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FutureEmperor
10-07-2005, 06:39
I have been looking for a good book and then it hit my why not just get a book from the black library. but not wanting to read something of a caliber as bad as... (well as bad as what i write, just look at this crapola, i cant spell worth.... well you get the idea.) So anyways i was wondering which books were not only good but represented the fluff and background of 40k the best. ive alwaysed loved the background (its one of the reasons why im in the hobby) and well i havent really read any books yet, and i dont really want to read something that will turn me off the hobby.


and now for the prerequisite 1337/ N00815h talk..
P1z h31pz0rz

Delicious Soy
10-07-2005, 06:44
I'd recommend the Eisenhorn trilogy, it may be wrong in a few minor details but overall it definitely captures the essence of the 40k universe.

neXus6
10-07-2005, 06:54
I agree with Soy 100%.
The Eisenhorn trilogy is simply brilliant. Double Eagle is also a really nice look at a different side of the military. And Execution Hour is the starship side of things. Also the Commissar Cain books have some interesting parts about various races of the 40k universe, as well as being brilliant books.

Emperor's Light
10-07-2005, 07:56
I consider Eisenhorn one of the best too. You can get it in omnibus now. Ciaphas Cain is also great, very entertaining and has a bit of humour.

One series often overlooked is Execution Hour/Shadow Point by Gordon Rennie. Execution Hour remains one of my favorites, and it has some of the best characters. What I love about that series is that the heroes are not goody-2-shoes like in Gaunt.

Brusilov
10-07-2005, 09:11
Indeed the Eisenhorn trilogy gives you a good idea of what the Imperium functions and how people live on some worlds. There are a few inconsistencies and things I don't entirely agree with, but nevertheless it gives a good feel for the 40k universe.

If you are more on the metaphysical sides of things, I'd advise the Inquisition War Trilogy. These books are a crash course in matters related to the warp, the Emperor, Chaos and the like. It is old, some would say ancient and outdated, but personally I quite enjoyed them, in fact especially because it is old (and includes an excellent approach to the concept of the Star Child).

Xisor
10-07-2005, 13:03
I feel it of prime importance to second Execution Hour and Shadowpoint, fantastic novels and very well written(for BL novels at anyrate) by Gordon Rennie. Really, The tale of His Imperial Majesty's Lord Solar Macharius(Starship, not the man) and it's crew is one of the finest ever told by GW.

Eisenhorn is a good read too, but still not a patch on those two.

Xisor

Brusilov
10-07-2005, 13:10
Yes, I do enjoy those as well, but they give a relatively narrow view of the 40k universe (limited to the crew of a warship), while the Eisenhorn books have a larger view. This is not meant to imply the books are not good (quite the contrary), but it depends what you're looking for.
And personally, if you want a feel for what 40k battles look like, I'd advise either Storm of Iron or Warriors of Ultramar (especially the former), as they give you relatively good ideas of what is war in the grim darkness of the far future.

Cherubael
10-07-2005, 13:29
Another recommendation for the Eisenhorn trilogy and 'Execution Hour/Shadow Point' here.
I also quite enjoyed Gav Thorpes 'Angels of Darkness', which presents a different take on Lion El'Jonsons actions (or lack thereof) during the Horus Heresy.
And of course theres always the Gaunt's Ghosts series of novels too.

Emperor's Light
10-07-2005, 19:52
I liked Angels of Darkness. Generally, I find reasons to hate Gav Thorpe's stuff. However, AOD is somewhat groundbreaking in that it totally turned the existing fluff upside down, but not in a arbitrary way. However, it is not for everybody. Be prepared that the book offers an alternate "conspiracy theory" explanation of why the Dark Angels are the way they are. Personally I like Gav's version better. It makes the Dark Angels that much more sinister.

