I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Twilight Imperium book The Fractured Void by Tim Pratt, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.
So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.
I am going to try my best to not let that cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.
What is Twilight Imperium
Twilight Imperium is a much beloved strategy board game published by Fantasy Flight Games that’s currently in its 4th Edition.
First thing to know, it’s very long, my pal Drew, one of the owners of the amazing Meeple Perk, tells me it’s an 8 hour game as a minimum!
Secondly it’s an epic space opera, set in the power vacuum left behind by the decline and collapse of the Lazax Empire, as various races and factions vie for dominance and to become the new galactic superpower.
It’s a bit of an interesting one, clearly designed to introduce us in a gentle way to the lore of the game.
It focuses on the crew of the Temerious who are exiled to a backwater system where they patrol and occasionally help look for lost farm animals.
Lead by Captain Felix Duval they encounter a distres signal and end up rescuing a scientist named Thales, who is on the cusp of an astounding breakthrough that would change the balance of power in the galaxy.
Tasked by his commanders in the Mentak Coalition to assist Thales, they end up getting drawn into a cat and mouse game as they are pursued by black ops teams from two other galactic powers.
The book actually does a good job at introducing the setting, I have never played Twilight Imperium, despite it being right up my street, because Lindsay and Megan are unsure about it.
You get a lot of information and background, but it never feels like you get huge sections of exposition, but you do get the needed background. I can now after reading the book understand a lot about the lore of the game and the various factions in it.
The world building is second to none, it feels really well done and it’s an excellent primer.
But I do actually have some criticisms, firstly the books conclusion is kinda hurried, it’s feels too much like a set up for further books, you just know there is more to come, it heavily hinted at, and a big thing is kicked off, but not actually concluded.
I think I would have preferred a cleaner ending that wasn’t a setup for further adventures of Duval’s Devils.
Secondly, the characters for the most part, simply didn’t gel well with me. The heroes felt a little too cliche, we get it, they are raiders and little better than pirates. But it felt like that got pointed out at every opportunity.
The antagonists, well they again seemed forced, they as characters seemed to fit together quite well as an odd couple, but the escalation of their relationship felt a little forced at times.
But one character he did get right was Thales, an utterly detestable person, you just love to hate him and I tell you that you spend the whole book wanting him to get his comeuppance.
Tim does a great job with this character, he really gets you hating him and it really triggers an emotional response.
It was a fun space opera with a nice degree of humour and a good balance.
But I cannot state enough how rushed the conclusion was and how it really felt that little was actually resolved with the open left too open for me.
I want the story to be finished, which means I need to hope this sells enough to warrant a sequel, because it really needs a sequel to finish the story.
Duvals Devils did start to seem more interesting at the end as well, so I kinda want to see how they are developed.
Initially I was thinking of giving this 3 stars, but I ended up settling on 4. The book really makes you feel something, and that is hatred and anger towards Thales, and the writing is so good that when he gets his just desserts, it feels good.
- Mood:- Melenconic
- Caffeinated Beverages Consumed:- 9
- In My Ears:- Last Christmas – Manic Street Preachers
- Tabletop Game Last Played:- Star Trek Adventures
- Video Game Lat Played:- Apex Legends
- Book Last Read:- The Fractured Void – Tim Pratt
- Movie/TV Show Last Viewed:- Modern Family
- Current State of Projects:- T’au Stormsurge, main armour colour airbrushed on