Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Outcast Dead

It's been a couple of weeks since I finished reading this one, and for those of you keeping track, yes I have missed out a book!

So the Outcast Dead is written by Graham McNeill and is mostly set on Terra. It follows the misfortunes of Kai Zulane who is an unhappy astropath. I found it really hard to get into this book, and this is going to sound bad, but it's mostly because there weren't enough marines and not enough war! It started off at an extremely pedestrian pace and it wasn't until the final few chapters that it picked up.

I can see where the book is coming from, trying to give us something from a different angle about a faction of the imperium that hadn't been covered in any great detail yet, but I feel that other books have done a better job with other factions, such as what Mechanicum did for the mechanicus.

Now that the negative points are out of the way I'll leave you with the positives! If you like Custodes then you won't be disappointed, there's tons of cool fight scenes where they get to kick serious ass and there's also an ancient warrior who makes an appearance. I won't say anything more than that otherwise it might spoil it for you. The final stand out piece for me was Zulane playing chess with the Emperor.

It was in no way a bad book, it just wasn't what I'd expected from the Horus Heresy, I think Dorn was the only Primarch in it, and for that I'll give it a 4/10. Hopefully over the next few days I'll get round to writing a quick review of Age of Darkness.


  1. See, harsh but fair. I'd never have rated it as low as a 4, bout I agreed quite a bit with your analysis and comments.

    My biggest problem was not knowing enough about the Outcast Dead. I hope I didn't just miss something somewhere, but what made them traitors, who were they, what were the doing on Terra to begin with? As I write these questions I realise I must have missed something...

    6/10, the problems in the book must lay with me and I loved the concept of the Thunder Lord, hope he turns up (as a hero) during the siege of Terra.

  2. Jamster,
    The Outcast dead were on various secondments, chances are given a different day they may have ended up in Garro's team, in the audio books he has a World Eater on board. The Thunder Lord, a brooding, dying resentful leader who is trying to prolong his life and condones hanging his enemies from meat hooks until they rot off? Nah not hero material. Definitely agree that this is one of those minor books with some good 'insight' into the background of the M30, Agree with Mechanicum, the intriguing book is Legion, Just into Fear to Tread and nearly finished Deliverance Lost on the second read through. I would like more insight into Night Lords and Iron Warriors.

  3. Whilst I see the Thunder Lord is not hero material per se. I think he may choose to fight against the Traitor Legions during the siege of Terra, rather than see his master defeated. May swing the other way though. :)
    They were all together, (The Outcast Dead) at the start of the book on the run already, that's when the 1k Son turned them in. Deliverance Lost is great so far (page 130). Yeah, there are still a lot of Legions we need to hear about (White Scars!!), Iron Warriors would be cool, I loved the story in Age of Darkness.