Brusilov
10-07-2005, 22:12
Personally I quite enjoyed Angels of Darkness. You have to take it as it is, a subjective view of the events and thus certainly tainted by the teller's own preconceptions of things.
And I generally like what Gav does, Angels and Darkness and the Sisters of Battle fluff are both excellent additions to the 40k universe. The only thing you could reproach Gavin is that he did not always see the room he left for :cheese: in the rules he wrote, simply because he does not seem to be the kind of person to min-max his army.

Nazguire
10-07-2005, 23:59
I back up Brusilov on the Inquisition War Trilogy.

That book showed me how in depth and complicated 40k is, and also showed me how watered down the background and Chaos in particular are today.

Interesting concepts in said book:

The Star Child, Illuminati and the Numen
Ordo Hydra
The Emperor is insane

You also get an in depth look at the Callidus Assassin Temple and how Polymorphine really works


Also, in this book, Space Marines are bad-ass, as in bad ass as extreme pain is something they do for fun.

And Imperial Fists don't suck! :D

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 00:10
I'm a total sucker for the BL books and so far I've enjoyed most of the ones I've read (with the exception of Mr. Green's contributions). I read them to be entertained more than anything so I don't mind so much if they bend the fluff rules a bit here and there.

My favourite include:
The Ciaphas Cain series. I find them hellishly amusing...offering up the lighter side of 40K

Eisenhorn....I just kept getting better as the series progressed. Although after reading the short Thorn wishes Talon, I don't like where Eisenhorn has gone as a character.

Angels of Darkness. First 40K book I ever read and the reason I'm replying as it started me off on my love of 40K. It made me cry it was that well written.

The Space Wolf series. Yes I know it inaccurate in may places but I enjoy them for the gung-honess of them. Plus Sven makes me laugh!

Storm of Iron. It was just like nothing I'd ever read before. I loved it.

TenTailedCat
11-07-2005, 00:22
I'll tell you what not to read: the Grey Knights or Blood Angels novels. All three are riddled with innaccuracies and sometimes downright stupid, incomprihensible mistakes. Avoid them like Nurgles' Rot.

As many others have said the Eisenhorn trilogy are great, if a little misleading. For example in 'Abnett-verse' it seems every Tom, Dick & Harry can afford a land speeder (or it's civilian equivilent) which is a bit odd especially when you consider that in military terms they're limited solely to the Astartes. There are more problems but that one always sticks out for me.

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 00:30
As a story, I thoght Grey Knights was ok....it's just Ben Counter's writing style I didn't like and felt pulled the story down. Too much time spent retelling what went on in the last chapter rather than progessing the story at a better rate.

The Blood Angels...I'd have preferred it to have been solely about Dante and/or Mephiston as I love their characters yet there's little extensive fluff on them (more on mephiston but hardly any one Dante).

And I enjoy the 'Abnett-verse'. True its not perfect but it's fun and amusing.

TenTailedCat
11-07-2005, 00:35
The thing that got me about Grey Knights was the mistakes, I tend to notice detail like Alaric's moaning and bitching about how he could have had a different life if he wasn't chosen for the Knights, or when he's talking about being a soldier for the Ordo Hereticus (wtf?) or the fact that he's a Justicar leading a team which consists of Terminators who're commanded by a Brother-Captain (ahem).

There really isn't a justifyable reason for most of those mistakes, it's just sloppy research and (perhaps) a lack of basic respect for the source material. God knows how he managed to get a deal for a second book.

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 00:39
Mistakes are usually lost to me as I get so involved with the story line that the details just become part of it whether they're true or not.

As for Grey Knights mistakes...I've only read it once, over a year ago and I hadn't slept for two days before reading it anyway so I'm amazed anything sank in. But as I said, I don't care for the writing style.

Soul Drinker was the same. A fair idea minced by the writing style.

TenTailedCat
11-07-2005, 00:42
I've yet to read his Soul Drinkers but in Grey Knights there seems to be an undercurrent, almost like Counter secretly wants the Chaos boys to win, you see it all through the story, the way the Knights are manipulated to kill Sororitas, for instance, throughout the whole book the Knights seem to be painted in the worst possible light (for a book which focuses on them , at any rate) which is not what I imagine when I think of a Grey Knight.

