I haven’t read many 40k novels since “the olden days.” Before the Black Library started churning out new novels on a monthly basis, there were a few 40k novels available (namely Deathwing & Inquisitor), and they proved to be decent reads. Since I was looking to start reading again, I picked up a few paperbacks in auction this summer and have started giving them a read.
My first book: Draco by Ian Watson proved to be mediocre at best. While I’m sure some people love his work (and this book in particular), I got the impression that he doesn’t play the game, but every few pages thumbs through the 2nd edition Wargear manual and just puts a word from it on the page: “Oh, it’s been a while since I made a reference… so here goes: “The Inquisitor thrashed about, shooting one orc that was fleeing on his ‘gyro-stablized mono-wheel’…”
Ok, I need a second as I smile in recalling that particular piece of wargear.
Ahhh.. yes. Where was I? Oh yeah, Ian seems to just throw in vocabulary in order to make himself sound more intelligent–and this isn’t limited to futuristic wargear. I felt like a dolt reading his book, as every other paragraph lead me to the dictionary to find out just what he meant.
The man is unnecessarily sesquipedalian in his writing and I recommend he read through the following article, entitled “Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly.” If you get past the blatantly verbose passages, the underlying meat of the book isn’t bad, but I’d recommend that you skip by this book altogether. Hopefully, Mr. Watson’s works aren’t all like this. If you do care to tackle this book, I’d suggest you keep a dictionary/thesaurus close by.
(this is where I need to come up with a clever rating system… but until then, this book gets 2 out of 5 random things).
Next book on the reading list: Nightbringer by Graham McNeill.