ditched Argel Tal early. He, and Kharn, were a little too pedestrian and trite for me, of all ADB's characters. We've seen him do better, it's perhaps a sincere (and paradoxical) saving grace that they are stock ADB characters: cynical, self-aware, a bit-smarter than everyone. It's not a definitive point about the characters, but about ADB's method of relating a protagonist. He can do better, but if this is the worst then we're really not too badly off!

---

LordLucan wrote:Is it so unreasonable that I'd like these elements elaborated upon further?
Yes. Next.

We can be pretty safely assured that neither the Primarchs nor the Emperor himself are purely mundane creations of humanity. I think the problem, however, is that shoehorning it into the story (even when it's a blatant and massive point for the reader) is difficult on the author's part. IIRC, ADB said exactly the same thing about the Pylons on Cadia: of course they're important, but writing a story isn't the same as a safari around the place, the writer's not able to (and should probably be strongly discouraged from trying to) tick off every 'interesting' box they can squeeze in.

Who knows how many chapters' worth of void war Aaron's had to cut over the years. My mind rebels at the very thought of what's 'left on the cutting room floor', but nevertheless: I heartily respect the decision not to address everything. (FWIW, the choice of words seemed pretty easily obvious to allude to Eldar-ish tech. If not directly lifted, it's not unthinkable that some conceptual chain connects the Haemonculi to most 'high end' devices of torture throughout the galaxy. Where'd the Fists first get their Space Marine-capable pain gloves, hmm?)

If anything, I think it's also one of the aspects to which I'd not be surprised if Aaron'd got a 'clear' answer in his head (e.g. "they're all human"), but decided that he didn't think it was worth revealing that operational conceit. (Contrast that to the Night of the Wolf. If he conjured up his own personal answer to "And what else would Leman Russ have done if he was just deluding/willing himself into the title of Emperor's Executioner, self-styled?" and then thought "Actually, that's good enough to publish" - great! I'm glad we saw it. Other authors [such as those behind Angel Exterminatus] might wish to reign in that line of thinking! ;) :lol: )

---

Sam Vimes

I'd mentioned already: Argel Tal's death. I liked it. I thought it was an interesting commentary especially given the juxtaposition of other things in the Heresy so far. Bring Argel Tal back and it's a bit bleh. It's not even a travesty anymore, it's just... humdrum.

Keep Argel Tal dead and suddenly everything else seems proper again. He's a Loken/Garro/Tarvitz character (boring but can essentially carry a story by virtue of being in the right place; again - the biography is more interesting than the personal journey). He's enjoyable enough to read and a bit of an every-man. It adds more to Erebus. It adds more to the weight of the novel. It ties off loose ends and is, critically, a massive contraindication to what's been established in The Outcast Dead and Angel Exterminatus: which is that the narrative is rigidly enforced. Symbolism happens like clockwork, everything should be neatly tied off and just so.

Know No Fear, Betty and even Fear to Tread muddy the waters much more intriguingly. The power of Chaos is rife within them, we know that for the most part symbolism is fundamentally important, but we're also dealing with entities which are capricious enough to get bored and cheat or simply stop paying attention.

In essence, the author betraying his protagonist is an exact replica of the gods. It's fourth-wall breaking in the way that divinity and prophecy in books should be. Not by the author saying 'this is what I mean', but in the way it makes you doubt your own self and react to it pretty deeply. That Aaron managed to do this in a way which also tied up a problem that bugged me through the book helped me respect him as an author (where other authors have traditionally seemingly phoned it in and just gone with the flow) - a main character who no longer seems 'fit for purpose' and for which the effort to rehabilitate the character (via muse or via personal investment, who knows) is a bit more than they the author're prepared to sacrifice. Prune them.

Good. I mean, it's sad too. But it's what I wish would happen to Ventris. You can kill off main characters. Fine. Good. Hooray. Just do it with integrity!

(And it's a handy way to get rid of sub-par characters. A sort of anti-GRRM, if I've understood people's allusions to his work correctly!)

---

Liliedhe

In direct company to what I was just talking about, above, it's probably fair to say that Aaron mightn't quite have the balance perfectly nailed. Personally, I loved the choices made in Void Stalker, but then that's perhaps more out of sympathy/suspicion as to where they originated from, rather than actual esteem for the artistic choice itself.

I digress: whilst the book had a whole lot more features in the 'redeeming' section than the 'damning', it nevertheless was a whole distance from perfect. But it was interesting.

