|Front Cover of Sleeve|
|Back Cover of Sleeve|
|Signature Page & "limited edition" number|
|Authentic Salamander Hide, and I'll fight any man who says otherwise...|
All that said, it seemed pretty obvious that I would try and get this book. I'm a big fan of the Horus Heresy series, so this seemed like a natural progression. Unfortunately, by the time I got the email advertising this bad boy, the folks at Black Library had already put sales of it on hold due to intense demand. So, like most colonials, I screwed up my calculation of time zones and did not get online right as it was set to go back on sale. I thought I was done for, but it took about 5-6 hours for it to sell out completely, so I was in luck. 2235 out of 3000 to be exact.
There is some interior art, but not much. Some rehashed pre-heresy art from the Index Astartes articles, and a fold-out version of the art on the cover sleeve. I was a bit disappointed to see that actually. It's essentially a 120 page story (written using 18 point font) with little extra to recommend it.
All in all, I give this product 3 out of 5 stars. And that includes the "salamander fan-boy" bonus I'm giving it. The story was ok but not good or even great. On the merits of the "special limited edition product" alone, it's not all that exciting for the cost I paid to get it. While I've been relatively underwhelmed by Nick Kyme's previous Salamander work, the pre-heresy feel of this short story saved it from the bickering high school girl scenes common in "contemporary" space marine novels. The details of Vulkan's early years and the importance of the Salamander's compassion were the two biggest draws for me. The depictions of the Iron Hands and Death Guard are weak, but there's really not enough space for that kind of thing in a short story and it was nothing compared to the poor treatment the 888th Phaerian IG regiment received. While not a famous regiment, they just seemed...contrived. If you absolutely need it to fill out your collection, by all means, go find a copy. I'm sure they'll be on E-bay if they're not already. If you're just curious, however, you'll probably be just fine without it.
Post Update (5/26/11): check out the pic of the Salamander Dreadnought from Games Day France