PDA

View Full Version : Mechanicum HH Book - impressions



Nurglitch_PS
04-02-2009, 09:39
The Amazon mailbot kindly asked me for a review and I sort of surprised myself by writing one - I can seldom be bothered to put in any effort into writing about such lousy books. Since not many 40k fans read amazon reviews (I'm guessing here) it may be helpful to repost here. I may save someone the expense and anguish of purchasing reading this piece of drivel. Here goes:

----------------

The first few pages show lowly Protectors discussing a ship so completely secret that almost no one except the Fabricator General and the high echelon of traitors knows about its existence. It's a minor point in itself, shows just how little the author cared about what others have written and how much disconnected this book is from the rest of the series. Which is actually a good thing - you can safely skip it and not lose any sense of continuity.

So what is it about. Well, there is only war and apparently Chaos is a bad thing. No, really, it like... corrupts and stuff. Characters are weak to the point of being indistinguishable. The Fabricator General is an automaton and does not feel any needless emotions whatsoever. Except that every 5 seconds something strange happens to him and after long trawling through his database he recognizes it as joy, awe or any other emotion. Honestly, after so many queries he could just rewrite this knowledge to cache and optimize a bit, as the guy is completely emo.

On top of war and titans shooting each other (the only parts that from time to time make for a good reading, probably because characters are not as important when large scale warfare is portrayed) we have another plot - the Mary Sue plot.

Yes, you heard that right, there now is a Mary Sue in Warhammer 40 000. She is THE epitome of MarySue'ishness. She is beautiful, kind, gentle, caring, brave, she learns more in a day than the entire Mechanicum ever knew, she survives being blasted by Astronomican, she's a psyker of course, she can remotely rewire machines, learns new data protocols in seconds and can parse them, she has tons of compassion, sense of duty and so on. She is Mary Sue writ large and everyone wubbs her. And of course Mary Sue ends up saving the universe. As Mary Sue is wont to do.

If you can avoid it and don't have this special compulsion to be familiar with the entire series - do. This book will not tell you a lot about the Mechanicum. And it is not an amusing read, at least not amusing in the way the author intended.

x-esiv-4c
04-02-2009, 11:16
This book ranks in with Abyss for me. So much potential but ruined nevertheless.

Corax
04-02-2009, 11:27
Wow. Tough Crowd. I didn't that it was that bad. Not great, but not offensively bad. It covered the necessary points as far as I was concerned. It explained the schism in the Mechanicum, it explained the lack of innovative thinking regarding technology, and it gave some insight into the whole "what lurks below the surface of Mars" thing. IMO, it got the job done in workmanlike fashion.

09Project
04-02-2009, 11:28
A book while I believe it could have been better, was still a very good read for anyone interested in 40k. Worked nicely with Titanicus and overall very enjoyable with a few very well fleshed out and thought out characters. Enjoyed it.

Carlos
04-02-2009, 12:46
I enjoyed it a lot. The mechanicum bits were the best parts and I skipped through the titan chapters because they just seemed irrelevent to the whole plot. I enjoyed Abyss as well. At least that had action in. Legion and Angels are the worst books, Legion especially.

laudarkul
04-02-2009, 12:52
I like the book. It gives a lot of info regarding the Adeptus and also the origions of the Dark Adeptus.Together with "Titanicus" they put a serious brick for the foundation of a new codex:).

daemonkin
04-02-2009, 13:07
I am 3/4 way through and while I can see OP's statements about the 'Mary Sue' effect I think it is a good read, better than Abyss. Abyss can be summed up in 4 words - WORD BEARERS ATTACK CALTH.

D.

Zahr Dalsk
04-02-2009, 13:18
The dragon stuff seemed to contradict Codex: Necrons' words on the matter of the Void Dragon.

laudarkul
04-02-2009, 13:26
The dragon stuff seemed to contradict Codex: Necrons' words on the matter of the Void Dragon.

Yap...But rumors are rhat next year will see a new Necron codex. If so the problem will be solved in the book;).

