Sunday 28 July 2013

Book Review: Deathwatch

Author: Steve Parker.
40k Focus: Deathwatch kill team.
Plot: The Ordo Xenos investigates strange occurrences on a backwater mining planet. Little did they know of the threat that lay beneath.....they turn to those who know how to deal with the situation best: the Deathwatch.
Legibility/Flow: 9/10.
Depth of story: 9/10.
Reader Engagement: 9/10.
Overall: 9/10

No doubt about this one. It is a must read. It is the first Deathwatch novel that I have read and, in my own opinion, it was awesome. Everyone loves a good Space Marine battle but they become tiresome after a while. When first reading this I was afraid that it would turn into a long and drawn out story about how awesome and unstoppable a Space Marine is. Not so. Parker has defined the Deathwatch perfectly. Secrecy and frustration surround the order and even the most experienced Space Marine veteran is confounded by the teachings and drills required by the watch for initiation. 
I Particularly enjoyed the background information on the recruitment, training and squad selection for the Deathwatch. You really get a sense about the bitter rivalries, and in some cases: hatred, between the different chapters. Karras, the main character of the story, is pretty awesome in both his violent use of psychic powers in battle and the fact that he is also a scholar. Plus he comes from a rather insignificant chapter (go the underdog!). The supporting characters are cool to in the way that they bring mixed skills and attitudes towards their missions. I have never been drawn to Space Marines as an army to collect but this book has raised my interest in a particular chapter immensely: the Exorcists. Once you read the book you will understand why.

Futhermore, one of the great parts of the novel is that you get a real sense of how the Inquisition operates. They are brutal, secretive and uncaring in their practices. Even the mighty Space Marines don't like them and clash regularly with their inquisitor commander. You really get a feel for the frustration felt by the Astartes when controlled by their Inquisitorial minder. I won't ruin any of the twists but I will say that they caught me by surprise. 

The only reason why I didn't give it a 10/10 is because I thought that the novel left a few questions unanswered. This was, hopefully, written that way by Parker in the hope of writing sequels but overall some of the most simple stuff could have easily been addressed throughout the story.

Overall, I seriously recommend this book. If you are interested in how the Inquisition or Deathwatch operate then it is a mandatory read. I look forward to delving into more novels related to their operations and hope Parker will release a sequel to this awesome story.


  1. there are two short stories of talon squad by set 3 years in watch service and the other six years in..they are called exhumed and headhunted...they are awesome if u read deathwatch because you know karras,voss,zeed,rauth,solarion and chyron by now


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