Book Review 220 // Legion of the Damned by Rob Sanders

This took longer to get through than planned. Turns out I am easily distracted, haha. Let's dive into this Space Marine Battles book which I hope will be unique and give some insight into the Legion of the Damned.

Title: Legion of the Damned (Space Marine Battles 8)

Author: Rob Sanders

Blurb: Following the trajectory of a blood-red comet, the berserk World Eaters blaze a path of destruction across the galaxy in its wake. The small cemetery world of Certus Minor appeals to the Space Marines of the Excoriators Chapter for protection, but the force dispatched to deal with this grim threat is far too small, and their losses against the renegades are high. Just as all seems lost, salvation is borne out of legend itself as sinister spectral warriors descend upon this planet of the dead, and the enemies of the Imperium come face to face with those who have already travelled beyond the realm of the living...

Format: 416 pages, Paperback

You're not finding paperback: Kindle edition via Amazon

Review

Okay, this is a review of two parts. Part one is a great story. A violent, bloody, nasty tale about an Imperial Fist successor Chapter called the Excoriators. These are a second founding chapter that can trace their heritage all the way to veterans of the Horus Heresy. They have seemingly fallen on hard times running foul of the Alpha Legion. With a Champions honour in question, we follow our lead as he seeks redemption.

This was a great start, loads of action, loads of Easter Egg lore pieces and Corpus Captain Kersh was a character I could get behind. He is a broken hero and a nice change of pace compared to the usual heroes we read about. The setting is grim, set on a funeral world, about to be hit by the Cholercaust Crusade: a chaotic fleet that is all about Khorne, with the heart of the army featuring World Eaters. The understrength 5th Company led by Kersh is all that stands in their path. Seems like a waste of resources as they are basically fighting for the dead, but that Dorn bloodline is refusing to leave.

The battle for the cemetery world is dark, grim and remarkable. You honestly felt that every blow would be the final straw that breaks their lines. The burying of the living with the dead is so dark and perfect for the setting. This was one of the grimmest dark stories I have read from Black Library.

With me so happy reading this, why am I splitting my review in two? If the book was called Scourge or Excoriators, I would be giving this high praise. Unfortunately, someone decided to call it Legion of the Damned, who, apart from an unexplained camo, appear only in the final chapter. It feels like they messed this one up. Imagine reading The Scourge instead, and in the final apocryphal chapter of the book, when all hope is gone, our surviving Marines are rescued by the Legion of the Damned! How cool of a twist ending would that be? Instead, I spent the whole book waiting for them to show up to be let down ultimately.

So, where do I finally fall with this book? As a stand-alone Space Marine story, I enjoyed it, and I would recommend it. As a Legion of the Damned fan, I am left hollow and disappointed. It feels like click-bait or I guess title-bait? They lured me in with Legion of the Damned and then did the old switch on me. Bad form BL!

I hope this will aid you in deciding if you should read it or not. Let me know your thoughts on this title in the comments below.

Audio Review 115 // Grey Angel by John French


I love this short series following Loken's exploits and the pre-cursor Grey Knights. Also, as it is a John French tale, I have high hopes for a very enjoyable listen. Let's see if it lives up to the hopes.

Title: Grey Angel
Author: John French
Performers: John Banks, Toby Longworth
Blurb: On a distant world of the Imperium, an agent of Rogal Dorn finds himself the prisoner of a Legion whose loyalties may be divided. Shackled and bound, the former Luna Wolf must fight a battle of wits with his captor, lest the course of the Horus Heresy takes an unexpected turn. Will his presence drive his erstwhile allies into the arms of the Warmaster, or will maintaining the status quo prevent another Legion from turning traitor? And just who is the mysterious Space Marine aiding him from the shadows?

A Horus Heresy audio drama written by John French. Performed by John Banks, Toby Longworth and Ramon Tikaram. Running time approx 35 mins.