Templar-Sun
04-02-2009, 13:40
I do agree that the "chick-goddess" deal was a bit hard to take but the rest of the book was solid imho.

Only other complaint, chaos forces are beginning to suffer a little too much "Keystone Cops" effect. Word bearers were complete idiots with a giant book gun, Alpha legion were fooled by a simple trick with words and the dark mechanicum were bested by a girl with with "magical" abilities...

I know Horus and co. lose in the end but they do get to Terra, lay siege and darn near kill the Emperor...

Templar-Sun

daemonkin
04-02-2009, 13:48
I do agree that the "chick-goddess" deal was a bit hard to take but the rest of the book was solid imho.

Only other complaint, chaos forces are beginning to suffer a little too much "Keystone Cops" effect. Word bearers were complete idiots with a giant book gun, Alpha legion were fooled by a simple trick with words and the dark mechanicum were bested by a girl with with "magical" abilities...

I know Horus and co. lose in the end but they do get to Terra, lay siege and darn near kill the Emperor...

Templar-Sun

Q.F.T.

Just waiting for Muttley to pop up somewhere (prob in a CS Goto HH novel)

D.

Zahr Dalsk
05-02-2009, 12:07
Yap...But rumors are rhat next year will see a new Necron codex. If so the problem will be solved in the book;).

I honestly hope such isn't the case.

Codex: Necrons' portrayal - the Adeptus Mechanicus on Mars are secretly serving the Void Dragon, which 5 (I think) Necron ships were able to get to Mars past the Imperium's most powerful space defenses.

Mechanicum's portrayal - the EMPRAH! beats another foe, this time a C'tan god who ruled "a thousand galaxies" and imprisons it below Mars, in typical Black Library humans-must-win fashion.

Thanatos_elNyx
05-02-2009, 16:21
I liked the Mechanicum stuff.

I liked the Titan stuff

I didn't like the Void Dragon stuff

I didn't like the [Mary Sue - can't remember her name] stuff

Kage2020
05-02-2009, 16:31
I was enjoying the book up to a point, and then I find it to be increasingly tiresome (and this after the significant eye-rolling when it came to the Emperor prologue). It ended up to me being a source of potential 'fluff' on the Adeptus Mechanicus, although the end sentence/paragraph? Eye-rolling in abundance.

Kage

MvS
05-02-2009, 19:00
I haven't got that far yet. I keep stopping and getting distracted by work, other books, the internet, snow... anything really.

What's so exasperating about the last paragraph of the book? It'll take me a while to get there. There's no urgency.

Inquisitor Engel
05-02-2009, 19:29
I loved Mechanicum. I loved the Knights, Zeth, the idea that the only Adepts truly dedicated to the Emperor were the 'progressive' ones, but their progressiveness died with them.

The Legio Mortis vs. Legio Tempestus towards the end was fantastic, as was Regulus and what'shisface's first attempt to arrest Zeth. The Knight show up, the scrapcode doesn't work and they run away.

So cool.

The Dalia/Void Dragon stuff. Eh. I can deal with it. I'm not so entrenched in the old ways that I dislike plot progression and it worked into the overall narrative fairly well compared to some of the plot points in other novels (*cough*descentofangels*cough*).

Kage2020
05-02-2009, 20:53
What's so exasperating about the last paragraph of the book? It'll take me a while to get there. There's no urgency.
It's kind of like a placental afterthought. Sort of, "And, yay, this explains everything about the Adeptus Mechanicus, technology, and the 40k universe."

Kage

MvS
05-02-2009, 21:22
Oooooh!

Deep.

Kage2020
06-02-2009, 00:10
That's actually a very disturbing comment given my choice of analogy, MvS. In short... gross!

;)

Kage

Inquisitor Engel
06-02-2009, 01:26
That's actually a very disturbing comment given my choice of analogy, MvS. In short... gross!


The complete opposite of everything MvS has written for GW then. ;)

will564752
11-02-2009, 21:58
Didnt think it was as bad as your making out!

