New Books (April-May)

Featuring: James Abbott, Nina Allan, Fredrik Backman, Bandi, Paul Beatty, Robert Jackson Bennett, Marie Brennan, Jesse Brown, M.R. Carey, Don Carpenter, Ben Coes, Jenny T. Colgan, Mason Cross, Cory Doctorow, Alan Drew, Amy Engle, Steve Erickson, Nigel Foster, David Guymer, John Gwynne, Tom Holt, Christopher Husberg, James Islington, Howard Jacobson, Stephen King, Andrew Lane, Dale Lucas, Grace O’Connell, Sam Peters, Eliza Robertson, Vivian Shaw, Michael Farris Smith, Brian Staveley, Allen Steele, Stephan Talty, Gav Thorpe, Alison Umminger, Jeff Vandermeer, Paul Vidich, Chris Wraight

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Review: SLAYER by David Guymer (Black Library)

GuymerD-G&F-SlayerThe Dooms of Gotrek & Felix…

With their friendship in tatters after a series of betrayals, Gotrek and Felix march south at the head of a ragtag army, intent upon driving the forces of Chaos out of the Empire and returning Felix to his wife. But Gotrek’s doom is at hand, and great powers are at work to ensure that he meets it. With enemies on all sides and destiny calling, Felix must make a choice: to follow Gotrek into the darkness that awaits him, or to abandon his oldest friend once and for all.

I’ve said it many times on CR, but I’ve been a fan of the Gotrek & Felix series since the early-1990s. In Slayer, David Guymer, the fourth author to work on the series, brings everything to a close. Tied in with the End Times, it’s a fantastic, even moving farewell. After I turned the final page, I felt genuinely sad and just a little bit lost for what to do now… Despite one niggle, this is an excellent finale. Continue reading

Review: KINSLAYER by David Guymer (Black Library)

GuymerD-DoG1-KinslayerThe Doom of Gotrek Gurnisson begins…

Once companions on the greatest of adventures, Gotrek and Felix have long since gone their separate ways. Felix, married and settled, secretly craves the excitment of his youth. And when the opportunity arises, Felix embarks upon what might be his final journey. As the chaos of the End Times engulfs Kislev, Gotrek and Felix are reunited, battling the hordes of the Troll King alongside Ulrika, Snorri and Max. But when long-hidden secrets are revealed, these old friends will be torn apart, and not all of them will leave Kislev alive…

Long-time readers of CR will know that I’m a huge fan of Warhammer heroes Gotrek Gurnisson and Felix Jaegar (because I mention this fact a lot). The characters and series were created by William King, back in the late 1980s, and the series has continued pretty much uninterrupted ever since, until March of this year, when David Guymer brought it to a close with Slayer. Kinslayer is an interesting first half of a finale, tied in nicely with the Warhammer End Times storyline. It is not without its weaknesses, but it is also a must-read for fans of the series. Continue reading

New Books (March-April)

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Featuring: Guy Adams, Jack Campbell, Becky Chambers, Nick Cole, Delilah S. Dawson, Robert Glinski, Sally Green, Dave Guymer, Samantha Harvey, Roger Hobbs, Lucy Hounsom, Stephen Lloyd Jones, Ken Liu, Thomas Mallon, K.T. Medina, Nnedi Okorafor, Bryony Pearce, Andrew Pyper, Josh Reynolds, Ross Ritchell, Lilith Saintcrow, J.P. Smythe, Liesel Schwarz, Sara Taylor, Steve Toltz, Daniel Torday, David Wellington, Chuck Wendig, Paul Witcover Continue reading

Upcoming: “Slayer” by David Guymer (Black Library)

Guymer-G&F-Slayer2015(Kind of) Hot on the heels of my recent post with the details for Guymer’s Kinslayer, I’m able to share with you the details for the next Gotrek & Felix novel! I am now very behind on the series, after following it eagerly from the publication of Trollslayer (I’m not including the three anthologies that included G&F stories, as I read those quite a bit after publication). In May 2015, Black Library will publish SLAYER!* This pleases me mightily. Although, I can’t help but think it’s a little like they ran out of things to identify as the slayed, and decided to go very to-the-point with the title. Check out that big daemon in the background…

Here’s the synopsis…

With enemies on all sides and destiny calling, Felix must make a choice: to follow Gotrek into the darkness that awaits him, or to abandon his oldest friend once and for all.

