Been away from the Blog for a while. Blogs are funny things. I’m torn between notifying people every time I blow my nose (as some people do) and reserving entries for events of significance. Lately I have been buried (in a good way) in my second novel, which is all but completed. The execution has been very smooth but the first half definitely materialised faster than the second due to the timing of what I like to call ‘unavoidables’.
People that know me understand that as well as being a writer I am also a Head of English at a secondary school. As well as my own creative future I also have a commitment to my students’ futures. A-Level coursework will not mark itself and GCSE students need their C grades and above. Some genius thought it might be a good idea to place the deadlines of both coursework and examinations for qualifications in all subjects under my purview (English, Literature, Media and Drama) all at the same time. This makes for difficult writing time. I love teaching but I love writing more. I look forward to the day when they don’t have to co-exist.
Anyway, something else that has been happening over this busy time is the materialisation of ‘Redemption Corps’ reviews on the web. This is a real perk of the job. Feedback. Authors get to digest the myriad of different responses that readers have had on blogs, sales outlets and forums – take on board recommendations and maintain aspects of the writing that are appreciated by fans. I thought that it would be good to select some material from various responses on the web to the novel here.
‘Redemption Corps’ is full of everything that makes a Black Library read a great one.’
‘What the reader gets here is a read that typifies the Warhammer 40K universe; unrelentingly brutal but full of characters and events that stir the blood and will keep you reading. Sanders is more than happy to show his reader that he has a keen eye for both of these, capturing future warfare (and the people who fight in it) in fine style.’
‘These are the moments where Sanders really shines. You can feel the tension in every footstep that a trooper takes, not knowing what’s round that next corner. You can feel bolter shells fly past your head and I found myself glad that it was the guys in the book who were the casualties of these, it meant that I was able to keep reading. Sanders also takes time to remind his readers that these moments of excellent military sci-fi are taking place in the Warhammer universe. Not only is he fully conversant with all the terminology but he hits the nail firmly on the head in his portrayal of just how bleak and dark this universe is.’
Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review
‘A terrific story that kept me riveted until the end.’
Detra Fitch – Sci-Fi Huntress Reviews
‘The author provides very descriptive action scenes and sequences throughout the book.’
‘A decent Imperial Guard novel.’
‘Better characters, believable dialogue, a pretty intricate problem to be solved, and lots of things going on to advance the plot. I believe this is Sanders' first novel and it's one of the better ones in the Warhammer series. It might be interesting to see if he tries something of his own creation at some point.’
Critical Mass - Science Fiction
‘Whilst following some of the same traits that make this series so addictive, the two different arcs bring something new to the overall view of the complicated relationship of those under the Emperor’s banner. Add to this a well written tale, mud-splattered bloody combat alongside unforgiving redemption and it’s a tale that will give you something to savour.’
Falcata Times: Science Fiction Review
‘Redemption Corpse was a great read…Like Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts series, Rob Sanders manages to create a small unit of memorable characters that you can really grow with through the novel. With plenty of glimpses into the workings of the Adepta Sororitas and the Inquisition, the novel is full of 40K style intrique and politics as well as Stormtrooper action, shifting from the perspective of Commisar, to Stormtrooper to Navy pilot. The story was excellent.’
‘A must have book for any Imperial Guard fan and worth reading just if you like the 40k universe.’
‘Sanders is clearly a good writer. His characterization is really well done and his prose style is readable and intelligent.’
Bell of Lost Souls Reviews– Sean Dooley
‘Redemption Corps has some interesting twists and turns, and all in all, is an entertaining read.’
‘The novel featured absolutely hellacious situations and obstacles for Major Mortensen and his troops to fight their way through. To muddy the waters even further, Sanders made sure to inject the story with the medieval mindset of the 40k setting by spicing up the plot with issues like heresy and the zealously paranoid sisters of battle. He did an outstanding job of demonstrating just how intense and dangerous the Imperium can be. There is carnage, bloodshed, heroism, tragedy, and conspiracies within conspiracies.’
‘Sanders knows how to write action. This book is filled with mayhem and is done in such a way to further the plot as opposed to just being gratuitous. The Redemption Corps are brutal and their tactics and approach to combat was well depicted. They were featured in a variety of environments (including an interesting deathworld) and the different sorts of missions they engaged in prevented any of the action from getting stale. If you want to know what it would be like to experience war in the 41st millennium, this is a good place to start.’
‘Mortensen and Krieg work well together. Both characters are nuanced and charismatic. They each could stand on their own, but their interactions made the story pop. The conflict between the two helped to make them both more personable to the reader. Mortensen especially benefited from having such a strong antagonist as he is pretty monolithic. I found it impressive that Sanders was able to feature such strong characters without having one being so dominant that the other became marginalized.
The Sisters of Battle were well done. The author captured the essence of their over the top approach to matters of faith and service. The sisters definitely helped to set the appropriate mood for a 40k story and the intensely paranoid manner in which they persecuted Mortensen was satisfying and appropriate to the setting. Despite not seeing a whole lot from them on the battlefield, I think I prefer Sanders’ treatment of the sisters as opposed to how other authors have featured them.’
‘If you are looking for mayhem this is the book for you. Sanders is a master of carnage and creates gripping characters with charisma. He understands the essence of Warhammer 40k and splatters the mood of the setting all over the place.’
James Atlantic’s – Books, Writing and More!
Naturally, reviews are still coming in and I’ll update as appropriate (hopefully better than I have done of late). I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank readers for reviewing the book. Some in great detail. It is especially gratifying for an author to know that a reader has really taken the time to immerse themselves in the text.
Anyway, back to finishing the second novel. Until next time.