I don't know if Ben Counter plays 40k, but if he does I bet it's Chaos :P

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 00:48
Yes.....there is a very Chaos-y undercurrent to all his work,

'Nasty' Grey Knights (as you've stated)
Soul Drinkers.....rebel against the Imperium and end up getting mutated
Daemonworld

And the next book he's doing it a follow up to Grey Knights called 'Dark Adeptus'...which sounds ominous and chaotic.

Nazguire
11-07-2005, 01:14
I too will tell you to avoid Fire Warrior. Agh...


It's great for the reason of more Tau background. But apart from that... :cries:

It's hard at the best of times to believe a Fire Warrior capable of genocide on the scale that La'Kais is. He makes killing Imperial Stormtroopers as easy as stepping no bugs, Spurrier describes Space Marines as being incredibly stupid as to shoot their own men by mistake, the writing style reeks of pulp-fiction, a fan boy in essence writing on his favourite army.

A lot of the plot devices and changes also make no sense. For example, Kais just picks up a Rail Rifle. With no reason other than he has one. The same with the burst cannon. Just happens to find one. Ardias jumps up and down like a school boy having won a football game.

Imperial Troops are described as dumb, for example running out of cover because they hear Kais groaning in pain, only to be pulped by Kais' super accurate and deadly Pulse Rifle. :cries:

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 01:19
Yes...I too have been warned away from Fire Warrior and since everyone else has said the same, I have taken heed of that warning.

Dawn of War isn't much better either.

I guess books based on games just never work. Although Dawn of War did explain one or two things a little better in the game but it was fairly meh!

Nazguire
11-07-2005, 01:25
Yes...I too have been warned away from Fire Warrior and since everyone else has said the same, I have taken heed of that warning.

Dawn of War isn't much better either.

I guess books based on games just never work. Although Dawn of War did explain one or two things a little better in the game but it was fairly meh!


Dawn of War was spades better than Fire Warrior :D . The Difference between Fire Warrior and Dawn of War was that Gabriel didn't single handedly depopulate the Chaos and Eldar armies, didn't just suddenly come upon equipment out of nowhere (as Kais does with several pieces of weaponry) and has more personality than "Oh the Mont'au, the MONT'AU" :D

The next Dawn of War book should be far better as it won't be based on the game, allowing far more freedom than what the games do.

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 01:30
Well having not read Fire Warrior I can't really compare them. But I felt let down by Dawn of War since I had such fun playing the game. So much so I almost threw the book down a very crowded bus when I finished.
I expected a lot from the book and it didn't deliever. Though I must admit that i did enjoy looking deeper into the Chaos and Eldar elements....as well as the background of the planet. But the main story line just didn't do it for me.

Yeah, I get the feeling that Ascension will be good. I read the pre-DoW story in Inferno and really liked it (to the point of checking that it was the same people in the story as was in Dawn of War....though there should have been more Isador coz I liked him). So I hold out hopes for Ascension.

Nazguire
11-07-2005, 01:33
Well having not read Fire Warrior I can't really compare them. But I felt let down by Dawn of War since I had such fun playing the game.

Yeah, I get the feeling that Ascension will be good. I read the pre-DoW story in Inferno and really liked it (to the point of checking that it was the same people in the story as was in Dawn of War....though there should have been more Isador coz I liked him). So I hold out hopes for Ascension.


Well, with Fire Warrior, if you like Tau background, specifically their politics and the inner intricasies of the Greater Good and Tau'va beliefs, get it. Other than that, it will shatter the belief that Space Marines..no scratch that, ANY Imperial Troops have any skill, that the Imperial Navy is run by ****** with no concept of naval strategy and that the Tau are invincible, fully able to defeat an IN fleet with an Emperor Class Battleship with no more than an Explorer class ship and several escorts, simply because Kais is super duper fun man! :D :cries:


Is there an extract for Ascension yet?

