Book Review: Dark Imperium - Anthology

Title - Dark Imperium
Author - Anthology (9 Writers)
Year - 2001
Stand Alone or Series - Anthology W40K II
Pages - 288
Reading Time - 8 days (February 2011)
Rating - 8/10

Review and General Opinion
It's hard to review short stories. There are some brillant stories but others fail to impress me either because they are oo small or not that good. Some of them have spoilers.

Apothecary's Honour - Simon Jowett - 26Criticisms
Interesting story with a good character central character. It was my first story with this chapter (Avenging Sons) and I enjoy it. The apothecary do everything do save some of the gene-seed but in the end after saving it he is captured and come face to face a famous traitor space marine apotechary.

Daemonblood - Ben Counter - 26
This story is about vengence and repentace. Sister Aescarion of the Ebon Chalice pursues Castus a former ultramarine now turned champion of nurgle. This tale takes a span of several years which emphatise the feelings of sister Aescarion.  In the end the quest that seems about vengeance turns out to be about repentance.

Nightmare - Gav Thorpe - 10
This one was somewhat strange. It could be inserted here on 40k world as in the fantasy. A young boy is trouble by a voice in his dreams and because of that he was cast out of his village. This voice is the only friend his got. In this last dream the voice makes him go on an adventure or crusade against "evil" monsters. The ending is quite good. There are far worse foes than a daemon , well, what I am saying it's that a foe that deals with mind sometimes is worse that the one dealing with the flesh.

The Lives of Ferag Lion-Wolf - Barrington J Bayley - 12
One of the best stories on this anthologies. These tale is about Ferag Lion-Wolf a champion of Tzeentch and as he tells another pretender of his throne about his rise into the power he's got now. The ending was excelent and a twist you will not see it coming. Isn't Tzeentch also called the Great Betrayer? Is anything true?

Small Cogs - Neil Rutledge - 26
This tale depicts the Imperial Guard as they hold a position against the eldar. I didn't find this tale that interesting. The ending was not that good either. A bit of dissapointed and one of the weakest tales.

Angels - Robert Earl - 10
This tale is another that, with a small exception, could be fantasy. This tale had nothing in particular interesting and I didn't enjoy it. Then I thought better and I did enjoy it. This "Angels" are of course Space Marines as we all know it but as some tales say the space marines are just a myth to thousands upon thousand worlds. Very few people see space marines in their lifetime. The Imperium have a milion worlds and taking the account there are around 1000 chapters with 1000 space marines then the probabilities to see one are slim. These tale is set on a world without much technology and to see a space marine is quite something amazing. And in that viewpoint I enjoy the tale.

Hellbreak - Ben Counter - 20
This tale had Dark Eldars so how could it be a wrong tale? It's about a commissar that escapes the dark eldar and the he joins with other humans and try to escape. Knowing that to be impossibility they do everything to make a revenge for everything they did to them. It's quite interesting and the end it's quite good. The Dark Eldar society is not that forgiving and the end of this tale is about that. One of the Best.

Battle of the Archaeosaurs - Barrington J Bayley - 20
These tale is quite frightful. After sending two parties to reclaim the world without sucess they send a third party. This one has tanks and even two Titans. The book is quite good with the confrontation between the titan and the dinnosaurs's kind. The ending is the frightful thing. After failing with the two titans they decide to exterminate the planet. It's how we humans work? If we can't break someone spirit then we destroy it? Humans suck thats what Bayley said.

Know Thine Enemy - Gav Thorpe - 32
These tale takes us to the confrontation between the Salamanders Space Marines and the Eldar for a world where the eldar want a device. For what? Mankind with that thing that makes us unique (Curiosity) tries to unveil the mistery behind the device. The Eldar want it as well but for other purpose. The end is very good. Dark Eldar again.

The Wrath of Kharn - William King - 12
These tale is another gem of the book. William King is as anyone know one of the best writers writing for Black Library. Thank godness is coming back because Black Library needs him. Barrington Bayley was another that could have contributed more for Black Library. Unfortunally he only wrote Eye of Terror. This tale is a Chaos tale as Khorne Berserkers attack a Slanneshi cultists. I don't know if these tale could have been writen by anybode else. The language and images there are quite unique to the beginnings of Black Library

Ancient History - Andy Chambers - 34
With these tale I had hard time to get into. I must say that it was another story I didn't enjoy or didn't care.
Snares and Delusions - Matthew Farrer - 24
Word Bearers vs Eldar. Excelent. These tale is quite unique. With the view of a Word Bearers chaplain as he gets his chapter into war. It's quite good. The ending is delicious as well. Great addition to the book.

Hive Fleet Horror - Barrington J Bayley - 13
These tale is another gem of these book. Only these writer could do it. A view of Hive Fleet Kraken as it lay to waste another world. The ending is frightening. The ending of these tale tell us what we already know. The Empire will succumb eventually. Chaos as well. Eldar, Orks and even the almost undead Necron. They will all bow before the mighty Tyranids. Only the tyranids lasted forever. Excelent.

Criticism
Besides two or three stories I don't have a particulary criticism. The only one I could think of is why did Barrington Bayley stoped writing for Black Library? Or even William King or Brian Craig or Gordon Rennie? Bah

Good
There are excelent stories here. Some of them are way better that full-lenghted books. The stories of Barrington deserve a book for each story. They are excelent. I really hope that Black Library chiefs think what BL Fiction is about. These are the tales that made you special. Nice cover.

Conclusion
Excelent book. Anyone who enjoys Warhammer 40k should read these. Even outsiders could read three or four of them.
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