Review: Burden of Duty / Author: James Swallow / Publisher: Black Library / Release Date: Out Now
Burden of Duty is the latest instalment in the Garro series of audio dramas. Set during a galactic civil-war, the Garro tales function as a side-show to the ongoing drama of Horus Heresy books. So far, the formula has been pretty straight forward; old soldier and outcast Nathaniel Garro is set a mission by his shadowy masters, who have a plan that has not yet been revealed, and this typically involves rescuing some hero or other and recruiting them to an as yet undetermined cause.
All this cloak and dagger, like much of the Horus Heresy stories, foreshadow events that fans will already know the broad strokes of. What the Garro audios really do is fill in the gaps of the Horus Heresy books. Burden of Duty answers questions about what is happening on Earth whilst war rages elsewhere. We get insights into the measures taken to guarantee the safety of the home world, as well as the secrets of some of the major players.
The production is as good as we’ve come to expect from these dramas, and actor Toby Longworth is on top form as usual. The dialogue has been written by James Swallow, who is very skilled and has a precise handle and vision on this particular range. The story, alas, hinges on an idea that we’ve seen before and, even though there’s nothing wrong with the writing, production or the premise, the fact that this is simply more of the same really does drag it down. It would be nice to see the ongoing story progress further; plenty of depth has been implied, and we are getting to the point where it should now be explored. This is one for the fans, who will lap it up.