Review

Hey, I love short stories, but this was relatively short. It truly deserved more time. The plot itself is enticing as the newly spilt Imperium can no longer trust each other. One great example of this is showcased in this title. Fearing the silence coming from Caliban, Rogal Dorn sends forth his agents to investigate and discover where the Dark Angel's loyalties lie.

Now, this title is for lore lovers. If you are new to the whole will they, won't they story of Cypher, Luthor and the Lion, then this piece may well confuse the shit out of you. Especially once you throw the Grey Knights' birth into it! But it is worth the listen if you keep up with it all. I can see why this was bindle with another story and combined they make for a solid listen.

Blood Bowl 2 League 3 - Spring Season - Union Elves vs Wood Elves

 


Game five of Blood Bowl 2 League 3 - Spring Season - Union Elves vs Wood Elves Gameplay.

If you want to watch the rest of the season, you best click subscribe and then watch the rest of the season here: YouTube Playlist.

Wood Elves teams scare me. They are such a fast team that one mistake can give them a breakaway that you don't recover from. That is almost the case in this game, where I was in control at no point. I panicked, and sometimes I was lost to just reacting rather than planning.

If you play this game, reach out; we can have a match together.

I hope you enjoy it and will smash the like and follow buttons. Cheers

Yinyoo in Ear Monitor Wired Earphones

Blue Yeti Nano

Sony Alpha ZV-E10

Kofi

DISCLAIMER: This video and description contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Comic Review 228 // Spider-man Bad Luck


What is with me? I love reading these young marvel comics! I know it's great to read to the kids, but I am actively seeking them out currently!! I think I am broken, haha.

Title: Marvel Action: Spider-Man, Vol. 3: Bad Luck
Author: Delilah S. Dawson
Art: Fico Ossio
Blurb: Peter, Gwen, and Miles have learned to work together, but a sinister new enemy is about to tear them apart!

After a devastating encounter with the Black Cat and her bad luck powers, the Spidey team is down on their luck and at each other's throats. Will Peter, Miles, and Gwen learn to overcome their bad luck and work together again, or is this the end of the line for the Marvelous Spider-Trio?

Collects issues #7-9 of the Marvel Action: Spider-Man series.


Format: 72 pages, Paperback

Review

What can I say? My son loves Spider-man, so once more, we delve into the Spidy worlds. Unsurprisingly it is fun, easy to follow, enjoyable and not groundbreaking. As we know, all three spiders - Parker, Morales and Stacy, go to the same school, suffer from the same teenage dramas and then fight crime at night.

The whole premise of this book is to teach teamwork and see the trio become a team. Highlights include the fact that this is a stand-alone piece, with no carry-over of earlier stories or the dreaded to-be-continued ending. We see the writer playing up to the friction of Peter and Miles both going by the same name code name, which was good to see, and the "villain," Black Cat, was well thought out and interestingly showcased. As this is kid-friendly, we are given a realistic Black Cat that isn't over-the-top sexual.

An easy, enjoyable read at night. Go in expecting some fun and you can't go wrong.

Let's Play Warhammer 40k: Space Marine - Episode 9 - House of Secrets


What the heck! I was smashing my way through an Ork swarm, minding my own business when I am suddenly blindsided by Chaos Lord and Bloodletters! I was truly shocked by this staged as I hadn't read up on the game at all so to have this drop in on me took me by shock.

Would mean a lot if you headed over to my YouTube channel and hit the like and subscribe buttons. I've managed to unlock the community post section and would love to reach my next goal and unlock more features. You can catch up on the whole space marine series here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLenRRbYlk2jzpb65EbRnbq4gnFvXBfLrq

Cheers

Book Review 219 // Horus Heresy: Corax by Gav Thorpe

It's always nice to dip back into the Horus Heresy and to kick off 2023 we start with the Ravenguard novel Corax. Can you believe this is novel 40, and we are still away off from finishing?