It was generally ok, not great not terrible :)

Khaine's Messenger
12-02-2009, 02:02
I'd kind of convinced myself to like it before I read it. I'm a bit of an AdMech fan, so I imagined all sorts of cool stuff that could happen. Some cool stuff did happen, but a lot of the book just seemed to meander or disappoint. Especially the bits with Kelbor Hal. And by the time it ran out of pages to tell the story, I'd lost interest. In fact, the book kind of makes me think McNeill took the first few Horus Heresy novels (up to Flight of the Eisenstein), compressed them into one book, and then set it on Mars.

I'm okay with lots of the peripheral bits and salvageable "background," but the story was unsatisfying. I'd rate it above Descent of Angels (and well above Battle for the Abyss) but well below Fulgrim or Legion.

Xisor
12-02-2009, 11:37
I'm going to go completely in the other direction and instead suggest that I felt the whole thing was decidedly good. I'm not a huge fan of Mr McNeil (I'm looking at you, Ventris), but I felt the book was rather well done. Lacking in some character depth (Dalia, Zouche etc were all 'nice enough', but it didn't exactly feel like there was much more to them) and some of it felt a bit...parochial (only 'thousands' dying in a nuclear blast....). Elsewise, though, I felt it was quite a fine read.

Nowhere near as many tedious battlescenes to sit through to get to intriguing plot (unlike Fulgrim) and generally a more engaging plot than, say, Flight of the Eisenstein. Kelbor-Hal had been, IMO, ruined by Counter's introduction of him in Battle for the Abyss, but Fabricator Kane and some of the others proved quite engaging for the 31st Millenium.

Truth told, I'm especially excited about Tales of Heresy, particularly in that Farrer is handling Angry Ronald.

Felwether
12-02-2009, 12:54
some of it felt a bit...parochial (only 'thousands' dying in a nuclear blast....).


Heh... Parochial... Didn't millions upon millions of people die when the scrapcode was released?

I felt the book was alright. There were some great parts but all that awful crap in the Noctus Labrynthus should have been reworked or left out altogether.

Gazak Blacktoof
12-02-2009, 13:29
I can only say that I enjoyed the story and at no point did I think - this is badly written.

daemonkin
12-02-2009, 13:54
I got through it by looking forward to the Titan vs Titan action. Not as bad as Fulgrim or Abyss but lacking compared to Legion or the first 4.

I personally can't wait til the Abnett version of Thousand Sons vs Space Wolves.

D.

El_Machinae
12-02-2009, 18:05
So, there's no way to get the Necron codex to agree with this novel?

Gazak Blacktoof
12-02-2009, 18:31
The Eldar Prophecy in the Necron Codex says, "The Vaul-Moon shall bring forth the Dragon". The Imperium believe the "Vaul-Moon" to be akin to a Forge World.

Zahr Dalsk
12-02-2009, 20:17
So, there's no way to get the Necron codex to agree with this novel?

Pretty much. Even the description of the Void Dragon's sarcophagus is different from Mechanicum.

And in Codex: Necrons, it implies that Mars and the close Martian loyalists are in league with the Void Dragon. Mars is certainly trying to restore it.

Eh. Mechanicum may be wrong, but hey, it's Black Library. Think of it as fanfiction or as a separate setting based on 40k, kind of like WHFB and Blood Bowl.

El_Machinae
12-02-2009, 22:43
Well, isn't there 10,000 years for things to be different now? I mean, even if Emprah pwned the Void Dragon, it could have corrupted Mars since.

Arcadian
12-02-2009, 22:55
Or if the new guardian of the Dragon is even 'Human'....

Personally I liked the novel, it was fun. It wasn't great nor was it trash.. for me, it was fun. However I am also of the wierd minority that liked Descent, and certainly found Abyss more entertaining than Fulgrim. For me personally it was not quite as entertaining as the first four, but cerainly better than Fulgrim or Legion.

Zahr Dalsk
13-02-2009, 00:43
Well, isn't there 10,000 years for things to be different now? I mean, even if Emprah pwned the Void Dragon, it could have corrupted Mars since.