For many long years, Felix Jaeger has followed the dwarf Slayer Gotrek Gurnisson across the world. Their adventures have been extraordinary, their heroic partnership the stuff of legends. Now it ends. With their friendship in tatters after a series of betrayals, the pair march south at the head of a ragtag army, intent upon driving the forces of Chaos out of the Empire and returning Felix to his wife. But Gotrek’s doom is at hand, and great powers are at work to ensure that he meets it. With enemies on all sides and destiny calling, Felix must make a choice: to follow Gotrek into the darkness that awaits him, or to abandon his oldest friend once and for all.

* This is the date listed by Simon & Schuster (Canada), at any rate. Black Library may release it sooner as an eBook or directly through their website/online store. Simon & Schuster have been a real boon for information and artwork for upcoming Black Library titles – they’re BL’s distributor in Canada, and share the information in their online catalogue way before BL shares it on their own website. I think this is something to do with North American conventions for publishing. (But that could be a load of rubbish… I just remember hearing something to that effect recently.)

Upcoming: “Kinslayer” by David Guymer (Black Library)

Guymer-G&F-KinslayerFans have been clamouring for this novel ever since they turned the final page of Nathan Long’s Zombieslayer. Finally, David Guymer brings the story of Gotrek and Felix back to the chronology begun in William King’s Trollslayer! For some reason, I’ve been unable to keep on top of the non-chronological Gotrek & Felix novels (though I do have all three of them, and really need to get myself caught up). I would like to catch up before this is released, in September 2014, but I don’t think I can make any promises.

Nevertheless, Kinslayer, the sixteenth novel in the series, is likely to be one of Black Library’s most anticipated novels of the year. And, indeed, I count myself among those who are eagerly awaiting it. I have been a fan of the series ever since King’s short stories appeared in Warhammer Armies: The Empire and various other venues. (Inferno! magazine! Anyone else read/remember that?)

Kinslayer is also getting a hardcover release, apparently, which will mark it as the first in the series to do so. Here’s the synopsis:

Once heroes and companions on the greatest of adventures, Gotrek Gurnisson and Felix Jaeger have long since gone their separate ways. Felix, married and working for the family business in Altdorf, embarks on a journey north to Kislev when he hears that an old comrade has been captured by the forces of Chaos. Reunited with Gotrek, and other old friends, Felix begins to suspect that he has embarked upon his final adventure. And in the cold north, Gotrek’s doom awaits him…

This cover also has that tantalising (for fans, anyway) tagline: “Book 1 of the Doom of Gotrek Gurnisson”. What does this mean, I wonder? Are they drawing the series to a close in the relatively-near future? Or, will this be a Marvel-esque tease that fails to deliver utterly on what it promises/portents? (See, for example, the various “deaths” of multiple Spider-Men, death of innumerable characters, the brain/consciousness switcheroos, etc…).

Upcoming: “Felix & Gotrek: City of the Damned” by David Guymer (Black Library)

Guymer-G&F-CityOfTheDamnedI’ve been reading the Felix & Gotrek series ever since the very early Games Workshop Warhammer anthologies (the first I bought was Wolf Riders). When Black Library was formed, and William King started releasing regular novels, I was very happy. Then Nathan Long took over the series, and he maintained the quality very well, taking it to the next level. Now the series seems to be more of a team-effort, with multiple short stories by different authors, and now novels by different people – this latest one by David Guymer, and also Josh Reynold’s Road of Skulls (which I really need to read… Maybe I’ll read it this coming week).

It’ll be interesting to see how these new installments add to the expanding Gotrek & Felix canon. Especially as they seem to be diverging from the timeline set out by King and Long…

Gotrek and Felix: unsung heroes of the Empire, or nothing more than common thieves and murderers? The truth perhaps lies somewhere in between, and depends entirely upon whom you ask… Legend tells of the City of the Damned – a dark and forbidding place destroyed in a previous age by the wrath of Sigmar. Long have its fallen towers remained undisturbed by the people of Ostermark, but now an ancient evil stirs in the depths, gathering its strength once more. Gotrek and Felix are swept up in the crusade of Baron Gotz von Kiel to cleanse the city, and as the ruins are torn from the passage of time itself, the Slayer’s doom appears to be approaching more quickly than either of them would like.

City of the Damned will be published in September 2013.