Quick Review: THE WOLFTIME by Gav Thorpe (Black Library)

ThorpeG-WH40k-DoF3-WolftimeThe Indomitus Crusade reaches Fenris

Discover how the Cicatrix Maledictum affects even the most stubborn and steadfast of the Imperium’s warriors, as traditions the Space Wolves hold dear may be stopping them from defending the Imperium to the best of their abilities.

The Indomitus Crusade has brought the Emperor’s vengeance to thousands of star systems. The fleets and armies under the leadership of Roboute Guilliman fight for the survival of humanity against the forces of the Chaos Gods. But the traitors and heretics are not the only foe looking to destroy the rule of Terra.

Xenos prey on human worlds in numbers not seen for millennia. Worst amongst them are the rampaging orks, whose migration conquests threaten to reverse the many gains of Fleet Primus. And their throaty bellows carry a name not heard in years, of destruction made flesh, a bestial warlord without peer: Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka.

In the midst of this brutal tide is Fenris, the world of the Space Wolves. Depleted by ever-greater demands on their warriors, called upon by the Legion-breaker Guilliman, the Wolves of Fenris face a momentous decision. Grimnar and his counsellors must choose whether their fate is to ally themselves with an ancient rival and risk all that makes them the Vlka Fenryka or to accept their demise and wait for the return of their own primarch and the coming of the Wolftime.

I’ve very much enjoyed the recent batch of WH40k releases — in particular, those novels and stories that have expanded fans’ understanding of what has happened since the fall of Cadia and the opening of the Cicatrix Malediction. In Guy Haley’s Dark Imperium trilogy, and the first two books in the Dawn of Fire series, we’ve come to learn a fair bit about this “present” of the WH40k universe. In this novel, Thorpe does a great job of giving us a narrower, though no less illuminating look at how the changes in the universe have affected one of the most popular factions: the Space Wolves. I very much enjoyed this. Continue reading

New Books (October-November)

NewBooks-20211114

Featuring: Tom Beckerlegge, William Brewer, Michael Connelly, Katie Cotugno, Eli Cranor, Scott Drakeford, Ren Hutchings, James Kestrel, Andrew Lipstein, Ellery Lloyd, H. M. Long, Cassidy Lucas, William Martin, T. R. Napper, Dan Ozzi, K. J. Parker, Kal Penn, Andrew Rice, Will Smith, Richard Swan, Gav Thorpe, Vanessa Veselka, Donald E. Westlake

Continue reading

New Books (March-April)

NewBooks-20210426

Featuring: Stacey Abrams, Mike Brooks, Choi Jin-young, Mikaella Clements, Onjuli Datta, Alex de Campi, Amanda Foody, John French, Peter F. Hamilton, Gareth Hanrahan, Peter Heller, Christine Lynn Herman, Kotaro Isaka, Jadie Jang, Cassandra Khaw, Joe R. Landsdale, Richard Lange, Mike Lawson, S. Qiouyi Lu, Lee Mandelo, Elaine Murphy, Craig Nova, Megan E. O’Keefe, Gareth L. Powell, Tom Rosenstiel, Neil Sharpson, Brian Staveley, Gav Thorpe, C.L. Werner, David Wragg

Continue reading

Very Quick Review: SCIONS OF THE EMPEROR (Black Library)

HHP-ScionsOfTheEmperorA short collection of stories to add colour to some of the Primarchs

From their shadowed origins to the desperate battles that ensued when half of them rebelled against their father, the Sons of the Emperor – the vaunted primarchs – were among the greatest of humanity’s champions. They were warriors without peer and heroes whose deeds became legend. From a tale of Ferrus Manus in his earliest days to mysterious murders that lead Rogal Dorn into peril on the eve of the Siege of Terra, the eight tales in this volume lay bare key moments in the lives of these mighty heroes.

CONTENTS
Canticle by David Guymer
The Verdict of the Scythe by David Annandale
A Game of Opposites by Guy Haley
Better Angels by Ian St Martin
The Conqueror’s Truth by Gav Thorpe
The Sinew of War by Darius Hinks
The Chamber at the End of Memory by James Swallow
First Legion by Chris Wraight

Each of these stories adds a bit of colour and depth to what we know about the Primarchs. There are eight stories, so they don’t cover all of the Emperor’s sons, but a good range is featured. I enjoyed these. Continue reading

Quick Review: THE FIRST WALL by Gav Thorpe (Black Library)

ThorpeG-HHSoT3-FirstWallMaster siege breaker meets master defender…

The outer defences have fallen, but the walls of the Imperial Palace stand. To break them, the Traitors need their most devastating weapons – and so the Lion’s Gate Spaceport must be theirs…

The war for the fate of mankind blazes on. Though the outer defences have fallen, the walls of the Palace itself remain inviolate as Rogal Dorn, the Praetorian of Terra himself, uses every known stratagem and ploy to keep Horus’s vast armies at bay. In Perturabo, the Traitor siegebreaker, Dorn faces an adversary worthy of his skill. A terrible, grinding attrition ensues. The crucial battle for the Lion’s Gate space port is at the heart of this conflict. With it in their possession, the Traitors can land their most devastating weapons on Terran soil. Dorn knows it must not fall. But with enemies attacking from all sides, and the stirrings of the Neverborn drawn to the slaughter, can the Imperial defenders possibly prevail?

