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AUDIO REVIEW: Raven’s Flight by Gav Thorpe

REVIEW SUMMARY: More incentive to dive into a Warhammer 40K book.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Lord Corax and the Raven Guard are stranded without backup on the hostile planet Isstvan V.

PROS: Exciting military sf action; engrossing story; excellent production quality.
CONS: Predictable ending was somewhat of a letdown after all the goodness that came before.
BOTTOM LINE: This is another worthy audio production set in the Warhammer 40K universe.

Once of these days, I just need to bite the bullet and read a proper novel set in the Warhammer 40K universe. Between my initiation (the audio production of Thunder From Fenris by Nick Kyme) and this follow-on experience with the audio production of Gav Thorpe’s Raven’s Flight, it seems like something that would easily provide lots of exciting military sf entertainment. While Raven’s Flight does not quite match the overall enjoyment of the previous production, it comes fairly close.

Here’s the setup of Raven’s Flight: the mighty Corax of the Raven Guard leads a stranded legion on the remote planet of Isstvan V. Cut off from communication with the Imperial Army, Corax and his men must survive against numerous enemies. Meanwhile, back on the home world, Colonel Valerius of the Imperial Army begins having “dreams of blood and fire” regarding Lord Corax’s current mission and must convince his superior, beyond all reason and against serious repercussions, that they should send ships to Isstvan V to help.

This particular two-threaded setup doesn’t quite lend itself to an unexpected outcome, and worse for the ending, when it arrives it’s somewhat of a letdown, happening much too fast to match up with the pacing of what came before. But if it’s the journey that matters, then this story has what it takes to fulfill any military sf needs. The battle scenes are top-notch and filled with fast-moving cinematic action. For those with meatier “reading” requirements, there’s also an interesting bit of tension between the Imperial guard and the mere humans that serve them. For Corax’s part, he’s a do-no-wrong engineered warrior…which somewhat accounts for his infallible battle acumen. But he also has a hidden ability that is more supernatural than science. (For those with previous WH40K experience, Raven’s Flight is a story set in The Horus Heresy story line in which the Imperial army’s Raven Guard fights the legions of Horus, a renegade son of the emperor.)

Like Thunder From Fenris, this audio production also features the voice talents of Toby Longworth whose excellent performance helps bring the drama to life. You could sense the determination and loyalty of Corax in his vocal delivery. Combined with the music score, Raven’s Flight proves to be a high quality audio production of a good military sf story.

Running Time: 68 minutes.

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.
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