Friday, August 24, 2012

Audiobook Review: Perfection by Nick Kyme

I’m going the lazy way with this particular audio drama from Black Library and just copying the official description, and long-time readers can probably guess why:

Under siege from Chaos Space Marines of the Emperor’s Children, survival for the world of Vardask looks bleak. Matters worsen with the arrival of the World Eaters of Khorne, but when the Champions of Slaanesh are slowly murdered in mysterious circumstances the enmity of the rival warbands threatens to turn them on one another on a scale not seen since the aftermath of the Horus Heresy. Are there no depths to which the scions of Fulgrim will not stop in pursuit of true perfection?

When I use the official blurb it usually means that the plot wasn’t particularly memorable, and that the review isn’t going to be particularly positive. There are exceptions – but this isn’t one of them. It’s a shame because one of my first audio drama’s from Black Library was Nick Kyme’s Fireborn, which remains one of my favorites. Fireborn was a self-contained adventure, easy for a newcomer to pick up and enjoy. Unfortunately, Perfection is the exact opposite. At this point, I feel like I should be well versed enough in the Warhammer 40,0000 universe that I ought to be able make out who’s fighting whom in the fiction – unfortunately, I could never determine that in this story. It seems that two different legions of Chaos marines are fighting on Vardask – but I never did figure out against whom. I guess it doesn’t really matter anyway, since that’s not the focus of the story.

Instead, it seems to be about a small group that’s slowly getting whittled down, and they think that it’s either an assassin or someone from the other Chaos Marine legion. There area couple of interesting fights against this assassin – it may have been an Eldar, so maybe that’s whom they’re supposed to be fighting on this world – and those had some sparks of interest for me – but unfortunately, there’s just way too much of the bickering between brothers who don’t trust each other for me to have cared after the first chapter or two. And because of that, I didn’t really care about the “shock” ending – not because it wasn’t shocking (I certainly didn’t guess), but because I didn’t care about any of these characters, what difference did it make.

Perfection felt like it was trying to be a prologue to another story, or to set up some future book where Nick Kyme plans to bring the Champions of Slaanesh up again (perhaps they’re the mortal enemies of his Salamanders?) – but as a stand-alone it just didn’t work for me at all.


Howard Sherman said...

With some books -- or audiobooks -- you just can't win. There can't be gold at the end of every rainbow. I like the suspenseful aspects but must agree with you that too much of anything -- as in life and in books -- is not a good thing. Too much bickering is too much for me. Thanks for the honest review!

Sara Bellum said...

Was it the performance or was it the story that caused you to be confused as to who was fighting who? I suppose the bottom line is that they were unable to make the characters worth your time. A pity.

Its in the bag