Those five Necron ships delivered the Void Dragon a lot more recently than that. The raid took place after Necron space activity had already been escalating, and the first encounter with a harvester fleet was in 666.M40. So it was some time more recent than 666.M40, which is a lot less than 10,000 years ago.

Gazak Blacktoof
13-02-2009, 12:02
Eh? Who says they "delivered" the Dragon to Mars?

They may have been trying to contact or awaken the dragon or even checking it was still trapped and wasn't going to wake (depending on who sent them).

Lord Damocles
13-02-2009, 13:25
Pretty much. Even the description of the Void Dragon's sarcophagus is different from Mechanicum.
Considering we don't see any sarcophagus in Mechanicum, that's hardly surprising...


And in Codex: Necrons, it implies that Mars and the close Martian loyalists are in league with the Void Dragon. Mars is certainly trying to restore it.
As has been said, 10,000 year time difference and all... things are bound to change.


Those five Necron ships delivered the Void Dragon a lot more recently than that. The raid took place after Necron space activity had already been escalating, and the first encounter with a harvester fleet was in 666.M40. So it was some time more recent than 666.M40, which is a lot less than 10,000 years ago.
There's nothing to suggest that the Dragon was 'delivered' anywhere :eyebrows:

The Martian raid (and 'attack' on the Sol System) took place in 998.M41 (Necron BFG Fleet List in 'Armada', pg.71).
Here's the last thread about the Martian raid (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=174762&highlight=void+dragon+mechanicum&page=2) (with quotes!)

Apologist
13-02-2009, 13:54
Abyss can be summed up in 4 words - WORD BEARERS ATTACK CALTH.

Actually, 5 words WORD BEARERS NEARLY ATTACK CALTH.

:rolleyes:

daemonkin
13-02-2009, 15:03
Thanks Apologist. Maybe should be setting up to attack Calth.

D.

Rabid Bunny 666
13-02-2009, 15:06
I really enjoyed this (put it this way, i started it at Midnight Wednesday for a quick hour long read before i went to sleep and i finished it at 6:30 am Thursday)

The Titan/Knight bits were well done, i liked the descriptions of how the Princeps command a Titan as well as the tactics used by the various Titans. The Knights were just pure awesome, their charge was one of the best bits in the book.

As for the Dragon theory, I thought that all of the Technological marvels of the Imperium were from looted Necron tech or the Dragon's whispering as said in the Necron codex. This book changes my idea. The Emperor put the Dragon there so it would whisper its ideas to the first AdMech that set up there.

Zahr Dalsk
13-02-2009, 15:24
There's nothing to suggest that the Dragon was 'delivered' anywhere

Everything points towards the Necrons delivering the Void Dragon to Mars.

Gazak Blacktoof
13-02-2009, 15:34
That's going to require a bit of explanation, Zahr.

Lord Damocles
13-02-2009, 16:01
Everything points towards the Necrons delivering the Void Dragon to Mars.
:confused:


That's going to require a bit of explanation, Zahr.
Hmm, quite.

---------

Besides Mechanicum expressly saying that the Emperor 'imprisoned' the Void Dragon on Mars - weather this means he actually bound him/it there, or just stopped it feeding on humans in some remote manner doesn't really matter - (Mechanicum pg.362), you've got:

Abbadon being shown a vision of the Dragon on Mars sometime prior to 999.M41 (Codex: Necrons pg.26)

The reference to the 'Vaul Moon bringing fourth the Dragon' on an Eldar tablet which is, 'well over five million years old' (Codex: Necrons, pg.5)

The reference to a, '...far older power [being] paid homage to on Mars' '...before the comming of the Emperor' (Codex: Necrons, pg.4)

The highlighting of Mars alongside Pavoins, Naogeddon and Lyriax on various maps (Codex: Eldar (4th ed), pg.15; 5th ed. Rulebook, pg.154; Codex: Necrons, inside back cover)

(Plus the obvious logical problem(s) associated with Necrons delivering a C'tan to a heavily defended planet when that very same C'tan would be able to shape-shift and get to the planet on their own...)

