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Helsreach

A Warhammer 40K Space Marines novel

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Urban Warfare, 40K Style

  • Oct 4, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+4
Aaron Dembski-Bowden gives Warhammer 40K fans a look into the violent lives of the Black Templar chapter of the Space Marines in "Helsreach," a Space Marine Battles Novel.

Newly dubbed Reclusiarch Grimaldus and his band of Black Templar Space Marines are sent to the planet Armageddon to aid the Imperial Guard in defense of Hive Helsreach.  Their main objective is to prevent xenos invaders from taking control of Hel's Highway, the road that passes straight through the heart of the city.  As always, it's a suicide mission, and the odds are greatly stacked against the Templars.

The xenos, for those unfamiliar with the Warhammer 40K universe, are a vile group of orks and other alien creatures that pose a great threat to mankind.  They are intent on overtaking every planet they encounter and destroying the Empire at all costs.

The Templars join forces with the Imperial Guard and others in an attempt to hold off the xenos long enough for reinforcements to come in and help them finally push the xenos off of the planet.  Grimaldus also sets out to find a legendary super weapon to drive the xenos off of the planet for good.

Dembski-Bowden, much like he did in his book "Cadian Blood," does a wonderful job of littering this story with an excellent assortment of supporting characters.  While the primary focus is on Grimaldus as he attempts to come to terms with the fact the he is the newest Reclusiarch of the Templars and that he's most likely not going to survive his first mission as such, other Templars and individuals also get a decent presentation in this story.  From the hotheaded, sword-wielding Priamus to the brave and noble Bastilan, many of the Templars are fleshed out for the reader.  Other supporting characters like Colonel Sarren and Dockmaster Maghernus also get plenty of space on the page, and make this story that much better for it. 

Of particular interest is the stormtrooper named Andrej.  He provides some much needed humor in an otherwise dark tale.

Fans of the Space Marines will enjoy this book for its nonstop gore, brutality, and violence.  While it delves a bit deeper into the Templars emotionally than other Space Marine novels, it stays loyal to the sci-fi military action that has made this series so popular.

This is pulp science fiction served on a platter, so don't come into this tale expecting "Moby Dick."  Highly recommended to sci-fi action fans and anyone who enjoys a good shoot'em up.

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Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #17
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Wiki



When the world of Armageddon is attacked by orks, the Black Templars Space Marine Chapter are amongst those sent to liberate it. Chaplain Grimaldus and a band of Black Templars are charged with the defence of Hive Helsreach from the xenos invaders in one of the many battlezones. But as the orks numbers grow and the Space Marines dwindle, Grimaldus faces a desperate last stand in an Imperial temple. Determined to sell their lives dearly, will the Black Templars hold on long enough to be reinforced, or will their sacrifice ultimately be in vain.

- Black Library.com

While I am familiar on a basic level with the Black Templars I don’t know all the details of the major characters, so walking in to this novel I’m almost a BT newbie.

In a lot of ways, Black Templars are the epitome of what many folks consider Space Marines – borderline psychopathic, bio-engineered supermen who kill in the name of the crusade and the Emperor. Period, full stop. Have no doubts boys and girls, these guys are bastards. The comparison scenes with the Salamanders Chapter was telling: the Salamanders are one of the most humane of chapters – protecting the citizens is kept firmly in mind. For the Black Templars, its going off to kill stuff and why are these damn civilians in the way?!? Grimaldus is pretty much the worst and the best of these. His detachment is telling; you can see how a person has been altered in such a way that they are really no longer human anymore – ...

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