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zook69
08-07-2010, 23:10
Super spoiler!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please do not read unless you want to discuss the latest BL novel;
HH Nemesis

I have just finished this book, did any one else feel like they wanted more?

I have read the entire series of their books so far, I am lucky enough to own gold copies throughout & a signed copy of - Mechanicum.
As my arrogants denotes, I am a massive fan of these novels, but I couldn't help but feel empty from this latest offering.
I am not insulting Mr Swallows writing capability at all (I hope...)
I just can't help but feel that this novel didn't contain enough "Heresy" style feeling to it.
The plot was fresh, the characters were interesting, the story was good........
The Spear character was excellent!!. At one point I thought he would actually make it to Terra!.....
My point is, I was really hoping that this book would of taken us back on board the Vengeful Spirit, Back to where the real Heresy begun.
Not just fleeting moments here and there.
If anyone else has finished this novel let me know what you thought?

Deus Mechanicus
08-07-2010, 23:22
well hot damn you already slapped a Super Spoiler alert on the thread.

How about walking us through the plot? What happens? What do we find out that we didn't know before? Etc etc, shoot!

Londinium
09-07-2010, 13:02
Wait...wait.....wheres the spoiler?

Wyrmwood
09-07-2010, 13:12
Wait...wait.....wheres the spoiler?

Something about 'Spears' not reaching Terra, I guess; perhaps this is Horus' assassin or something, but to me 'Spears' sounds like a door-to-door mint salesman.

Dragunov09
09-07-2010, 14:27
Am I the only person without this book...?

When did it sneak out?

Lord Damocles
09-07-2010, 15:31
Are the Assassins from the known Temples? And if one is a Culexus, are they a Blank/Pariah?

sheppe
09-07-2010, 17:00
as it isn't released until august, i presume GW stores are releasing it early?

Londinium
09-07-2010, 17:59
Something about 'Spears' not reaching Terra, I guess; perhaps this is Horus' assassin or something, but to me 'Spears' sounds like a door-to-door mint salesman.

It's not really a spoiler when we know the Big E survives the Heresy :p Lmao at the spears thing though.

zook69
09-07-2010, 19:41
These are the SUPER SPOILERS,
I'd be happy to try and explain the story plot (As I understood it!)

Can I just say; hasn't anyone else got this book yet?
I don't work for GW/BL/FW or anything. I just brought from the BL website.

I'd like to give a brief account of the book; The plot is a split story, darting between the mysterious murders on the plant Iestra Veracrux which are being investigated by a local Reeve named Yosef Sabrat. His story spirals into total chaos while the case explodes with revelations like - Someone actually having some of the Emperors blood.

The other storyline regarding the Assassins of the Imperium, is quite good. Starting with Valdor recruiting a Vindicare assassin (Eristede Kell) and placing him in charge of gathering a crack team of assassins from every Clade.
This leads to many major SPOILERS like - Malcador being the master of the Assassins, to the revelation of two new assassin Clades - The Clade Vanus/ The Clade Venerum.

My favorite parts were - The way the author accents the Emperors voice by changing the font.

And the way Horus shows us the true way to make a sacrifice to the Chaos Gods. That was cool!.......

zook69
09-07-2010, 19:45
Spoiler -

Yes, there is a Culexus Assassin. But their history in this book is a pretty big spoiler.

Deus Mechanicus
10-07-2010, 19:02
But their history in this book is a pretty big spoiler.

That's what the thread is for!

Lord Damocles
10-07-2010, 19:07
Yes - we demand to be spoilt!



Although given that this is Swallow's work, I'm expecting retcons/blatant errors-a-gogo...

zook69
10-07-2010, 21:46
[QUOTE=Lord Damocles;4808110]Yes - we demand to be spoilt!

SUPER SPOILER

Please DO NOT READ, unless you WANT to know the main story plot!!!!!!


The spoiler is.........
The Culexus Assassin is a girl named Iota.
She was a very special type of Culexus, in which I mean she was grown in a lab. The main point of this Spoiler is that the Culexus Clade engage in DNA growth manipulation and actually growing there alpha Assassins.

The "NEMESIS" to Iota is the character Spear.
Another "Home grow" Imperial Culexus Assassin known as a DARK PARIAH!!!
He was marked for death after the experiment failed the initial testing, with all results/records being cast into the sun to destroy it.
Unfortunately Chaos ( Namely Erebus ) managed to interpret this info & Assassin and fuse Spear with a Demon skin that allowed him to morph & assume any persons identity/personality/power & memories by drinking there blood or by licking the inside of their brain (physically!...) poor old Yosef Sabrat.

This!.... is why the Emperors BLOOD was such a big spoiler!.....................!!!

HK-47
10-07-2010, 21:54
[QUOTE=Lord Damocles;4808110]Yes - we demand to be spoilt!

SUPER SPOILER

Please DO NOT READ, unless you WANT to know the main story plot!!!!!!


The spoiler is.........
The Culexus Assassin is a girl named Iota.
She was a very special type of Culexus, in which I mean she was grown in a lab. The main point of this Spoiler is that the Culexus Clade engage in DNA growth manipulation and actually growing there alpha Assassins.

The "NEMESIS" to Iota is the character Spear.
Another "Home grow" Imperial Culexus Assassin known as a DARK PARIAH!!!
He was marked for death after the experiment failed the initial testing, with all results/records being cast into the sun to destroy it.
Unfortunately Chaos ( Namely Erebus ) managed to interpret this info & Assassin and fuse Spear with a Demon skin that allowed him to morph & assume any persons identity/personality/power & memories by drinking there blood or by licking the inside of their brain (physically!...) poor old Yosef Sabrat.

This!.... is why the Emperors BLOOD was such a big spoiler!.....................!!!

I hate to be rude but that sounds a little silly. I'm mean what was the plan to have this Spear character become the Emperor? That would have never worked.

zook69
10-07-2010, 23:12
[QUOTE=zook69;4808523]

I hate to be rude but that sounds a little silly. I'm mean what was the plan to have this Spear character become the Emperor? That would have never worked.

No, your not being rude at all :)

I never said "Spear would become the Emperor".
I said; Spear can morph/assume the identity/personality/power of the person he kills/drinks their blood.

Which he does many times through out the novel.

I'm sorry if I confused this fact, you see 'Spear' being a DARK PARIAH can use the power of the (Animus Speculum) naturally!...with out the helmet. As we find out, this helmet allows the user to reflect the power being used upon him/her back as a weapon. So...... when Spear drinks the Emperors blood he will be able to use the Emperors FULL psychic power back against him.
( Spear needs a genetic marker for the person he wants to reflect on. "Hence the BLOOD":p )

Charax
10-07-2010, 23:44
the revelation of two new assassin Clades - The Clade Vanus/ The Clade Venerum.

Not really a revelation, seeing as they've been in the background for years (going on a decade now?)

as for a Pre-Heresy Culexus assassin...as a huge fan of the excellent background they were given in 2nd edition, this just hurts my brain. I hate retcons.

HK-47
10-07-2010, 23:56
No, your not being rude at all :)

I never said "Spear would become the Emperor".
I said; Spear can morph/assume the identity/personality/power of the person he kills/drinks their blood.

Which he does many times through out the novel.

I'm sorry if I confused this fact, you see 'Spear' being a DARK PARIAH can use the power of the (Animus Speculum) naturally!...with out the helmet. As we find out, this helmet allows the user to reflect the power being used upon him/her back as a weapon. So...... when Spear drinks the Emperors blood he will be able to use the Emperors FULL psychic power back against him.
( Spear needs a genetic marker for the person he wants to reflect on. "Hence the BLOOD":p )

Okay that makes sense.

I assuming that all of the assassins die at the end of the novel. Is that right?

Lord Damocles
11-07-2010, 08:32
as for a Pre-Heresy Culexus assassin...as a huge fan of the excellent background they were given in 2nd edition, this just hurts my brain. I hate retcons.
Having dug around and investigated a bit, from what I've learned of Nemesis, and the Culexus in particular (which obviously is slightly limited given that I don't actually have a copy), this new Culexus background doesn't actually overide the information given in the 2nd ed. Codex: Assassins.
However it doesn't sit particularly well with it either ('a short time' has to stretch a number of years for example...)

reds8n
11-07-2010, 12:07
It's a solid read IMO.

Okay we know that, ultimately, the team of gathered assassins aren't actually going to kill Horus here and now, but we learn a few details about each temple, or Clade as they refer to them as ( not a lot though) and get a breif glimpse into the operations at the upper echolons of the Imperium's high command.

The Directors -- Sires as they are refered to -- meet, with the Master of Assassins, in a shrouded room hidden in the Imperial Palace. It;s undetectable, unbuggable etc etc etc. They all wear masks so no one knows who the others are. None of them are Astartes, operations like this fall well out of their remit and Dorn, especially, does like or approve of the very existence of the organisation

.... no real massive revelations as such although...

At one point one of the characters reels off the kill tally of the Vindicare " 52 confirmed kills, including the Tyrant of Daas, Queen Mortog Haeven, the Eldar general Sellians nil Kaheen, Brother -captain.."

This is commented on later as being... unusual. I'm wondering if this is another nod towards what migh have happened to the missing 2 legions. None of the other assassins have killed an Astartes.

