Black Library Card: The Outcast Dead by Inquisitor Hardback

11 Jan

Hello children, my name is Inquisitor Hardback. Over the coming weeks (thanks to the trans-dimensional aural resonance of my psychic choir), we will be peering into several volumes from inside the Black Library, prior to your mandatory Meme wipe and purity seal-realignment. This time, we will be looking at The Outcast Dead, the latest instalment in the Horus Heresy series of books. Are you sitting comfortably in your restraints? Well then, I shall begin…

A secret can change the course of a war, and the right secret can win it.

In The Outcast Dead, Graham McNeill (Fulgrim, False Gods, and A Thousand Sons) delivers another fast-paced instalment in the Horus Heresy series. The novel follows Kai Zulane, an Astropath trapped by his own guilt and regret, who has a secret buried deep inside him. As with all of the Horus Heresy Novels, this one doesn’t fail to deliver its fair share of exciting, frenetic action, and plot twists that will keep you guessing right until its final revelation.

In the hands of a lesser author, Zulane could have ended up another stereotypical Astropath (everyone knows that an Astropath’s head explodes at the first whiff of any kind daemonic activity, right?), but instead we are welcomed not only inside his mind, but also into the secret workings of this occult and secretive branch of the Astropathic Order.

As the stakes are continually ratcheted up, readers are consistently invited to question the story. Who is good, who is evil? No comfortable answers come readily to hand; especially in the case of the Astartes that are forced to escape with Kai Zulane. These seven warriors are held prisoner simply because their brother legions have turned renegade, and yet they still consider themselves loyal to the Imperium.

As usual, in the Horus Heresy novels, the overarching storyline is shot through with the titanic struggles of gods and men. The lesser players, much like the protagonist in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, are left simply guessing at what the leads are doing on the main stage, and having to deal with the consequences of that fall out in the wake of these earthshaking actions.

This is another welcome episode in what is building to be one of the most exciting and epic stories ever attempted in science fiction literature. I look forward to seeing which titanic conflict Graham McNeil will take us to next in the series.

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3 Responses to “Black Library Card: The Outcast Dead by Inquisitor Hardback”

  1. Matt Kirk January 11, 2012 at 23:33 #

    I really enjoyed this thanks. Nicely written without spolers but with plenty of flavour. Looking forward to reading your next one.

  2. BadBoy January 13, 2012 at 14:15 #

    McNeil is good, but he isn’t anywhere near the real heavyweight that is Abnett

  3. Jimmy To January 16, 2012 at 13:49 #

    I found it a very hard to get into book frst 100 pages very slow but 2nd half much better

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