Monday, July 25, 2016

New Novella Review - The Gates of Azyr

Novella - The Gates of Azyr
Writer - Chris Wraight   
Series - Warhammer : Age of Sigmar   
Published By - Black Library
Despite my reservations, I was planning on checking out the this novella for a long while now, due to it being the first story set in the new Warhammer setting 'Age of Sigmar'. And for once, I am wondering if I should have bothered? This is just a new kind of bolter-porn, meaning mindless action sequence after action sequence with almost no character development or intrigue. And this got quite boring pretty quickly and seemed like a drag despite its short length.

So, the war is finally over, and the Mortal Realms have all but fallen to Chaos... Khorgos Khul rampages across the fiery Realm of Aqshy, hunting down last few of the mortal kind to slaughter or subjugate to Khorne. His Goretide have crushed all resistance, then comes the stormand with it hurtle paladins clad in gold. Sent by Sigmar, the Stormcast Eternals have come to liberate all the realms from the yoke of Chaos
First we witness a brief appearance of the so called saviors, then we get to see some of the surviving mortals being hunted by followers of Khorne and get to see a part of the bleak world left in the aftermath of a long lost war. Then we get introduced to the bad guys and the battle starts. There was many room for improving the story, we got a glimpse of the backstory/ past lives of Vandus and Ionus, and quite sadly the author did not elaborate. So we never got the chance to emotionally involve with their quest. Sadly most of the other characters were even more bare-boned in characterization and development. The only one who was quite interesting was the main villain Khul and as a reader I almost could understand his reason for the struggle and to be honest at times I hoped he would win.

The action sequences were quite well detailed and imaginative at times but there was far too much emphasis on them to make this what you call a bit of 'hammer-porn'. The Eternals are molded like the Space marines of the 40k series and I do get the appeal there, but deciding to make them brainwashed puppet just didn't work for me. The Goretide were far more interesting as adversaries and shows signs of being ever more in the future.

The plot and setting does hint at interesting things for the future and I might check out some of the future stories based on intuitions but this novella as a single story does lack a lot in terms of almost everything and something I cannot recommend except to die hard Black Library fans or fans of the author. 

This one I can only give 2.5 out of 5 stars

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