To clarify about "The Spear" and a few other bits and bobs

The human component was a leftover/failed Culexus Temple experiement " A Black Pariah" that could indeed reflect back or channel a persons own psychic energy against them .. but only really at a fairly short range and only once/if it got a genetic "marker" or sample of them.

Erebus, that rascal, captured the Black Ship this experiemnt was being conducted on and took the man. He then took and twisted the man, and.. more or less.. bound a daemon beast/creature into it. Aside from making it tougher, stronger, faster etc etc etc this also gives it "Changling" ( not the special character I hasten to add) like abilities. If it kils and consumes a person it can become them, to the extent that if it becomes "John Smith", it will actually be John Smith, who will go about his business and life quite normally, but at times the monster will reassert control and go off and do what it needs to, whilst John Smith will have no memory of this.
The Spear is using this ability to attempt to infiltrate its way up into the inner circle of a powerful Rogue Trader, and thus gain access to the Emperor as the Rogue Trader has been tasked with returning some Rememberancers back to the Imperial Palace.

This RT, incidentally, had the clout and pull to have been able to buy -- literally, it cost him a Moon-- the right to own and use a sanctioned psyker, despite this being post Nikea.

The RT charter granted to this household was sealed by the Emperor with a drop of his own blood, both the charter and the blood preserved in stasis.

We also get a bit more info about the Lectitio Divinitatus and how it spread/s as well.

malika
11-07-2010, 12:11
but erm...what the heck is a "Dark Pariah"?

jb85
11-07-2010, 12:29
Not really a revelation, seeing as they've been in the background for years (going on a decade now?)

Aren't they explosive and poison specialists?

zook69
11-07-2010, 18:54
Aren't they explosive and poison specialists?

Yes they are, it seems to lean more to the poison side rather than the former explosive side .:)

Lastie
11-07-2010, 22:38
Is there any real point in naming something a 'Dark Pariah'? Pariahs are, being the polar opposites to normal psykers, a pretty dark concept already. That's like having a Dark Black Hole; somewhat redundant. How about a Mimic Pariah? Or mix some psuedo-latin around for an appropriately High Gothic-esque name. Dark Pariah just seems ... lazy, to be honest.

Not sure about these 'sidestep retcons' (as in something that seems a retcon at first, but they're talking about something that wasn't really reflected on properly to begin with) regarding the origins of the Assassin Temples. Still, good to hear Erebus actually doing something than standing around twirling his Token Evil Moustache TM.

BobtheInquisitor
12-07-2010, 06:34
How can a demon possess a pariah? That would be like a demon possessing Jurgen, for the Emperor's sake!

We know from Ravenor that a demon needs to burn out a pariah with constant ...uh, psykic pressure?... before it can act in his presence. And then how useful would your Dark Pariah be?

PS: Really? Dark Pariah? That's the best you could come up with? That sounds like a failed Star Craft unit.

zook69
12-07-2010, 18:18
Well, technically it didn't fully posses Spear.
It stated that, Erebus managed to bond the demon with Spears skin; Not his whole body.

Londinium
12-07-2010, 19:57
Well it sounds 'different' at least. I'll save my judgement until I can pick up a copy and properly understand what's going on. I do hate is when they deliberately ret-con old stuff instead of dovetailing it into the expanding Heresy timeline. Stuff like Fulgrim being posessed which I still absolutely hate and which ruins an otherwise excellent book.

ltsobel
27-07-2010, 07:41
Just finished it, a good read. Better than a fair few of the recent efforts but not as good as the best.

I felt that dark pariah was a pariah with all restraints removed, just as a sanctioned psyker is restricted but chaos ones arent.

Shaft, Lord of Slaanesh
27-07-2010, 10:11
but erm...what the heck is a "Dark Pariah"?

What I got from the book (good refreshing read by the way - I enjoyed it alot):

Cloning is bad as this gives you peeps without souls which is essentially how they create the Culexus (outside of the regular anomilies)

The Dark Pariah was a failed experiment to create a Culexus that didn't have to use the helmet (I forget it's name) to do all the wibbley stuff they do - the whole lab was fired off into a sun to destroy it. Combined with the daemon skin it essentially became most of the assassin temples rolled into one - Culexus/Callidus/Eversor (sort of) and Vanus (again sort of) having abilities very similar to them.

The background of the other two temples (mentioned all those moons ago in the really old Codex Assassins is the earliest I can remember) is fleshed out which was nice. Plus the Garantine (the Eversor assassin) is awesome (not just a mental nutter, he has a sense of humour too!) :D M'shen (sp?) the Callidus who goes on to smoosh Night Haunter gets a name drop briefly as a possible candidate for the mission which was nice (I like silly little things like this).

And Erebus is still the greatest bad guy ever in the whole of 40K - clearly knows far too much than what he is letting on.

The only annoying thing about this book like many of the other HH novels is that we all know the outcome - I was screaming at the pages for Horus not to turn and to listen to Magnus in the early novels and in this one I really wanted them to pop Horus... :p

Still, looking forwards to First Heretic!

Shaft 'considering buying a box of river trolls to make Nurgle and Tzeentch Daemon heralds...' Lord of Slaanesh

FlashGordon
27-07-2010, 10:55
Something about 'Spears' not reaching Terra, I guess; perhaps this is Horus' assassin or something, but to me 'Spears' sounds like a door-to-door mint salesman.

Britney Spears?

FlashGordon
27-07-2010, 11:11
What I got from the book (good refreshing read by the way - I enjoyed it alot):

Cloning is bad as this gives you peeps without souls which is essentially how they create the Culexus (outside of the regular anomilies)



Erm cloning? Pharias...? Souls? W...T...F... BS. James swallow and gw has done it again. Why don't they create millions of them and stuff them down the B-hole of Terror? And what about the C'tan and pharias? ugh.. Horus heresy starting to turn into Starwars. bleh

:cries:

/end rant

reds8n
27-07-2010, 11:24
err.. cloning always been mentioned as part of the background for that era, as well as the consequences of it not being all that great often.

to clarify..

I don't have the book to hand but I don't think it's cloning that makes one a pariah, rather the Culexus in the book is a clone, her temple -- at great expense and trouble -- clone her ( and others.. ? ) precisely because pariahs are so very rare and hard to find.

now other people have got the book...

the "Brother-Captain...." the Vindicare killed previously.. is that another hint at the missing 2 or just a general example of the shens that the Imperium got up to behind the scenes ?

Shaft, Lord of Slaanesh
27-07-2010, 15:03
the "Brother-Captain...." the Vindicare killed previously.. is that another hint at the missing 2 or just a general example of the shens that the Imperium got up to behind the scenes ?


I hope the former rather than the latter :D

malika
27-07-2010, 15:37
So Erebus is also in this book?

Tak
27-07-2010, 16:33
I have just finished this book, did any one else feel like they wanted more?

If anyone else has finished this novel let me know what you thought?

I must say that I was surprised with how the assassins (the loyal ones) were portrayed in that they didn't seem very hard to me.

The Eversor especially was a character with whom I was chomping at the bit over in order to see how much Astartes carnage he was going to leave behind him so his actual efforts were most definitely anti-climatical in the extreme. Indeed, the only one that kind of put up a decent fight was the Callidus but even then it was still underwhelming.

The Spear character was exellent though! Not to mention wierd.

Although I enjoyed the book, I didn't think it was as good as A Thousand Sons. I think the reason for this is that just as I started to read it, I was imagining magnificent scenes of a crack unit of Imperial Assassins onboard the Vengeful Spirit, sweeping forward towards Horus and taking on anything that got in their way. Maybe the cover of the book had something to do with this but Iv'e only just (belatedly, I know) realised that the HH covers never have much to do with the story as such.

It also features the Emperor in his largest part yet seen in the series.

I'd give it a 6.5/10

Magos Explorator
28-07-2010, 12:40
What I'm wondering after reading it is...

I get the impression Horus knew the attempt would be made on his life, so sent Luc Sedirae down as his proxy. The question is, then, how did he know?

I wonder if perhaps Rogal Dorn told him, given his words early on in the novel.

reds8n
28-07-2010, 12:46
hmm.

It hadn't occurred to me that Dorn would tell him, I figure that Horus is by now actively using warp rituals to divine the future/perform EVIL deeds and had seen it or been forewarned by the chaos powers. And then took this as an opportunity to easily remove a popular member of his legion who, whilst loyal to Horus, wasn't a chaos worshipper.

Magos Explorator
28-07-2010, 20:43
Oh, I agree that's the most likely possibility. I think the alternative would be quite exciting, though!

Rincewind
29-07-2010, 08:10
The biggest annoyance for me was the scene with the Emperor - during this period he is bound to the Golden Throne (move and demon horde eats Earth, oh snap!) so he shouldn't have been able to physically show up in the conference room. Other than this, I guess it was okay. The brother-sister sidestory was a bit tacked on and the performance of the assassins was sub-par, but these are minor gripes.

MvS
29-07-2010, 09:02
reds8n: You mention that there's a bit more information on the Lectitio Divinatus and how it spread in Nemesis. Would you care to elaborate for me?

Thanks!

reds8n
29-07-2010, 09:20
okay ...

For starters one of the assassins is, secretly, a member of the cult already.