In another manner, and akin to what Sam was asking re:Argel Tal's death (and LL/LotN bickering about :lol: ), there's the strange feeling that the author's preaching.

I'm perhaps not as sensitive to this as others (probably as it's chiming with my own views rather than contradicting them), but even with very-well written prose, it's a bit easy to spot an author shifting from 'show' to 'tell', even though they're still technically 'showing'. ;)

The camaraderie and humour of the World Eaters, even the vim and zest of Kharn and Argel Tal's friendship, thus felt a whole lot flimsier even than the faith of Argel Tal. Whilst I perhaps enjoy, line by line, Aaron's prose more than Anthony Reynolds, I couldn't help but wish for the focus and earnest sincerity of Anthony's Word Bearers somewhere amidst all this. In short, and I think this is what Lil's been getting at: a lot of the presentation of mid-level themes in the book just didn't carry for me.

(Contrast this to Angel Exterminatus wherein the themes were 10ft-tall, garishly painted cardboard cut-outs scattered around the theatre, only to be cheekily pointed at and literally paused in front of by the actors before continuing on with Storm of Iron 0: Fulgrim's Epilogue. Whilst other people can probably accept that as a good shorthand not to detract from what McNeill's actually capable of [very easy reading text that can relate pretty madcap ideas easily within the course of an engrossing story], I find myself feeling it's a bit too... not for me.)

---

As almost everyone's agreed, however, the actual moves with Lorgar and Angron (and Magnus) were all typically well done (and much more meaty than the frankly sparse, for their page-time, qualities of Perturabo/Fulgrim in AE). Much of the decisions and directions they're being carried in don't quite work, for me (and as others, it seems), I can still forgive much of it because it's at least... tastefully done. And doesn't trample across everything else too.

(Though, actually, I do rather feel that Angron's been 'neatly tied off' too, a la Fulgrim and Lucius and Fabulous Billy. View 'that scene' in The Emperor's Gift as an epilogue for Angron and his story's done. After Desh'ea, Betrayer, The Emperor's Gift: Done. Though I've not read Lord of the Red Sands - worth a gander?)

---

From Aaron's pen

I'd love to see more vignettes and asides. I understand his novella in Armageddon is a good contribution. His original One Hate opening (and Crimson Fists super-short last year) gave a very interesting little glimpse. At Gaius Point was heartfelt in an inestimable way. Aurelian allowed for a completely relaxed tour of what really felt skipped over (but not... unthought about) from The First Heretic. Savage Weapons allowed a wondrous little 'squint' into the quiet years of the Heresy without being tedious. The asides in the First Claw stories were near enough uniquely amazing: Hound, Lucoryphaus, "I had a dog, once" etc. Need we speak of Andrej?

From Know No Fear andTitanicus we can be reassured that books really don't need to fit together in the conventional way: we can deal with (and even appreciate) discontinuities here and there.

I did, however, detect a little hint of jealousy/homage/blatant-theft in Betrayer. The fall of the Fidelitus Lex was a lot like the fall of the Antrodamicus. And by a lot I mean: a lot.

But I can forgive that. The fall of the Antrodamicus was glorious. Definitely one of my favourite things ever.
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Re: Betrayer

Postby Rob P » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:41 pm

Argel Tal's death was underwhelming because I expect him to come back.

Because of the expectation, if he doesn't come back, it's both underwhelming and forgettable.
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Re: Betrayer

Postby LordLucan » Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:35 am

I'd love to see more vignettes and asides. I understand his novella in Armageddon is a good contribution. His original One Hate opening (and Crimson Fists super-short last year) gave a very interesting little glimpse. At Gaius Point was heartfelt in an inestimable way. Aurelian allowed for a completely relaxed tour of what really felt skipped over (but not... unthought about) from The First Heretic. Savage Weapons allowed a wondrous little 'squint' into the quiet years of the Heresy without being tedious. The asides in the First Claw stories were near enough uniquely amazing: Hound, Lucoryphaus, "I had a dog, once" etc. Need we speak of Andrej?

From Know No Fear andTitanicus we can be reassured that books really don't need to fit together in the conventional way: we can deal with (and even appreciate) discontinuities here and there.


I have to concur with you here xisor. In fact, at this stage, I'm often reading these novels expressly for th epurpose of catching these asides and little touche sof characterisation that flash into existence all too briefly on the page.

The broad brushstrokes of the HH seems often rather similar between the novels, but it is the metaphorical 'doodles in the margins', the figurative Holbain's skulls in the corners, is where the authors get to shine imo.