-------------

By all means provide some EVIDENCE to support your assertion...

Zahr Dalsk
13-02-2009, 16:02
Codex: Necrons speaks of the Adeptus Mechanicus serving the Necrons long ago in the Golden Age of Technology, it has a story with a Tech-Priest in service of Mars who was caught in the Gates of Varl (a forbidden zone believed to have or had a C'tan), 5 Necron ships attack Mars and one lands near the Noctis Labyrinth (presumably delivering the Void Dragon), Abaddon gains a vision from a daemon showing the sarcophagus containing the Void Dragon deep within Mars (and the Void Dragon is not a "cavern").

If Codex: Necrons 5e changes the Void Dragon's background to comply with Mechanicum, then it will be acceptable as valid.

Lord Damocles
13-02-2009, 16:41
Codex: Necrons speaks of the Adeptus Mechanicus serving the Necrons long ago in the Golden Age of Technology
It doesn't say that they served the Necrons directly; it implies that they worshiped a C'tan (ie the Void Dragon) in some sense

...the most zealously guarded records of their [the Tech-priests of Mars'] Order tell of a time before the coming of the Emperor when a far older power was paid homage on Mars.
This is entirely consistant with the Dragon having been on Mars all along.



it has a story with a Tech-Priest in service of Mars who was caught in the Gates of Varl (a forbidden zone believed to have or had a C'tan)
Uvochi attempted to pass through the Gates of Varl: '*** Why did you attempt to pass throught he Gates of Varl? ***' (Codex: Necrons, pg. 49) - the implication is that he didn't succeed.

We also don't know what the Gates of Varl are / what lays beyond them (other than that the Imperial Guard defend them from, '...the quiescent perils of the C'tan' (Codex Imperialis, pg.90) - which doesn't tell us much).
They may be associated with the Dark Gates of Rhidol (Codex: Eldar, pg.15), in which case they've got little to do with the C'tan.
The only other reference we have possibly linking them to the C'tan is in 'Phobos Worked in Adamant', which as far as I can remember (not having a copy to look at to hand) didn't really tell us much about their exact location, nature, or purpose either.


5 Necron ships attack Mars and one lands near the Noctis Labyrinth (presumably delivering the Void Dragon)
Again, no evidence of this at all. Nothing suggests that anything was dropped off.
If anything it would seem to imply that the Necrons may have been changing the Guardian (since as far as we know, humans can't be teleported through phase space in the same way as Necron constructs), and Dahlia held out as Guardian for 'ten thousand years' (Mechanicum, pg.415) - ie until the latter part of M41.
Then again, this still doesn't really explain the waste of resources involved in the venture...


Abaddon gains a vision from a daemon showing the sarcophagus containing the Void Dragon deep within Mars (and the Void Dragon is not a "cavern").
It's not clear if the Dragon was actually in the crazy-geometry cavern. Semyon may be refering to the Book of the Dragon when he says, 'Behold the Dragon!' (Mechanicum, pg.351).

The presence of the 'feeding machine' in Mechanicum (pg.344) certainly implies that the Dragon is in the 'tomb' back in M31.

The sarcophagus doesn't appear to be of Necron origin:

...a great chamber of basalt, around it towering machines of antique silver stretched upward. Set in the floor was a vast sarcophagus of adamantium and gold...
Dalia clearly doesn't visit the whole of the tomb before encountering Semyon ('...twisting labyrinth of tunnels, apparently taking turns at random...' - Mechanicum, pg.351). It's entirely possible that the Dragon was in another chamber which we're not shown in the book.

Besides which, there is obviously an escalation in the worship of the Dragon in the 10,000 year period between Mechanicum and Visions of a Sleeping God in Codex: Necrons - they [the Guardians] go from feeding it the odd passer by using the machine on page 344 to there being 'unimaginable energy' flowing into the sarcophagus, with there being 'rich pickings' of souls cast adrift in the warp (Codex: Necrons,pg.26)
There's also the changing of the surrounding caverns which Dahlia puts down to the Dragon 'leeching out' from his tomb. It's entirely possible (and frankly given the period of time involved, likely) that the tomb complex could have been expanded on (ie. upgrading the feeding system) as the Dragon cult grows in power and influence.