Title: Corax - The Horus Heresy #40

Author: Gav Thorpe

Blurb: The Lord of Ravens, Master of Deliverance, Primarch Corus Corvax of the Raven Guard takes centre stage in a collection of works by Gav Thorpe that explore his campaign of vengeance against Horus' allies and his desperate attempts to hold his Legion together.

After Isstvan, after Deliverance, the Raven Guard still endure. Their primarch Corvus Corax has rallied countless warriors to his banner, striking back at the forces of the Warmaster on every front – from the degenerate hereteks of the Mechanicum to the cruel legionaries of the Sons of Horus, none shall escape his wrath. But although Corax has managed to stall the physical corruption of his own Space Marines, what of their spirit? And what sinister end must await those who dwell forever in the darkness?

This anthology contains Gav Thorpe’s tales of the Raven Guard in the Horus Heresy – the novellas Soulforge and Ravenlord, and short stories ‘ The Shadowmasters,’ ‘ The Value of Fear ’ and ‘ Raptor ’. Also included is the brand new novella Weregeld, taking Corax’s legend to its grim conclusion.

Format: Kindle buy now on Amazon.ca

Review

Going into this title, I didn't realize it was three short stories and three novellas. This straight away excited me; of late, I have been struggling with longer titles, so stories I can jump into, finish, take a break and then come back to really hit home for me.

Now with it being an anthology, I was going to be cheeky and break it into 6 separate reviews, thinking, wow, six weeks of blog posts! But that just seemed lazy of me, so instead we will do one nice long blog post. Grab a cup of tea, and let's get going.

The story starts with a part of Weregeld being used as an introduction. It has Corax and the Raptors, standing with the Space Wolves and an injured Russ, as the traitorous forces of the Alpha Legion, World Eaters and Thousand Sons close around them. This is a strange opening as it jumps us ahead in the timeline. But it also allows the book to read like we are passing through Corax's memories before he faces the final battle.

We then go back to about a year after the Deliverance Lost title. And read Soulforge. The Raven Guard are doing what they do best. Being sneaky fuckers and we join Corax and company as they raid a Word Bearers Ship. Due to one of the Ravens seeking revenge for Isstvan, the action goes a bit awry. And shows how much the Ravens have been damaged by the betrayal. It shows how the legion has to deal with the trauma before functioning once more as it should. The rest of the story is about this very human trauma getting fixed and how they are able to reset their minds with a battle set on a Mechanicum world.

The Mechanicum world is pretty cool. With floating barge forges, the battle plays out like a naval battle which was a nice change. We also see the first Defilers in action, which is fun. Overall a great showing off of the Legion's guerrilla spirit.

This then leads us to The Shadowmasters, which introduces us to a new faction of the Raven Guard and the character Mor Deythan. The Shadowmasters are an elite cadre of troops who seemingly gained Corax's abilities of stealth. Now pretty much limited in numbers, they use their skills to infiltrate and assassinate critical targets. This story doesn't move the arc but introduces us to this crucial character and their unique skills.

Ravenlord then dives on into the issue of the Raptors. It has become apparent that though they are loyal, they are ultimately a slight on the Raven Guard. Especially as many look like the monsters found within the Word Bearers Legion. This issue is brought ahead when Corax is faced with the workings of Fabius Bile. Whilst freeing prisoners, it is pointed out that the Raptors look like the creations, so when is the line crossed been hero and monster? Should the Raptors even be allowed to continue?

Ravenlord was an intriguing title. It threw into our minds the idea of traitors still being among the legion. Whilst showing how the pressure of his own secrets is weighing heavy on Corax. Paranoia is seeping in, and I can not assume it will end well.

Wow. Halfway through, and a lot has already happened. Time for two more shorts before the conclusion.

The Value of Fear. Another excellent short story,  we get to see a loyalist Night Lord! This time we see how the clash of how to make war comes to a head, as the Nightlord's style of warfare clashes with the Ravens. The argument is a great read, and the chase scene was fun. The ending is clever, and I hope we get more loyal Nightlords soon. It does push home the similarities between the Raven and the Haunter, though.

