Warhammer 40,000: The Gildar Rift by Sarah Cawkwell. Book review

WARHAMMER 40,000: THE GILDAR RIFT by Sarah Cawkwell, Black Library, £8.99

Reviewed by Steve Dean

The Silver Skulls space marines control the Gildar System and the rift of the title. Huron Blackheart and his Chaos forces have variously infiltrated and invaded the system, and start a full scale attack. The Silver Skulls’ fleet of space ships arrives and more marines are deployed on the planets within the system. Battle is joined in space and on the ground.

Meanwhile, on board the Silver Skulls’ flag ship, an important project is under way that must be completed, diverting precious resources from the fight.

Never, in all my reading days, and they are many, has an author took such promising material and made it so dull. Two gargantuan space ships flying towards each other all guns blazing, and it reads like a shopping list. Eggs, marge, tuna, forward shields…

The characters aren’t that much better, central casting was certainly busy that day. Not a single one of them stands out as memorable in any way, even the arrogant fool who gets himself killed.

The pacing, and the narrative, does pick up a little as we move further into the novel, but never enough to rescue it. This is one of the those Space Marine Battles novel, the others of which have been pretty good. But this one just doesn’t work. I don’t know, maybe it’s me, maybe I’m jaded by all the books I’m forced to read for you, gentle reader. But, in my opinion, give this one a miss.