So, recently Iv been feeling some apathy towards warhammer 40,000- so long playing other game systems and probably overexposure to the offerings of the black library have dulled my interest. This coupled with the constant stream of releases (most quite good) it’s felt as though 40k is everywhere. However, upon being dragged to Cribbs Causeway I popped into the Games Workshop and was handed some cash by Rox. With a painting backlog of probably years it was books.
Fantasy is about to he reset so the books are in short supply, so instead it was 40k only, one of which was Khârn Eater of Worlds by Anthony Reynolds. Set after the Horus Heresy the armies of Chaos are scatter and divided with no leaders of note anywhere to be found. This book naturally focuses on the World Eaters, barbaric bloodthirsty Astartes who are turning on each other and bleeding their numbers dry. Unfortunately the one man (marine) who could unite them is dead: yeah, that’s right Khârn starts the book dead, dragged from a pile of Imperial Fist corpses on Terra he’s been enshrined on a ship within the World Eaters fleet. I say dead, he isn’t strictly speaking dead- but when he was picked up he was. Now his body functions barely function and his brain activity is negligible, enough to keep his heart beating and his lungs breathing.
With the Workd Eaters dying a power struggle ensued and an anonymous warrior arranges an assassination attempt on Khârns corpse. This is at the midway point of the book.
Something happens and Khârn lives and wakes up, just in time to encounter the remainder of the Emperors Children legion and be involved with the tensions between the legion.
The book didn’t do much to reinvigorate my 40k excitement, I had hoped for a book of Khârn slaughtering anything and everything, but instead got a book in which he plays barely more than a bit part role, and instead focusing on his lackies and hangers on. Even the battle towards the end of the book (two chapters worth) was from the perspective of others, barely hinting at Khârn doing anything.
In addition, SPOILER ALERT AHEAD…
The idea that Khârn would reunite the World Eaters had potential- who better to lead an out of control Warband of berserkers- the first thing he did was lead them into a war against the Emperors Children- equal in stature yet far outnumbered, so the hoped for prevention of them killing each other instead led to them losing far greater numbers against a superior foe, further restricting their capabilities. Given the lack of new recruits and apothecaries replenishing the force seems unlikely.
So, I’m still reading primarily warhammer stuff from black library, but had a break from the novels to get through hammer and bolter volume two. I haven’t finished, as I have now moved onto a novel, but some of the stories so far have been quite good
reparation by andy smilie 40k
This one had a space wolf in a dark eldar gladiatorial cell. I didn’t think I’d like it, but once the dark angels had been introduced it picked up with some good grudging respect yet distrust between the two characters
dead calm by josh Reynolds fantasy
Pirates, knights, vampires, zombies, magic, swords. This was a decent story that covered all bases. I do like small numbers of participants, but this ended up making the few humans overly powerful in the face of the undead
lesser evils by tom foster 40k
Another small team insertion as four humans enter a sisters of battle monastery. Spoiler alert- none died. The action was good, but the survival was just a little too inconvenient.
hunters by braden campbell 40k
Catachans versus tau. This was interesting, it jumped an hour or so forward and backward from it’s primary timeline. I don’t think it gained anything from doing so, but it did distract a little from assuming there was a twist coming. Oh and it was a small team insertion in which people died.
the tileans talisman by david guymer fantasy
A short gotrek and felix story from the eyes of a skaven clanrat. At least as long as the clanrat can stay alive….
Yeah it was quite fun to see a different perspective, without losing the key elements of a gotrek and felix story
in the shadow of the emperor by chris dows 40k
A fleet get hit by a space hulk as it smashes out of the warp. Survivors land on the nearest planet closely followed by the orks from the hulk. Fairly standard story, with a commissar who wants to kill the captain adding additional plotlines, but with the commissar acting a little out of character.
torment by Anthony Reynolds 40k
A close look at the procedure behind interring the remains of a space marine into a dreadnought, with the twist being the space marine is a devotee of chaos and not remains, just being cruelly tortured. Oh and the chaos elements inside the chosen warrior are less than keen
the pact by s p cawkwell 40k
The silver skulls space marines return to their long abandoned home world to find eldar fighting nurgle daemons. They are forced to ally to win. A fairly standard story again, with heavy emphasis placed on the imperiums resistance to the greater good of the galaxy over working alone.
I’ll leave it there, part 2 coming soon…