Flight of the Eisenstein (The Horus Heresy)
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Garro maintained an even smile, but in truth he could detect the weariness, the pain in his old friend’s forced jocularity. I found it difficult to keep track of (and thus, to be invested in) a number of his characters, perhaps because of Swallow's habit of referring to them by both first and last name throughout the narrative. The best 40k book I've read yet, this one has it all: spaceship battles, creepy mechanized aliens, creepy chaos space creatures, moral dilemmas, politics, great characters and shows important events in a new light. If you've made it this far, yeah you've read some of the best books in this series and from Black Library and the quality might start to vacillate quite wildly from here on, but there is so much more phenomenal stuff here and I'm excited and determined to cross the Rubicon. Almost identical to the previous main character in every way except that Loken's natural disposition to question and consider lead to his position as a hero, whereas happenstance and fluke largely lead to Garro's actions.
The first half of the book consists of highly unnecessary backstory before we finally get back on track, but from there on it was enjoyable. But much like a James Bond movie, the fun isn't so much if the good guys will win but instead how they will win. I read a lot of historical fiction so that was a cool parallel, and coming from professional men aboard these enormous gothic starships was particularly jarring, in-keeping with the whole process of faster-than-light travel through hell! With good reason too, the stage is grand, the situation is dire and all rests on the slimmest glimmers of hope. The character of Nathaniel Garro definitely grew on me as the story wore on, and I could almost feel James growing into *him* at the same time.I had hope though since the Death Guard was one of the first legions that piqued my interest, and Mortarion looks so cool. Das tut dem Werk sehr gut, und so liegt mit "Flight of the Eisenstein" ein spannender Teil der Horus Heresy-Reihe vor. What James does *exceptionally* well is his portrayal of ship combat, the wide angle cinematic view of massive starships, firing lances, taking damage, burning engines. Was als Einführung für den Leser eher verhalten und langsam beginnt, steigert sich zu rasanten Handlungssequenzen, in denen die Zeichnung des Charakters von Garro nicht zu kurz kommt. First, we’re given a portion of the book to focus on the Death Guard Legion and who better to have our eyes and ears than Nathaniel Garro, the Loken-esque figure of Flight of the Eisenstein and now the lead character in his own series of Audio Dramas.
One thing I love about the HH(so far) is that the action and war take a back seat to character development and politics and such. Keeler and the gang are back, but don't take centre stage, nonetheless they're used well as background characters - there to keep the plot moving but not stealing the limelight.Still a thoroughly entertaining read, and a fantastic alternate view of some of the events of the opening trilogy. It feels that each author is really trying to leave their own mark on the series which I think is keeping the quality a level above what I was expecting. It was also the next volume to be released in hardcover, after Horus Rising, False Gods, Galaxy in Flames and Angel Exterminatus. DARK HORIZON, his new stand-alone thriller, is out now from Welbeck; OUTLAW, the 6th Marc Dane novel, is published by Bonnier, and the 4th book in the series - SHADOW - is available in the USA from Forge.
It is still a great read to follow and see what happened aboard the Eisenstein after the events of Isstvan III. Nonetheless, my complaints were relatively few, and Swallow does a good job of showing us the inner turmoil of these warriors who are faced with situations they never thought they might face. Swallows dynamic writing in dramatic and action moments is impressive, as is his ability to get really weird and gross with the Nurgle stuff without going too far. But when the fleeing Eisenstein is damaged by enemy fire, it becomes stranded in the warp — the realm of the Dark Powers.And I don't think I have said anything about them, but I have to collectors editions, and the author after-word is AWESOME in every single book. It’s all quite high-flown stuff but sometimes its good to read an emotional fantasy, in that the characters are given reign to express emotions that would be unlikely to happen in reality. Having witnessed the terrible massacre of Imperial forces on Isstvan III, Death Guard Captain Garro seizes a ship and sets a course for Terra to warn the Emperor of Horus' treachery. Bellissimo, affascinante, a tratti inquietante perchè Swallow è riuscito ad andare a fondo della psicologia degli Astarti. The whole new/old theme has been prominent throughout the series so far, particularly with the lodges, new beliefs, and the fact that anybody can turn against you.
I had a gap of 6 months or more between book 3 and book 4, but I can't wait to charge through a few more of these right now. All we ask is the product still be in its original packaging and you have your proof of purchase and we'll be happy to help. The trial of the story begins with an opening engagement (seems to be the norm with early HH novels) against the Jargall, a race of bio-mechanical nobodies if I’m honest. Here instead, we're given a book of fully-fleshed characters with dreams, desires and motivations, set against a backdrop of war, intrigue and a literal fight for one's soul. This book is bloody brilliant and seriously one of Swallows crowning achievements of his great, if vacillating in quality, work with Black Library.
A nice look in particular with the whole “old” concept was looking at Space Marines who were so old that they couldn’t fight any longer. The Flight of the Eisenstein tells of a moment where one of the soldiers is faced with a moment of choice and a matter of conscience. Lots of trials and tribulations occur and some choice banter – including a situation with Life-Eater virus (which is used to exterminate… well… everything on Istavaan III) and soon after news of the betrayal arrives to Garro via a desperate Tarvitz.