This is the third novel in the Siege of Terra series, the closing act of the epic Horus Heresy. The traitors have broken the planet’s outer defences, and are in the process of breaking into the continent-sized Imperial Palace. A bit of a slower novel than the first two in the series, but still an excellent addition to the series. Continue reading

New Books (February-March)

NewBooks-20200229

Featuring: Asaf Ashery, Robert Dallek, S.A. Hunt, Tim Lebbon, Nick Martell, Adrienne Miller, Sue Miller, Jeff Noon, Josh Reynolds, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Emily Tesh, Gav Thorpe, Lavie Tidhar, Paul Vidich, Drew Williams

Continue reading

Quick Review: LORDS AND TYRANTS by Various (Black Library)

Various-Lords&TyrantsA substantial, engaging collection of WH40k short fiction — perfect for long-time fans and newcomers

Many are the horrors of the 41st Millennium, from alien tyrants to dark lords in the grip of Chaos. But arrayed against them are champions of humanity, who fight to defend all that is good in the galaxy.

Wracked by the ravages of war, the galaxy has known no peace for untold millennia. To exist is to fight. To thrive is to conquer. Once-proud worlds lie in ruins at the hands of traitorous warlords and vile alien despots. Cowed by the unstoppable march of the Ruinous Powers, humanity stands on the precipice of oblivion. All hope is banished. Yet, there are many who take up arms against these horrors. Noble heroes of the Imperium sally forth to do battle while enigmatic Inquisitors explore the shadowy secrets of this benighted era. In the terror of the 41st Millennium, righteous lords and iron-willed tyrants clash to decide who is worthy of inheriting the galaxy.

Contents:
Argent by Chris Wraight
Lucius: Pride and Fall by Ian St Martin
Whispers by Alec Worley
The Battle for Hive Markgraaf by Justin D Hill
A Brother’s Confession by Robbie MacNiven
Rise by Ben Counter
Flayed by Cavan Scott
A Memory of Tharsis by Josh Reynolds
Left for Dead by Steve Lyons
Unearthed by Rob Sanders
The Aegidan Oath by L J Goulding
Hidden Treasures by Cavan Scott
Carcharodons: The Reaping Time by Robbie MacNiven
The Greater Evil by Peter Fehervari
The Path Unclear by Mike Brooks
Shadows of Heaven by Gav Thorpe

This is a pretty substantial collection of short fiction set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Sixteen stories, drawing together some fan-favourite characters and some new, I think it would serve very well as an introduction for anyone who has not yet delved into the extensive body of WH40k fiction, while also satisfying long-time fans of the IP looking for some quick-hits of sci-fi action and adventure. Continue reading

Quick Review: SONS OF THE EMPEROR (Black Library)

Various-HHP-SonsOfTheEmperorAn anthology of short stories about the Primarchs

From their shadowed origins to the desperate battles that ensued when half of them rebelled against their father, the Sons of the Emperor – the vaunted primarchs – were among the greatest of humanity’s champions, warriors without peer and heroes whose deeds became legend.

From the Angel Sanguinius, who took the sole brunt of his Legion’s most brutal acts, to Vulkan, whose humanity made him unique amongst his brothers, and from dour Perturabo, architect, inventor and murderous warlord, to Horus, whose shining light was eclipsed only by the darkness that grew within his soul, this anthology covers eight of the primarchs and their greatest – or darkest – deeds.

Contents:
The Passing of Angels by John French
The Abyssal Edge by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
Mercy of the Dragon by Nick Kyme
Shadow of the Past by Gav Thorpe
The Emperor’s Architect by Guy Haley
Prince of Blood by L J Goulding
The Ancient Awaits by Graham McNeill
Misbegotten by Dan Abnett

This is a great anthology. Originally released as a special for the Black Library Weekender in 2018, it collects eight stories by some of the best authors working on the Horus Heresy series. Each of them offers something new and interesting, alternative and original impressions and glimpses of some of the Primarchs. I really enjoyed this. Continue reading

New Books (February-March)

NewBooks-20180227

Featuring: Dan Abnett, Kevin J. Anderson, Melissa Caruso, John Connolly, Andrea Dunlop, Paul French, Ben Fritz, Paul Goldberg, Kristin Hannah, Jane Harper, Frank Herbert, Anthony Horowitz, Sarah A. Hoyt, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Lucas Mann, Stephen Markley, Ian McDonald, S.J. Morden, Claire North, Melissa F. Olson, Jo Piazza, Michael Redhill, Joe Mungo Reed, K.R. Richardson, Gav Thorpe, Corey J. White

Continue reading

Books Received (September-October)

NewBooks-201701008

Featuring: Guy Adams, K.C. Alexander, Kurt Andersen, Stanley Bing, Stefan Merrill Block, Lila Bowen, A.F. Brady, Chris Brookmyre, Miles Cameron, Hillary Clinton, Myke Cole, Curtis Craddock, Matthew de Abaitua, Cara Delevingne, Jonathan de Shalit, Jeffrey Eugenides, Eric Scott Fischl, William Gibson, Christopher Golden, Kathryn Harkup, Sophie Hénaff, Steve Israel, Tyrell Johnson, Stephen King, Tim Lebbon, Ben Loory, Ken MacLeod, Caitlin Macy, Aaron Mahnke, Seanan McGuire (x2), Simon Sebag Montefiore, Louisa Morgan, Annalee Newitz, Nnedi Okorafor, Jane O’Reilly, K.J. Parker, Andreas Pflüger, James Rollins, Peter Swanson, Gav Thorpe, Reed Tucker, Jean M. Twenge, Jo Walton

Continue reading