Audio Review 128 // Malediction by C Z Dunn

With the release of The Lion and a resurgence of the Dark Angels, I felt the need to listen to a Dark Angel tale. I have enjoyed the Gav Thorpe-crafted novels about this chapter, so taking the risk on a different author is a concern, made slightly worse by choosing a C Z Dunn story (sorry, but his stories are very safe and dull so far). Can this change my mind?

Title: Malediction (Amazon Store)

Author: Christian Z. Dunn

Narrator: Se├ín Barrett, Rupert Degas

Blurb: On the world of Amadis, veteran Imperial Guard officer Regan Antigone is being honoured for his role in the planet’s liberation from the forces of Chaos, some twenty-five years earlier. But when his old comrade, Master Tigrane of the Dark Angels Space Marine Chapter, arrives to join the festivities and asks to hear the glorious tale told once more, Antigone seems flustered. With the details of his account cast under close scrutiny and with the judgement of the Imperium hanging over him, will his noble reputation remain intact?

Review

Well, this wasn't what I expected at all. The cover hints at Dark Angels the back hints at Dark Angels, but what we get instead is a story about a Planetary defence force Officer. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a lore-filled tale, but I had a Dark Angel itch that did not scratch.

The story is about an Officer being honoured for a battle he survived 25 years earlier. But the character is unworthy of the honour, and this is made clear early in the storytelling. But the reasoning is left unclear - which was nice to be left guessing what truly happened. It would also seem that the news of this honour has reached the ears of a Veteran Dark Angel who was there and who is suspicious of what information this Officer might have of the battle.

Turns out the truth is rather intriguing, especially to a Dark Angel seeking the truth about his "fallen" brothers (hint, hint). As always these Black Library audio dramas bring amazing voice acting and sound effects, allowing you to be transported somewhere else. This was an enjoyable listen, but I wish it had been more honest about it all. The cover is misleading, and the lack of Dark Angels maybe even affected my overall enjoyment. I can't help but be led back to: "Never judge a book by its cover".

Have you listened to this? Let me know your thoughts.


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