Eye of Vengeance by Graham McNeill – Advanced Review [Lord of the Night]
Lord of the Night reviews the entertaining Ultramarines audio-drama Eye of Vengeance by Graham McNeill.
“An engaging adventure that showcases the legendary Torias Telion doing what he does best, battling from the shadows and dealing death to the enemies of Ultramar. A fine addition to Black Library’s growing audio collection.” – The Founding Fields
Its been a while since my last audio-drama, I believe it was Red & Black, and it was nice to just sit back and listen to a good story with interesting characters and well-written action scenes. Eye of Vengeance delivered on all of these and was a very nice addition in the May releases. And its been some time since I finish the Ultramarines, so reading them as well was very welcome.
Quintarn is in flames. The Bloodborn, led by the demented mechanist Votheer Tark, have sacked the planet, tearing apart its machines and cannibalizing them to form the backbone of their depraved mechanical army. The Ultramarines 5th and 6th companies are on-hand to defend the agri-world from its besiegers, but the fate of this battle will not be decided by the clash of tanks or the destruction of hordes of enemies, but rather by the actions of a single warrior. Behind enemy lines, Torias Telion, the greatest scout of the Adeptus Astartes, leads a dangerous mission to end the Bloodborn threat and secure a victory for Ultramar, but the journey is perilous and ending this war will take every trick that Telion has to make sure that the Dark Mechanicus will threaten Quintarn no longer.
The story of the audio-drama is straightforward but enjoyable. Rather than rely on mystery and intrigue the story is simple to follow but interesting as the mission proceeds onwards, but really its the characters and action that make up the best parts of the audio-drama, though the story is enjoyable it is not gamebreaking or exemplary.
The protagonist Torias Telion, is not at all what I expected. Far from a hoary and gruff veteran Telion is an irreverent man, confident in himself and the aspirants he commands, and knows when to obey the chain of command, and when to go outside it. Since this is a hour-long audio-drama there is not a lot of time for character development, as such Telion is the key character in the story with all others serving a secondary or background role. Other characters include the scouts Draco, Agathon, Zeno and Darius; and Scout-Sergeant Kaytan whose squad Telion attaches himself to.
The battles are the best part of the audio-drama. McNeill knows how to write an action scene and the use of Scouts makes for a different kind of battle than we are used to with Astartes. Telion and his scouts use all the tricks of the trade as they fight against the twisted machines of the Bloodborn, sniper rifles, missile launchers and melta bombs are used in force as the stealth-based combat of the scouts is highlighted, especially when compared to the brute force attacks favoured by Votheer Tark’s machines. I particularly enjoyed the battle at the Maidens of Nestor, as it demonstrated why Scouts can be just as dangerous, sometimes more so, than full Astartes.
The pacing of the story is nicely done. An hour-long audio-drama gives enough time for a good story, a good l0ok into the protagonist and what other characters are possible, and some very enjoyable battle scenes. The description of the audio-drama is top-notch, it paints a very good picture of the deserts of Quintarn, the razed battlegrounds, and the hellish nightmare that is the Dark Mechanicus and their forces.
The ending is good and an interesting look at the inner mind of Torias Telion, an old warhorse as he himself puts it. Though not a fantastic ending or a surprising one its good to listen too and poses an interesting question at the end. If you want to hear that question, get the audio-drama and listen to it.
For an enjoyable story, some very nice voice acting and a very good depiction of Space Marine Scouts in battle against a variety of foes I give Eye of Vengeance a score of 6.9, an enjoyable audio-drama that provides a nice hour of entertainment, and we get to see Torias Telion kick ass, a very cool bonus.
Should you buy this audio-drama? If you like Black Library’s range of audio-dramas then Yes I would recommend Eye of Vengeance. If you are interested in seeing what an audio-drama is like I would suggest Eye of Vengeance as a starting point, and if you like Ultramarines and want to know more about what was happening across Ultramar during Honsou’s invasion, then Yes again. But if none of those things interest you, or you dislike audio-dramas, then no Eye of Vengeance is not for you.
Another review down. Next on the reviewing list is Architect of Fate which I have started earlier today. Until next time.
AVE DOMINUS NOX!