Shadowhawk reviews the latest Inquisition novel from Dan Abnett. Buy Pariah (The Bequin Trilogy) Reprint by Dan Abnett (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on. Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn trilogy remains one of the best things the Black Library has published. While the sequel Ravenor was a bit weaker it’s still one of my.
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Shadowhawk reviews the latest Inquisition novel from Dan Abnett. When Black Library announced last year that Dan Abnett was going to be penning a new installment for his Inquisition series, I was fairly excited. His novels with Inquisitors Gregor Eisenhorn and Gideon Ravenor are some of my favourites in all of Warhammer 40, and were my early reads as well.
He put the war in warhammer in a very creative way by showing us life behind the frontlines of grand battles between two opposing armies. Far too much actually. From the beginning of the novel, through to the meat of it, and all the way to the climax, Pariah was one disappointment after another. I listened to the audiobook last year, and, to be frank, I consider that time wasted.
The audiobook was an easier experience than the novel, but it failed to capture me at all. It is extremely rare for me to not finish a Black Library book, and Prospero Burns has that dubious honour, right alongside Eldar Prop hecy by C. Dan Abnett can be said to be a master of world-building. His settings are always detailed, with lots of nuance and meanings attached to almost everything.
That is, the more civilian side of the setting which is all about hive-world politics, Inquisitorial intrigues, local police forces, and so on. In Pariah he pariau it all to an extreme. I had a tough time coming to grips with this, to the extent that I was wondering if I was even reading a Warhammer 40, novel!
Pariah by Dan Abnett
Yes, Dan Abnett has made a big twist out of the series title Bequin. No, it did not work for me at all. She is too accomplished, too sure of herself, too unquestioning of events as they happen around her, too trusting of people. Halfway through however, her entire life is turned upside down and a massive lie is exposed, one that has some severe repercussions on the narrative.
She really must be desperate to be an Inquisition agent, is all I can say. Add to that another aspect of the novel I did not like at all: To put the first into context, the Horus Heresy happened 10, years ago within the setting and is a time shrouded in mystery, half-truths, lies and deception. It aabnett quite literally an age of gods and demi-gods. Yet one minor, random character in the novel is quite annett about this time.
She herself is nothing more than a weak attempt to tie Pariah to Xenos the first Eisenhorn novel.
RAPID FIRE: Dan Abnett Talks The Magos
Her inclusion also rings alarm bells, given that her… family was pretty much purged already. To contextualise the second point: Beta Bequin is an expert in French. The tutors at the Maze Undue a play on maison dieu, translated as house of god ironically enough know several old languages of Terra from a time that is more than 35, in the past! How does that work?
There was already too much of this angle in Prospero Burnswith secret societies and such, and it is no different here. The whole angle of Eisenhorn vs Ravenor does not even come into play until the last pages of the novel. He spends so much time with his setup, with the world-building, with laying out the game board, that his endings appear rushed and ill-thought out. As a friend put it, Pariah appears to be the first third of a much larger novel.
In fact, he has to do even world-building since his characters are all new! Pariah just plods along from place to place, character to character, until it becomes little more than a sightseeing novel and characters flash by without making any impact. What should have been the really good stuff, happens way too late, and is thus rushed to a very unsatisfactory conclusion.
This is all compounded by the rumour that the sequelPenitentwill not be out until Decemberwhich is a two-year wait. Does Pariah have any redeeming feature? The introduction of Eisenhorn is fantastic.
Given that the book takes place some hundred or so years after the events of Ravenor Rogue the third Ravenor novela lot has happened over the years, but Eisenhorn is just as memorable as he was in Hereticus the third Eisenhorn novel.
Just as memorable and just as bloody awesome of an ass-kicker. And then we have Cherubael, the daemonhost that Eisenhorn began using in Hereticusone of the reasons why he became a radical and an institutional pariah within the Ordo Xenos, and why he was declared Extremis Diabolus if memory serves correctly. Cherubael has one line in the entire book that comes close to making the entire book worth the wait, just one line, right at the end it is in fact the closing dialogue of the novel.
I do say comes close, but the negatives have already piled up far too much. To reiterate with emphasis: I do not mind reading a novel that focuses on the non-war side of the setting, a novel that is about the mystery and thrill of the setting, rather than the constant war, constant struggle in a lion-eat-lion type of setting.
My problem is when it is overdosed for the reader, like Pariah is. Just as with Prospero Burns, Pariah could really benefit from the first pages being cut down to about pages of material. All that chaff really drags the novel down. It was a downright struggle to read the book. Even Ravenor and his band, who had such a great outing in the first two Ravenor novels, are little more than stuck-up, full-of-themselves, self-righteous bastards here.
It seems Ravenor has become all about blind devotion, and a massive jerk in addition. And given that we only see him in like the last 20 pages or so, there is absolutely no redeeming climax to explain this change in behaviour.
Honestly, I cannot recommend the novel at all. It starts off as a novel that can really put someone to sleep. The middle is just a chaotic mess of tangled loyalties and betrayals.
The ending is so rushed that it is all a massive info-dump to explain away the Eisenhorn vs Ravenor theme. A mess of characters. Too much of the domestic. Read the novel if you really, really want to.
Otherwise, you are better of reading the Eisenhorn and Ravenor omnibuses. Shadowhawk is a regular contributor to TFF. A resident of Dubai, Shadowhawk reads, reads and reads. His opinions are always clear and concise.
His articles always worth reading. Childish although I suspect written for a younger audience when BL was a fledgling outfit. Angel of Fire is solid but not remarkable. I enjoyed it but not in my BL top 5 for The whole series even, the Bill King penned novels that is. The second book is quite weird and can drag on at times though. The less said about Sons of Fenris, the first book in the series penned by the writing duo named Lee Lightner, the better.
I find his work far more approachable than that of most other authors, whether inside or outside BL. I am afraid that I must take issue with both of these statements. This review could not be less concise if it tried.
It frankly rambles, stumbling from unrelated point to unrelated point. This is NOT a review — its a random jumble of stream of conciousness ranting that fails to do anything other than illustrate the authors ignorance. I say all of this because as TFF holds itself out as a major reviewing site, whose opinions should be trusted when it comes to Sci Fi literature in general and BL fiction in particular, then I feel it should set itself a fairtly high standard.
Shame on you all — you bring disrepute to the whole concept of blogging and reviewing, as well as the BL community in general. Ah Greg, you could not be cuter if you tried really hard. Shame on you for using a comment on a forum by someone who agrees with my views as the opener of your post.
About this article at least and some of the flaws within it. The comment is still pretty insulting — to the author and the website. Oh and another thing, a recommendation more like: Also, thank you for being mature enough to slag off all the people who work with the blog for my apparent mistakes.
I certainly can see you from your pariqh how mature the entire BL fan community is.
Alas, the times we are in. By the abnettt, when is your review blog going abnettt You left the group so suddenly and without a response to my challenge, except to tell half the people in the group that we needed therapy, desperately at that. Thank you so much for being a vocal representative of the fans.
You are the man. Whereas I stand by the relevance of ahnett points qbnett I made — spoilers, bad spelling and grammar etc, I fully acknowledge that the above could have been better expressed, and I have already apologised both to the reviewer and the site for the tone of my comments.
Suffice it to say that I was unimpressed. Then I truly feel sorry for you. Least of the points? And feel free to rant all day. The very point of the Inquisition is that humanity is always at war, they are beset by forces that defy explanation and that can only be fought and destroyed in the shadows. People will make up their own minds, no matter what anyone says semi-professionally on the internet. To each their own. What I do feel however is that a site like TFF, which is well known and often referred to by authors — I.