First To Hunt

QUICK REVIEW : First To Hunt – Chris Dows

First To Hunt, by Chris Dows, is the sixth short story in Black Library’s Deathwatch serial, and the first to feature the White Scars chapter. Set on the planet Ballestae it sees Jetek Suberei on a solo scouting mission, accompanied only by his trusty bike and faithful cyber-eagle, hunting for intelligence on the invading eldar forces. As he approaches the eldar encampment he begins to realise that all is not well within the xenos ranks, and an opportunity presents itself to him to use the eldar’s division against them.

It’s an unusual story for a Deathwatch tale, focusing as it does on a solo Marine, but it’s also much more a White Scars story really, with the absence of any other chapter of Marines. That doesn’t stop it being a characterful, inventive story though with an interesting setup, pitting a White Scar against the equally mobile and fast moving eldar. These particular eldar coming across as genuinely alien and inscrutable, while Suberei himself proves to be an engaging and enjoyable character, drawn very much from the more modern style of White Scar characterisation. Overall it’s fresh and fast paced, and if it doesn’t really feel much like a Deathwatch story it’s still great fun and really enjoyable.

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