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 01:37
Well being Imperial to the very core....likea stick of rock...I'll just continue on my avoidence of it.

Extracts of Ascension...not that I know of. There's been no word of such a thing on the BL website. But there's time yet. Though I'm not even sure when we'll see it on the shelves yet either.

Nazguire
11-07-2005, 01:41
Well being Imperial to the very core....likea stick of rock...I'll just continue on my avoidence of it.

Extracts of Ascension...not that I know of. There's been no word of such a thing on the BL website. But there's time yet. Though I'm not even sure when we'll see it on the shelves yet either.


Damn :cries:

I quite like the Author's writing style, just that it was so directed towards the plot of the game. More freedom in the book would have been all it needed to turn it into a decent read.

If only more of the Black Library books were as grim, perverted and bizarre as Ian Watson books like Space Marine or Inquisition War :cries:

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 01:48
Having never read anything by Mr. Watson, I wouldn't know. Personally aftera few grim books, I'm dying to read the Cain novels or the Space wolf series just to lighten things up a bit.

I know it's supposed to be grim and dark, but surely someone still has a sense of humour n the 41st Millennium.


Oooh and Ascension is to be released in November 2005

Xisor
11-07-2005, 02:01
Xhalax, read Execution Hour and Shadowpoint, IMO they'll give you an impression of how lacklustre most BL stuff is. Whilst most BL books are of some entertainment value for the purposes they sevre(fleshing out the 40k universe0, I've yet to encounter one which manages it as deftly as Gordon Rennie did in the above books. You'll love them :D

If you don't, I'll be quite shocked. I always felt that Space Marines *Shouldn't* be good characters for their books. Look how they spend their lives(daily rituals...), thats doesn't sound like it'd breed a deep or frankly likeable or even open mindedly rational character...but I digress...

'Generally' should be interesting characters to read about:

Inquisitors- Yes
Adeptus Mechanicus Explorators- Yes
Imperial Guardsmen and Officers- Yes
Naval Officers- Yes
Psycho indoctrinated superhumans- No
Religious Fanatics- No
Servitors- No


See, as I see it, reading from the eye of a 'SM' should be like reading a military report crossed with the Bible, not a philosophical gung ho adventure story. I know they're bending the fluff to sell novels to people who'll buy them, but why couldn't they just have principles and not make Space Marines 'humans' with extra abilities? As I see it Uriel Ventris would make Roboute Guilleman turn in his stasis field-grave!

[/rant]

Sorry, but please, read the above novels for a 'good' and more or less believable and accurate GW BL novel. It's just a very very very good portrayal of how the 'rest' of the 40k universe works that isn't depicted in WH40k the game, or even *really* dealt with in the fluff of the codices. It's everything *else* you need to know! :cool:

Even the Dark Eldar-Chaos 'alliance' works reasonably well in the books by explaining *why* it's like it is, and *why* it's highly unusual and why the Archon would get booted out of Commoragh in an instant(should he have ever returned) had the other Kabals learnt of those he'd consorted with(Chaos) to gain power

Nazguire
11-07-2005, 02:03
Having never read anything by Mr. Watson, I wouldn't know. Personally aftera few grim books, I'm dying to read the Cain novels or the Space wolf series just to lighten things up a bit.

I know it's supposed to be grim and dark, but surely someone still has a sense of humour n the 41st Millennium.


Oooh and Ascension is to be released in November 2005


Someone has a humour in 40k? Well everyone does I suppose, just a very grim, sadistic and macabre humour.


Believe me, if you like Imperial Black Library fiction, then pick up the Inquisition War, Lexandro D'Arquebus is an Imperial Fist, who funnily enough, makes the Imperial Fists seem tough, the ultimate sado-masochists and more stubborn than a Dark Angel.

