Draco: By Ian Watson

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.

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5 comments on “Draco: By Ian Watson

  1. Hi mate,
    not sure if you are aware, but Draco is actually a reprinting of the first Inquisitor book you mentioned (I have the original myself). That’s why it seems to refer to so much stuff in 2nd Edition terms – that’s when it was written!

    They renamed it to refer to Draco’s name rather than rank to avoid confusion with the Inquisitor game which was released around the same time as the first reprint.

    I’ll admit it is an odd book and it in a continuity nightmare as far as the current 40k universe is concerned, but Inquistor/Draco, Harlequin and Chaos Child are certainly interesting reading for 40k fans… even if Mr. Watson does like to throw the dictionary at you a bit!

    If you want some good Inquisitorial action more in keeping with the current 40k world, I’d wholeheartedly recommend the Eisenhorn omnibus. One of the best 40k books ever written and one of my favourite books ever.

    • I knew the book was old, but I had no idea that it was the same as the book “Inquisitor.” Thanks for that tidbit–it’s a good piece of trivia.

      Of the classic novels, I rarely could dig up one that was 40k based. I remember reading Deathwing, Konrad, Plague Demon, and a few others, but of those, only Deathwing was set in the 40k world. Coincidentally, Deathwing was the one that I liked best of the lot.

      And thanks for the suggestion on Eisenhorn. I picked up a slough of books cheap on ebay this summer, but I’ll take a gander in there to see if any of them are part of that series. If so, I’ll finish ’em after I get through the Ultramarine Omnibus.

  2. Hi mate,
    not sure if you are aware, but Draco is actually a reprinting of the first Inquisitor book you mentioned (I have the original myself). That’s why it seems to refer to so much stuff in 2nd Edition terms – that’s when it was written!

    They renamed it to refer to Draco’s name rather than rank to avoid confusion with the Inquisitor game which was released around the same time as the first reprint.

    I’ll admit it is an odd book and it in a continuity nightmare as far as the current 40k universe is concerned, but Inquistor/Draco, Harlequin and Chaos Child are certainly interesting reading for 40k fans… even if Mr. Watson does like to throw the dictionary at you a bit!

    If you want some good Inquisitorial action more in keeping with the current 40k world, I’d wholeheartedly recommend the Eisenhorn omnibus. One of the best 40k books ever written and one of my favourite books ever.

    • I knew the book was old, but I had no idea that it was the same as the book “Inquisitor.” Thanks for that tidbit–it’s a good piece of trivia.

      Of the classic novels, I rarely could dig up one that was 40k based. I remember reading Deathwing, Konrad, Plague Demon, and a few others, but of those, only Deathwing was set in the 40k world. Coincidentally, Deathwing was the one that I liked best of the lot.

      And thanks for the suggestion on Eisenhorn. I picked up a slough of books cheap on ebay this summer, but I’ll take a gander in there to see if any of them are part of that series. If so, I’ll finish ’em after I get through the Ultramarine Omnibus.

  3. I have to agree with Chris on this point. Eisenhorn Omnibus is one of my favorite 40k reads, and I've read a bit. I did read the Draco book back in the day when it was called Inquisitor and while it seems dated today, was not too out of line back then. Weird with messy continuity, but not too bad. That said, I have the Inquisition War Omnibus with all three Ian Watson novels from the series on my shelf and will likely read it after I finish with the Ravenor Omnibus I'm currently reading. Ravenor is another good one, by the way, though I don't think it stands up to Eisenhorn thus far.

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