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Friday, 20 May 2011

That's a waste of a perfectly good Gav Thorpe!


Please note. This post contains almost 100% personal opinion and should not be interpreted as fact in even the loosest sense of the word!

Now I know that Mr Thorpe is a contentious subject for a lot of GW fans, (especially those of you who disagree with his efforts on the fantasy elf army books) but I'm going to come right out swinging and just say it:

This book aside, Gav is one of the black library's better authors.

Hear me out peeps. I've heard a lot of grumblings about this guy over the past few years, the most common being things like:

He powned the chaos space marines codex!

Speed of Asuryan makes High Elves supergay!

Dark elves are broken!

and

I don't understand the Dow Jones price index!

are only a few of the plethoric complaints that I have seen levelled against the unfortunate Mr Thorpe. However fellow gamers, if I might interrupt your ungrateful, monosyllabic flow for the briefest of moments:

Shhhhh.

Big boys need to talk now.

Faceless internet scorn must be put on hold while somebody who can spell his own name and use an apostrophe correctly attempts to cultivate a coherent thought.

Consider, if you will, Gav Thorpe. He was a games developer with the workshop when most of you hacks were beginning your formal education, (Which will be henceforth and from this moment onward be referred to as 'finding out that you were borderline autistic, or afflicted with serious learning difficulties that resulted in you subsequently using phrases like IMHO before excreting a half-formed, ill-advised opinion that is in no way humble'). Whether you like it or not, he has contributed to shaping the GW portion of the hobby as we know it and so deserves at least a modicum of respect from even the staunchest and most unreasonable of safely anonymous internet lobbyists.

I make a point of trying to remember that I'm different from the hordes of slavering, herophobic, reactionary ingrates that so readily prey on the successful in a misguided attempt to elevate themselves amongst the dross that is their immediate internet peer group.
'I'm not one of those devolved, barely-literate homunculus beards that mash their keyboard with a misshapen, bestial paw - bereft of opposable digit -the first time somebody does, or says something that I disagree with!' I tell myself, in vain.
Then I remember that I've just read 'The purging of Kadillus' and fight to prevent a rectal prolapse at the unwelcome recollection.

Understand something, I'm a big fan of Gav's other BL books to date. His Malekith stuff's ok. The last chancers is a cracking, darkly atmospheric read that everyone should try and 'Path of the warrior' is simply superb; the best Eldar book of them all, hands down!

What was it then, that possessed him to write this identikit monstrosity about the most overexposed of all 40K races, the Space Marines? I can understand that he would want to continue writing about the characters from his previous - and very good - Dark Angels book. I don't even have a problem with the prequel aspect of the book that I usually avoid in any medium. What I object to is somebody taking a rather pedestrian epic 40K battle, some anonymous, 2D characters that were flimsy to begin with and sewing the whole mess together with sticky, turgid prose.

Unlike the dramatis personae of recent BL books such as Dead men walking by Steve Lyons, Rogue Star by Andy Hoare, Malus Darkblade by the inestimable Mike Lee and Just about anything by Dan Abnett or Aaron Dembski Bowden, I find myself not caring about the Dark Angels, or anyone else in this story at all.

As far as I'm concerned, this book didn't need its own name. Some functional nomenclature like Formulaic Space Marine title number 30379 would have sufficed; such was my lack of interest, or involvement with the plot. For me, this is Gav Thorpe's poorest literary showing for GW, but incredibly it could be worse!

It's still got miles on the Word bearers by Anthony Reynolds.

If he ever even so much as thinks about vomiting out another of those 'written word urine samples' that he has the affront to refer to as novels, then I will personally undertake a study of the dark arts for the express purpose of creating a cantrip whose only use is metamorphosing his ear into a rectum, so that subsequent poos will terminate on his shoulder.

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