Through her experiences/adventures we learn that some of the Rogue Trader families are also members/believers and they help smuggle members, relics, items, propaganda etc etc around the Imperium as they travel. These guys being pretty perfect for this as they can pretty much come and go anywhere they want to and therefore being heavily responsible for teh spreading of the cult throughout the Imperium.

Polaria
29-07-2010, 09:29
Aren't they explosive and poison specialists?

Venenum is about poisons.

Vanus is about manipulating-other-people-to-assassinate-people-so-that-it-can't-be-traced-back-to-you. No explosions really involved.

reds8n
29-07-2010, 09:35
Yeah, "information assassins" I guess would be the best way to describe them.

MajorWesJanson
29-07-2010, 10:12
They also deal with non-lethal uses of information, and propoganda. Sort of like a more aggressive NSA.

Rincewind
29-07-2010, 15:32
The character was the "nerdy hacker" of the bunch. :p

Lord Lorne Walkier
29-07-2010, 23:35
What I'm wondering after reading it is...

I get the impression Horus knew the attempt would be made on his life, so sent Luc Sedirae down as his proxy. The question is, then, how did he know?

I wonder if perhaps Rogal Dorn told him, given his words early on in the novel.

I have been saying for a long time that Dorn's actions have been... odd. In Blood games he is conducting a secret operation with a double agent loyal to Horus, with out the knowledge of the Custodes. He sends the Night Lords Legion to Istvaan V, AFTER he is almost killed by the Night Haunter, and they destroy their home world. He talks to Loken after he get promoted to the Mournival and then forgets who he is, when Garro brings him up in FotE. Now this? Will some one please tell me i'm not the only one following the bread crumbs. Oh and in the Lighting Tower, when talking to Malcador, Dorn completely forgets about Cruze. He is answering a question about who or what he fears and Cruz completely slips his mind? when he is reminded about his Dark brother he goes all stiff and start giving one word answers like he is in some kind of trance.

I know i know..... " DORN IS THE MOST LOYAL.........." bla bla bla. The brightest light cast the longest shadow. I think the reason Dorn freaks out after the HH is over and go into the Iron Cage is because he knows he was one of Horus's biggest weapons. I just hope he was not doing it willingly.

Son of Sanguinius
29-07-2010, 23:45
I have been saying for a long time that Dorn's actions have been... odd. In Blood games he is conducting a secret operation with a double agent loyal to Horus, with out the knowledge of the Custodes. He sends the Night Lords Legion to Istvaan V, AFTER he is almost killed by the Night Haunter, and they destroy their home world. He talks to Loken after he get promoted to the Mournival and then forgets who he is, when Garro brings him up in FotE. Now this? Will some one please tell me i'm not the only one following the bread crumbs. Oh and in the Lighting Tower, when talking to Malcador, Dorn completely forgets about Cruze. He is answering a question about who or what he fears and Cruz completely slips his mind? when he is reminded about his Dark brother he goes all stiff and start giving one word answers like he is in some kind of trance.

I know i know..... " DORN IS THE MOST LOYAL.........." bla bla bla. The brightest light cast the longest shadow. I think the reason Dorn freaks out after the HH is over and go into the Iron Cage is because he knows he was one of Horus's biggest weapons. I just hope he was not doing it willingly.

Unfortunately, the likely scenario is that those are a sequence of continuity errors. Interesting thought though. If you are right, maybe B&C's Dornian Heresy isn't too far off the mark. :D

DarthMcBob
30-07-2010, 01:40
I have been saying for a long time that Dorn's actions have been... odd. In Blood games he is conducting a secret operation with a double agent loyal to Horus, with out the knowledge of the Custodes. He sends the Night Lords Legion to Istvaan V, AFTER he is almost killed by the Night Haunter, and they destroy their home world. He talks to Loken after he get promoted to the Mournival and then forgets who he is, when Garro brings him up in FotE. Now this? Will some one please tell me i'm not the only one following the bread crumbs. Oh and in the Lighting Tower, when talking to Malcador, Dorn completely forgets about Cruze. He is answering a question about who or what he fears and Cruz completely slips his mind? when he is reminded about his Dark brother he goes all stiff and start giving one word answers like he is in some kind of trance.

I know i know..... " DORN IS THE MOST LOYAL.........." bla bla bla. The brightest light cast the longest shadow. I think the reason Dorn freaks out after the HH is over and go into the Iron Cage is because he knows he was one of Horus's biggest weapons. I just hope he was not doing it willingly.

You'll notice that Dorn later "died" on-board a Chaos ship during a Black Crusade. Conveniently, all they have is his skeleton, rather than his whole corpse (seems to decay pretty darn fast). Also, a non-primarch somehow gained the ability to best a primarch. Mighty suspicious if you ask me. :shifty:

While the novel was good, I didn't like going into knowing the Imperial assassins would fail. I was rooting for them to kill Horus and have someone else the the Heresy to Terra. Then the Emperor kills said leader by looking at him funny and Chaos retreats. The Emperor steps out for a smoke break and sticks his laboratory dummy skeleton on the throne as a joke. Unfortunately, due to being ageless his perception of time is somewhat different than that of a normal human and he fails to notice that he's been outside for more than ten minutes. Boy, is he in for a surprise. :D

MvS
30-07-2010, 21:56
MINOR SPOILERS!

PLEASE STOP READING THIS THREAD IF YOU WANT THE BOOK TO BE A SURPRISE TO YOU!! :)




You know, I'd been becoming a little disenchanted with the Heresy novels. Even Abnett's Legion left me cold, though the characters were generally well written.

But this book was... good.

It was good.

I enjoyed the writing and the story and although there were elements I didn't love, that's just the way of it with any author writing about an established universe that we all have our own ideas on.

I liked most of the little touches and characterisations, particularly the Emperor's body language and tactility with Valdor and Dorn, and how the Sigillite is described of taking 'a show' of obesience to the Emperor when all others drop to their knees immediately (except Dorn of course - son's privileges). What does this mean about the relationship between Malcador and the Emperor, if anything?

I liked Dorn's arguments, although their wording was just a teenie bit verbose here and there, but I guess that fits with the character. I love how he argues about the primary importance of the appearance of objective legitimacy to Imperial authority, not just the importance of maintaining its strength.

I loved the glimmers we're getting of the history and spread of Emperor worship and why it happens. The earliest devotees to the Emperor as a god are more genuine and more 'personal' in their faith than the monolithic draconian madness of the Imperial Cult that comes much later.

So yes, an enjoyable book. Well done Mr. Swallow!

Now I just need The First Heretic to blow me away even just one hundredth of the amount that I'm hoping for and my faith will return stronger than ever. ;)

Son of Sanguinius
30-07-2010, 22:02
I liked most of the little touches and characterisations, particularly the Emperor's body language and tactility with Valdor and Dorn, and how the Sigillite is described of taking 'a show' of obesience to the Emperor when all others drop to their knees immediately (except Dorn of course - son's privileges). What does this mean about the relationship between Malcador and the Emperor, if anything?

Just you watch: Malcador is going to turn out to be an extension of the Emperor himself.

Thanks for the review. :)

MvS
30-07-2010, 22:31
Just you watch: Malcador is going to turn out to be an extension of the Emperor himself.
I've suspected this for a long time too!

The human part of him. That dies.

Idaan
30-07-2010, 22:46
Just you watch: Malcador is going to turn out to be an extension of the Emperor himself.

Thanks for the review. :)

Eh, easy to see that coming. Now if it were the other way around, that is the superhuman, gleaming God-Emperor being just a construct of unassuming, merely human Malcador, Wizard of Oz style - that would be a pretty good twist.

Son of Sanguinius
30-07-2010, 23:31
Eh, easy to see that coming. Now if it were the other way around, that is the superhuman, gleaming God-Emperor being just a construct of unassuming, merely human Malcador, Wizard of Oz style - that would be a pretty good twist.

Let me rephrase, because this is closer to my suspicion.

I believe Malcador has been the man working for 30,000+ years and that when he had the Primarchs created, or at least using the same genetic manipulation, fashioned a body that could be the figurehead of the Imperium.

Precedent and suggestive evidence is all over the place. You have Alpharius and Omegon, who are said to be one soul in two bodies. You have Malcador's "soul" able to power the Emperor before it was too late. Malcador's origins are unknown and the Emperor obviously has a mastery of genetic manipulation. And there is a lot more.

I'm sure there are other explanations, but this is what I'm putting my money on.

TemujinZero
31-07-2010, 16:23
Except Malcador was appealing to Valdor to conceal the assasination plot from the Emperor, unless you think that was self-deception.

I was really disappointed by the book, chiefly because of the poor villain. A pariah that's even more pariah than a pariah with daemon skin (huh?) and a comic sans eeevvviiiilllll attitude, prone to lines such as (I kid you not) 'There is no Terra, only terror!'

I thought we were being led towards suspecting that Dorn tipped of Horus, but then the end didn't work out that way as far as I could tell. I guess Horus has dumped Erebus as a middleman and is having regular pep talks with the ruinous powers.

rickie8437
02-08-2010, 23:33
well i have to say not only was this book great but way out there as one of the best in the long line of great books in the set so far

i like J Swallows writing and think he has done a dam good job with this

i keep reading that its not "herasy" enough, the book takes us 2 years after the first 5 books, showing us that the whole war wasnt over in a matter of weeks

its shows us what worlds are thinking and who they will follow and why

i think he has done a great job with it
and i for one cant wait for the next book

Lord Lorne Walkier
03-08-2010, 05:54
After reading the book i can't say i'm sure that Dorn tiped off Horus, but he is on the sort list of suspects. Dorn, the 6 master assassins, Malcador, Valdor or maybe the Emperor knew enough to be the one. Dorn is the only one with a known motive. Even Erebus is out of the loop. Even if i got it all wrong and Dorn is clean, doing things the "right" way allmost cost the whole human race everything. The more i learn about what and why Dorn did what he did the more i feel at best he was a tool and at worst right up there with Horus and co.

