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Found 14 results

  1. Renegades: Lord of Excess - Rich McCormick (Audiobook) Another debut novel! Another very good debut novel. This is probably the most ambitious first book I've read since Fire Caste, at times to a fault. There's no 3-act structure here; the first third of the book provides some set-up and gets what I assume is the action quota out of the way, and the last two thirds are basically its own novel slightly compacted into a tighter space. This does make the book a bit messy, but has the benefit of being all killer and no filler after a certain point. While that first third is the least interesting part, I still think it was pretty good. Traitor Astartes vs Genestealer cultists is a rare match-up, and unlike other BL books with similar openings (Wolftime springs to mind) this section still effectively sets up the dynamic of The Adored and gives each character enough development to make sure you're invested in what's to come. The remainder of the book is basically the pivotal moments in Xantine's reign of his now world. The premise alone makes this worthwhile, and while nothing really has room to "sit" and take a breath, it's constantly interesting. The status quo shifts in basically every chapter as someone is always sowing new consequences to reap later. We get rebellions, shifts in political structure, rival Chaos cults, deals, and betrayals. It's never shallow; the themes and character work are more than adequate throughout, but the lightning-fast pacing may not be to everyone's taste. The unique premise certainly helps things in this regard, if this were a typical war story it wouldn't work nearly as well. Our protagonist, Xantine, is a real treat. He sees the daemon sharing his body as a lover, which in itself already sets him apart from your typical Chaos marine, and he's the perfect blend of ambition and total lack of self awareness that I like to call "the Emperor's Children special." Xantine is a man deeply affected by Canticle City's destruction (see Talon of Horus) and is desperate to recapture the glory of his legion's past by reshaping his newly "conquered" world into something perfect. This proves difficult for him, since he expects everyone else to be simultaneously in awe of his brilliance but just as ambitious as he is. Like any good Child of the Emperor, being called out on this doesn't faze him. Man talks the talk and walks the walk, all while actually trusting the daemon living in his head. Speaking of Emperor's Children, I was glad to see a backwater assume they're loyalists because of their name. The story never bothers with the population's grand realization that they're traitors, either - it's a cliché the story doesn't need. The rest of the Adored receive good characterization, as well as each human POV from the world they're now squatting on. Check the amazon extract for any BL book before purchase to make sure the prose gels with you, but I certainly thought it was good. And honestly, despite how messy the pacing made it at times, it really worked for me. Kind of has that classic sci-fi quality of shoving the interesting bits to the fore at the expense of all else. Definitely "To Taste," and my critical mind would probably give this a 7 or 8. Personally though, I've gotta give it a 9, the risks McCormick took with this all really worked for me. Man is the heir to Reynolds' III Legion throne far as I'm concerned. Multiple reviews on Goodreads list "not important to the wider universe" as one of the book's few negatives. I die a little every time I see that sentiment.
  2. Another day, another thread for a new novel. Deathworlder - Victoria Hayward Every time I pick up one of these new Astra Militarum books, I fear the worst kind of generic military page-filler. While not every book has been great, they've all proved me wrong - you'd think I'd have learned by now. I should probably get around to completing the set with Catachan Devil, huh? I think this is the first novel where I really buy the horror of Tyranids. They're usually an afterthought or are reduced to flavourless "chittering masses" for the protagonists to fight. Here, probably in part because I didn't recognize most of the variants and could imagine something scarier than the tabletop models, they're genuinely threatening, dangerous, and downright gross. I hope you're ready for a few passages describing things getting digested. This isn't a world getting stripped of life, it's a world curdling into a slurry for things beyond the stars to slurp up in stage by grotesque stage. Hell yeah Frater. With such descriptions in mind, the book is more of a trek through a putrefying hell than some protracted battle against endless foes. The 'Nids clearly aren't paying any special attention to the protagonists and the journey is more of an effort to go around them where possible than some non-stop battle; the bioforms are a deadly part of the environment more than a horde of individuals. Which isn't to say it's all shock value, the characters get lots of time to introspect throughout, and their tactical decisions often require much deliberation as well. Speaking of the characters, the Catachans are already well drawn by the end of their introductory chapter. It takes some books upwards of a hundred pages to pull that off, meanwhile Deathworlder makes you understand each Catachan within a few passage. Our Cadian tag-along, Anditz, takes longer to solidify and his introductory chapter is probably the book's weakest moment. Worry not though, he becomes more and more compelling as things go. By the end you want to see him pull through just as much as the Catachans. Our two other side characters are also great, Wrathe is believably cordial despite her machine-cult fanaticism, and the cultist Lamya is a fun look at how someone who drank the Tyranid Kool-Aid reacts to their actual presence. None of them are anything super novel, but Hayward's strength comes in giving each believable layers to their surface-level tropes. The Catachans having plenty of respect for patience, tactics, and teamwork despite what other regiments see them as is probably the book's central example. Not much to critique, IMO. Once they reach their goal things start to get a little shaky, with a few attempts at pathos that seem random when every character has emotional investments to be pushed on already by that point. As an example, Major Kahn notices a dead married couple towards the end of the book which stokes further hatred in her (despite not knowing what wedding rings are.) Considering she was already pretty fired up by both the loss of her regiment and many dead civilians throughout, it seemed almost out of place. This happens a few times in the last quarter - I think the scenes are written well but they read like a late addition to an already complete novel. I also think it could have ended with something more bleak, but that's an issue I level at 99% of Black Library books, and I know it wouldn't be to everyone's taste. 8.5/10, honestly great stuff. My mind was never blown, but I was constantly thinking "excellent, well handled" throughout. Another new author I want to read more novels from.
