N18 Soulless Fury (W.McDermott) : a review


Gang Champion
Jan 22, 2020
Berry, France

A reader's review

Huge disappointment !

With a 330 pages novel centered around Mad D'onne character, I was expecting 1) some action packed Necromunda fiction 2) some interesting character development of this iconic Necromunda figure.

As far as 1) is concerned, I was more than satisfied... Rather fed up ! Every 50 pages, you get a gunfight that last for several pages. The issue is that the writer is not able to surprise you nor to develop any kind of original point of view during these action scenes, from which the reader stay distant and quite cold despite the overall killing and spilling of blood. You soon get uninterested in the final issue of each firefight because the style of writing is dull and mechanical. People get killed and maimed and you don't even blink an eye because they are just faceless victims with no names (and you honestly don't worry much for the main protagonists). Big fail for the writer who's not able to put some intensity in all of this, and those scenes are very repetitive and finally boring in the long run. The title "Soulless Fury" comes as a unexpected boomerang on the reader's mind at this point...

As far as 2) is concerned, as the end of the novel was coming, I was growing more and more angry and more and more amazed (in the "incredulous" meaning of it). Not only happy to be a sloppy and lazy action writer, the author succeed in an absolute and incredible failure to develop Mad Donna character ! Apart from a few ridiculous lines after the 300 pages mark, you get absolutely no point of view from Mad D'onne's mind, no flashback to show you her past, her youth, her reason to stab her Spyre betrothed, her motivation to go underhive... She's treated as a mechanical puppet with no interior life and whose actions are as coldly described as are the action scenes. When you realize how much potential this character possess from a fictionous point of view, how complew and dark it could be, you stay quite voiceless confronted to this hugely wasted opportunity.

Worse, you soon realize that despite the cover and the backcover, Mad D'onne is nothing more that a secondary character, a foil to Scrutinator Servalen with her faitfull mastiff, the genuine main character, and probably by sheer coincidence, a new miniature to come... It is also probably by sheer coincidence that Mad D'onne is supported by an Ogryn servitor and that we see a (useless) apparition of Krotos Hark and some big bad Psi-hounds, all of course available as miniatures on sale...

Regarding the plot, it looks like the author didn't consider this point as worth much effort. It is rather stupid and we see everybody, and Lord Helmawr himself, ruler of a billion souls, looking for a psyker whose incredible ability is to recover lost workers respirators. No kidding.

Regarding the fluff exploitation, well, nobody will be surprised at this point to see that the author remains very scholar and apart from quoting a few extracts from Apocrypha Necromundus releases from 2018 and on, is totally unwilling (or unable) to create anything new or original. 330 pages and not a single personal lecture of the Necromuna world, yes sir, this auhtor can do it.

Hard to get interested in this non story after a hundred pages. It becomes quite a chore to finish it, and I won't probably not have done it if not led by a desperate hope to see at last something interesting about Mad D'onne character. In vain. I know this is not a Literature Nobel prize contender and a teenager/young adult tabletop game support reading, but we are way way under the quality of a short story collection like « Status Deadzone ». I hope it is not representative of the overall quality of actual BL publishings because it is very poor, absolutely deprived of anything, new, original or creative.

A blatant and quite pathetic 330 pages long commercial aimed at Instateens to sell them some miniatures.

No need to read it, I make it short for you :

P133 : « Servalen hustled down the dark tunnel behind KB-88, keeping the light to her autopistol hooded with her free hand to avoid giving their position away. The mastiff's enhanced optics and tracking subroutines kept them on the right path and helped avoid obstacles and dead ends ».

Translation for those asleep at the back of the room : « Whoo hoo, go and buy this great new miniature ! »


A total waste of time as far as I am concerned.

And a final doubt as a bitter icing on this indigestible cake : given her poor use in this novel, I am not sure at all that a new Mad Donna miniature will come...



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Gang Champion
Jan 22, 2020
Berry, France
Totally agree (and the bad writing continues in ”Underhive Apex”).

I won't buy anything else by this author, that's for sure, Mad D'onne or not. If I was the editor, I would not have published such a poor work of fiction as it is.

The guy gets 330 pages to let his imagination flow in a environment that has been fed by a rich fluff for more than 25 years and all we get is this scholar, lazy and boring serie of dumb firefights. Appaling.
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Aug 15, 2017
I'm reading it now after having just recently given up on AoS Soul Wars book. Soulless Fury makes it 2 for 2 that I'm disappointed in.

It's basically just combat porn, no real story, and is making me want to bury my face in a bowl of razorblades.
I dropped the AoS books when I accidentally read one twice, it was so unmemorable that I read it,
forgot I'd read it,
found the book, thought "oh, forgot to read this when I bought this"
then at every page, thought "oh, I remember this, but I must have stopped not much further in since I don't remember what happens next" for every page to the end of the book.
and I still can't tell you which book it was because I don't remember anything about it despite having read it twice.

Spiro Dotgeek

Oh look, it's coffee time
Tribe Council
Sep 8, 2020
Wellington, NZ
>... making me want to bury my face in a bowl of razorblades.

Sure you’re not actually reading ”Deathblade” by C.L. Werner?

haha not yet. But I did like her Mark of Faith book, so she's a good enough author that I will probably read it and not resort to self mutilation.
Dec 17, 2019
It is quite odd as Blood Royal, Cardinal Crimson, and Lasgun Wedding were, in my opinion, quite good books; although, they were co-authored with Gordon Rennie, which makes me think Rennie was the talent.
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