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Warhammer Books And 40k!

#1 User is offline   Obdigore 

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 11:09 AM

I figured we might want a single thread to talk about Warhammer + 40k books so we know which ones are good or interesting and which ones aren't. At least I do so I started one. Hopefully you guys will participate.

Everyone Should Read:

Gaunts Ghosts Series (The whole thing) -> It is probably the best Warhamer 40k series I have read
Space Wolves Omnibus -> Enjoying it right now.

Mediocre Stuff:
Gotrek and Felix -> Simple bloody hack and slash. Not the best but these books will eat a couple afternoons if you are looking for light reading.

Stuff not up to snuff:

Gideon Ravenor Omnibus -> It was interesting at first but it got very long and I had to fight not to put it down.
Imperial Guard Omnibus -> A couple books in omnibus by random authors that were just meh compared to reading the Gaunt stuff.


So, what do I need to read and where would you place it? I will try and update this first post based on opinions. Comment on what I have up there if you don't agree with where it is.
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#2 User is offline   Tapper 

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 11:51 AM

Ciaphas Caine is fun and light, but gets tedious after a book or two (imho). reading the entire omnibus in one go was not my cup of tea. Put it in mediocre ;)

I'll leave the comments on the Horus Heresy series to those who got beyond the first book, which I didn't really like.
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#3 User is offline   The Tyrant Lizard 

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 11:54 AM

I second the Gotrek books, altho I think they took a turn for the worse when King stopped writing them. I also liked the Ragnar books.

I forget who wrote them now but there was a couple of trilogies about a witch hunter and a bounty huner that were quite good. Not brilliant, but you get what it says on the tin
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#4 User is offline   McLovin 

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 03:26 PM

I like the one where some douchebag named Obdigore changes his name to confuse the shit out of enemies and allies alike. I think it was called the Dutch Flag omnibus.

And it's ghillie suit, you bonehead.
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#5 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 08:35 PM

View PostTapper, on 20 December 2011 - 11:51 AM, said:

Ciaphas Caine is fun and light, but gets tedious after a book or two (imho). reading the entire omnibus in one go was not my cup of tea. Put it in mediocre ;)

I'll leave the comments on the Horus Heresy series to those who got beyond the first book, which I didn't really like.

The Ciaphas Cain books are truly great. I'd consider them one of the highest points of WH40K literature, if not the highest. Picture a cowardly troop leader with the style of James Bond who the universe wants to see smeared into bloody gibbets. Add in a badass, mostly silent, yet always hilarious sidekick and awesome, awesome battle scenes. Cain himself is rather likable and the style of writing the books as a translation of his journals with added in commentary from someone close to him that brooks no shit whatsoever really works.

As for the Horus Heresy books, I'll list the ones I've read and give a short sentence or two.

Horus Rising Dan Abnett Very good. Tablesetting, yet creates vivid characters.
False Gods Graham McNeill Continues the storylines and shows Horus's "turn". Liked it.
Galaxy in Flames Ben Counter Didn't like it, Skip.
The Flight of the Eisenstein James Swallow Good. Different in scope than the books before.
Fulgrim Graham McNeill Haphazardly awesome and gets into the fun of being the "bad guys" well.
Descent of Angels Mitchel Scanlon Great insight into the development of Lion El'Jonson, but I didn't quite connect with the religious themes all that much. Still very much worth a read though.
Legion Dan Abnett Flat out terrific. This is the best book in this particular series.
Battle for the Abyss Ben Counter Basically a reverse space-going Hunt for Red October. Shitty in execution though and maybe worst book in series. Dislike Counter at this point.
Mechanicum Graham McNeill Pretty good. It's the technological civil war. Lots of subtle jokes about IT profession.
Tales of Heresy Compilation. Nick Kyme & Lindsey Priestley, editors Pretty good as well.
Fallen Angels Mike Lee Sequel to the other Dark Angels book before. Still good and shows that Lion is perhaps more of a war-badass than Horus, but a much weaker people-manager.
A Thousand Sons Graham McNeill Great. Maybe the fourth best book in the series. Puts a nice edge to Magnus's turn.
Nemesis James Swallow Takes a non-Space Marine approach with Assassins trying to gank Horus. Maybe the third best book in series.
The First Heretic Aaron Dembski-Bowden Pretty good. Only one small criticism of this book - when did lieutenants get seduced by Chaos?
Prospero Burns Dan Abnett Super good. Second best book in the series. The Space Wolves are genuinely dangerous here.