  3. Hey guys, as someone who loves buying books and checking others' bookshelves/new books, I thought it would be nice if we had a place to share photos of our new BL/GW books and our bookshelves. I purchased quite a lot of books in the past two weeks (being on lockdown doesn't help my wallet as I thought it would) so I'm going to slowly take photos of them all and post it here. Here's one of the orders: Sepulturum and Anathemas. I'm almost done catching up on all WH Horror releases. Now I just need to read them... Hope you like this idea and more people are going to join.
  4. Wooo yeah Crime's back babyyyyyy. The King of the Spoil Wraithbone Phoenix wasn't really my cup of tea, quality notwithstanding. The anthologies are solid, but none but Broken City have really wowed me. With King of the Spoil, we're back to a novel-length mystery plot, and I'm intensely grateful. The books biggest strength, to me, is the cast. They're not terribly groundbreaking, most are archtypes you've seen before, and even Melita the Info-Broker is the depressed and drug-addicted investigator we're used to. But they feel very real; with a few exceptions it doesn't feel like anyone has plot-armour or is some larger-than-life super-person. Everyone is fragile, everyone clearly has their own problems to deal with, and people tend to suddenly drop dead rather than getting any epic send-off. Part-way through the book you realize that one way or another, multiple POVs who you've come to like are going to intersect and only one's likely to survive. The book establishing the cast's fragility creates a wonderful sense of dread for what is to come. The world-building and atmosphere here are excellent as well. Again, every character clearly has their own things going on, but you don't get to see what those are outside the interaction with the POVs. This makes it feel lived in and, despite the core being a very "zoomed-in" story, like it's all part of a vast and ever-moving machine. I'm never left feeling it's convenient that a character's in a particular place at a particular time. The whole thing moves at a good pace, if it's not revealing new and intriguing elements to the web being woven it's fleshing out Varangantua in new and interesting ways. Melita herself is thankfully spared any action she doesn't have a reason to participate in, one particularly large-scale battle happens entirely off-page and for the sake of my attention span, I give great thanks. My issues are minor. There's a POV I love by the end but I feel the book leaves you wondering about their relevance for a bit too long. The story wraps up satisfactorily, but not as satisfyingly as something like Bloodlines because basically everyone gets a tease fort a sequel instead of just letting a few things lie. One major character just up and vanishes without explanation, which I only realized wasn't followed-up on at the end. Despite my issues, I thought this was superb. Oh what I'd give to have Horror be so consistently good. Oh what I'd give to have all the Crime novels get fething sequels already, too. 9/10 My heart says Must Read but Goodreads says To Taste.
  5. Hi, So I've been out of the hobby for a couple years and I understand that the GW/FW/BL websites seem to have merged into one. My question is how do I access all the stuff I purchased from BL? I used to be able to log in and go to my account and see my purchase history and download my e-books whenever I wanted. I must have a GW and FW account too as I regularly receive updates and promotions from them. Any help is appreciated. G PS On a similar note is there a way to find old threads & posts of mine on here that aren't showing up under my profile content? e.g. I had an old HH Death Guard WiP thread that I can't find.
  6. I was considering starting a new generic top 10 thread, but I figured that was a little boring. So, if your Black Library collection was limited to 10 books, what would they be? That said, they can't be just any 10 books, no, there are limitations: The story must take place in the Warhammer 40k (or Horus Heresy) Universe. Each author is limited to a single book, no series and no multiples - 10 authors, 10 books. The story must be a full and singular novel (~200 - whatever pages): no novellas, short stories, or omnibuses. There, I think that should make things sufficiently spicy. If you have the time or the want, write a bit about why you chose what you did. This is a thread to share what you enjoy with your fellows, and to draw people's attention to some works they may not have otherwise considered. Please keep things positive and don't criticize other people's choices.