The book was good though. Well writen and free of any blaring fluff errors or over steaps. If you where not on Ultamar or some place no one cares about you had a good chance of being $#!+ out of luck. Faith in the Emp or no.

Something that kinda bugs me about how things are playing out is how important the Lectitio Divinitatus is even though Lorgar is the primarch to fall 1st. I hoped the remeberancers like Keeler would be the driving force behind the God Emp

Son of Sanguinius
03-08-2010, 06:38
Something that kinda bugs me about how things are playing out is how important the Lectitio Divinitatus is even though Lorgar is the primarch to fall 1st. I hoped the remeberancers like Keeler would be the driving force behind the God Emp

Those like Keeler are the driving force. The Lectitio Divinatus' real life counterpart, the Bible, didn't get popular because people read its words and were swayed. It got popular (before Constantine, I mean) because charismatic and powerful individuals took an active role in spreading it. Moreover, Nemesis left me with the impression Divinatus simply gave the existing cult something concrete to establish some kind of structure around.

MvS
03-08-2010, 08:52
Those like Keeler are the driving force.
Indeed. There's always a balance between the scripture / 'holy' texts themselves and the martyrs and 'exemplars' of those texts that inspire coversions and continued faith.


The Lectitio Divinatus' real life counterpart, the Bible, didn't get popular because people read its words and were swayed. It got popular (before Constantine, I mean) because charismatic and powerful individuals took an active role in spreading it.
Well, before Constantine there wasn't a singular 'Bible', but the point is well made. The early Christians - divided between the Jews who followed Jesus the Rabbi - and the gentile converts (mostly, but not uniquely, Romans and Roman citizens of various sorts) reacted to the teaching and example of charismatic preachers and leaders.

In Nemesis we're told that there were people who regarded the Emperor as a god even before the launch of the Great Crusade, so before Lorgar and his Lectitio Divinitatus. But I imagine that the Primarch's ways of perceiving the Emperor's 'divinity' and the manner in which he communicated his ideas must have been superbly conceived and articulated (he was a Primarch after all). So his writings probably put into words in truly briliant fashion what believers already felt was true.

Again, Nemesis suggests that there are many different groups of Emperor worshipers (just as there were many different 'types' of Christians in the early days of the religion), but all of them could focus upon the holy text, the Lectitio, because it talked about the 'theology' of the Emperor himself, rather than specific practices and fetishes of religious practice.


Moreover, Nemesis left me with the impression Divinatus simply gave the existing cult something concrete to establish some kind of structure around.
Just so. :)

Hellebore
03-08-2010, 09:08
Let me rephrase, because this is closer to my suspicion.

I believe Malcador has been the man working for 30,000+ years and that when he had the Primarchs created, or at least using the same genetic manipulation, fashioned a body that could be the figurehead of the Imperium.

Precedent and suggestive evidence is all over the place. You have Alpharius and Omegon, who are said to be one soul in two bodies. You have Malcador's "soul" able to power the Emperor before it was too late. Malcador's origins are unknown and the Emperor obviously has a mastery of genetic manipulation. And there is a lot more.

I'm sure there are other explanations, but this is what I'm putting my money on.

You know that never occurred to me. Malcador just seemed like an additional character for the sake of it.

I like this concept, although I think it would be 'neater' if the emperor is simply a psychic projection Malcador creates (a hard light hologram...) he's the emperor, I'm sure he has the power to project a physical manifestation across a few hundred lightyears.

I think it would be cool if the primarchs were peices of his soul, broken off and given freedom. So it's a multiple blow to have Horus and the others turn traitor because it indicates that even some parts of his soul possess the hubris that allows chaos to worm its way in.

Afterall the original shamans were still human (or protohuman in many cases) and fallible. Together they are strong, but separate they could be tempted (especially given the amount of time they'd been working without any sign of success).

Hellebore

Hellebore

ashc
03-08-2010, 09:22
I like this idea too, Hellebore. Often in the primarch creation myths it speaks of the things that went in to making them and how unique they truly were, and fragments of the Emperor's soul would reflect that nicely.

Hellebore
03-08-2010, 09:42
I like this idea too, Hellebore. Often in the primarch creation myths it speaks of the things that went in to making them and how unique they truly were, and fragments of the Emperor's soul would reflect that nicely.

So when he has to destroy Horus he's actually destroying a piece of himself. I can just see the psychic conversation:

"Why Bob? Why? You got your freedom and look what you did with it. Freddie and Jane are very disappointed."
"You guys are soft. We've been stuck sharing the same consciousness for nigh on 40,000 years now. I haven't had an original thought for all that time. Having to share each of your fantasies in turn just got more and more disturbing."
"Even Toby's?"
"ESPECIALLY TOBY'S."
"We're going to have to punish you for this you know."
"Yeah? Well meet my new friends, Khorne, Slannesh, Nurgle and Tzeentch! They don't hog my subconscious or usurp by thought processes, oh no! They just ask that I like them a lot. Well after hanging out with you stodgy lot for the last few aeons I'm about ready to kiss ANYONE whose name doesn't begin with 'Shaman'."
"... Touche."

Hellebore

Son of Sanguinius
03-08-2010, 15:51
You know that never occurred to me. Malcador just seemed like an additional character for the sake of it.

I like this concept, although I think it would be 'neater' if the emperor is simply a psychic projection Malcador creates (a hard light hologram...) he's the emperor, I'm sure he has the power to project a physical manifestation across a few hundred lightyears.

I think it would be cool if the primarchs were peices of his soul, broken off and given freedom. So it's a multiple blow to have Horus and the others turn traitor because it indicates that even some parts of his soul possess the hubris that allows chaos to worm its way in.

Afterall the original shamans were still human (or protohuman in many cases) and fallible. Together they are strong, but separate they could be tempted (especially given the amount of time they'd been working without any sign of success).

Hellebore

Hellebore

I wouldn't be a fan of the psychic projection. They would have to retcon a few things, the one coming to my mind being the strangling of the Emperor, into the Emperor/Malcador twirling his mustache and saying that he planned it all along.

I do like Primarchs as having fragments of the Emperor's power, which would definitely bring it down to a little higher than 8980, but how does this gel with the claim from the ruinous powers that the Emperor stole something from them?

The_Blind_Anarchist
03-08-2010, 16:04
The whole Malcador made the Emperor thing doesn't appeal to me and nor does it fit any fluff... The whole the Emperor made a bargain with chaos doesn't wash with me either.. He is older than them i believe. The Chaos gods probably believe the warp is their realm and so when the Emperor started used warp power to create the primarchs they viewed it as stealing..

Just my view.

malika
03-08-2010, 16:09
The theory of the Primarch's being part of the Emperor was already suggested by Philip Sibbering, he continues in his theory that the Emperor's plan was that he would eventually redevour the Primarchs. Read a little bit about it here (http://philipsibbering.com/blog/2010/01/horus-heresy-an-alternative-history/) (also check the comments!!!)

randian
03-08-2010, 20:23
I don't know why people think Horus was warned. The use of decoys has been common practice for heads of state for thousands of years. It was probably standard procedure, plus Horus' time isn't wasted with trivial matters. Remember that impersonating Horus was referred to as "an honour" by other Astartes.

More interesting is how it's implied that Erebus views Horus as his tool, not as his boss. Also, Erebus does indeed "know too much". The fact that the Emperor once inked a contract with a drop of his own blood seems way too obscure a fact to dig up even with extensive research, and Erebus is a warrior not a librarian. "Kill the Emperor" could not have been the original motivation for creating Spear.

reds8n
04-08-2010, 09:06
..how cool was the actual sniper shot bit though eh ? Page 390..Swallow nails scene really well.:cool:

MajorWesJanson
04-08-2010, 11:44
The fact that the Emperor once inked a contract with a drop of his own blood seems way too obscure a fact to dig up even with extensive research, and Erebus is a warrior not a librarian.

Actually, it seems to be pretty common. This is the second Rogue Trader charter we have seen him do it to, the first showing up in Legacy. I thought it was a nice continuity reference.

Though Charters signed by the Emperor seem to have the same average lifespan as Eldar Avatars, Emperor Titans, or Kreig infantry companies.

Brother Loki
04-08-2010, 16:23
I'm reasonably sure that the Emperor at the very least signed pretty much all the original Warrants of Trade for Crusade era Rogue Traders. Sealing them in blood is a suitably warhammery gesture, that really conveys the power of the document. After all, essentially it gives the bearer the authority of the Emperor by proxy, and the right to make first contact with civilisations outside the Imperium and begin diplomacy, trade or warfare with them at the bearer's sole discretion. I would imagine any high ranking Astartes will have had enough contact with Rogue Traders during the crusade to be aware of the practice.

