Thoughts on…Overfiend by David Annandale
Overfiend is another instalment of one of my favourite Black Library series, Space Marine Battles. It is written by one my favourite BL authors, and one of the most prolific at the moment, David Annandale.
The book contains three fairly equally sized stories that form a sequential narrative of a plan to lure the Ork Warboss, the Overfiend, in to a trap and kill him. For those of you who know the background, the Overfiend is the leader of the Ork Empire of Octarius that has been locked in perpetual warfare with Hive Fleet Leviathan for many years.
The three stories are:
- Storm Seer – follows the White Scars on a small moon in the system. The main focus is that of the Storm Seer (unsurprisingly) Ghazan as his visions show him an unlikely path to what he must do, much to his commander’s annoyance. A running theme throughout the stories is an encounter with the Eldar that begins to unravel a series of mysteries.
- Shadow Captain – following the Raven Gard as they fight against the Orks on the main planet in the system. The Eldar show up in force in this story and there is an uneasy alliance between them and the Raven Guard. This story reveals why the Orks are here and what is making them stronger and tougher than normal.
- Forge Master – this is the strongest of the three books and follows the Salamanders as they board the Overfiend’s flagship to save an Elder Farseer. What makes it the best though is the relationship between the two Salamander ‘brothers’, the Techmarine Ha’garen and the Sergeant Ba’Birin
I must admit that I struggled to get in to the first story and it took me quite a while to get through it. However the questions the story posed towards the end led me wanting to read the other two and the overall story arc really shone through across the books.
What really impressed me was how the author managed to make each of the Space Marine Chapters feel so distinct. I don’t mean just in terms of the way they waged war, but also around their personalities and philosophies. It made them surprisingly more human and easy to understand than in some Space Marine focused novels.
Another real positive for me was the involvement of the Eldar. There is a range of different Eldar involved in the stories and all of them are distinct in what they were and what they wanted to achieve. This added a good deal of mystery to the stories as you weren’t quite sure when (or even if) the two sides were going to come to blows.
Overall I think this is a really good set of stories and more of a thinking mans novel than many of the others in the Space Marine Battles series. I particularly recommend if you are a fan of any of the chapters involved or of the Eldar.
If you like this try…
The Beast Arises Series – starting with I am Slaughter