Gav is back and moves the Horus Heresy along with a dastardly tale of intrigue and redemption. The Raven Guard get their time in the limelight but they better watch their backs…
At their worst, a Horus Heresy novel wastes valuable opportunities and miss out on chances to really give insight to either the Heresy as a whole (see Battle for the Abyss), or individual Legions (see the Dark Angels novels). At their best, they open up Imperial organizations in ways we never expected (see Mechanicum), or see Legions we thought we knew in an entirely new light (see Legion, or Prospero Burns). In Deliverance Lost Gav gives us some good solid work on both sides of that positive equation.
Deliverance Lost picks up in the aftermath of the Dropsite Massacre, with the Raven Guard and Corax shattered both physically and mentally, trying to claw a way forward to relevance and reforge thier ability to serve the Emperor.
But, as they escape the clutches of the Warmaster, they unknowingly bring along Alpha Legion infiltrators with them. Secrets are revealed, the Emperor makes an appearance, and most importantly Gave moves the story of the Heresy and the Alpha Legion forward. For the first time since Legion, the tale of the Alpha Legion and the choices of their master advances. Some BIG revelations are revealed, and by the end, you are left wanting more.
From a writing standpoint, Gav still has that same stop and go issue with pacing, continuing from the style we saw with the Eldar series. Some sections of the novel drag on needlessly for long periods, while huge amounts of action and plot advancement sometimes get crammed into a tiny number of pages. It all closes out well and the novel is well paced in its last third, but don’t be surprised by some slow bumps along the way.
On balance, I really liked it. We get great reveals for both Alpha Legion and Raven Guard. We gain great insight into the leadership and background of both Legions, and uncover yet more background of the Emperor’s character and labors.
Let’s just say without spoiling anything that this book leaves open the question of what if anything Guilliman really “killed” on Eskrador (see Index Astartes Volume IV), and the Alpha Legion’s potential unique recruiting abilities even down to the “current” 40th Millenia…
Get it, 4 Stars (out of 5)