Eulenspiegel
16-08-2010, 13:12
A little more than a week - I hope this doesnīt count as thredromancy :)

I have just finished the book and have to vent my frustration. The premise was potentially awesome, and it was all wasted for a weak ensemble-story.
Iīm not bothering with ***SPOILERTABS***, as my entire post will contain spoilers. You have been warned!

Also: skip if you donīt like a good, heartfelt rant!

The book was beginning to get lame when the team got assembled, and they are given their weapons (yes, the ones you know from their tabletop rules) ... you know the scenes from every movie about teams with widely different characters. Everybodyīs there: the leader, the big boast, the intellectual, the clever computergeek, the girl that stumbles while fleeing from the monster of the week.

The assassins arenīt the assassins from the 40K timeline. They havenīt been psycho-indoctrinated properly. They behave like a "team" of 12-year olds. They question the leaderīs authority, they bicker, and one runs off on an errand of herself.
I canīt see my 40k assassins acting like this. Shame is, their equipment is exactly the same as in 40k, so weīre led to believe this is how an assassin acts.
Also: intelligent discussions with an Eversor? Pleaaaseee ... (it begun so nice with the Garantine, but then he even failed to kill a random Space Marine without help and without being injured himself). Also Siress Venenum must have tried to actively sabotage the mission, what with sending the girl Jenniker who is of no use whatsoever.

So many plot devices were set up but not used properly:

- Yosef fighting Spear from within. We see him rebelling from time to time, but it isnīt even hinted that this was essential in bringing the killer down. All he gets to do is, he tells the assassin to "Stop him!" - No *****? Stop him, huh? Thanks for that tactical insight!

- The Emperor making a cameo and doing essentially nothing. So the assassin clades will be monitored in the future? Nice, now on to the more pressing business like, maybe that D*MN WAR that has engulfed the Imperium?

- The Vindicaire seems to sacrifice himself for nothing. Swallow doesnīt say that Kell draws fire to help the drive-module make its escape, or that he has to get himself killed in order not to dishonour his clade/temple. He is just seen flying towards the Vengeful Spirit .... the end. Later, we see Horus, unharmed and unfazed.
(Maybe thatīs going to be used in the Battle for the Imperial Palace? Kellīs suicide attack having weakened something on Horusī flagship that the Emperor could exploit? But then, not even a hint that the Spiritīs paint was scratched ...)

- The entire storyline hinges on "The Emperor moves in mysterious ways". So HE made sure the assassins and the killer meet each other on Dagonet? HE made Jenniker abandon her post because he knew of the danger Spear posed for him?
I smell bad storytelling.

Take those and add things like the aforementioned cringeworthy terra/terror pun, or "ritual rites" (p. 305). I think Swallow tries out what he can get away with, what with paraphrasing Monty Python (p. 316).

Fulgrim's Gimp
16-08-2010, 20:54
I quite enjoyed it. Would have like a bit more on the genesis of the Temples and not so much the *pop* we're during the Heresy and the Temples are exactly the same. I liked the quick reference to M'Shen and the prescence of one of Abaddon's future Chosen : Devram Korda.

Son of Sanguinius
16-08-2010, 21:34
The book was beginning to get lame when the team got assembled, and they are given their weapons (yes, the ones you know from their tabletop rules) ... you know the scenes from every movie about teams with widely different characters. Everybodyīs there: the leader, the big boast, the intellectual, the clever computergeek, the girl that stumbles while fleeing from the monster of the week.

Cliche, yes, but what sci-fi isn't nowadays?


The assassins arenīt the assassins from the 40K timeline. They havenīt been psycho-indoctrinated properly. They behave like a "team" of 12-year olds. They question the leaderīs authority, they bicker, and one runs off on an errand of herself.
I canīt see my 40k assassins acting like this. Shame is, their equipment is exactly the same as in 40k, so weīre led to believe this is how an assassin acts.

I agree with you here, but I think that is point. I was left with the impression that the leaders would tighten the reins as it becomes an official organization.


Also: intelligent discussions with an Eversor? Pleaaaseee ... (it begun so nice with the Garantine, but then he even failed to kill a random Space Marine without help and without being injured himself). Also Siress Venenum must have tried to actively sabotage the mission, what with sending the girl Jenniker who is of no use whatsoever.

Bah, the Eversor was far and away the most entertaining character of the lot. But I do agree that he seemed to end up being all talk after having trouble with a single Marine of little notoriety.


- The Emperor making a cameo and doing essentially nothing. So the assassin clades will be monitored in the future? Nice, now on to the more pressing business like, maybe that D*MN WAR that has engulfed the Imperium?

He made them an official organization. That has HUGE implications for any society. Can you imagine if a powerful nation in our age openly sponsored and advertised the capabilities of its black ops operations?


- The Vindicaire seems to sacrifice himself for nothing. Swallow doesnīt say that Kell draws fire to help the drive-module make its escape, or that he has to get himself killed in order not to dishonour his clade/temple. He is just seen flying towards the Vengeful Spirit .... the end. Later, we see Horus, unharmed and unfazed.
(Maybe thatīs going to be used in the Battle for the Imperial Palace? Kellīs suicide attack having weakened something on Horusī flagship that the Emperor could exploit? But then, not even a hint that the Spiritīs paint was scratched ...)

I agree here. I got very confused with the purpose of Kell's death.


- The entire storyline hinges on "The Emperor moves in mysterious ways". So HE made sure the assassins and the killer meet each other on Dagonet? HE made Jenniker abandon her post because he knew of the danger Spear posed for him?
I smell bad storytelling.

You're looking at it from the wrong angle, methinks. The characters want to believe the Emperor's hand orchestrates their surroundings, but they are the ones making the decision. To me, all of "coincidences" sound like the Masters trying to cover their own tracks.

Eulenspiegel
17-08-2010, 07:26
Bah, the Eversor was far and away the most entertaining character of the lot. But I do agree that he seemed to end up being all talk after having trouble with a single Marine of little notoriety.
The Eversorīs introduction was very good. Up to the point where Kell talks him into joining their mission - this is just after we were being told that the Garantine doesnīt even have a concept for "past" or "future". Good luck reasoning with someone like this .... but hey, if the story demands it ...

From then on he acts as the teamīs B.A. Baracus. We have to accept that he is really good at combat, because he only is so off-screen. When we actually witness him he shines by murdering allies.



Also, what I forgot in my rant:

Iota was character-wise the most believable in the group, and the only one who behaved as one imagines a 40k assassin would. Her cold, analytical detachment from humanity was very fitting and well written ...
... but Swallow repeatedly calls her "psyker" or "psyker-girl". Now, as I understand pariahs, theyīre the exact opposite of psykers, and the very reason why the Culexus employ them to hunt psykers down.

That leads me to the dumb idea of having anti-anti-psyker, that "black pariah". I wouldīve bought some sort of mutant pariah, who rebounds psychic energy, but that still wouldnīt have worked against Iota, as she isnīt a damn psyker!
Otherwise, Spear was a good antagonist.

Iuris
17-08-2010, 08:41
Well, Swallow did an... acceptable job, as far as I'm concerned.

Primarily, the book is readable. The characters are at least interesting enough that I wanted to know what is going to happen to them. That's something that not every black library book manages to pull off.

Things that annoyed me were primarily the Cullexus treatment. I think he may well have mixed up the pariah's nature as psykers, especially using a pariah as a demonhost. However, this is not necessarily so. After all, perhaps the pariahs are a special case of psyker, whose effect is negative psykery, and yet they could still be psykers. Also, we might note that this was a special project of the cullexus temple, and may well have been conducted at the height of imperial science during the golden age of the Imperium.

I did like the insight into the two unknown temples, though. Especially the Vanus. Information wars... LOVELY :)

Nazguire
17-08-2010, 10:48
I thought Nemesis was a good read, and whilst I originally thought it was a filler novel, it has turned into something a bit more.

My thoughts were how good at was at describing the domino effect that Horus used on subjugating the Imperium. He used his own reputation as a brilliant general, and the Astartes reputations as ruthless, all-conquering superhuman warriors, against the Imperium he gained said reputation from.

Which explains how he was able to utterly cripple the Imperium in the space of seven years. He'd literally turn up in a sector, and half the worlds would capitulate automatically out of fear. The other half would fight, only to surrender once they see one or two close by worlds get bombed into oblivion.

He used fear far more than Night Haunter in many cases.

Also, the rumours that spread about what happened to worlds that Horus visited. How they would 'go dark' (no more communication) and the escapees wail about the dark rites the Sons of Horus engaged in.

Nemesis really explained Horus' competency.

I also like how it was implied Dorn warned Horus about the assassins. (Well I thought it was implied anyway). Dorn was the Primarch renowned for hating camoflague and coward's tactics etc (hence the bright yellow of the Imperial Fists) and believed in honourable battle. The Officio Assassinorum was the complete opposite to his ideals and he thoroughly wanted to fight with his values and ideals intact. As far as he was concerned, killing Horus through an assassin's bullet meant he was no better than his brother.

Nemesis also details a lot better than False Gods and Galaxy in Flames how Horus managed to rid the Legion of doubters through only a few sentences. I believed that Sedirae was placed in Horus' stead, knowing full well what would await him down on Dagonet, in order to remove his nay-saying. Even Erebus is chilled at this thought, how ruthless Horus removes doubters to his word, even loyal captains such as Luc Sedirae.

