Audio Review 46 // Vengeful Spirit: The Horus Heresy, Book 29

A bit of a change of pace this week for the audio drama. I recently found myself struggling to want to read a Horus Heresy novel. I've been enjoying my xenomorph-themed books too much of late. But I knew if I was to progress in this series, I needed to move onwards. With this in mind, I chose to do this novel via audible and did not regret the choice.

Vengeful Spirit

Author: Graham McNeill.
Listening time: 15 hrs and 11 mins.

On the planet of Molech, the Titan Legions go to war against the armies of Horus.

Once the favoured son of the Emperor of Mankind, the name of Horus has become a curse to the loyal defenders of the Imperium, and a rallying call to the traitor forces tearing across the galaxy. While their allies wage war on a thousand different fronts, the XVIth Legion descend upon the Knight World of Molech & home to House Devine and their feudal levies, and a principal seat of Imperial military power. Just what could have drawn Horus to attack such a strongly defended planet, and what might he be willing to sacrifice to fulfill his own dark destiny?

Finally, the Heresy story arc moves forwards. It is a very small, dull step, but it is a step. There seem to be four storylines all happening at once and the story jumps between all of them. This for me I find distracting and caused me to have to relisten to parts as I got lost between characters.

Up first was the Loken story - Loken (back from the dead) leads a squad of Knights (see Garro Stories), as they infiltrate the Vengeful Spirit. Their goal is to mark a pathway for Leman Russ' forces to follow, allowing the loyal son the chance to execute Horus. Full of death and action, with a few part-time characters from other stories getting some page time. This is more a prequel to a future novel and should have been its own short story. This is was a good solid aspect of the book.

Then we have the House Devine Story. It involves a character I loved hating, and his story is hard to explain without giving away too much. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book, but once more could have been written as its own short story and would have been a great one.

The third arc is Horus' story. The attempt to rediscover his forgotten past. He knows he has visited Molech with the Emperor, he knows something important had happened...but what? Turns out we officially get the story behind how the Emperor got his epic powers. Though interesting at times, I found this arc of the storytelling a bit dull. Sometimes I liked Horus and his sons, whilst other times I was just waiting for Loken once more. He didn't seem impressive at all and has lost a lot of his spark of the earlier books. Meh to be honest.

The last arc is made up of everything else in between, we have another perpetual character appearing with a dull story to tell. We also have small groups of Ultramarines and Blood Angels, that seemed rather flat and lifeless and didn't really improve the story in any meaningful way. The Deathguard are also involved but seem to have become just whipping boys of the Sons of Horus. A lot of unneeded filler.

I am glad I chose to listen to this book, not sure I could have read this one. I am also not sure if I missed something whilst listening, as I see a lot of high reviews of this book, but I just don't get sadly.

As always, I thank you for reading. I hope you will take a moment to use one of the links, and help support the blog. Thank you.

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