- Author: Peter Feherhari
- Series: Dark Coil #1
- Genre: Sci-fi/Horror
- No. of pages: 400
- Year published: 2019
- Publisher: Black Library
- Dates read: 23.10.19 – 01.11.19
- Rating: 4 stars
So, my first foray with Warhammer 40,000 novels.
Plot: On a distant world, an obscure order of the Adepta Sororitas study their founder’s visions. They live in solitude… which is about to be broken as danger approaches. The Adepta Sororitas of the Last Candle have stood vigil over their sanctuary world for centuries, striving to decipher their founder’s tormented visions. Outsiders are unwelcome… yet still they come. Decimated by an encounter with a lethal xenos entity, the survivors of an elite Astra Militarum company have journeyed to the Candleworld in search of healing, escorted by a woman who is no stranger there – Sister Hospitaller Asenath Hyades, who turned her back on the order decades ago. As the seekers near the sect’s bastion, malign forces begin to stir among the planet’s storm-wracked spires, but the most insidious shadows lie in their own souls.
Firstly, thank you Netgalley and Black Library for the opportunity to read and review this book.
I went into this novel knowing nothing about Warhammer 40,000 and I didn’t feel like I needed any real knowledge of what it was going into it. I think if I did it would have made me understand the titles and the groups of people a lot easier but I still thoroughly enjoyed it regardless.
I loved seeing religion and sci-fi work alongside each other. I loved all the religious scenes more than the scenes which were geared more towards sci-fi. I was just so intrigued by the idea of a heavily devout religious group thriving in a heavy science setting.
The representation of POC and woman was amazing! You have POC and women in power, leading, taking charge. You had both men and women who were complicated characters and also, you had men who showed vulnerability and emotion which was great to see.
The prose was amazing! Since my copy was an ARC I won’t quote the novel but let me tell you the writing was beautiful and harrowing. The atmosphere created was haunting and I loved the imagery Fehervari invoked through his writing. I personally loved all the scenes set in the hospital to me there is nothing creepier than a hospital at night.
I enjoyed reading Hyades’ letters at the beginning of every chapter. I felt they really helped in creating an atmosphere as it sets the scene for the oncoming chapter.
I loved the constant use of flashbacks it really helped us understand our characters. With each flashback, we tear away at another layer of our character’s backstory or personality. I loved exploring these characters in-depth and finding out what exactly happened that turned them into the version we meet in the present.
The world-building was amazing and helped me understand a universe I had never seen or heard of before. The descriptions conjured up amazing imagery so I felt that I was physically there on the ship or in the centre of town, it was that good. I do feel due to my lack of knowledge of Warhammer 40k that I did miss out on some key places mentioned but still, I loved the planet of Vytarn in all its creepy glory.
Throughout this book, I had a very strong desire to keep reading. I would read it every morning before work and then the minute I got home late into the night. I would think about the book and what the possible answers could be to the conundrum affecting our characters all the time, I was that invested.
Sadly, up until 3/4 of the way through the book, I was ready to give the novel 5 stars but the ending to me was too confusing so it had to be dropped down a star. To me the story was built up so well and I was so invested and need to know answers but I felt I didn’t get them and nothing was really explained well enough. The ending to me felt very chaotic and all over the place and I just didn’t feel that I got what I wanted from the ending. I didn’t really understand why everything happened to our characters or what caused the events to happen. This is probably due to my lack of knowledge when it comes to Warhammer 40k.
Overall, despite the ending I thought the atmosphere created was amazing, the writing was beautiful and the story was built up well. I would pick this book up again without a shadow of doubt! A re-read may be in order for me to understand the ending better.
The next book I will be reviewing is Doing Time by Jodi Taylor. A book about time-travel and the police that try to maintain order in a world where time travel is possible. I am very excited!