Also, we can't forget how Horus seems more honourable than the Emperor. He utterly dismisses the idea of assassins, whilst the Emperor openly endorses them, even after the failed attempt on Horus' life. Horus believes he is right in his actions, and sees himself as the honourable person in this conflict, and using assassins to further his goals only makes him as bad as the Emperor.

Talos402000
17-08-2010, 21:09
Here's a question.

Did anybody but me spot the Slaanesh symbol in the part where the Culexus protiphage slew the Yndenisc Warlord? It appears theres a chaos cult in the Yndnesic Bloc...

Iuris
17-08-2010, 22:46
Yup, spotted it. Nice touch. And on Terra itself, too.

Mind you, older stories state that upon the traitors landing on Terra, half the army on Terra defects. Chaos managed to pull that trick off twice :)

Talos402000
18-08-2010, 02:50
Twice? Please explain.

magath
18-08-2010, 15:15
The assassins arenīt the assassins from the 40K timeline. They havenīt been psycho-indoctrinated properly. They behave like a "team" of 12-year olds. They question the leaderīs authority, they bicker, and one runs off on an errand of herself.
You know, I really think you've hit the nail on the head there. Reading the damn thing was like watching Hollyoaks with guns. When she started mouting off, he should simply have cocked the exitus pistol and shot her through the face at point blank range.

Also, did anyone think it was a bit of a cop out having malcador as head of the assassins? Valdor would have been a much better choice and added some validitiy to the Dorn/Valdor bitch fest.

Im also not a fan of Spear, its an anti-anti-psychic weapon. Is the next step up an anti-anti-anti psychic weapon, kind of a "really dark pariah"? Also, The whole possession thing made no sence at all given the background. Although everyone and his Dog has a pariah in the 40k novels, their good against Demons, Demons can't be in close proximity to them. Jurgen shows this in the Ciaphas Cain omnibus, and Eisenhorn calls his Distaff a "potent anti psyker weapon". Surely binding one that close would just make the Demon kill the host so it can escape?

Also, The Emperor. Leave it to the good writers, please. Mike Lee tried the same thing and it was awful. Big build up for tiny, rubbish return.

On the point about Horus having a double and the whole Mantle thing. That was really, really bad, he makes a kill shot on a normal size astartes based on nothing more than a glorified raincoat, when its recorded in several places that Horus was significantly larger than a normal Astartes. It reminds me a bit of the father ted sketch "Look Doughal, these are small cows, the ones out there are far away". Plus its stupidly out of character. Its Horus, not Alpharius and Omegon.

Instead of the whole contrived plot about the civil was, how much more awesome would it have been if they've had gotten aboard Horus's ship and started ripping it up? Imagine an Iota Vs Erebus, that would rule.

Son of Sanguinius
18-08-2010, 20:49
You know, I really think you've hit the nail on the head there. Reading the damn thing was like watching Hollyoaks with guns. When she started mouting off, he should simply have cocked the exitus pistol and shot her through the face at point blank range.

I wasn't a fan of it either, but I think many here are failing to acknowledge that these are not the assassins of 40k. This is a different organization with different recruiting and training methods. A precursor, but still not what we are familiar with.


Also, did anyone think it was a bit of a cop out having malcador as head of the assassins? Valdor would have been a much better choice and added some validitiy to the Dorn/Valdor bitch fest.

How would Valdor have been a better choice? To my mind, Malcador is the perfect choice. Who better than the Imperium's most powerful bureaucrat and the Emperor's personal confidant?


Im also not a fan of Spear, its an anti-anti-psychic weapon. Is the next step up an anti-anti-anti psychic weapon, kind of a "really dark pariah"? Also, The whole possession thing made no sence at all given the background. Although everyone and his Dog has a pariah in the 40k novels, their good against Demons, Demons can't be in close proximity to them. Jurgen shows this in the Ciaphas Cain omnibus, and Eisenhorn calls his Distaff a "potent anti psyker weapon". Surely binding one that close would just make the Demon kill the host so it can escape?

I was confused by the "Dark Pariah" (yeah, silly name), but I think it was an experiment by the Imperium to make a pariah capable of using psychic power. If they make the Spear into a medium that is both largely immune to psychic power and capable of wielding it, then the demon-binding makes plenty of sense. If the psychic power can exist near the Dark Pariah without being snuffed out, then the Demon can too.


Also, The Emperor. Leave it to the good writers, please. Mike Lee tried the same thing and it was awful. Big build up for tiny, rubbish return.

Swallow didn't handle the Emperor any differently than the other authors, which is very carefully and in very limited fashion. He is still a figure mystery. Can't agree with you here, and Swallow is a fine author in my opinion.


On the point about Horus having a double and the whole Mantle thing. That was really, really bad, he makes a kill shot on a normal size astartes based on nothing more than a glorified raincoat, when its recorded in several places that Horus was significantly larger than a normal Astartes. It reminds me a bit of the father ted sketch "Look Doughal, these are small cows, the ones out there are far away". Plus its stupidly out of character. Its Horus, not Alpharius and Omegon.

I agree here, in part. For me, this was not sufficiently explained to be believable. Was Sedirae's face covered? Did the Mantle obscure him? Is Sedirae so much larger than his battle-brothers that he could have been misjudged?


Instead of the whole contrived plot about the civil was, how much more awesome would it have been if they've had gotten aboard Horus's ship and started ripping it up? Imagine an Iota Vs Erebus, that would rule.

That would have been horrible, in my opinion. What you are asking for is dangerously close to Battle for the Abyss. Assassins or no, that is a ship crawling with Astartes and sorcerers. They wouldn't stand a chance.

And if Iota can't handle the Spear, what makes you think she can handle Erebus?

Kiro
18-08-2010, 23:19
Spoiler tags in the first post so you won't be seeing them here....

I don't know what possessed me to buy this book. I'd avoided the book on the AdMech for the reason that it's a faction that's never interested me in 40k, so I felt I wouldn't be missing much. I think this was an impulse buy. I was expecting a filler novel, and was pleasantly surprised to find more than I expected!
Very entertaining story, that managed to compel my interest in a faction I was interested in only slightly more than the Guard.

That said, as others have pointed out; the book has some issues. The one that bugged me the most, and I'd class as quite fundamental, is the author's confusion on Pariahs. Several times he gets it right, with the whole, anti-psyker, null thing. But then...diverges in the complete and utter opposite direction by calling them psykers, or ascribing psychic abilities to them :wtf:
In regards to Spear, Iota's death is rather...bizarre, as two Pariah's should have no effect on each other, but Iota seems to react to Spear as if she were a psyker.

What really kicked off my interest in the book was the detective story from the point of Sabrat and his partner, as it touched on a concept I desperately wanted the HH series to focus more on; an utterly ignorant humanity's first brush with Chaos. I'm thinking something eclipsing the Night's Dawn Trilogy - the horror or a clinical, secular humanity and how it reacts to daemons boiling out of the walls, crazy Chaos cults, and the unknowable evil of the Chaos Gods. That alone gets two thumbs up from me over Legion and it's 'oh, Chaos? What about it?' approach. Hell, I think the detective story could have made an excellent novel in itself, but as it was, pacing problems definitely arose with the sudden appearance of Spear. I was disappointed to discover Sabrat was 'really' Spear all along (a corny plot device, I felt).

Unfortunately, my tendency to focus on details ruined my ability to take the Spear character seriously. After the first instance of confusion between a psyker and a pariah I found myself asking, every time the character popped up, 'so is he a psyker or a pariah?'.

In hindsight, Iota was a wasted opportunity. In my mind, after recruiting the Garantine, I can only remember her making the odd sarcastic quip, before dying a lame, forced, confusing death, because of Spear. She could have contributed more. The Garantine was amusing; I don't get where everyone comes off saying he talked too much. After reading a little bit of his introduction I thought he was going to be one boring character if he was stuck in a "must-be-a-programmed-khorne-berzerker" mentality for the rest of the novel. The Garantine and Koyne, like the team as a whole, I suppose everyone can agree, weren't particularly fear-inspiring for assassins. The Garatine struggling to take down Astartes, and Koyne's hamfisted melee with Spear (where was her C'Tan phase blade?) being prominent.
The novel uncomfortably reminded me of Battle For The Abyss, and how all of the primary characters were needlessy killed to prevent any (more) continuity errors popping up. Tariel and Kell's deaths in particular seemed shoehorned.

After it's first mention, I was hoping we'd get a reveal on the marine Kell had taken down; very intriguing.

Possible continuity error: in Spear's flashback, when the Word Bearers are discussing his capture and fate, there is an unmistakeable mention of a Word Bearer Librarian, a Codicier, in fact. IIRC, weren't there only a few legions with a Librarian department, the Word Bearers not being one of them? Of course, you could say he was a Chaos Sorcerer, but why apply such a precise, technical term, from the Librarium? I smell a mistake there.

Minor issue: what happened to the Navigator and Astropath from the assassin ship? Dorn said there was no crew when it was recovered....

Can someone give me a page number for the Slaanesh symbol reference, I seem to have missed that Ž_Ž

Eulenspiegel
18-08-2010, 23:34
Minor issue: what happened to the Navigator and Astropath from the assassin ship? Dorn said there was no crew when it was recovered....

