Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cold Roads

Cold Roads by Joe Parrino. A Warhammer 40K  short story, Day 2 of the 2014 Advent Calendar. Originally published by The Black Library, December 2014. Approx. 7 pages.

HachiSnax Note: Sorry these posts are getting to be fewer and further in between. I thought I was going to have more free time at my disposal than I actually seem to end up with. Also, another thing that I had planned on doing - reviewing all the entries in the Advent Calendar -  may not happen, as some of them offerings are turning out to be audiobooks. I might try reviewing one of them, I haven't decided yet. So again, thank you for your patience, and thanks always for stopping by. Cheers, Hach.

Day 2 of the Black Library Advent Calendar yields a Brazen Claws short by Joe Parrino. I was pretty excited about this, since he had such strong offerings with earlier shorts like Witness and No Worse Sin (also featuring the Brazen Claws). Parrino is a master of conveying the atmosphere of Chaos; adding Lovecraftian touches to the Warhammer 40K world, and painting his scenes with a robust palette of "colors that should not exist". This is why the Brazen Claws are the ideal Chapter for him to write about; a Chapter tasked to perpetually serve so close to the Warp.

In this story, we meet Techmarine Luveran Llir as he tries desperately to maintain the integrity of the titular ship, the Cold Roads, as it finds itself assailed by Slaanesh-worshiping forces, including none other than the Emperor's Children. This tale documents those final moments as he attempts to stave off succumbing to the call of Chaos. Standing along with a stout Terminator bodyguard, these last few moments will decide the fate of the entire ship.

Simple premise, flawless execution. There is very little more I can add to flesh out this review. Our two leads are interesting, there is some action, and the way Parrino presents how the allure of Chaos tugs at one so logic-oriented as a Techmarine is excellent. Other than that, this is an excellent portrayal of a descent into madness that offers readers what they truly want but rarely receive; a completely immersive journey into the universe being written about.

Final Score:


Cover Score:

It's just the Brazen Claws logo, but they have a pretty awesome one. And the rich colors make this a really eye-catching cover.

Cover Final Score:


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