The Blood Angels books were a bit above average - mostly kind of the "rise of a hero" series without much complication. The Grey Knights books were similar.

The Eisenhorn and Ravenor books were great. Kinda like far bloodier, less complicated versions of the Dresden Files, if Harry were a private investigator for the WH40K CIA or something.

The Space Wolves stuff was good.
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#6 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:03 PM

I should put in that I do not play WH40K or WH. I have never played Skyrim, WoW, D&D, Oblivion, Morrowind, Minecraft or any of the other tabletop/PC games that quite a few of you have.

I just picked up the Gaunt's Ghost series, liked it a ton and then went on to explore the others.

Forgot to say that the Salamander books are great stuff. The Night Lords are above average bad guys with codes of ethics stories.

There's another Inquisition series with some supposed badass, J-something. It was really bad.

Also, anything by Ben Counter, do not read. Awful.
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#7 User is offline   Obdigore 

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 04:14 AM

View PostMcLovin, on 21 December 2011 - 03:26 PM, said:

I like the one where some douchebag named Obdigore changes his name to confuse the shit out of enemies and allies alike. I think it was called the Dutch Flag omnibus.

And it's ghillie suit, you bonehead.



Thanks for being on topic. I appreciate it.
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#8 User is online   Macros 

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 09:58 AM

So if I was to read on wh40k book to germs started it should be space wolves stuff? Loved the ravens in dawn of war, is their books worth the effort?
Also apart from the gotten stuff is there any decent olde warhammer stuff, empire and skaven and the rest?
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#9 User is offline   Obdigore 

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 10:05 AM

View PostMacros, on 22 December 2011 - 09:58 AM, said:

So if I was to read on wh40k book to germs started it should be space wolves stuff? Loved the ravens in dawn of war, is their books worth the effort?
Also apart from the gotten stuff is there any decent olde warhammer stuff, empire and skaven and the rest?
Really want a series based on shadow of the horned ratabd dark omen, grudgebringers are awesome


I would say the Gaunts Ghosts are the best Warmhammer 40k series. They are not Space Marines, just Guardsmen, but they have some very interesting adventures and Abnett writes very good combat.

If you want Space Marines, then yes the Space Wolf Omnibus so far has been good for me, I'm going through the third book of the first omnibus, apparently there is a second. Excellent.

Gotrek and Felix are Warhammer, a Dwarf and a Human who wander around killing stuff. One of their recurring enemies is a Skaven Sorcerer. I don't know of any Warhammer that is written from the Skaven being 'good' guys, but the Gotrek and Felix stuff does have Skaven POV multple times.

This post has been edited by Dusty Gillie Suit: 22 December 2011 - 11:05 AM

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#10 User is offline   Garak 

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 10:10 AM

Stay away from the Dawn of War books, they are horrible (granted if you're not familiar with the setting you might not notice it but the writing itself was pretty bad). Which is a shame since the games had a good plot (well, except Dark Crusade and Soul Storm which had not plot).
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#11 User is offline   Tapper 

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 10:56 AM

Quote

Horus Rising Dan Abnett Very good. Tablesetting, yet creates vivid characters.

See, that is why books leads to very different opinions. To me, the book was one big orgy of raging testosteron with a sauce that consisted of Teutonic grandstanding mixed with litres of blood from which wafted an overall aroma of repressed (homo)sexuality. All of which I am usually more than OK with (Land Fit For Heroes, Rome/ Spartacus, anyone?), whether in texts or in visuals, but in this particular case, the result was a dish that looked better on the plate than it tasted.

