Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Review of 'Storm of Iron' by Graham McNeill

"On the nightmare battlefields of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, few foes spark more fear and dread than the Chaos Space Marines.  Nurturing a hatred that is millennia-old, they attack without mercy, spreading terror and destruction in their wake.  Now hell has come to Hydra Cordatus, for a massive force of terrifying Iron Warriors, brutal assault troops of Chaos, have invaded the planet and lain siege to its mighty Imperial citadel.  But what prize could possibly be worth so much savage bloodshed and destruction and how long can the defenders possibly holdout?

Storm of Iron is the essential Chaos Space Marines novel by Graham McNeill, author of the highly popular Ultramarines series."

So, picking this book to read has a bit of a story behind it.  I'll keep it brief...

Once upon a time (one or two years ago) a teenage boy decided to lend this book to his girlfriend who adored reading just about anything you could imagine.  One or two years later, the boy's girlfriend is still trying to get through the same book for the first time.  The End.  (Pardon me, my stories are usually on hundred times better than this).

I'll tell you why this book has taken this girl one or two years to even come close to finishing.  I like lists, so we'll do it that way.

1.  It's too militaristic.  Not that there's anything wrong with wars in books.  It raises the amount of interestingness in a book.  The problem is, that's all the book is about.  I can't remember any hints of romance or mystery or, God forbid, happiness.

2.  I have no idea what's going on.  I have stopped on page 320 of 409 and I have no idea what any character's objective is.  What is driving them?  What are they trying to obtain?  I feel like I've picked up in the middle of the series.  If it's a series at all... there's no indicator for that.

3.  I don't know any of the characters.  This one requires a little bit of explanation.  While I can't name off every single character in the book, I figure I could pick the names off of a pre-assembled list.  What I mean by this point is that the characters feel very flat.  I don't know anything about them or their history.  I don't have a reason to care about any one of these characters.

4.  I can't visualize anything.  Sometimes it's from a lack of description, other times it's from poor description or the presence of obscure terms.  I'm not familiar with what certain guns look like.  I'm not familiar with many science terms.  When you give me terms or objects in a book that I'm not familiar with, it helps to have that term or object compared with something that I am familiar with.

5.  This book is meant for those who play Warhammer 40,000.  I have nothing against those who play the game, that's not what I'm trying to get at.  This book doesn't allow passerby to know what's happening.  You have to be "in the club" to know just what's happening or know what anything is.

So, after one or two years or struggling with this book, I am closing the book and moving on to something that is either more important or of greater interest (knowing me, it'll be something that's of greater interest rather than something that's super important).  I have to admit, a great burden has been lifted off of me.  I don't feel guilty about setting this book down (I've never set a book down because I didn't like it.  I was really determined to finish this one, but it just was not meant to be).

I give Storm of Iron:
Thanks for reading!


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