QUICK REVIEW: Unearthed – Rob Sanders

The twenty-second of Black Library’s 2016 Advent Calendar stories is Unearthed by Rob Sanders, an Inquisition tale which pits the rash Interrogator Kiefer against the Alpha Legion warband which proved the death of his former master. Having tracked them to the ravaged agri-world of Grendl’s World, he’s certain that he has them where he wants them, so pushes on accompanied by Attillan Rough Riders and ogryn auxilia. You can probably see where this is going, given the Alpha Legion’s deserved reputation for trickery…

Inquisitors and the Alpha Legion are a classic combo, but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. Sanders builds a vivid picture of the arid, ravaged planet and the claustrophobic interior of a crashed ship, but description alone can’t hide the fact that this all feels a bit too familiar, or the lack of depth to the characters we’re briefly introduced to. Narratively it’s entertaining enough despite being pretty clearly signposted, but there’s just not enough meat to Kiefer or his men to provide much emotional weight to the story, and the traitors are merely generic, bland Alpha Legion. There’s nothing to dislike here, just not much to love either – it’s 40k by numbers, really.

Click here for an overview of the Black Library Advent Calendar 2016.

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