Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Review: The Purging of Kadillus

A Space Marines Battles Novel
Reviewed by Earl Davis

Faced with an ork invasion of Piscina IV, the 3rd Company of the Dark Angels believes the threat to be minimal. As enemy numbers continue to increase, their commander, Captain Belial, insists that his Company are strong enough to resist. But Scout-Sergeant Naaman knows just how dangerous this foe can be, and when a renewed greenskin offensive takes the Dark Angels by surprise, the orks swarm towards Kadillus Harbour. Little do the Dark Angels know of the technological power available to the xenos, and the true scale of the threat they face. Belial, Naaman and their fellow Astartes fight a desperate siege at Kadillus, knowing that they must hold out until Imperial reinforcements arrive or the planet will be lost.


Fiction should be immersive. Period. There are no exceptions to this rule. The sweetness of Turkish Delight, the smell of salt and sailor funk from the deck of the Bounty, the stillness in the air as young Wart slides the blade from the anvil have been experienced by millions of readers. Successful fiction authors do not tell stories. They open doors.

The Purging of Kadillus is a door. When I knocked, Gav Thorpe answered with fresh baked cookies and a smile.

I have two pages of notes that I took while reading this novel. I started this review fully prepared to rave about the brilliant characters. I wanted to detail the finely crafted imagery and map out the bits and beats that Thorpe uses like a shiny lure to pull the little fishy (me) along, but that would be doing him a disservice. In his tale of the Dark Angels and their defense of the besieged world of Kadillus, Thorpe transcends the common and sometimes clich├ęd language of the standard book review.

Imagine a grown, thirty-year old man lying in bed reading. It’s dark because the daylight has long since faded and only a small lamp illuminates the room. A comforter is pulled over his head concealing him from the approaching Ork invasion force. He doesn’t dare move because movement means death and a death without tactical advantage serves neither the Lion nor the Emperor.

That’s how I found myself experiencing the purging of Kadillus and the best praise I can think of is to simply say: Thank you Gav Thorpe.

Everyone who enjoys science fiction or war stories should be reading this novel. Kudos goes out to the Black Library for green lighting it. It deserves far greater exposure than it has received thus far.

4 out of 5 stars

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