Morvox, General Nethata
I don’t really know what I thought of Wrath of Iron. After reading Gav Thorpe’s novels on the Dark Angels, I was extremely excited to get stuck into another Space Marine Battle Novel, as The Purging of Kadillus was so brilliant! However, for me, this book did not live up to that expectation. Nevertheless, it does not mean that I did not enjoy it.
The novel tells the tale of The Iron Hands and their allies- The Imperial Guard and the Titan Battlegroup Praxes. The Space Marines and their allies are sent to purge the world of Shardenus, which comes under the control of the Chaos Gods. Shardenus is an industrial waste with most of its inhabitants living underground to avoid the poisonous fumes that inhabit the world’s surface. The synopsis sets the book up to be an epic battle. The Marines are tasked with breaking into the planet’s underbelly, fighting off Daemons and Mutants and finally, destroying the Chaos Leader that is corrupting the world. However, I felt the one problem that let this epic-ness down was the Iron Hands!
I have never really read into the Iron Hands before this book. The chapter revolves around the belief that the human form is weak and that the only way they, as machines of war, can overcome this weakness is to literally become machines. The Iron Hands do this by firstly removing one of their hands and replacing it with an iron one. Then over their many decades of service, they remove other body parts and replace them with implants and machines. This leads to many of the Marines losing their human feelings and compassion. I think this explains why I didn’t take to this book as much as I did with other Space Marine novels. This is because there is no real depth to any of the Iron Hands as they have no real feelings or back story. I thought that as a reader, you didn’t get any real feel for who the Iron Hands are, like you do in other Space Marine Battle novels. I also think this is why the book is taken up with the stories of The Imperial Guard and the Titans, as much as it is with the Iron Hands. I think this is because without these subplots in the novel, the plot of the Iron Hands would have only taken about 100 pages to read.
Nevertheless, as an author and writer, I really liked Chris Wraight and when the Iron Hands did get interesting towards the end, his description of the gory battle and their last push really captivated me and made me want to read more of his novels.
All in all, I felt a little disappointed with this book but I think this is because I am not a fan of the Iron Hands, however, the ending is great and definitely made this book worth a read. I would suggest it to anyone who is a Warhammer 40k fan, specifically if you’re an Iron Hands player. I’d also suggest it if you like sci-fi and have never read a Warhammer 40k novel before. The Space Marines Battle series is a great way to get into the wonderful world of Warhammer, so why not give one of the excellent novels in the series a try!
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