Electronic Shoeboxing #2

Continuing with my feverish collection of all things relevant and interesting, I came across this review of Atlas Infernal by Anne Marie at an online Warhammer Community called ‘the Astronomican’. She had some nice things to say about the novel: here is the review, warts and all.

“Finished reading the Atlas Infernal by Rob Sanders, and while I could gnash my teeth on the fact of typos and simple spelling errors, they were only a handful in comparison to some blatant errors I have read in other Black Library books. It was an entertaining read and certainly a book capable of holding its own in the Inquisitorial series already published, but one flaw I felt it had was there was too much crammed into one novel.Sanders writes about everything from daemonhosts to rogue traders to the Harlequin masque to the crone worlds in the Eye of Terror. The book suffers from having too much content placed in its pages, when it could stand to be unveiled over a series of novels. Even a trilogy of Czevak novels would have been a good bet, not a sudden information dump where I had to go back and skim the last few pages to ensure I hadn't missed something of importance. I was hoping for the time line to advance but the reader is still firmly entrenched in M.41 as the 13th Black Crusade is underway. Then again, Sanders may have something else in the works for this eccentric cast of characters in the future...

The characters were all wonderful in their own way. Ahriman is mostly written through a series of flashbacks taking place during the 13th Black Crusade, but he is as cold, aloof and as in control as he was in A Thousand Sons, though much darker in thought and deed. He was the main reason I bought the book and though Sanders' take of Ahriman's character is different to McNeill's, I enjoyed both portrayals of a pre- and post-Heresy Ahzek Ahriman. Czevak comes across as a delightful character and makes me think of the 11th Doctor. A Living Saint is involved, a warp-seer with no training who has a pet/sibling relationship with a daemonhost, a Relictors Space Marine Tech-Priest, and Klute - Czevak's apprentice - is the most level-headed in the whole bunch.

I think the times when Sanders writing truly shines is when he writes about the Eldar developments - Czevak in the Black Library, the Harlequins hunting him and how they simply seem to be everywhere at once. He sheds light on why the Harlequins are the best of all the Eldar race.I commend Sanders for giving the reader a further look into the dark lore of 40K and the daily habits of the people onboard the rogue trader vessel to the worlds inside the Eye. The book Czevak runs around with, the Atlas Infernal, is going to be one of those items which causes a butterfly effect across the entire galaxy. Something so small yet holding so much potential for mischief to be managed.

Cons: Too much sudden information, a tendency for run-on sentences, the usual BL editing errors, the Pariah gene used as a conventional tool too often.
Pros: Harlequins demonstrating why they are some of the greatest Eldar warriors and powers in 40K, Grey Knights, Ahriman, rogue traders, the Eye of Terror, daemons actually manipulating people, the Black Library, etc. etc. etc.

A worthwhile read. I would give it an 8/10.”

Thanks for the critique and the time you spent on the novel, Anne-Marie. I’m going back to the novel now with a magnifying glass to see if I can spot any of those pesky typos. : )

The ‘Astronomican Warhammer Community’ can he found here.

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