Double Eagle, by Dan Abnett Rothdas book review RSS
4.0 Stars

It was once said about the late, great, Vic Davis that he was like Michelangelo, if Michelangelo only ever worked in the medium of colored macarroni. Dan Abnett is a similar sort; he's a skilled and solid and prolific writer, but he *only* ever writes WH40K novels. Or to put it another way, he's like Brandon Sanderson, except with more interest in Band-of-Brothers type soldierly interactions, and with more heart and humor and cleverness, and with a sufficient amount of rivet counting to ground his fiction, but rather less interest in grand world-building and system-exploring than Sanderson. So, this is another Abnett book, this time about WW2 type air-battles on a contested planet. I originally started it up as a prelude to the new Masters of the Air series, but I'm pretty sure the book ruined the TV for me. Abnett has more freedom in his battles and plotting and events than the historically-bound TV show, and in general he just does a better job of coming up with interesting air men and the various arcs their lives go through as they fight for the skies.

Side note: often times the interests of the reader/viewer are more closely aligned with the antagonists than the heroes, since both villains and readers live for drama. Puella Magi Madoka made that alignment more explicit than usual; the antagonist of the show cannot feel emotions itself, but rather feeds off of the glorious highs and terrifying lows of the characters, and is contantly trying to engineer the most epic, Wagnerian drama possible. So its interests are very similar to the interests of the viewer, and in some ways it is a stand in for the viewer. There's something similar going on in WH40K; the Ruinous powers feed off the various struggles and strong emotions of mankind, but these emotions are also what the reader is there for. In particular this book has continuous, endless, WWII type air battles, which raises the question: are the Chaos Gods boomers? Is it one of those things where after a para-psychic entity reaches a sufficient age and power, it has to choose between being a Civil War buff or a WWII buff?