Audio Review 80 // Black Oculus by John French


Could this be the shortest short story from Black Library? Probably not, but it is close.

Title: Black Oculus - The Horus Heresy Short Story.

Author: John French

Fluff:

After Fulgrim's ascension to daemon hood at Iydris, Perturabo and his Legion were trapped by the singularity at the heart of the so-called 'Eye of Terror.' Their only option? To thread the needle and dive into the heart of the black hole. Perhaps by sheer blind luck, they were transported far across the warp to the Tallarn System – but the Navigators in service to the Iron Warriors fleet were irreversibly corrupted by that harrowing experience. Now they serve a new purpose, and Perturabo's plans for revenge come closer to fruition...

Bridging the gap between Angel Exterminatus and the Battle of Tallarn, this short story focuses on the Navigators assigned to the Iron Warrior Legion fleet. After their journey through the Eye of Terror, many of their numbers are... changed. This story also contains some hints as to the Iron Warriors' motivation for their attack on Tallarn.

Review

Okay, I was not kidding. This is a short story. But damn, was it interesting. We get to see the galaxy through the eyes of a Navigator assigned to the Iron Warriors. It describes how the fleet is plunged into a black hole within the Eye of Terror following Fulgrim's Ascension in Angel Exterminatus (a great book, by the way). We also start to see a more vindictive side to Perturabo, who hates everyone these days.

This book does a great job of showcasing what is happening to the navigators and how the warp affects them. It also is a great precursor to the Tallarn book and has actually been released before that title! But it is not perfect. It is way too short and not worth purchasing alone. Try to pick this up in a collected set rather than solo buying.

Side note: As an ex-Iron Warrior collector, I love these stories. They are such an exciting legion. They deserve more page time in the books, and I can't wait for Tallarn to come around on my reading list.

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