Iīm too lazy to look up the correct phrasing, but Dorn said something like "no crew to speak of", or a similar. For me it was clear that he would consider a navigator and an astropath furniture, i.e. "nothing to speak of".
So there would have been noone but the astropath and the navigator on board.

Kiro
18-08-2010, 23:37
I don't think so; the assassin's wouldn't have been considered 'crew'. That leaves the navigator, the astropath, and the captain. Minor issue, like I said, but it irked me.

magath
19-08-2010, 08:23
I wasn't a fan of it either, but I think many here are failing to acknowledge that these are not the assassins of 40k. This is a different organization with different recruiting and training methods. A precursor, but still not what we are familiar with.
Thats a fair point, that its not the same organisation, but equally, to have the assassins behave in such rediculous ways, particularly the venenum, is just as daft.


How would Valdor have been a better choice? To my mind, Malcador is the perfect choice. Who better than the Imperium's most powerful bureaucrat and the Emperor's personal confidant?
It just seems a bit too obvious, if that makes sence, Malcador could almost be the peg the writers hang plots on just out of convenience. Valdor would have been interesting as it would have had some conflict in going beyond his remit to protect the emperor. Plus it would have given validity to Dorn whining like a little girl. Then again, I reckon the head of assassins should have been a primarch like Alpharius, that would have ruled.


And if Iota can't handle the Spear, what makes you think she can handle Erebus?
Well, Spears a pariah with no latent psychic abilities, Iota would excel against psykers, and, given Erebus pretends to be Sejanus when Horus is in the warp, we know he has psychic abilities. Iota would have wiped the floor with him.


Swallow didn't handle the Emperor any differently than the other authors, which is very carefully and in very limited fashion. He is still a figure mystery. Can't agree with you here, and Swallow is a fine author in my opinion.
I'm just tired of seeing the Emperor appear in books and end up doing nothing. In this book, he legitimised assassination, despite the fact he'd already given it the nod a few years before the book to the heads of the clades. In Mitchell Scanlon's abomination "Descent of Angels" (see, I fixed it !!!)he appears, minces about a bit and then does nothing. Wouldnt it be cool to see the Emperor, I dunno, smash something upside the head or blow up a star or admit he's Chuck Norris?

I will say thanks for the explanation of the Dark Pariah though, you've actually explained it a lot better than the book did.

Just out of interest, Kell's death when he crashes the transport. Did anyone else think it ended just like the Running Man (the book, not the film?)

The Judge
19-08-2010, 08:43
I'm just tired of seeing the Emperor appear in books and end up doing nothing. In this book, he legitimised assassination, despite the fact he'd already given it the nod a few years before the book to the heads of the clades. In Mike Lee's abomination "Descent of Angels" he appears, minces about a bit and then does nothing. Wouldnt it be cool to see the Emperor, I dunno, smash something upside the head or blow up a star or admit he's Chuck Norris?



Mike Lee wrote the far superior Fallen Angels, give the man some more credit.

Mitchell Scanlon wrote Descent of Angels. It is an abomination.

Brother Loki
19-08-2010, 09:06
Was Fallen Angels realy superior? Mike Lee couldn't even remember which Dark Angels were Terran and which were Calibanite. Astelan, a Terran and a pretty damn important character, reminisces about his childhood on Caliban. Other than that one mistake though I quite liked both the Dark Angels books. A nice change of pace from the 'one good marine in a legion of traitors' formula that the early books fell into.

I don't think the Emperoro NEEDS to do much 'on screen' - that's what he's built the Imperium for.

reds8n
19-08-2010, 10:27
Was Fallen Angels realy superior? Mike Lee couldn't even remember which Dark Angels were Terran and which were Calibanite. Astelan, a Terran and a pretty damn important character, reminisces about his childhood on Caliban.

I'm pretty certain this was just an editorial slip up after changes introduced in the HH short story collection.

magath
19-08-2010, 11:56
Mike Lee wrote the far superior Fallen Angels, give the man some more credit.

Mitchell Scanlon wrote Descent of Angels. It is an abomination.
Ah, fair play.

Black Library 1, Magath 0 :(

Chaplain Dionitas
19-08-2010, 20:25
I liked it. I read quite a bit and try to to let myself become a literary Nazi like some of my friends. Being a fluff buff for 40k, it gets hard sometimes but that's okay. This was one of the HH books I've been waiting for as I love the assassins in 40k.

Wyrmwood
20-08-2010, 02:14
I had no problem with Descent of Angels, to be honest.

bruceadsero
20-08-2010, 03:57
The whole Black Pariah thing seemed pretty obvious to me. My take is a regular Pariah cancels out psykers and other warp related phenomena. While a black pariah actually turns the power back on them. This is why Spear was such bad news for the Emperor because if the Emperor attacked him Spear would turn his full psychic force back on him. Other people have made these various points but not all together. If there is a flaw in my interpretation point it out please.

eldaran
20-08-2010, 05:50
On the attitudes of the assassin group acting like a bunch of playground brats arguing over who gets the football, in fairness, this is kinda how i imagined them acting. It is established that each assassin works alone, each type has their own methods and philosophies on the nature of assassinating, and likes being alone in their own little sandbox. To me, it's natural that when you combine a group of assassins (particularly in the pre-heresy, secretive mentality) you get arguments and fiction. So it makes sense, just is a bit grating.

And the way i understood the pariah-psyker thing was that in the imperium, where joe ordinary and amy the assassin do not have the full and detailed understanding of the function and phenomena of pariahs and psychic powers, it would be very easy for one to see a pariahs powers as being psychic in nature; (even though we know from outside the fourth wall that this isn't the case) in the sense that, to them, some psykers are logokines, others are pyrokines, and others are 'pariahs'.

That being said (and i'll admit, i'm far more lenient on such things than others are) but the only reason i can think of for Spear to have affected Iota is for him to have used her soul against her (but she ain't got one...) bit of an error there, James...

FlashGordon
20-08-2010, 14:12
well in Ravenor *spoiler btw* a pharia turns into a daemonhost..

Kiro
20-08-2010, 14:15
And the way i understood the pariah-psyker thing was that in the imperium, where joe ordinary and amy the assassin do not have the full and detailed understanding of the function and phenomena of pariahs and psychic powers, it would be very easy for one to see a pariahs powers as being psychic in nature; (even though we know from outside the fourth wall that this isn't the case) in the sense that, to them, some psykers are logokines, others are pyrokines, and others are 'pariahs'.

I was going to say I can understand characters getting their facts confused like that, but there are clear indications where the text isn't written from any particular character's viewpoint and Swallow has definitely got his facts mixed up.

FlashGordon
20-08-2010, 14:17
I was going to say I can understand characters getting their facts confused like that, but there are clear indications where the text isn't written from any particular character's viewpoint and Swallow has definitely got his facts mixed up.

Come on, its swallow, the guy who lets the blood angels run around screaming for the GOD-emperor...:rolleyes:

Eulenspiegel
20-08-2010, 14:41
I can live with minor editorial slip-ups in Black Library books, but calling a psyker a pariah is unparalleled, as it not only misses the entire point but gets it upside down.

LordLucan
20-08-2010, 15:11
Does anyone know how the Necrons made the pariah?

Also, the Pariah still comes on the psychic classificaiton table of the Inquisition (just on the negative end of the spectrum). The Imperium doesn't know what a pariah exactly is, but pariahs (and in particular black pariahs) can manipulate the warp energy of an opponent psyker, to nullify and/or use the same energy against them.

They are a psyker in a sense that they can interact with the warp directly. It's just their interactions are unique amongst psykers.

Perhaps the C'tan discovered what aspects of a living being the Old Ones were manipulating to create psykers, and subverted it?

Eulenspiegel
20-08-2010, 15:14
I donīt get your point. So someone without legs could be called quick-footed because he is closer to the ground? ;):angel:

Kiro
20-08-2010, 19:58
The Imperium doesn't know what a pariah exactly is

IIRC, the Inquisitor in the first Cain novel pretty much describes the long and short of a what a Pariah is to him :eyebrows:

odmiller
20-08-2010, 21:15
Finally finished the book. I think it's decent, despite the flaws that many of you pointed out. I think the unprofessional assassins bothered me more than the Psyker/Pariah thing. The stunt double scene was well written, but maybe too transparent.

I liked that the book seeming to codify the Imperial cult is written by Lorgar. That's a nice irony.

I liked that Horus seems to have outgrown Erebus as his "Chaos Mentor". Sacrificing the world's population in a giant chaos star is pretty over the top. However, after Istvaan and the other lengths they've all gone to, I find any unease shown by Erebus at Horus using one of his marines as bait is kind of silly.

I hadn't thought about Dorn being the source that tipped Horus off, but it makes a strange kind of sense.

Overall, it kept me turning the pages and had some interesting tidbits.

I liked the depiction of the way the spreading rebellion affected the Imperial planets.

odmiller
20-08-2010, 21:26
Iīm too lazy to look up the correct phrasing, but Dorn said something like "no crew to speak of", or a similar. For me it was clear that he would consider a navigator and an astropath furniture, i.e. "nothing to speak of".
So there would have been noone but the astropath and the navigator on board.

