For those of you unaware about Catechism of Hate, here's some info from Black Library's website.
"Orton Cassius - Ultramarines Chaplain and Master of Sanctity. Hero of the first Tyrannic War, his name is legend. When the hive fleets target the world of Styxia, Cassius leads the defence.
About this edition.
- Strictly limited to 1,500 copies printed in English language
- Numbered and hand-signed by the author (Gav Thorpe)
- Detailed Tactical maps
- Full colour poster insert
- Gatefold Space Marine Battles dust jacket
- Cloth bound cover with Ultramarine blue foiling
- Marker ribbon
Wow, sounds a lot of book for your money doesn't it... But how much is it? Well, it is £30, but it's already sold out. In fact, it sold out in 35 minutes on the Black Library website on day of release. Now, I can hear you all asking "why bother reviewing it then Garfy?". I can give you two reasons why:
- If Black Library ever do another limited edition release you'll know what to expect.
- If you're contemplating purchasing it on eBay, you'll be prepared for what your money gets you.
In the pictures above you'll see I've taken off the gatefold Space Marines battles dust jacket revealing the cloth bound book with blue Ultramarine icon in metallic foil. The book is hardback and the dust jacket is a thick paper that has been matt laminated to give a silky smooth feel. On the front of the dust jacket the book title, author's name and image of the space marine have been picked out with a printing technique called 'spot uv'. This in layman's terms means glossy/shiny areas.
You'll also notice the poster. I'm reluctant to call it a poster because it's quite small (395mm x 275mm) which is smaller then A3. The poster has been folded twice so it fits in the back of the book. This in my opinion ruins the artwork because the creases crack the print leaving noticeable white lines on the poster. The art is the same image used on the dust jacket, they just zoom into a specific action shot for the poster. It's very different to the usual GW style we've been spoon fed over all these years. The art has been created in photoshop and features plenty of snazzy effects. It's also double sided (see below).
In the pictures above you can see the maps. Now the Black Library website said "Detailed Tactical Maps" and their site also showed images of these maps. The images the showed didn't have a page fold or cover binding marks on the maps. Before I bought the book I genuinely thought I was getting separate maps. I was quite disappointed when I discovered the maps were just on the inside front and back covers. This isn't the worst of it though, oh no... take a look at the maps in the pictures. Do they look detailed to you? They don't to me. I'm a graphic designer and these maps are uninspiring. It's simple line art produced in Adobe Illustrator and then a couple of grainy photoshop filters added to the top. Very dissappointing considering the expensive print production used to create a quality product.
In these last two pictures you can see what they described as the "Marker Ribbon", oh it's a bookmark. Did it warrant it's own bullet point in the Black Library sales pitch? I'm not convinced. You can also make out the author's signature. Gav Thorpe has signed it 'Gav' which should have saved him some time when doing 1500 copies.
The last picture is a typical double page spread from the book. The type is enormous! You can read pages really fast because of low word count per page. This is nice because it feels like you're getting somewhere with the book... then you find out how many pages are in the book. It's only 118 pages long! This leaves me feeling devastated and cheated.
I feel Black Library have polished a turd and slapped on an expensive price tag. I like some things. I like the art on the cover and I like the fact it's hard back. The large text, low number of pages and poor maps just doesn't meet the expensive price tag though. For £30 you can buy the Storm of Magic Expansion Rulebook, which is A4, hardback, full colour throughout, matt laminated with spot uv on the cover and plastic spinner in the inside back cover!
I suppose I'd had better go and read the book now.
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