Review: Censure / Author: Nick Kyme / Publisher: Black Library / Release Date: Out Now
The Black Library’s current output for the Horus Heresy series seems to be very strongly focused on those ubiquitous and slightly uncool heroes the Ultramarines, specifically the conflict on Calth. If you don’t follow the series, none of that will make sense to you, but it hardly matters. Censure is the tale of one soldier trying to rejoin his legion after incredible events have turned his life around.
The drama follows the exploits of the cunning and highly adaptable Seargent Thiel, a character that we’ve seen before in Know No Fear. In the previous adventure, Thiel earned some measure of redemption for crimes he had committed simply by being the most competent and capable man in the room. Censure sees him trying to pass this unique perspective on to others, and also beating up lots of bad guys. Kyme brings a wry sense of humour to the entire piece and though there is nothing new here, the characterisations are nicely conveyed and the action sequences are very entertaining.
The drama is slightly let down by the way Thiel is voiced; he sounds a little bit whiny and sly, and though the voice sort of suits the character traits, Thiel is also a very brave, very clever character and this interpretation makes him sound more like some luckless grifter than a hero of Ultramar. The villains of the piece are the Word Bearers, and it’s a little sad to see these complex and well-developed bad guys reduced to cackling, scenery-chewing clichés. However, it fits the style of story quite well and they aren’t really the focus of the tale, so it hardly matters.
Fans of the Horus Heresy and the Ultramarines will enjoy this a lot, especially if they’ve read Know No Fear and it’s sort of sequel, Mark of Calth. Casual fans can safely skip this drama (or wait for it to appear as written story at some point later in the series) without missing out on any massive revelations. However if you need a quick fix of Ultramarine action, then this will do the trick.