Raptor was originally an audio drama turned into a short for this book. We join the heavily mutated Lieutenant Navar Hef as he leads the Raptors into an investigation of an in-distress ship. It is soon discovered to belong to the Space Wolves, who made planetfall for one last glorious stand. Wanting vengeance on the Traitors, the Raptors go to the aid of the Wolves and realize their error when they reveal themselves. The Wolves can't overlook the mutations and when combined with Hef's paranoia, leads to bad choices being made.

Damn this was a dark, grim tale. I can already see the fallout of this tale in my mind, and I am excited to see it come to pass. It shows how the Primarch's paranoia has spread and created an air of self-loathing and intolerance. It also shows how narrow-minded the Wolves are as they, too, suffer from a mutation known as the Wulfen, yet can not see past the Raven's version.

Then we finally hit Weregeld. The storyline has progressed, and we are on the verge of the final push to Terra. The story starts off with the Raptors raiding a Night Lords' ship. The Raptors are a changed force, with most of the original "roughs" now dead. Those still alive are becoming lost to the inner beast and it is hard to believe they are Space Marines. Hef is still alive though a sad shadow of his former self. During the story, his shameful act is relieved and it ultimately seals the fate of the Raptors as Corax leads them down a dark, one-way path. At this point, a seemingly broken Corax sends his allies to Terra and confines the Raptors to their cells. And in a vane attempt to make amends rushes his forces to aid a besieged Russ and Space Wolf force. What happens next closes the arc for the Raptors and sets Corax on a path of self-destruction and self-loathing.

This last piece of the book is written as a tragedy. We have a Primarch suffering from paranoia and in discussions. We have commanders questioning every move and motive, and we have an enemy force position to sweep the board and claim Terra. So close to the end of the war, we now have doubt and a loss of hope. We are definitely entering the dark times and the ending of this series.

Let me know what you thought of this title. Did I miss anything?

Audio Review 114 // Luna Mendax by Graham McNeill


We seem to be nearing the end of the Silent War collection. It has been a great listen, and I am sure the book would be equally as good. I am personally very happy with the amount fo Garviel Loken we have been getting of late, and I hope it doesn't come to an end.

Title: Luna Mendax
Author: Graham McNeill
Blurb: Scarred by betrayal and unsure of his place in the war that wracks the galaxy, Knight Errant Garviel Loken seeks sanctuary, but the ghosts of his past haunt him still...

Returning from a secretive mission to Caliban at the command of Malcador the Sigillite, the Knight Errant Garviel Loken finds sanctuary in one of the abandoned bio-domes of Luna. Scarred by betrayal and bewildered by the changing face of the galaxy, the weary warrior is almost unsurprised when he is visited by the long-dead Tarik Torgaddon – is this a sign of a fractured and exhausted mind playing tricks on itself, or truly the spirit of a departed friend?

It's a fascinating look at the fractured psyche of everyone's favourite Luna Wolf, and is packed with hints as to the true nature of Chaos and the trials that Loken will face as his future unfolds.


Wow, this one hit hard. I am still surprised when we get emotional Space Marines. But it seems like the Marines of the Horus Heresy were more human than their current versions. Considering this is short it packed an emotional punch like the early Istvaan stories. It also helped to solidify Loken as one of the best Marines characters out there.

Having failed at Caliban to discover the truth of the Dark Angels' allegiance, Loken returns defeated. He has disappointed Primarch Dorn and allowed doubt to seep in. As he struggles to find his place in the new galaxy, Loken discovers an overgrown biodome, left rot by a deceased Sister of Silence. As Loken attempts to reignite life in the garden, he is visited by a ghost of his past. Who with his help reinvigorates Loken and prepares him for the task ahead.

Wow. Great story, I already know Loken heads off to Vengeful Spirit after this, but what comes next??

