Review: Desert Raiders - Lucien Soulban


Title Desert Raiders (Imperial Guard IV) The Battle for Skull Pass
Author Lucien Soulban
Pages 243
Year 2007
Publisher Black Library
Reading time 4 days (January 2008)
Rating 9 / 10

Having read the previous novels on this series, Fifteen Hours by Mitchel Scanlon, DeathWorld by Steve Lyons and Rebel Winter by Steve Parker and loved them all I had to read this one straight away. It does continue the good reputation of this series. As the previous novels brought to the ribald the Catachan Jungle Fighters or the Vostroyans or in the later novels the Valhallan Ice Warriors or Cadia this one brought the Tallarn Desert Raiders. I like reading about the Imperial Guard Armies. I must say I like more of them than the Space Marines.
This was the first book I read of Lucien Soulban (he wrote another book a year before called Fleshworks in the Necromunda setting which Ifailed to read so far) and I was impressed. I really hope to see more of him in the following years. (For the time sone he doesn't have any book to be release until January. Maybe Black Library will not give him another book. The other authors of the Imperial Guard are well estabelished... Steve Lyons that penned the Death Guard already wrote a lter novel called the Ice Guard and is going to write Dead Men Walking later in December. Steve Parker tht wrote Rebel Winter already wrote another book called Gunheads (also in the imperial series) Michael Scanlon who wrote the first book already penned the Descent of Angels in HH series and in the coming months will be releasing, this time in fantasy, Call to Arms. The last author Aaron Dembski-Bowden that penned Cadian Blood (Which I will review later) is a rising star in Black Libray because he going to release three books in one year, first Soul Hunter in Mars, HellReach in May and the First Heretic in November. But enough of this and lets talk about the review...

This book is a straight forward novel with a good plot. The plot is simple... a Enigmatic call for help in a planet and the Tallarn are sent to investigate. There they find they are not alone in the planet. That's where the tyrannids appear. Always love a good tyrannid battle and this one was not the exception. The ending was predictable and it was a good story that makes you think of time travel or such...
But the book is not all that straightforward. Being a new regiment composed of Turenag and Banna (arab/berbers alike) alliance there are some divergences (as it happenned in our own history when several arabs tribes allied). The author does a great job building the tension between them. When they find a Cavern filled with layers of verdant jungle both alliances want permision to colonize Khadar. That's when a new threat arrives... the Tyranid Horde. But who needs Tyranids when the humans are fighting themselves so nicely...
So as I said.. Half the book is about in-fighting between the Imperial Guard Regiment and the other is the fighting of the tyranids. Both are great.
In the end I enjoyed the book and it gave me a feeling of satisfying... As the previous novels I would advice you all to read this book if you want to read a good war/intrigue novel. (To 40k fans or not).
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