Rob P: yeah I agree. I still haven't quite forgiven them for that whole 'Cerberus' event. I feel the tragedy is undermined if death is made to be cheap.*


*(They better not even think about touching Saul Tarvitz, or I'm going to make quite a scene! :lol: )
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Re: Betrayer

Postby Mossy Toes » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:43 am

I'm a bit amused when people talk about Andrej being a favorite character who haven't read the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Andrej... could well be lifted from that. Not replacing any specific character, just... that which makes him an appealing character are the attributes most commonly found among the soldiery of the Malazan marines and similar such elite corps of that world.
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Re: Betrayer

Postby Lord of the Night » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:47 pm

LordLucan wrote:Rob P: yeah I agree. I still haven't quite forgiven them for that whole 'Cerberus' event. I feel the tragedy is undermined if death is made to be cheap.*

*(They better not even think about touching Saul Tarvitz, or I'm going to make quite a scene! :lol: )

I think this is the key problem with Garviel Loken. He was never meant to die, but because it looked like he did and took so long to confirm his survival, we all treat it as a real death and look at his return as a resurrection when it really isn't. His return doesn't bother me for two reasons, knowing that he was never meant to die means he just survived Istvaan rather than returned from the dead and it isn't impossible, and he has to be the one who kills Horus Aximand. Perhaps he may even kill Abaddon, and we'll find out that Abaddon the Despoiler really is a clone. Now that would be a twist.

I think Saul Tarvitz may have survived, that shuttle that Rylanor guarded with Nero Vipus still hasn't been elaborated on and I don't see the point of including it if it doesn't mean something. But i'll only accept Tarvitz's survival if he dies fighting at Terra.

Rob P wrote:Argel Tal's death was underwhelming because I expect him to come back.

Because of the expectation, if he doesn't come back, it's both underwhelming and forgettable.

He won't. ADB has made it clear that he will not bring Argel Tal back himself.

As to my feelings I like Argel Tal as a character. I like his genuine friendliness which is rare in an Astartes, and Argel Tal seemed closer to humanity than the rest of his kind, and truthfully I thought he would be a loyalist. He just didn't strike me at all as the kind who could betray the Imperium even if Lorgar told him do, but it turns out he could if the Gods told him to. But as he learned the truth of Chaos he descends into cynicism and weary bitterness, which as my point in my last post says I like because I think his inability to just lie down and die is fitting for an Astartes.


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Re: Betrayer

Postby Midgard » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:34 pm

Somewhat aside from the merits of the novel, I had several thoughts on plot lines developing therein, and wonder what everyone's take on them is.

First, Cyrene. Since she is basically a created Perpetual thanks to Argel Tal's effort to bring her back, where does she fit in? She still clearly has a role to play, but what role?

Second, Argel Tal. Perhaps ADB does not bring him back, but Cyrene's resurrection creates an interesting possibility of Argel Tal being brought back in a similar (or at least related) manner. It is interesting that in Lorgar's vision in TFH, Argel Tal fights at Terra in his daemon-form, which makes me wonder if he might come back... but in a way where very little of Argel Tal remains. Essentially a fully possessed creature that is more Raum than Argel Tal.
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Re: Betrayer

Postby LordLucan » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:45 pm

Lord of the Night wrote:I think this is the key problem with Garviel Loken. He was never meant to die, but because it looked like he did and took so long to confirm his survival, we all treat it as a real death and look at his return as a resurrection when it really isn't.



Author intention doesn't really concern me to be honest, only what they actually put down in writing. I look at the text as its own object, which one should be able to interpret without having to refer to authorial authority after you've already formed your own conclusions. 'Death of the Author' comes into play to a certain extent, where the reading of a novel is a collaborative effort between reader and the text.

And I treated Loken's demise as a real death not because it looked like he did, but because I felt narratively, that was the best place to kill Loken off, and I find not killing off any of the main characters in an event specifically written to be the tragic cresendo of the first Trilogy to show a lack of conviction. If Saul Tarvitz survives as well, then the only main characters to really die at Istvaan III are Torgeddeon and ancient Rylanor (and even he is really a secondary character). All the rest iirc are secondaries and essentially background extras. If it becomes apparent authors aren't willing to kill off their darlings, then we get into trouble.

ADB is a good author for killing off likeable main characters mercilessly, and I appreciate that, as I truly care when they get slain/perish. Like in Void Stalker, he wasn't afraid to get all those characters reader had grown to find cool and awesome, and got them killed in really tragic, sometimes pathetic ways.
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