Monday, February 17, 2014

Heresy in the Library - Hunter's Moon

Hello there! Alpharius (Trooper is my cover name) here reporting for Heresy in the Library, where I review Black Library productions and give you, the reader, insight into what is coming out. Up for review this time is my first tackle at Black Library audio productions, the new Horus Heresy audio drama "Hunter's Moon". In it we will find Space Wolves, normal folk caught up in the Heresy, and Alpharius. Spoiler alert, EVERYONE is Alpharius. So sit back, grab some amasec, and enjoy!

While this is my first review to deal with Black Libraries audio productions it is not the first listen to I've given to them. I've spent my fair share of funds getting to hear their audio dramas and their audiobook productions. They have kept me entertained at work when I've had nothing else to do or when I've wanted some more immersion while painting. While I am a rabid reader, I am something of a sucker for a well-produced audio drama or well ported audio book. I'm happy to claim Black Library has both.

Hunter's Moon, then, is a thirty-five minute production detailing the fate of the Space Wolf pack that was sent to keep Alpharius in check. For those not in the know, Malcador had the great idea that the Legions who didn't rebel at Istvaan III would be sent Space Wolf packs in order to keep their Primarchs in check. While this is a good idea considering the Space Wolves title as "Executioners" is a bad idea when you realize that the packs who went to the rest of the hidden traitors were going to be killed in the worst ways possible. Kind of a horrible thought, right?

The story is told primarily through flashbacks. The narrator is a sailor on a backwater Imperial ocean world called Pelago who, in his youth, recalls "the day the Hydra came to Pelago" to scared youths on the boat with him. Of course he is old and grizzled at the time of the telling, but in his youth he was joined by his captain and cousin. They witness a flaming ship descend to the ocean and decide to investigate. 

Which is, of course, the best course of action. 

When they find the last of the pack, he details the fight with Alpharius and his men on board the flagship of the now defunct 88th Expedition (which is a fun throwback to Legion) after they are attacked by the Alpha Legion. I won't give many spoilers, but Alpharius is killed and the Wolves escape. So, it's all up to the lone Wolf to give the word of Alpharius' death to the Imperium at large. Of course, there is the general doom and gloom of the greater heresy at large, but it's largely in the background to the immediate troubles presented. Which is kind of nice. And, of course, the end of the thirty five minutes has some doom and gloom to it as well, with the surly old narrator recalling the fate of his kin and of the Wolf. 

It's a short piece of work and it's an easy listen. We're not overburdened with huge names, huge fights, or anything particularly difficult. Which, with a universe which consistently deals with gods, demi-gods, and big god damned heroes, is also nice every once and awhile. I suppose it's a fun stand-alone piece dealing with the Alpha Legion, but I was hoping for more...content. It's a piece that is a listen or two and then it will sit in your collection. Unless you have some hardcore love for the Alpha Legion in which case...ALPHARIUS! But what else are you going to get for thirty five minutes?

It's worth checking out, but I suspect it was more intended to support the Hardback edition of Legion, as well as the audiobook version of it. If you haven't gotten a chance to check it out yet either (it's fairly old, but beyond enjoyable for a variety of reasons) then I would definitely recommend it. There's plenty of "I'M ALPHARIUS" Alpha Legion action, but the Imperial Army units in it are so, so awesome.

Geno-Five Two Chiliad, Hoorah!

So, if you are so inclined head on over to Black Library and pick yourself up either/or. Considering the love that the Alpha Legion get you won't find much else on them (aside from Deliverance Lost and some small short stories) so it might be a fun investment. Plus, you get those awesome sketchings!

And with that this is Alpharius, signing off. 

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