  7. Anyone given this a listen yet? I thought it was a fun audio, the voice acting is good as usual, and as someone who doesn't follow 8th ed. developments outside of Black Library I'd say it was worth the 4.5 hours. While there's plenty of spectacle, it falls on the less action-oriented side of Annandale's works. It has a fair bit of the introspection that I think he does well, and follows his usual spiritual odyssey tropes: enormous creatures, epic journeys, and everything but the kitchen sink thrown in for good measure. For the same reason, it did feel a bit all over the place, it's very Annandale and won't be changing anyone's opinions on his work. For a wyrd bonding Ragnar and Ghazghkull, we see less of the ork than I would have expected. That said, the scenes from Thraka's POV are definitely the highlight of the drama, Annandale nails the character's voice, and makes him noticeably different from the more standard orks surrounding him. This doesn't tell the full tale found in the Psychic Awakening supplement, but it works better for it in my opinion; it ends exactly when it should. I'm curious if this is doing well, and if we'll see a sequel covering the rest of it. While I'm eternally thankful BL's team isn't being forced to cover big events on the tabletop anymore, I appreciate something that actually goes over the recent developments. I hope more authors jump on these opportunities in future, or even better, start backfilling. We still don't have a coherent account of Wrath of Magnus. I'd give it a strong 6 to light 7 out of 10.
  8. Looks like it's that time again: https://www.warhammer-community.com/2020/08/05/readers-choice-returns/?utm_source=CUSTOMERS&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BL_5th_August_Readers_Choice&utm_content=&utm_term=_&m_i=5VZMTExVuOcA9SUUVN2lPOrowwnwGM8ssZNFFCksceH7ZjiDrDdrYMn4vhTIYU1afN%2BRsg1BdTh63A93QnJBzpbYb6bMl%2BC55I The 40k options are: Rynn's World Lord of the Night Baneblade Fire Caste Dead Men Walking They have the audacity to put Fire Caste AND Lord of the Night on there. Just end me now. But if the last few years have been any indication, we might see reprints of some of these down the line anyway. Because you can't just make me choose between those, you mother f-
  9. This series of novellas seems to be intermittently trickling out, discuss them here. At the time of writing, we have: Death Knell, by Phil Kelly Blood Rite, by Rachel Harrison I just picked up Blood Rite by Harrison, and I'm excited to see if she tackles marines as well as Guardsmen. Anyone read either of these yet?
  10. Anyone else crack this open yet? Also, feel free to discuss the Horusian Wars in general here, I don’t feel like bumping the old Resurrection thread. The Horusian Wars: Divination – John French I believe that whoever decided to have this anthology drop after 2 novels was the same “mastermind” behind having Sword of Destiny Published in English over halfway through the Witcher saga, and you can’t convince me otherwise. Yes, Resurrection gives you a general idea of who the characters are, but it’s clear French intended for the shorts to hold proper character introductions for Covenant’s retinue when that book starts. This is coming from someone who enjoyed Resurrection anyway: read this first (or good luck remembering much about who someone like Koleg is). While not all the stories are pre-Resurrection, any references to spoilers are so oblique you won’t know what they mean until they happen in the novels. I’m aware some of these are new, but having this be the proper first entry with a bit of schedule-shuffling would have vastly improved people’s outlook on the series, IMO. Moving on from the book’s functional value, this is the strongest entry into the series as well. Limp-wristed shorts are a trap even the best author can fall into, but there’s none of that here. While I’m not in love with every entry, none fall below a solid “good,” it might be one of Black Libraries strongest anthologies ever. The character work is superb. The conceptual stuff is outstanding, building a world as deep as so varied an empire as the Imperium should be. And, as always with French, the oppressive atmosphere of the 41st millennium (and beyond) is on full, horrifying display. Nor is any of it simple brain candy, each tale is as much a thematic encapsulation of the Imperium’s various facets as they are character pieces. The standouts are definitely Mistress of Threads and Father of Faith. Each is a tale with minimal violence and lots of big ideas. Viola was already a fascinating character in the novels once she got appropriate focus, and none of that is lost here. Josef too was never lacking for charm, but Father of Faith adds some further tragedy to his character I hadn’t expected. I don’t have much in the way of criticism. I’ll admit Absolution of Swords and Blessing of Saints didn’t catch me as much as the others, unfortunate as they bookend the collection. That said, their content works well to frame the character pieces between them, and provide some wider context into why the Horusian Wars are happening, and how. Must Read, even if you dislike the novels 9/10
