Friday, March 30, 2012

Book Review: 25 for 25 part 5

Well here we go, last but not least, the last five stories of Black Library's 25 for 25.

Snares and Delusions by Matthew Farrer was first published in Dark Imperium and tells the story Chaplain De Haan and Word Bearers as they attempt to take over an Eldar Exodite world. This was a very good story because you totally feel it is going to go one way that the beginning, and then it totally goes a different way at the end. Very good read!

Next up is The Curiosity by Dan Abnett. This story was in Cruicible of War, and it tells us about one of my favorite, least known Dan Abnett character, Magos Biologis Valentin Drusher. I read about Drusher the first time in Fear the Alien. In that story, I really felt that Abnett was riffing on Harry Dresden, but I don't get that feeling in this story. In this one, the Magos, having completed cataloging all of a fauna on the planet, is sent to check on a predator he may has missed. Hijinks ensue!

The Skull Harvest, by Graham McNeill, which was printed in Heroes of the Space Marines, tells how our buddy Honsou travels to New Badab and attempts to grow his warband in Huron Blackheart's games of the same name as the story. This is a good story, but you probably outta read the Ultramarines and Iron Warriors books for this to make total sense.

The second-to-last story is Gate of Souls by Mike Lee was first printed in Tales from the Dark Millennium (which you can still get in ebook). This one is about Inquisitor Santos and her attempt to stop Erebus of the Word Bearers from uncovering the Orb of Shadows. This was a pretty cool story, and I really liked the confrontation between Santos and Erebus, but the end of the story left me a little, "WTF?"

Last and certainly not least, the last, massive short story is called Xenocide, but Simon Jowett. This one was published in Bringers of Death. This story is about the the world of Agra, an agricultural world that has been lost to the Imperium so long ago, that tales of the Imperium have passed into legend. The story centers around the attack of the world by Orks, and the effort of the technologically inferior natives to fight off the Orks. The story is really well done, and I really had a hard time putting this one down, which was bad because the story was 86 pages long, and I was tired the next day at work.

There you have it, 25 of the best short stories that the Black Library has produced. I think I would have to agree with that for about 20 out of the 25 of the stories, and its not that the other 5 were bad, its just that I personally felt that there may have been others that were better.

If you like Black Library short fiction, pick this one up! I give it five well-written tales out of five.

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