Blood Bowl 2 League 3 - Spring Season - Union Elves vs Dark Elves


Game four of Blood Bowl 2 League 3 - Spring Season - Union Elves vs Dark Elves Gameplay.

If you want to watch the rest of the season, click here: YouTube Playlist

Dark Elves used to be my primary team in the days of old when I played the board game. Back then, Union Elves didn't exist. So I knew roughly what to expect. Unfortunately, this team has had a rough season and seemingly has lost players along the way. Though they still seemed threatening, they ultimately failed to deliver.

If you play this game, reach out; we can have a match together.

I hope you enjoy it and will smash the like and follow buttons. Cheers

Blue Yeti Nano: Sound check. Amazon link

DISCLAIMER: This video and description contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Comic Review 227 // Spider-man Shock to the System

Does everyone love Spider-man? He seems to be one of those rare Super Heroes I have struggled to find haters for. I am sure they are out there, but for now, in this household, he is the winning hero. We found this title in our local library, and it seems to be volume five in the series but is a complete one-shot tale.

Title: Marvel Action: Spider-Man, Vol. 5: Shock to the System

Author: Brandon Easton

Artist: Fico Ossio

Blurb: Your favourite wall-crawler is back in action, and he's not alone! Middle-grade readers can get tangled up in these all-new adventures of Spider-Man and his amazing friends!

A sinister new villain appears! Miles and Gwen are preparing for the biggest test of their high school careers, but will they stay focused with the team all shaken up over their newest foe, the Shocker? And can they overcome his bad vibes with the exam putting their very futures at stake?

The Marvel Action line from IDW makes the world's most popular superheroes accessible to middle-grade readers through stories emphasizing humour and fun alongside action and super-powered heroics.

Collects issues #1-3 of Marvel Action Spider-Man Vol. Two.

Format: 144 pages, Paperback

Buy now on Amazon

Review

Feels like an age since I've seen Shocker! He always came across as a side character, easily defeated by the hero. But in this tale, Shocker is once again an actual threat. Where the heroes so to discover the villain and work out how to defeat them. I also enjoyed the fact that we see the kids using science to solve the problem rather than a straight-up fistfight. This felt I a true Spiderman story of my 80's childhood. The rest of the story deals with the kid's issues as they stumble through schoolwork and personal life issues. Pretty standard stories of a superhero teenager.

The kids loved the story, but I found it a bit disjointed at times and had to check back to make sure a page wasn't missing. Felt like a panel or two had been deleted but no effort was made to keep the flow smooth, which is weird to read through. The artwork was fine. Pretty simple but added no real worth to the story.

As I said the kids loved it which is a plus, but for me, it was average at best.

Imperium Magazine Issue 13 - Battle for the Orb - Review & Battle Report


Imperium Magazine Issue 13 - Review & Battle Report - Battle for the Orb is the next installment as I run all 80 Battle Reports from the Warhammer 40,000 Imperium collection from Hachette Partworks and Games Workshop.

This will all be a part of the Imperium playlist: YouTube Playlist. Hit the subscribe button! to not miss out.

So for each issue, I will bring you a fully painted battle report. Using that issues figures (if they have some) and rules. As well as a quick overview of the magazine. Got any questions, please do ask!

Imperium Magazine Issue 13 - Comes with the first half of the Space Marine Intercessor Assault Squad. Once built and completed, they will join up with their captain and face off against the dreaded Skorpek Destroyers and the Scarab Swarm!

The series is 8-4 to the Necrons, but the Marines are currently on roll, and we get two battle reports in this issue. So we have a chance to shake things up!

Hope you enjoy it and will follow. Cheers!


DISCLAIMER: This video and description contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Comic Review 226 // Devlin Waugh: Swimming in Blood

Time to start heading back into Judge Dredd. I have been missing the series of late but wasn't quite ready to jump the whole hog into the case files, so I thought I would warm up with some Devlin Waugh.

