REVIEW SUMMARY: Smillie keeps the Flesh Tearers love flowing.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Chapter Master Amit and a company of space marines descend upon Cretacia to exterminate orks but find a different sort of enemy once they make planetfall.
PROS: A look at the internal struggle of the Chapter, plenty of flesh tearing.
CONS: Could use more characterization.
BOTTOM LINE: Smillie continues to flesh out a beloved Space Marine Chapter (pardon the pun), while providing lots of that old fashion bolter porn.
Total victory is robbed from the Flesh Tearers fleet as a number of orks escape before the final blow can be dealt. With a desire to bring death to the enemy, Chapter Master Amit assembles a company to track and eradicate the survivors. After arriving on the planet the Flesh Tearers become aware of a different sort of enemy…an enemy that has massacred the fleeing orks and wishes to expel all intruders from the world. Can the Flesh Tearers defeat an entire world fixed upon their death or will they succumb to their own inner blood lust?
REVIEW SUMMARY: Another batch of short stories from the Black Library, ranging from mediocre to fantastic.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A collection of short stories focused on the dastardly deeds of the Chaos Space Marines, with contributions from promising new talent.
PROS: Sarah Cawkwell and Andy Smillie’s short stories are the best to be found in this anthology.
CONS: “Throne of Lies” by Aaron Dembski-Bowden is largely pointless and “The Long War” by Andy Hoare lacks purpose.
BOTTOM LINE: Treacheries of the Space Marines is a mixed bag but worth paperback price for sure.
The Black Library has a surplus of talent at the moment. There is of course the old guard, names like Abnett, McNeill, Counter, Swallow, and King that have put Warhammer 40,000 fiction on the map. Then there is a new crop of skillful authors that are just now testing the waters. I have high hopes for these writers, names like Dembski-Bowden, Cawkwell, Smillie, French, Zou, and Sanders. The Black Library needs such new perspective if it is to remain fresh and appealing. I’m happy to say that there is little risk of the Black Library stagnating and Treacheries of the Space Marines is proof.
SYNOPSIS: Two space marines must team up to survive the murder pits of the insidious dark eldar in this Black Library eBook special.
PROS: Really great twist with some strong characterization for such a short story.
CONS: This would have been top class with just a little more length.
VERDICT: When Andy Smillie gets around to writing a full-length novel it is going to rock, till then enjoy a well-penned short story.
I’ve never been much of a short story guy myself. Warhammer 40,000 seems to be the one property that I can tolerate (and even enjoy) condensed into short story format. Still, a lot of those anthologies from the Black Library are stuffed with a lot of filler and so it appeals to me to be able to purchase individual short stories at my leisure. This way I can pick out the authors that are pretty much required reading without having to skim through all the chaff. Andy Smillie caught my attention earlier this year with his short story “Beneath the Flesh”, featuring one of the more fascinating loyalist Space Marine Chapters. In a limited amount of space Smillie was able to convey his message and leave me wanting more. Since then his skill has only increased.