Adam France said:
I disagree. Mitchell is one of the weaker BL authors imo, his books all suffer from similar problems, all of them seem stodgily written to me, they all feature an endless cycle of -action-sit down exposition dump meeting-action-exposition dump meeting-action- etc etc. The core concept of the Cain books is an okay idea (Flashman in 40K), but the Cain books don't capture the magic of Flashman imho, Cain is neither a coward, or much of a womaniser, he's basically a self-deprecating 'nice guy'. That makes for a far less fun 'ride'.
Much better authors imo are Dan Abnett (of course), Anthony Reynolds (his Word Bearer series is waaaay better written and more imaginative imo than the Cain books), Matthew Farrer (okay he seems to be off the radar at them moment unfortunately, but again his Shira Calpurnia books are considerably superior to the Cain books), and Graham MacNiell (okay controversial this one I know - but he seems to have really upped his game lately - his Horus Heresy books have been excellent for example).
Matt Farrer has a new Calpurnia book coming out this year, I think. It's up on the BL website.
No idea what Flashman is, but considering some of the other material in the BL - Mitchell stands out like a beacon for me.
Harry Flashman was a bully character from Tom Brown's Schooldays, a public schoolboy novel written in the 1850s. Flashman was pretty much the cowardly bully villain of the book.
In the 1970s (iirc) the British author George Macdonald Fraser had the genius idea of taking Flashman (who had perversely been Fraser's favourite character when he read Schooldays) and telling what happened next for the character. Flashman had been shown to be a clever liar, able to fool people, and handsome and charming when he wanted to be, so Fraser wrote a long series of classic books that were (for the most part) scrupulously true to real history where Flashman becomes an unworthy Victorian military hero despite actually remaining in fact a bully, coward, womaniser, cheat, cad, etc. The books are written as if they were written in old age by Flashman himself, just before WWI, and were so well written many reviewers (especially in America) mistook them for actual memoirs of an actual Victorian military hero.
They remain some of my all time favourite novels. If you want to judge Mitchell's failings read the Flashman books.
Hell, read them anyway, they are classics.
(Mitchell has been honest from the get-go his Cain stories are homages to Flashman btw, no secret or scandal there.)
Good news about the new Calpurnia book! :-)