Title: Devlin Waugh: Swimming in Blood

Author: John Smith

Art: Sean Phillips and Steve Yeowell

Buy now on Amazon.ca

Blurb: A STUDY IN THE SUBTLE ART OF DISPATCHING UNSPEAKABLE MALEVOLENCE WITH STYLE!

THE MEGA-CITIES THAT ARE HOME TO THE LAST VESTIGES OF HUMANITY are constantly preyed upon by bestial forces from beyond the realms of decency. Thankfully such monstrosities are kept at bay by spiritual envoys employed by Vatican City such as Devlin Waugh – a Brit-Cit born bon viveur and jolly good fellow to boot.

When Vatican precognitive telepaths predict a horrific presence at the underwater prison of

Aquatraz, Devlin is sent in to investigate and uncovers an uncompromising evil which will cause him to cancel elevenses and abandon the Queensbury rules in order to survive!

Created by the pairing of distinguished scribe John Smith (Indigo Prime) and the illustrious artist Sean Phillips (Marvel Zombies), with additional art from Steve Yeowell (Zenith) Swimming in Blood sets the precedent in elegant, pugnacious fiction!

Review

It felt nice to be back in the post-apoc world of Judge Dredd. I am also glad I started on a more light-hearted collection like Waugh. This title is a collection of Devlin's adventures, starting with the title piece "Swimming in Blood."

But who is Devlin Waugh? Well, we already know he is from the timeline of Dredd and the Mega-Cities. But he was born in Brit-Cit and became an Olympic athlete specializing in flower arranging. From this career, he soon joined the Vatican forces as a trained Exorcist Assassin (two words I never imagined putting together) and now travels the world fighting the occult. He enjoys drinking tea and the company of younger men. His personality traits lean heavily into the sadistic side, and whilst his muscular frame isn't just for show, he loves to show it off.

In the title "Swimming in Blood," we are introduced to Devlin, in heart racing vampire adventure full of gore and violence. The Vatican pre-cogs have sensed something a miss, and only Devlin can solve the case. Sent off to the Bahamas, Devlin discovers an unwater prison called Aquatraz has been overrun by Vampires. We get a survivor-style story as Devlin must defeat the Vampires and save the remaining humans. I enjoyed the story, and the ending was excellent, with some Vampires escaping into the ocean whilst Devlin himself succumbs to a Vampire bite!

After this main tale, we get a short story titled "Brief Encounter,"- Which sees Devlin heading to MC-1 to partake in a Cat show. Of course, Devlin ignores the rules, is soon facing the chin of justice, and is forced into a screening process that discovers tobacco, alcohol, and a large amount of Blood. Along with porn and other contraband. Lucky for Devlin, he has diplomatic immunity, but that doesn't stop Dredd, who changes gears and goes after Devlin's cat!

Then we move into the second main tale, "Chasing Herod." This story begins by being told through the narration of a paparazzi. Who kindly informs us of Devlin's past before revealing that something is coming and that the world's end has come! Soon Devlin is out of retirement and back, helping the Vatican to save the world. This leads us to a collection of adventures where Devlin teams up with previous villains (unknown to me before this) to save the world! It is full of humour, some great characters and a lively narrative.

We then finish up with "A mouthful of Dust," another one-shot piece, where Devlin helps an old friend to find a cure for a demonic disease. 100% filler, but an okay read if a little flat compared to the Herod tale.

Here is where the book should have ended. Instead, we get one of the old Megazine short stories called "A love like blood." A straightforward and dull tale about an overtly obsessed fan of Devlins. Doesn't really add anything and could have easily been left out. Feels like it was thrown in as an afterthought for the collectors?

Overall I really enjoyed the book, and now I have the thirst for more!

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Book Review 220 // Legion of the Damned by Rob Sanders

This took longer to get through than planned. Turns out I am easily distracted, haha. Let's dive into this Space Marine Battles book whi...