I do think Abnett deliberately put in all of the above elements to show the brotherhood and knightly reverence for Horus as well as the lofty corps d'esprit of the Sons of Horus, with their culture being akin to a ( fictional rendition of) the mess-tents of the Spartan army camps, instead of going dirty and gritty like he does with the Ghosts. If so, he succeeded beyond a doubt and writ what he set out to achieve.

However, for me, the book felt flat. The story is ultimately about Horus (which puts the book firmly in the tragedy category for those who've read a tiny bit of 40k wiki), but because the main PoV isn't Horus but someone who idealizes the Warmaster to the extreme, Horus feels flat. The set-up of the book does not convey that this is merely a prologue, but presents a self-contained piece. The ending is therefore rather unsatisfactory.

The main PoV is near constant in its representation of Horus, and lacks a 180 at the end that presents the entire book in a different light, instead giving merely a minor forecast of things to come in a 25 book series by around a dozen different authors with their own characters and settings. As a result, Horus remains iconic, instead of someone extremely heroic but with (hidden) flaws.

I'm fairly sure that this is not due to a lack of Abnett's skills, but more due to Game Workshop's instructions to create a grand epic that intentionally progresses slowly.
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#12 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 06:31 AM

Read Abnett's latest Gaunt's Ghosts book, Salvation's Reach. This is 3/4s of a goddamn brilliant book. Abnett knows these characters so well and can play the right notes exquisitely at this point.

The WH40K genre may be doofy quasi-monastic kill'em all, but Abnett makes it fun and clever too. I think the years of hammering away at the keyboards have turned him into a truly good author and I'm very interested in his future work. The man understands good stories on a primeval level now.

I say 3/4s because 320 pages is somehow not quite enough. There's a sense of incompletion at the end and that's mostly because of an ending placed right after the culmination of the major objective and one character's portentous smile...
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#13 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 06:33 AM

Oh, forgot to say Gaunt finally gets some in this novel. Hehehehe.

Dude is like Captain Picard at this point. If Picard was inclined to re-enacting Subotai's conquests bit by bloody bit...
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#14 User is offline   Hocknose 

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 04:00 PM

Just finshed 'A Thousand Sons', best Horus Heresy book yet in my opinion. Well worth a read and highly recommended.

That is all...
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#15 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 05:50 PM

View PostHocknose, on 09 August 2012 - 04:00 PM, said:

Just finshed 'A Thousand Sons', best Horus Heresy book yet in my opinion. Well worth a read and highly recommended.

That is all...

Get to Prospero Burns. It's even better than A Thousand Suns. Those are some dem fine books there.
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#16 User is offline   RodeoRanch 

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 03:04 AM

I'm addicted to the "Horus Heresy" books.
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#17 User is offline   Hocknose 

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 07:14 AM

RodeoRanch said:

1344654244[/url]' post='986633']
I'm addicted to the "Horus Heresy" books.


Which one are you up to??
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#18 User is offline   RodeoRanch 

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 04:06 PM

I've kinda hopped around the series depending on what character or the book description catches my fancy. It's neat that the books are linked but not so closely you can't hop around them.

I just finished "Deliverance Lost" by Gav Thorpe which is about Primarch Corvus Corax and the Raven Guard. I enjoyed it. My faves of the series so far have been the ones concerning The Thousand Sons and Magnus. "Prospero Burns" was great fun to read.
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#19 User is offline   Nocturnal 

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 11:55 PM

I wanted to ask, could you read these without any pre-knowledge about the Warhammer universe? Would I be lost if I tried out the books?
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#20 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 06:28 AM

View PostNocturnal, on 11 August 2012 - 11:55 PM, said:

I wanted to ask, could you read these without any pre-knowledge about the Warhammer universe? Would I be lost if I tried out the books?

Yeah, you can read them without knowing anything. I did. Just expect this ridiculous combination of High Gothic sturm-und-drang and hyperviolence that somehow is a fun, occasionally trashy read. It's a lot like a really bloody StarCraft set in a far future with a dim, decaying universal outlook with more aliens and a better backstory to everything.

There are some books that really transcend this and turn into something resembling actual literature (Anything by Dan Abnett, the Ciaphas Cain books and so on).
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