The empire of man has been expanding and crusading for nearly a thousand years, but it is finally coming to an end. The emperor has returned to earth and has left the war in the hands of his Warmaster to tie all the loose ends.
We focus on Loken, who is a newly appointed captain in the military, and then a few remembrancers, who are put in place to show the war through their kind of art rather it be photography, poetry, or some other format. This was interesting getting to have the interviews between Loken and his remembrancer, Mersaide, we really got to see him come to terms with the war and overall develop as a character as he was thinking back on his past actions. It was a great way to show development.
Abnett did a great job at putting the reader into the setting. His writing was very descriptive and atmospheric. I did not expect this writing style for a book that is based on another form of media. Each planet that the soldiers or remembrancers visited was unique and they never felt repetitive.
As stated in the section dedicated to the atmosphere; this book had a descriptive writing style that never felt like it was too long or too much on the page for the reader to grasp. the pace of the story was quick, and it is hard to believe that the book was over four hundred pages in length. I would pick up a book by Dan Abnett again in the future simply for his writing style. It is perfect for the fantasy and science fiction genres.
The plot was where this was lackluster for me. For the first thirty percent of the story, I had no idea what was happening. I started taking notes from there and to my understanding we are following a captain who is unsure of what he is fighting for and coming to terms that the empire might not be all that it is made out to be. I think he is too intelligent for his position, at least from my understanding of the story. I did not connect with this plot. At first, I thought it might be because I have never played the video game series that this story is based on, but I read other reviews to find out that it does not matter if you have played the game or not. So have at is as you will.
Abnett really knows how to develop a character and have the development shown in a unique way that is intriguing to the reader. He can also drop the reader right onto an alien planet and make them feel like they have seen that place before. The plot had themes of war, religion, or lack thereof, and coming to terms with what one believes in. Sadly, I could not get into the story. This was another average read for me which seems to be a theme with the books on my TBR this January.
3 out of 5 stars