Treacheries Of The Space Marines edited by Christopher Dunn. Book review

TREACHERIES OF THE SPACE MARINES edited by Christopher Dunn, Black Library, p/b/ €10.50, http://www.blacklibrary.com/

Reviewed by David Rudden

The fourth in a series of anthologies focusing on the Space Marines, ‘Treacheries’ focuses rather unsurprisingly on the darker side of humanity’s defenders. (‘When Space Marines Go Wild’ was discussed as a title, and then dismissed) Anthologies like this are always hit-and-miss; for every gem you come across, there’ll always be a lacklustre, by-the-numbers effort. Unfortunately with ‘Treacheries’, the bad far outweighs the good.

The majority of these stories are forgettable, the details blurring into each other a few moments after you’ve finished reading. There’s also a couple of reprints and the text of an audiobook, which is nice I suppose if you’re not a huge fan of audiobooks (which I’m not) but which also strikes me as a bit lazy. A few of the stories are entertaining; Matthew Farrer’s and David Annandale’s are solid, and Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s is good if you haven’t already shelled out for the audiobook or MP3. Anthony Reynolds’ story sees the return of two relatively vintage Black Library characters, which I was pleased to see if only for nostalgia’s sake.

My pick of the bunch would have to be Farrer’s; it’s got an imaginative voice and has a touch of humour as well. However the fact remains that for the price this is a very patchy affair. I’d read three of the stories before and only one of the rest was in any way interesting. Give this one a miss.