Baneblade by Guy Haley - Book Review [Shadowhawk]
Shadowhawk reviews the first Black Library novel by author/editor Guy Haley.
In this void steps Guy Haley
, author of multiple SF novels and a former editor of GW's own White Dwarf magazine
, with his
first novel for Black Library
And this one is almost all about the big-scale tank battles, the kind that you imagine play out in your head while you are tabletop gaming with entire divisions of tanks.
After reading Guy
's Champion of Mars from Solaris Books last year, I remarked that the way Guy had written the novel in terms of both theme and vibe made him a really good fit to write some Warhammer 40k fiction.
And a few short weeks after that he
did announce that very thing, much to my elation.
Having finally read the book, I feel even more elated since with Baneblade he
has justified my high expectations of his
work and now I definitely want to read more from him.
In fact, he
has a Warhammer Fantasy novel coming out quite soon, Skarsnik, and he
has another 40k novel scheduled for later this year, Death of Integrity, which is a Space Marine Battles novel.
Fun stuff all around.
Getting back to Baneblade, what makes the novel stand out is the amount of detail that Guy
has put in it.
We all look at Hard SF as a subgenre where we get to read some "real science" or "highly plausible science", and in quite a bit of detail too.
The genre isn't all to my tastes exactly, and I've had a mixed response to it in the last eight months (specifically), but I'm always up to read more in it.
has done something that is very similar in Baneblade.
Whenever there is an extended scene involving the Baneblade (or variant) superheavy tanks in the novel, there is almost always quite a bit of detail involved: how the tank works, the various systems, what the characters are seeing on their command screens.
I look at Hard SF as a genre that doesn't just have "real/highly plausible science" but also one where the details that the author puts in reflect the inner workings of the setting.
In that vein, Michael A. Stackpole's Star Wars: X-wing novels also qualify, given how well he
describes aerial and space combat with the X-wings and other starfighters common to that era in the setting.
In a few short words, Guy Haley
manages to capture the grandiosity of the Warhammer 40,000 setting itself, where behemoths like the Baneblade and its ilk fight alongside tens of meters tall giant walkers and kilometers-long cruisers engage in void warfare.
In 40k, everything that can be is increased to giant proportions and that is exactly what is reflected here in first two paragraphs of the novel.
There could not have been a better start to the novel, as the rest of the prologue continues to show.
In a way, the prologue is a peek at one of the holiest and well-kept secrets of the Adeptus Mechanicus (the galaxy-spanning organisation that creates and manages all of the Imperium of Man's
technology, most of it at any rate).
By the end of the novel, I was left wanting more, and while there is a tie-in short story (Stormlord), I really want there to be a full-fledged sequel.
style is a good fit for the setting, and he
is able to capture the more technical aspect of it as well, something that can carve out his
niche within the entire 40k range of fiction, if he
continues on with it.
Posted in: Black Library, Military SF, Review, Science Fiction, Warhammer 40K Tags: 2013 Release, 40k, Baneblade, Black Library, Book Review, Guy Haley, Imperial Guard, Military SF, Science Fiction, Shadowhawk, Space Opera, Tanks Tanks Tanks, Warhammer 40000, Warhammer 40k, WarhammerW