Audio Review 54 // Horus Heresy Strike and Fade/Honour to the Dead/Butcher's Nails

Loving these short Horus Heresy Stories. Not only can I listen to a few a week, but it also helps me get through some of the anthology books as well. Win, Win. This week I managed another three tales. Stike and Fade by Guy Haley, Honour to the Dead by Gav Thorpe and Butcher's Nails by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. This is a killer author line-up and I expected big things from them. So let us see if I was disappointed.

Title: Strike and Fade

Author: Guy Haley

Run time: 12 minutes

Fluff: In the aftermath of the Isstvan V massacre, a group of Salamanders survivors lay a trap for their foes, a group of unwary Night Lords on the hunt for easy prey.

Review: We head back to long-forgotten Istvaan and some survivors of the massacre. A short but fun story pitting the Salamander survivors against the hunting packs of Night Lords. We are quickly introduced to war fatigued teams that are on the edge of death and join them in a conflict against their hated foe. There is a lot to enjoy about this story, sadly the Nightlords aren't one of them. They seemed as deadly as an Imperial Stormtrooper, never hitting a single shot and just dying out in the blasted terrain. Where are the threat and dangers? These Salamanders had some serious plot armour on the side. But a great little fun story to kick us off.

Amazon Purchase Link: Strike and Fade

Title: Honour to the Dead

Author: Gav Thorpe

Runtime: 1hr 10 mins

Fluff: Action-packed audio drama set during the Battle of Calth.

As Calth burns, the Battle Titans of the Fire Masters legion take to the streets of the city of Ithraca, ready to massacre the fleeing civilian population in the name of their new, dark masters. But the remaining loyalist engines of the Legio Praesagius - the True Messengers - still stand ready to defend the Imperium, even in the face of almost certain death. With the nearby Ultramarines forces scattered and lost, the people of Ithraca must fend for themselves as gigantic war machines unleash apocalyptic weaponry across the ravaged skyline...

Review: This was an enjoyable listen. Made more captivating by the voice actors. We got a bit of everything in this story, from striding loyal and traitorous Titans, Ultramarines blasting away traitor troops and the underused viewpoint of Imperial citizens.

I felt tingles at the use of a child throughout the tale and how different Ultramarines felt about citizens in general, this is truly a dark time. But the way they played off each other was spectacular and well-deserving of more audio time. Deep down I am hoping the Child appears in future Thorpe stories, but I fear for its future as he is on Calth. I also really enjoyed Ultramarines being true Space Marines for once, they kicked ass and for once came across as exciting. More please Gav Thorpe.

Amazon Purchase Link: Honour to the Dead

Now to the final short story...

Title: Butcher's Nails

Author: Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Runtime: 1hr 5mins

Fluff: Original Horus Heresy audio featuring the Primarch Angron.

The Primarch Angron: gladiator-king and Horus’s lunatic attack dog. Never having hidden his resentment for his brothers, he now carves a bloody swathe through the galaxy in the Warmaster’s name, with the Heresy providing a convenient excuse to indulge his love of brutal warfare. When they are tasked with a secretive mission alongside the Word Bearers Legion, the World Eaters’ violent tendencies soon attract the attention of Xenos raiders, troubled by the portents surrounding the Primarch’s berserk fury and his ultimate destiny as ‘the Blood God’s son’.

Review: I was excited about this title appearing. 1) I feel like the World Eaters are underrepresented in the series. 2) They are normally poorly portrayed by authors, who just make them murdering madmen and 3) Kharn, I love Kharn during the Heresy, he is a truly noble soul who in any other legion would have been a true legend.

But back to Butcher's Nails. This story is set at the onset of the Shadow crusade with Angron and Lorgar travelling to Ultramar space. We have an upset Lorgar who is annoyed as Angron attacks every world and rage-filled Angron who is feeling stifled by his brother. The true highlight of this tale is actually the way these relationships all play out. We could have easily seen the story swing two ways - 1) Angron and Lorgar fight ultimately destroying each other or 2) they go their separate ways weakening Horus's forces. Instead, we actually get a third option, 3) a threat that ultimately unites them and forms a bond between the two brothers...well done Eldar forces, and allows them to go and rampage through Ultramarine turf.

Amazon Purchase: Butcher's Nails

And great way to end these three reviews. These are all strong titles and I highly recommend picking these up. I was torn between a favourite, but out of the three, I feel Gav Thorpe's Honour to the Dead gets the top spot. Do agree? Let me know in the comments.

I hope you enjoyed it? Feel free to comment below or seek me out on one of the many social platforms that I hang out on. Here is a quick LINK (Solo bio link) to my details. Cheers to reading this.

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