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A good first book?


Robert2004

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Hey guys,

 

Recently came back into the hobby after several years out and started my Ultramarines army back up! Never was into all the fluff aspect of the game, more the shooting people and hitting them in the face with big swords ha ha. still couldn't hurt to read a book or two in my spare time.

 

Wondering what books you guys would recommend for first time readers of the 40k universe? There seems to be a LOAD of books out there and its very daunting on what direction or book to pick up and read first. I like the Ultramarines, and space marines in general and have a friend who started collecting who has a small tau force so any books he could pick up?

 

Thanks

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Horus Heresy is good. If you can find a copy, Soul Hunter by A D-B(Aaron Dembski-Bowden) was very awesome. The Founding Omnibus by Dan Abnett is always a good choice. There is also Path of the Renegade by Andy Chambers. Well, to be honest there is little you can go wrong.

 

For Ultramarines, there is the First Ultramarines Omnibus by Graham Mcneil. And for Tau there is a new book called "The Fire Caste" that just came out. Can't think of the author off the top of my head and I haven't read it so I don't if it is any good.

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The horus heresy is a good place to start (The first three books, mechanicum, the first heretic and betrayer are kind of essential), 15 hours is an amazing short read about the imperial guard, the last church is an awesome read on the Emperor's view and helsreach is a great book too but its about black templars and imperial guard

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Thanks for the suggestions guys, seems one can't go wrong with the horus hersay books. However that happened like thousands of years ago are there no books out there which are current in terms of where the universe it at the minute? 

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That's kind of give and take. Pretty much anything that isn't the Horus Heresy series. Pretty much everything is currently "just before" 13th Black Crusade due to GW rewinding the clock. The only two series that I've seen that are suggested to be "directly" involved with the build are the Word Bearers series by Anthoney Reynolds and the Night Lords series by A D-B. The BL books aren't necessarily followin a timeline as much as going "Hey, all of this is happening in different places across the galaxy during the 1,000 years of the 41st Millenium.
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ANYTHING by Dan Abnett. Seriously.

+1. I can say the same thing for Aaron Dembski-Bowden (A D-cool.png. McNeill to me is more hit or miss. The Ultramarine books were OK, but the other side Storm of Iron was great.

While "The Founding" is great and a near necessary introduction to the Tanith 1st, in the later books the story really kicks off. If you start with that series be prepared to buy all volumes, and to become frustrated that Dan Abnett has so many other projects that he does not churn out new books fast enough.

Someone also suggested Soul Hunter, read the two other volumes of the trilogy (Blood Reaver, Void Stalker) as well.

caiphas cain series happened in the last centuries of the millenium and cain lives on until the first century of the new millenium, its a very fun series

The Ciaphas Cain series is great, but it is not a normal representative of 40k fiction. It is more like Black Adder in Space. Don't expect much grimdarkness there.

Basically if you are into 40k, pick a faction that interests you and start reading, especially if the book is by one of the already mentioned authors. For the Horus Heresy, I recommend you start at the beginning (Horus Rising). Especially the first 4 books are in direct sequence. The series as a whole (what's available already) is rather varied in quality unfortunately. As always you cannot go wrong with Abnett or A D-B.

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Thanks for all the suggestions, seems like there are loads and loads of books out there! Might have to purchase the first book in the horus story, possibly the ultramarines book too ha ha! =]

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If you're interested in stories regarding your own chapter the Ultramarines it's a bit of a catch 22 since Graham McNeil's series is a tad hit and miss for me but on the flip side the heresy material featuring them (battle for the abyss excluded) is simply awesome. Know No Fear is probably in a 3 way tie for best best book so far (Along with Legion and Betrayer) by, that man, Dan Abnett.

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If I recall I started with one of the short story books (Legends of the Space Marines I think). That confused the heck out of me, but I enjoyed it enough that sometime later I picked up the Ultramarines omnibus (the first one, and at the time the only one). That was my introduction to the setting, and I enjoyed them a lot, even if years later I'm less certain of how well they protrayed the Codex and Ultramarines. If you're interested in reading about Space Sarines (and Ultramarines in particular) fighting many of the other armies and getting into adventures, it's a good series to start with. The Eisenhorn trilogy and Ciaphas Cain series are also good ones that tend to go into the bits of the background that you won't find in the army books (Eisenhorn in particular). Very little Space Marine action, though.

If I had to do it all over again I'd start with one of them.

Tau are tougher. Courage and Honour from the Ultramarine series has Tau in it, but I'm not sure I'd suggest it for a Tau fan. tongue.png Fire Caste is very good, but not really about the Tau. The Greater Good is typical Cain and even less about the Tau. The Shadowsun novella is directly about them and not bad. My biggest criticism (other than that the novellas cost too much for being so short) would be that it didn't "feel" very 40k to me, but more like a story that could easily be transplanted to another scifi setting. On the other hand, that's very subjective and I understand the author did a lot of research on the Tau and included little things relating to the Tau background and models (like why the Shadowsun figure on the GW website has guns in a different color from her armor). He even supposedly rolled out one of the battles to see how things might turn out.

Edit: Correction, Courage and Honour is the Ultramarines book where they fight the Tau.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ciaphas Cain is grimdark, in the sense that the universe is grimdark and the people in it are dealing with it by being really sarcastic.

 

I'd recommend either Ciaphas Cain or A D-B's Night Lords books. Ciaphas Cain is basically Flashman in 40K, and the Night Lords books are genuinely excellent. The Iron Snakes stuff isn't bad, though I wouldn't pay full price for it.

 

What's so great about Execution Hour, Kurgan? I've never heard such approval of it before.

 

EDIT: 35 bucks to the BL's print-on-demand service'd get you Execution Hour and some other books in this omnibus collection.

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