Adeptus Mechanicus and Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"

Ave Omnissiah!

My blog is primarily my own personal fluff in the Warhammer 40,000 universe regarding the Draconis system such as the Knight House Yato in Draconis III, the Imperial Guard...I mean, Astra Militarum regiment trained there, the Draconian Armored Force, and the Forge World of Draconis IV with its Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood and Skitarii legions, and perhaps the Titan Legion, Legio Gojira (which will never happen because I don't have money for Forge World Titans).

Oh, and I'll throw in the Thousand Sons from time to time because they're my favorite Space Marine Legion. I refuse to believe that they are Traitors! They're just...ahem...secretly loyal to the Imperium!

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Gods of Mars book review

Gods of Mars is the last book in the Adeptus Mechanicus Mars trilogy and finally brings to a close the stories of Archmagos Lexell Kotov, Tarkis Blaylock, Abrehem Locke, Roboute Surcouf and Blayne Hawkins. It is a good read, enjoyable, climatic in the sense every final book is - with the full might of the Cadian armored regiment (well, they're actually mechanized infantry), the Skitarii and the Titans of Legio Sirius being brought to bear on the invading crystaliths under the command of a wicked foe.

By now you probably would have guessed - and if you haven't read the book and don't want spoilers, please skip the entire paragraph...actually, just skip this review - the last boss/antagonist/villain is none other than Vettius Telok himself. Damn it, and I was so looking forward to Kotov returning to Mars in triumph. Oh well, such is the grimdark nature of the Warhammer 40K universe.

The author Graham McNeill proves to be a master of his craft...whoops, took that line directly out of The Examiner. But his skill as an author cannot be emphasized enough. The way he ties up loose threads and brings all the dangling ends into a single knot is nothing short of fantastic. Abrehem Locke, who usually remains on the sidelines until his revolution in the second book, comes to the fore in this book, and embarks on his path to become a tech-priest of Mars. A slight spoiler here - I don't like his ultimate fate because I grew too attached to him, but it was nice to see him venerated as a saint of the Omnissiah after his demise.

The synopsis starts off with the usual cliched "a small group of heroes must save the universe" plot, but thankfully none of that is overly emphasized. In between Kotov's group running away from Telok and his insidious predators, the Tindalosi, we get flashes into Linya Tychon's internal battle against the indisputably evil Galatea, we have extended sequences of both Blayne Hawkins leading his Cadians into battle against overwhelming odds while being backed by the awesome Skitarii and their leader, Secutor Hirimau Dahan - who surprisingly has a Catachan nickname Mataleo or Lion-Killer. Ha ha ha!

These sequences turned out to be my favorite, particularly when the Cadian super-heavy tanks and Leman Russ tanks arrived to basically blow the hell out of everything the crystaliths threw at them. The Titans of Legio Sirius also get special mention here, as they truly walk the battlefield as towering gods of war. The Skitarii are also relentless (not just the special rule!), amazing battle cyborgs that fight with brutal efficiency that just touched me somehow. It is very clear that this is the final book, and the climatic battle taking place aboard the Speranza really shows that. A battle to end all battles, and what is more epic than Baneblades, Hellhammers, Stormhammers and Shadowswords rolling into the battlefield, reinforced by 2 Warhounds, a Reaver and a Warlord?

The climax ultimately falls to Kotov's showdown with Telok, and with the Adeptus Mechanicus and Cadian Imperial Guard saving the universe, all the loose ends are wrapped up nicely. The characters are also well developed and I got so attached to them it was sad to see some of them die. As I said, Graham McNeill does an excellent job in developing characters, making them grow and forcibly attaching the readers to them. The Space Marins are meh, and I didn't really care about the Black Templars, but the Cadians, the Skitarii, the Adeptus Mechanicus tech-priests and bondsmen alike, as well as Roboute and his motley crew - they were all awesome. Eldar...sorry, suffer not the xenos to live. I was glad when they were all wiped out, but that's just my biasness speaking, after what they did to the Reclusiarch and all.

Graham McNeill mentions on his blog that the stories involving these characters are not over, He is eagerly looking forward to writing a new book, and if he does I hope he answers the question about poor Tarkis Blaylock. Surprisingly, Tarkis is one of my favorite characters in the trilogy, his growth has been astounding. He used to be someone dead set against the expedition, an arrogant and cold guy who gradually warmed up to the non-Mechanicus, and he feels so human. At the same time he tries to rely too much on logic, but in the end he was shown the way by more spiritual means. If he got taken over by Tyger or some weird dude, I'll be sad. But yes, I really hope Graham McNeill will write a new book about Tarkis and friends.

I would highly recommend this book...actually, I would highly recommend all three books in this series. The Mars trilogy is one of the best series in the Warhammer 40K universe and the Black Library collection, and I think all three of them are worth a read in one go. Please check them out if possible, and you could always borrow them from me. :)

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