If Codex: Necrons 5e changes the Void Dragon's background to comply with Mechanicum, then it will be acceptable as valid.
What little we have on the Dragon is already consistant: Everything points towards him/it having been on Mars (or at least based on Mars) all along.

Arcadian
13-02-2009, 17:40
Question.. because I am actually ignorant in this regard.. Is the Dragon a Confirmed Physical Being?

Zahr Dalsk
13-02-2009, 18:04
Further, Mechanicum never actually calls it the Void Dragon... just "the dragon" (which could be anything) so it's hardly any more specific than Codex: Necrons.

El_Machinae
14-02-2009, 03:09
If the Necrons had interest in the Sol system, pre-humans, then there might be a bit of a monolith (i.e., 2001 Space Odyssey) storyline possible.

Xisor
15-02-2009, 17:08
Zahr, I still don't see the 'delivering the dragon' is there anything to help explain that further?

FaztGitz
15-02-2009, 23:30
I enjoyed it a lot. The mechanicum bits were the best parts and I skipped through the titan chapters because they just seemed irrelevent to the whole plot. I enjoyed Abyss as well. At least that had action in. Legion and Angels are the worst books, Legion especially.

:cries: No way, Legion was a very good book imho. If you didn't like it you have to understand the significance of the fact that it leads to the turning of the alpha legion, a pretty big event. Descent of Angels was pretty good but I didn't really see the point.... It didn't really do much for me, it was a good book but I mean it didn't relate in almost any way shape or form to the heresy from what I could see.

I am really looking forward to the turning of the Thousand Suns and the siege of the emperors palace! I think that that one will be good.

will564752
16-02-2009, 14:10
http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Void_Dragon#Horus_Heresy_and_the_Dragon_of_Mars

Pretty much sums up what Mechanicum tells us :)

Ironmonger
17-03-2009, 10:37
I loved Mechanicum. I loved the Knights, Zeth, the idea that the only Adepts truly dedicated to the Emperor were the 'progressive' ones, but their progressiveness died with them.

The Legio Mortis vs. Legio Tempestus towards the end was fantastic, as was Regulus and what'shisface's first attempt to arrest Zeth. The Knight show up, the scrapcode doesn't work and they run away.

So cool.

The Dalia/Void Dragon stuff. Eh. I can deal with it. I'm not so entrenched in the old ways that I dislike plot progression and it worked into the overall narrative fairly well compared to some of the plot points in other novels (*cough*descentofangels*cough*).

Ripped my entire post from my noggin and posted it before I could:p My only complaint, really, is that I'd liked to have seen more of the fighting forces of the Mechanicum detailed. Skitarii, Preatorians and the like are mentioned and occasionally described, but what about the Myrmidon, the Mandatii, etc.?

CELS
20-03-2009, 13:02
I'm rather surprised that so many people liked the Titan vs Titan action. I just skipped all that after a while. There were probably 30 pages of Titan battles that I just looked at for one second each to discern any valuable information (of which there was none) and then proceeded to the stuff concerning Dalia, Zeth & the Fabricator General.

Maybe I'm strange like this, but I always feel that battle scenes are completely useless unless you have an emotional connection with the characters. Reading "And then the warlord shot the reaver, but the reaver had void shields and shot back, hitting the warlord, and then the warlord shot again" doesn't really give me anything. It's not like in Gaunt's Ghosts, for example, because then you're worried about the cool characters actually dying, cheering for Mad Larkin and Corbec. There's a Band of Brothers kind of feeling. Reading the Titan battles in Mechanicum was just like reading an battle report by GW, I didn't really care at all whether the princeps lived or died. It just seemed like filler text, keeping people interested between the talky bits.

It would have been better if he'd focussed more on the Knights, because they were actually a bit interesting to read about. But after a while, I started skipping those pages as well, to be honest.