The Space Wolves series is pretty good from what I've read, but it keeps falling into the pit of 'superman syndrome' where one man/superhuman is capable of wiping out entire battalions of the enemy all for the oh so bad scratch that absolutely must be fixed up by the babe in case he dies afterwards from infection :D :evilgrin:

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 02:04
I swear I'll get to read Mr. Rennie's books eventually. I've had my older siblings copies for months now. I'm just too distracted by Space Marines, Inquisitors and Commissars.

The Space Wolf series.....the wolves do take a beating now and again and some do die. But Rag's seems to get away with most of it. Mainly due to Sven.
Like Sven said....he does all the work and Ragnar ends up getting all the credit.

But then again, they're Space Marines. They're supposed to be able to take a beating and still carry on. That and a small number should be able to wipe out a fair amount of heretics.

Xisor
11-07-2005, 02:05
Someone has a humour in 40k? Well everyone does I suppose, just a very grim, sadistic and macabre humour.


I feel at this point someone should mentioned Cegorach(SP?)....The Laughing God :p
Xisor

Nazguire
11-07-2005, 02:44
yeah the Laughing God has the most macabre and sarcastic humour out there. Also, he's the only one that can kill you with laughter. The God of Robin Williams so to speak.

Spooky
11-07-2005, 05:38
Ahh, the Black Library, filled with many jewels and coals. I highly recomend you use amazon.com (even if you might normally use amazon.co.uk) to find reviews on Black Library products. It has a thriving review community and is a healthy guide on the quality of the novels. At the risk of treading on some already covered ground, here is a nice list (with links.)

Scroll down the page that the link brings you to in order to read reviews on the subject, I will keep this list to 40k products only.

The recently released Fifteen Hours (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1844162311/ref=cm_aya_asin.title/103-9130172-8182231?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance)

The incomparable and already mentioned Eisenhorn Trilogy (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1844161560/ref=cm_aya_asin.title/103-9130172-8182231?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance) . Which has recently been released in Omnibus format (which includes not just the three novels but two linking stories).

The Traitor's Hand (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1844161870/ref=cm_aya_asin.title/103-9130172-8182231?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance), the most recently released novel in the Commissar Ciaphas Cain series. Very differnt from the rest of BL fiction. Book One can be found here (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1844160505/qid=1121056757/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/103-9130172-8182231?v=glance&s=books) and book Two here. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/184416070X/qid=1121056757/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/103-9130172-8182231?v=glance&s=books)

William King, famous author of the Gotrek and Felix Warhammer Fantasy series tackled the Space Wolves with his, currently four volume, series telling the story of Ragnar Blackmane (who appears as a special character in the Space Wolf Codex) from his days a norm human on Fenris to his rise to Wolf Lord. Its a great ride and one of the few Space Marine books that is quality within the Black Library. The first book of the series is the aptly titled, Space Wolf. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/184416022X/qid=1121056855/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/103-9130172-8182231)

As mentioned previously, Execution Hour (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/074341165X/qid=1121057000/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/103-9130172-8182231?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) and its sequel: Shadow Point (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0743443268/qid=1121057026/sr=1-20/ref=sr_1_20/103-9130172-8182231?v=glance&s=books) are excellent works.

By all means, FutureEmperor, read these and then post your reviews on Amazon (this goes doubly for those people who have already read many of these books). It's a great place to share your opinions. Then come here and we can discuss.

Twisted Ferret
11-07-2005, 06:03
I have been looking for a good book and then it hit my why not just get a book from the black library. but not wanting to read something of a caliber as bad as... (well as bad as what i write, just look at this crapola, i cant spell worth.... well you get the idea.) So anyways i was wondering which books were not only good but represented the fluff and background of 40k the best. ive alwaysed loved the background (its one of the reasons why im in the hobby) and well i havent really read any books yet, and i dont really want to read something that will turn me off the hobby.


and now for the prerequisite 1337/ N00815h talk..
P1z h31pz0rz
I really loved "Lord of the Night", by, I think, Simon Spurrier.

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 15:55
Yes, Mr. Spurrier did write Lord of the Night.