  11. So I read those two short stories Black Library recently put out, and here's what I though of them (spoilers for the stories). If you want a non-spoilery TLDR, Soulfuel isn't that great but Signal to Noise is pretty good. Soulfuel by Rob Sanders follows Palatine Adrianna Verletz of the Order of the Ebon Chalice, in her role as a witchseeker on an Adeptus Astra Telepathica Black Ship. The first part of the story has she and her squad tracking down and capturing a rogue psyker, while the second part involves her defending the Black Ship as it comes under assault from a Red Corsair raiding party. There's a few interesting tidbits on how the Black Ships operate - on this particular Black Ship at least, it seems Battle Sisters operate as the 'away teams' that hunt down rogue psykers that have escaped the tithe, while Stormtroopers are used for onboard security and there's mention of how Inquisitors regularly use the Black Ships as means of covert travel around the Imperium. Other than that there's nothing really to say about this story other than that its fairly average to middling 'bolter porn'. Almost every single Battle Sister in the story is killed during the boarding raid by the Red Corsairs (along with all the Stormtroopers), though Palatine Verletz does survive and defeats the Red Corsair Captain (Nassial Voightek, who is Huron's Third Captain). The writing is fairly uninspired, the plot-line is poor with no twists or surprises and the characterisation of the various protagonists is almost non-existent. Can't recommend this. Signal to Noise by C Z Dunn is actually a reprint of a story that first appeared in the Black Library Weekender Volume II (2012). It follows Sister Agentha, a Sister Dialogous of the Order of the Fractured Cipher as she serves aboard a Black Templar Strike Cruiser. She had been assigned to the Black Templars to assist in translating Necron runes, but the Strike Cruiser is ambushed by Eldar Corsairs and they are forced to hide in nearby dust-belt while the cruiser is repaired. Sister Agentha picks up an ancient Vox transmission that had been 'trapped' in the dust-belt, that she is able to translate from a very old (ie Great Crusade old) dialect of High Gothic by an Iterator from one of the Expeditionary Fleets. This story was far more interesting than Soulfuel, being able to depict much better characterisation - Sister Agentha comes across as intelligent and competent, while the Black Templars she deals with feel distinct in their personalities (a fair and reasoned Castellan and an overbearing Chaplain). There's also a nice little twist to the story: While its a very short story, I'd recommend it as worth reading at least as a rare look at a Sister Dialogous.
  12. Hey everyone! Back when I first read The Talon of Horus I was pretty keen to have a go at converting up some of the characters from the book, but other things (30k) got in the way and took up all of my hobby time... Now, with the recent release of the Black Legion excerpt, I've again started thinking about trying my hand at converting up some of my favourite characters from The Talon of Horus. I'm most keen to start on Khayon, Telemachon, and Nefertari, but I'm open to suggestion for other characters too. So, I'm looking for some ideas regarding which bits/models would be good to build and base these characters on. I'd love to hear all of your ideas and suggestions. I'll be using these pictures as reference, at least in regards to the aesthetic of the models. Obviously the posing will probably be quite different and I'm also open to suggestions that don't conform to the art in the pictures. These pictures should be considered as starting points rather than hard and fast rulings. http://i1122.photobucket.com/albums/l522/kizzdougs/Iskandar%20Khayon_zps6twhkdbz.jpg http://i1122.photobucket.com/albums/l522/kizzdougs/Telemachron20Lyras_zpsarlbvmmf.jpg http://i1122.photobucket.com/albums/l522/kizzdougs/Lheorvine_zpsnmjvwrk2.jpg I couldn't find any 'official' art for Nefertari, so I'd love to hear some suggestions for her Thanks for looking
  13. I've become a little bored with bolter porn, are there any upcoming Xenos novels that look interesting?
  14. Hi everyone, a review thread for Throne of Light now that it has released I haven't yet read Faith and Fury, so I'm not sure how this meshes with that. But I'm on chapter eleven and so far, so good :) I doubt this will be as controversial as the Wolftime*, although the events of that book have been referenced, and it carries on the plots also of Dawn of Fire and Gate of Bones well as well as laying the ground more for the Dark Imperium trilogy's plot points. The starchild and wider psychic awakening is a theme of the book, but I must admit I'm very doubtful of the Siege or Pandaemonium connections others talk about on the board. If there was to be anything, then surely a connection to perhaps more relevant activities in the contemporaneous Covenant books (whose horusian and thorian themes also are star childy). But there isn't. The parish nexus's importance is made clear, but it isn't yet the subject of the series. As a book in its own right, the characters are fresh, and Haley gives room to a characterful roster - Lucerne, Fabian, to Rostov and his team, Messinius and Areios, and to the word bearers too. He continues to have Guilliman viewed by those around him, which makes a nice change from Dark Imperium. Thinking of DI, I wonder at what point Felix will emerge, or if we have met him already? In the twelve years of the crusade a figure important enough to be appointed a new tetrarch emerges, but so far we haven't yet seen such a significant figure among any of the Sons of Guilliman. It may be Felix never is a character in this series - but that would be surprising, given his prominance in DI, at the start of which he is the primarch's equerry, a successor to Hurak. I hope this doesn't spell a dark fate for the latter?
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