Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Books of the Week: 7/31/2012

Stop! It's...No, not hammer time, you dummy--BOOK REVIEW TIME! Isn't you exciteds? You should be! This week's lineup includes a Warhammer Fantasy version of Sherlock Holmes, a Warhammer 40K novel about space traders (Oh, JOY), and... That's it. I only managed to read two books this week. Deal. I have a life, you know. (Future Greg's Note: No I didn't.)

Gordon Rennie

This is a collection of stories based on Sherlock Holmes cases, set in Warhammer Fantasy. Surprisingly, it's not as bad as it sounds. 

While it's the most blatant Sherlock Holmes ripoff ever, Zavant is... AWESOME! Watson is a snarky cockney hobb--er, halfling? Sherlock is a former priest who snorts warpstone and casts spells? They fight vampires? And other monsters? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Ok, it's stupid, but it's still awesome. The little nods to Sherlock Holmes stories are cool, as well.

The writing is pretty good. Nothing too spectacular, but better than some things I've read. *cough* Twilight *cough* However, the plotting isn't as masterful as that of a Sherlock Holmes story.

In fact, Zavant is less of a mystery novel, and more of an adventure. Think Sherlock Holmes doing Indiana Jones stuff in the grimdark of Warhammer. Yeah.

Many of the characters are 2D, but "Sherlock" and "Watson" are pretty well-rounded. Which, given that many of the characters quickly ended up dead, wasn't a great loss.

All in all, Zavant doesn't have any major flaws, but neither does it have any major selling points. It's an enjoyable read, but nothing special. The plots were ok, the writing was ok, the characterization was ok... Basically, Zavant is a good choice if you like Sherlock Holmes and you like Warhammer

Krunk's Kornor: This book am too complex and smarty-smart for Krunk's liking. But the action scenes am good! That am big draw for Krunk. 

Eye of Terror
Barrington Bayley

Honestly, I have no clue what the plot of this is. It's a Warhammer 40K novel, about the Eye of Terror, and a space merchant who wanders into it. That's all I've gathered.

Right away, I noticed the writing. It's... Mechanically, Bayley's writing is sound, but it's a fantasy-style writing. The prose style just doesn't fit into sci-fi. 

The second thing I noticed was the hideous mangling of canon (and basic science knowledge). I thought C.S. Goto was bad, but this makes him look like a canon-lover. First, Bayley tries to claim that people--not Space Marines, ordinary humans--can survive in space without a vacuum suit. No, no they can't. Not for more than about 30 seconds. Then, he claims that alien races don't have psykers. Yes they do. The Eldar are all psykers, the Tyranids are a psyker-controlled race... I could go on. Power weapons are obsolete, unused except for honor duels? That's news to me, and the millions of soldiers and Space Marines that use them in the setting...

At this point, perhaps five chapters in, I gave up. Did not finish. Utter ignorance of canon, characters who make the worst decisions possible, writing that belonged in a fantasy novel rather than sci-fi...

Krunk's Kornor: Krunk am always struggle with space stories, but this one am make him laugh. Because it am make Greg very angry. VERY ANGRY. And it funny. Puny nerd am funny when him am rage. RAAAAAAAAAAAAGE!