I thought it was ok.
An intersting view on the Night Lords...showing how easily lines are blurried and just how 'grey' the Imperium actually is. However, I found it hard and slow going and a touch confusing at times due to the sudden outburst of happening. Plus I didn't think the ending was explained all that well so I was left thinking 'Riiiiiiight! Whatever!'

Khaine's Messenger
11-07-2005, 16:23
LotN had a good ending, but it wasn't as soul-crushing as it could have been and was left far too open-ended in all the wrong ways. Again, a patented Lack Of Real Ending. BL seems to have many....

The only BL novels I would suggest without hesitation are First and Only and the Eisenhorn Trilogy. I liked Eye of Terror, too....

My "avoid at all costs" list is pretty short...at the moment, it includes Annihilation Squad, Iron Hands, and Thorpe's Slaves to Darkness WHFB series, with AS having more redeeming qualities than the latter two. I didn't think they were attrocious...just pretty unlikeable.

Emperor's Light
11-07-2005, 16:41
Don't read anything by Jonathen Green, who really needs to take a creative writing class. One of the most basic tenets of good fiction writing is "show don't tell." Jonathen Green does a lot of telling and not a lot of showing. Beware of Iron Hands and Crusade for Armaggedon.

Spooky
11-07-2005, 17:30
Generally speaking if its written by Dan Abnett then its a quality Black Library work.

I cannot believe I didn't mention his Guant's Ghost series, currently seven volumes long with number eight due in november, its without question one of the best series of Black Library works available. You can find book one, the aforemtioned First and Only, here. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1844161641/ref=pd_pym_ka//103-9130172-8182231?v=glance)

Abnett has also written the only 40k novel to focus on the air war of the Imperial Guard. The darkly evocative, Double Eagle. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1844160890/qid=1121099857/sr=1-14/ref=sr_1_14/103-9130172-8182231?v=glance&s=books)

Finally, while I don't think its quite the quality of Eisenhorn Abnett's new Inquisitor series, Ravenor, does not need to be read after Eisenhorn. It woudl however have more impact if you did so. Ravenor (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1844160734/qid=1121098989/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl14/103-9130172-8182231?v=glance&s=books&n=507846)

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 18:36
Beware of Iron Hands and Crusade for Armaggedon.

Damn straight.
I always try my hardest to read books to the end and not give up on them. But I couldn't bare reading anymore of those two books.
Iron Hands I read 3/4 of it but couldn't take anymore....even though they were just gearing up for some proper action. Although I must admit that I did like the Tarot reading at the beginning coz I'd only ever heard of the Emperor's Tarot, but never seen it working.

Crusade for Armageddon.....I folded after the first Chapter. And I shudded at the fact that there's going to be another one.

Both just go nowhere very very slowly. It's annoying and his characters are all very whiny.

Brusilov
11-07-2005, 19:14
Personally it's Crimson Tears I could not get myself to read. I managed to finish it, but I swear I'll never again read a Soul Drinker novel, I can't take them anymore. It must have to do with their being very akin to a Space Marine Chapter made by a newbie (sorry for this word), that is a Chapter still loyal to the Imperium but fighting against the oppression of the Imperium...
My apologies to Ben Counter if he's reading this but I much prefer Daemonworld...

Emperor's Light
11-07-2005, 19:49
Well, if you are going to read Ben Counter be prepared for weird. I get the feeling Mr. Counter is simply not content to keep within the existing borders delineated by the current 40K background, but wants to break them. I applaud his desire to push the creative envelope but some his stuff is just damn weird (like Daemon World.)

The Soul Drinker novels are a little bit like AOD in my opinion: turning the 40K background around. However, I also agree with Brusie that it's got a bit much of our 21st century sensibilities injected into it: making Space Marines to be archetypal good guys rather than the brutal enforcers they are.

Brusilov
11-07-2005, 20:16
Yes, you're right, the ending of Daemonworld was such a letdown for me. I hated this champion that could kill half-a-dozen Chaos Marines without breaking a sweet. It was the only dark point in an otherwise excellent novel (damn I loved that Word Bearer kill team).

