After I finished the Eisenhorn trilogy, I immediately picked up the first [easyazon_link identifier=”B07BR3LMY6″ locale=”US” tag=”chocoboyoga-20″]Ravenor[/easyazon_link] novel. To be honest, I thought I had bought the Ravenor Omnibus, but its lack of thickness suggested I made a mistake. Here I thought I was getting an incredibly good deal for the purchase.
Upon finishing Ravenor, I was fine with not purchasing the entire omnibus. I hated the first book. Absolutely hated it. The only characters I liked were Patience and Carl Thonius, for starters. I also could not BELIEVE no one on the ship saw the betrayal from the Administratum coming. You have the planet’s Administratum forcing three people on your ship to “help.” These three people are absolute jerks, not to mention incredibly shady. They practically had “BAD GUYS” tattooed on their foreheads. I believed Ravenor was simply keeping his enemies close. Surely, one of the greatest psyker minds of the 41st millennium would not be duped by these clowns.
Instead, they totally were.
So no, I did not have a single desire to carry on with Ravenor. That is until The Magos.
Ravenor appears in one of the short stories within The Magos, post-Ravenor Rogue, and he is no longer a field Inquisitor. Eisenhorn and Ravenor talk about it briefly, but all I learned was that Ravenor did something that pissed off the Ordos, and he submitted to their punishment. Kind of the opposite of Eisenhorn, who is still on the run as a rogue Inquisitor. Okay fine. I’ll read the rest to learn what Ravenor did.
I loved Ravenor Returned. We finally had some proper character development, and “the overall picture” was finally snapping in to place. Ravenor did not predict that an investigation into a flect trade would lead to his arch-nemesis or a planetary conspiracy that led all the way up to the governor. In fact, it led farther up than that. The flect trade was a smokescreen for the government, but the Fratery was using it to bring the arch-daemon Slyte into this world.
There were so many moving pieces, but it never once felt overwhelming or confusing.
I enjoyed watching Kara’s relationship with Belknap grow, Patience becoming a bona fide operative badass, and Carl… Carl’s story was a heartbreaker. If kids needed another reason to understand that drugs are bad, just let them know that using drugs invites daemon possession.
I was on the edge of my seat as Ravenor Returned unfolded. I believe I read it in about three days, since I could not put it down at a reasonable bedtime. Even though the ending was rather sad—dat what da WH40k do—it was fantastic. Why couldn’t the first book be written this compellingly?
The book had two major problems. I told Jen that with parts one and two, I felt like someone kept pressing the “skip forward 30 seconds” button on a TV remote. I’d read along and then suddenly I’d ask these same questions (every time):
- Wait, what?
- When did they decide that?
- Wait, why are all of them going?
- Are they trying to blow their cover?
I re-read previous paragraphs/chapters/etc. often because I’d be so baffled when this particular thing happened.
This skipping ahead also made me think that the Wych House was something entirely different than what it really was. When I learned it was a place to see the future, I had a few other questions, namely why would the planet’s jewelers be the gateway to this and why would Ravenor try to use such an obviously heretical device? Yes, he’s a rogue, but he didn’t want to commit straight up heresy. Or so I thought.
The second problem I had was not the fact that a mirror psyker could ware a blunter. It should have been impossible, which is something everyone brought up multiple times. I overlooked it because it wasn’t as though Abnett forgot his own rules; he continually said yes, this shouldn’t be possible, but look at what this kid can actually do. (If you research Zael at all, you learn that he becomes the great and powerful Grey Knight Hyperion.)
The real second problem was the mic drop at the end of the book. We go from Ravenor literally saving the world and defeating his arch-nemesis to oh hey, Ravenor is in Inquisition custody for questioning and Kara is in prison. Oh and Nayl got sad his girlfriend was eaten by a daemon and left.
That’s it? Whatever happened to Kara? Where did Patience go after Ravenor’s sentence came down? Why does Nayl return to Eisenhorn? What was the real reason for Zael in the first place? He came, he put himself in a coma, he brainwashed a blunter, he left? Why?
So many questions, and none of them answered as of yet. Maybe they never will be. Either way, I didn’t really need to read the Ravenor Omnibus to understand everything in The Magos after all. Yeah, he went rogue, and it was for essentially the same reasons why Eisenhorn went rogue, minus the daemonhost thing. I don’t regret reading these books at all, but they certainly weren’t as “time sensitive” as I thought they would be.