I agree with this interpretation. I think the clades were hoping one of their assassins had somehow made it aboard, and Dorn disabused them of this hope. By doing this he also made it clear that they weren't going to get the astropath and navigator back to interrogate.

odmiller
20-08-2010, 21:29
[QUOTE=Brother Loki;4923218]Was Fallen Angels realy superior? Mike Lee couldn't even remember which Dark Angels were Terran and which were Calibanite. Astelan, a Terran and a pretty damn important character, reminisces about his childhood on Caliban. Other than that one mistake though I quite liked both the Dark Angels books. A nice change of pace from the 'one good marine in a legion of traitors' formula that the early books fell into.
QUOTE]

If I remember correctly, Astellan doesn't reminisce about his childhood on Caliban, but about the worms they find all mutated and grown below the planets surface. I think the way I read this is that the worms were like rats on ships, not native to the planet, and were transplanted to Caliban with the imperials. I'll have to look it up again.

randian
20-08-2010, 23:05
I hadn't thought about Dorn being the source that tipped Horus off, but it makes a strange kind of sense.
I'm quite certain Horus wasn't tipped off.

Kiro
20-08-2010, 23:22
I'm quite certain Horus wasn't tipped off.

Ditto. I didn't see any conspiracy or forewarning; I read it as the assassin's simply being paranoid about Horus breaking from tradition.

Ron Burgundy
20-08-2010, 23:42
[QUOTE=Brother Loki;4923218]Was Fallen Angels realy superior? Mike Lee couldn't even remember which Dark Angels were Terran and which were Calibanite. Astelan, a Terran and a pretty damn important character, reminisces about his childhood on Caliban. Other than that one mistake though I quite liked both the Dark Angels books. A nice change of pace from the 'one good marine in a legion of traitors' formula that the early books fell into.
QUOTE]

If I remember correctly, Astellan doesn't reminisce about his childhood on Caliban, but about the worms they find all mutated and grown below the planets surface. I think the way I read this is that the worms were like rats on ships, not native to the planet, and were transplanted to Caliban with the imperials. I'll have to look it up again.
While it's possible to read it that way - though it's clunkier than the other - Mike Lee has said that he wrote Astelan as a Calibanite for some time, before discovering he was meant to be Terran and having to hastily rewrite, resulting in some awkwardwardness. While he didn't give specific examples, I think the section with the reaver worms is likely to be one of those. I think that also would explain his relative simplistic reasons of him giving his allegiance to Luther.

Sorry for threadrot, like Nemesis a lot.
As to potential traitor, is that Captain Efried guy in every scene Dorn is in? Just standing there listening?

x-esiv-4c
23-09-2010, 17:25
Well, just finished it (started late).
Pretty horrid book to be honest. I will certainly echo the sentiment that the "assassins" in the book didn't represent the assassins we know from 40k. It felt like a mess with pointless resolution.

Ka Faraq Gatri
23-09-2010, 21:48
I will certainly echo the sentiment that the "assassins" in the book didn't represent the assassins we know from 40k.

Why on Terra would characters from a novel set in the 31st millennium represent archetypes from a drastically different Imperium ten thousand years hence?

Each of the six assassins in Nemesis is a character; an individual. They may be the best that their particular Clades have to offer - though that's debatable - but that does not mean that they must be the same as a 41st Millennium assassin of that tempelum.

Add to that the fact that "the assassins we know from 40k" are tabletop avatars, and therefore simplified representations of assassins within the universe, and, well, I guess I really don't understand what you're picking at here.

Wyrmwood
23-09-2010, 21:52
That the Assassin's all act like cliche, spoiled, poorly written children? Because I sure as hell think that's the case.

Eulenspiegel
23-09-2010, 21:54
Why on Terra would characters from a novel set in the 31st millennium represent archetypes from a drastically different Imperium ten thousand years hence?

Because they look the same, have the same armament, and the point isnīt made that they have a dissimilar character to the 40k equivalent?
The author totally could have come up with proto-assassins. Someone fallible, a beta-test to what we know today.
Instead, he takes todayīs assassins and puts them into 30k. And then he adds stupid characteristics that would be the undoing of every dedicated professional in every war (hello Venenum).

bound for glory
30-09-2010, 14:19
i did'nt care for the book. like a silly "a-team" kinda thing...i really think the hh books are great(read them all from the start), but the hype before each new release is getting old. i'm really looking forword to the first heretic. i only hope its not a let down.

Mozzamanx
30-09-2010, 23:15
I thought it was a good book overall, and certainly more than I expected from a 'filler' novel. I admit, it had a lot of issues regarding background or character stupidity, but overall a solid novel.

The bad:
- The background issues regarding psykers and pariahs, which has already been done to death
- Horus using a double was so unexpected. Really? He's the single most important figure on his side of the war and a military genius. Plus hes a good foot taller than the rest of his men.
- Kells death. I appreciate the whole 'tragic sacrifice to redeem yourself', but it really was a stupid way to do it. I just get an image of him sitting in his chair, face pressed against the window and grinning like an idiot as he flies right into a shield. Why couldn't there have been an 'Enemy at the Gates' style ending, where he haunts the capital and picks off traitors until he dies? That would have been badass.

There were also a lot of extremely cool scenes in the book, which apparently James does quite well.
- The scene where Kell and Valdor go to town on the junker gang
- Iotas introduction as she annihilates the brothel
- The sniper shot, although personally I would make the Lance break the shields and the bullet make the kill. Minor issue, I just find it a cooler idea.

Nazguire
01-10-2010, 05:35
I quite enjoyed how the Vanus Assassin realised that Terra wasn't the united utopia it was made out to be once he encountered the gangs on Terra. Which makes sense...Terra was a wartorn world for many many years until the Emperor came along and slaughtered anyone looking the wrong way.

abasio
03-01-2011, 10:29
What I'm wondering after reading it is...

I get the impression Horus knew the attempt would be made on his life, so sent Luc Sedirae down as his proxy. The question is, then, how did he know?

I wonder if perhaps Rogal Dorn told him, given his words early on in the novel.

I also got this impression. Which leaves me with the feeling that Dorn is a total ***** and really let's his pride and honour interfere with doing what is right.

MajorWesJanson
03-01-2011, 23:30
I also got this impression. Which leaves me with the feeling that Dorn is a total ***** and really let's his pride and honour interfere with doing what is right.

I always felt that Horus was warned by the Chaos Gods directly, hence him sending Luc in his place and the end where Erebus is so shocked.

Torpedo Vegas
12-01-2011, 16:31
I liked the Garantine thats about it. The Garantine oozed character, nearly every line he said was laced with menace or where hilarious. I found it funny how the assassins immediately jumped to the conclusion that someone tipped off Horus, and couldn't comprehend that an incredibly important political and military figure would use a double.

FlashGordon
13-01-2011, 14:56
Except that the garantine was exactly the opposite of what a Eversor is described to be(In the same NOVEL!). -_-

enyoss
17-01-2011, 07:24
I wasn't a fan of the Garantine either, especially his `humourous' lines.

Having enjoyed the Flight of the Eisenstein for the most part, I was looking forward to this offering from James Swallow. In the end though it just seemed to be going through the motions.

Several of the characters felt like make-weights whose only inclusion was to fulfill the `one from each clade' gimmick, which seemed like a bad idea from the start in itself. I also found the adolescent behaviour of the assassins to be infuriating. Even if they're not the 40K killing machines we're used to, I'd expect better teamwork from my old comprehensive's football squad.

I did like some stuff though. I seem to remember some of the actual assassination part was quite good (I read it a while back). I also quite liked the investigators, and really liked the GCHQ-esque guy. Actually, while I initially hated his cowardly character I was quite convinced by the end, although I think he would have been just as effective if he'd been left on the ship and had done everything remotely... i.e. done his job the way he's supposed to do it.

ExquisiteMonkey
20-01-2011, 00:41
I think Enyoss covers what I found irritating about it - while it was a good read, it didn't mesh entirely with the way that imperial assassins have been portrayed pre Nemesis.

I also wtf'd at the revelation that....
Malcador was the the Master of Assassins. seriously, wtf. old man Malcador is going to smack you down with his walking cane.....:wtf:
However, in my mind, this book somewhat furthered the crazy conspiracy theory that Malcador is actually the Emperor. He was the one most willing to go to extreme lengths to finish off Horus, but when the final debate with Dorn and Valdor started going against him, the Emperor suddenly manifests to agree with Malcador.
I was also amused by the fact that the 'good guy' Imperials will continue stoop to assassinations and whatever means they can to take down Horus, while the 'big bad' rebels are the ones with the sense of honour.

Torpedo Vegas
20-01-2011, 02:11
I'm not surprised that Malcador was the master of assassins. We are talking about THE most powerful human psyker, Emperor not with standing, ever. Hell, in The First Heretic, he gets backhanded by a primarch and walks it off. The guy may be an old man, but with that much psychic power, he makes up for it.

FlashGordon
20-01-2011, 17:57
I'm not surprised that Malcador was the master of assassins. We are talking about THE most powerful human psyker, Emperor not with standing, ever. Hell, in The First Heretic, he gets backhanded by a primarch and walks it off. The guy may be an old man, but with that much psychic power, he makes up for it.

Spoiler warnings. ;)

Torpedo Vegas
20-01-2011, 20:30
Spoiler warnings. ;)
Fix'd it, spoilers added.

ExquisiteMonkey
24-01-2011, 02:04
now you need to spoiler warning your quote....