Yes, I definitely agree that the Soul Drinkers are not worthy of the name Space Marines. I liked the first novel a lot, it showed very well both the infighting that sometimes happen within the Imperium and the manipulations of the Chaos Gods, but if anything that should have made the Soul Drinkers very cynical about the universe, not do-gooders :rolleyes:

Xhalax
11-07-2005, 23:24
Yes, I was disappointed with Crimson Tears. I enjoyed the Soul Drinkers series (a decent idea).....not the best series I read but it was at least different. I expected the same from Crimson Tears or at least something a touch better. But what we got was below average.....and the characters we rather bland (with the exception of the Leader of the IG, he was kinda cool in a doomsaying way).

That and he pissed me off saying the same thing about five times in as many pages. Alright alright, we get it! Sarpedon can transmit but not receive! Bloody hell.
I know he has to mention it at least once for the people who haven't read the other books in the series, but as I said, the same thing is mentioned a fair few times in a not so big space.

Plus is it just me, or are their few (if any at all) likable characters in the Soul Drinkers series?
Usually I like at least one character in almost every book I read. Hell I liked the Librarian in Iron Hands.....but no one grabs my attention in the Soul Drinkers series. No one stands out.
Well except Inquisitor Thadeus....but he's a one off character and so doesn't really count in my mind.

Starkey
11-07-2005, 23:35
the inquisitor draco series are good as are the Guants ghost novels.

The hammers of ulric is shockingly bad

Nazguire
12-07-2005, 00:20
Yes, you're right, the ending of Daemonworld was such a letdown for me. I hated this champion that could kill half-a-dozen Chaos Marines without breaking a sweet. It was the only dark point in an otherwise excellent novel (damn I loved that Word Bearer kill team).

Yes, I definitely agree that the Soul Drinkers are not worthy of the name Space Marines. I liked the first novel a lot, it showed very well both the infighting that sometimes happen within the Imperium and the manipulations of the Chaos Gods, but if anything that should have made the Soul Drinkers very cynical about the universe, not do-gooders :rolleyes:


I believe the 'superman syndrome' of Black Library...literature...is something to be unfortunately endured :cries: Yes, Black Library, we understand that the Space Marines/Chaos Marines are all big and bad capable of crushing many underfoot but we don't really need to have it exaggerated to such a huge deal.

Another problem with a lot of their novels is that some authors take the liberty of really exploring the 40k universe and its many many subplots. Now this should be a good thing. But unfortunately, they (the authors) aren't as well informed as they should be in the background (example the Blood Angels novels) and just come off across as fan boy literature trying to make their character super duper important and crucial to the survival of the Imperium.

Brett E.
12-07-2005, 05:32
Ben Counter is the best writer BL has. I cannot believe all of the negative things I've read about his work on this thread. Along with Dan Abnett, he is one of the few that could write a good book that didn't depend on an existing fan base. Many of the BL authors simply have average (at best) writing ability. Counter is a true wordsmith. He is creative enough to not be limited to portraying everthing as laid out in a Codex. His Space Marines are not simply cookie-cutter copies of every other book. They are individuals. The Soul Drinkers series is my favorite of the BL books. Space Marines believe they are heroes, not "brutal enforcers" as someone mentioned. They are brutal enforcers, as the actions of the Crimson Fists in Crimson Tears demonstrates, but they simply do not see their true nature.

I heartily urge everybody who has not done so to read Counter's work.

Brusilov
12-07-2005, 06:56
There are Ben Counter novels that I have really enjoyed: Grey Knights, Soul Drinkers and Daemonworld (if you except the end that I really don't like). Even The Bleeding Chalice is okay.
But Crimson Tears just does work for me. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the Soul Drinkers are portrayed as shining heroes, as IMHO there are no such things in 40k. Maybe it is because I'm an Imperial supporter and I cannot bear those filthy renegades anymore (I really did think several time that the Imperium should crush these Soul Drinkers once and for all). Maybe it's the fact that the story is about Space Marines again...

