Tag: Tim Pratt

The Necropolis Empire

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Twilight Imperium book The Necropolis Empire 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.

The Story

The story is about a young girl, Bianca Xing from a remote farming world, whom has spent a lifetime yearning to leave her provincial planet and travel to the stars, but she has a yearning to travel to a certain part of space.

But when her world is annexed by the Barony of Letnev, she is whisked away, told she is the daughter of a scientist of ancient renown, and the heir to a great fortune. But in actual fact, she has a hidden secret hidden within her DNA, secrets that could change the course of the galaxy.

Teaming up with Dampierre a determined Letnev captain, and a crew of treasure hunters turned smugglers, she goes on an adventure to the edge of known space to discover the home world of an ancient civilisation.

This was a big improvement on the last story and in all honesty I expected this to be a continuation of the last story, but its a totally different one with only two recurring characters.

This worked better because there were fewer obvious clichés and it just felt a lot more natural.

Conclusion

As with the Fractured void, this is a fun and enjoyable space opera, just my taste and this is exactly what I needed to read.

There was humour and the clichés that were there, were very well done.

I really struggled to put this book down and was awake until 3am two mornings running because I was just enjoying it so much.

I am really not sure what else to say, its a great read, and even if you have no background knowledge of the game or universe, this is utterly entertaining and wonderful to read.

I know Tim is a great writer and I know I had some mild criticism of his last book, but this seems to have acknowledged all of that, and gone on to produce a better book that takes the good qualities of that and knock it up several notches.

I expected this to be a straight sequel to the last book, but this was a totally different story and it really feels like Tim is doing a lot of world building here, that is really deep and most of all, fun.

More please.

5 out of 5


The Necropolis Empire is out as an eBook on the 3rd August and as paperback on the 14th October.


The Fractured Void

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.

The Story

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.

Conclusion

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.


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