Xhalax
12-07-2005, 12:15
I guess I may sound a bit harsh....I mean I like his ideas, it's just his style I'm not overly struck on as he repeats himself almost exactly quite a few times....which after I while I find seems to get a little condescending. As if he's maybe unsure that the reader is picking up on what's going on so he feels the need to retell what's just happened.

I mean I've willing gone out and read nearly all of his books (just need to find time to read Daemonworld) and for the most enjoyed the stories as they're different and seem to lean more towards Chaos than your usual 'wholely Imperial work. But there's just something lacking in his work....mainly as the fact that after the 4 books I've read by him, I still don't have a favourite main character in any of the books.
Without an outstanding character, there's something lacking in my mind since I find I'm not so involved within the story. I read it and go along with it and that's about it.

When I read I book I love to get totally immersed in the world the book is set it, but I just can't quite do that with Ben's books. Not 100% sure why, but I just can't. Also, I noticed this with Grey Knights especially....they're little to no physical description of the character.
Usually there's something mentioned about some physical aspect of the character (hair colour, eye colour...whatever), but there was none of Alaric. Nothing....I can't even remember if is mentions his build....only that I think he's shorter/smaller than Tancred (though I'm sure he's in Termie armour...so that's pretty much a given).
So in my mind there's more or less a blank where Alaric is standing as I've got no reference to visual him. He's just a weird mismatch of other characters. Which isn't a very nice thing to be imagining.

I like stories that are very much character-level (one reason I adore First person narrative work...like Eisenhorn and Cain) work, and there just doesn't seem to be that in Ben's work.
As I said, the ideas and scope of his pieces are very good and I do enjoy them, it's just the don't jump out at me and grab my love the way some of the others do.

I know that writing style isn't everything, it's down to the ideas (Look at the Harry Potter books....J.K Rowling isn't a very good writer but the world she's create has gripped millions), but in my personal opinion...writing style helps.

Ok...rant over.

Nazguire
14-07-2005, 03:03
I guess I may sound a bit harsh....I mean I like his ideas, it's just his style I'm not overly struck on as he repeats himself almost exactly quite a few times....which after I while I find seems to get a little condescending. As if he's maybe unsure that the reader is picking up on what's going on so he feels the need to retell what's just happened.

I mean I've willing gone out and read nearly all of his books (just need to find time to read Daemonworld) and for the most enjoyed the stories as they're different and seem to lean more towards Chaos than your usual 'wholely Imperial work. But there's just something lacking in his work....mainly as the fact that after the 4 books I've read by him, I still don't have a favourite main character in any of the books.
Without an outstanding character, there's something lacking in my mind since I find I'm not so involved within the story. I read it and go along with it and that's about it.

When I read I book I love to get totally immersed in the world the book is set it, but I just can't quite do that with Ben's books. Not 100% sure why, but I just can't. Also, I noticed this with Grey Knights especially....they're little to no physical description of the character.
Usually there's something mentioned about some physical aspect of the character (hair colour, eye colour...whatever), but there was none of Alaric. Nothing....I can't even remember if is mentions his build....only that I think he's shorter/smaller than Tancred (though I'm sure he's in Termie armour...so that's pretty much a given).
So in my mind there's more or less a blank where Alaric is standing as I've got no reference to visual him. He's just a weird mismatch of other characters. Which isn't a very nice thing to be imagining.

I like stories that are very much character-level (one reason I adore First person narrative work...like Eisenhorn and Cain) work, and there just doesn't seem to be that in Ben's work.
As I said, the ideas and scope of his pieces are very good and I do enjoy them, it's just the don't jump out at me and grab my love the way some of the others do.

I know that writing style isn't everything, it's down to the ideas (Look at the Harry Potter books....J.K Rowling isn't a very good writer but the world she's create has gripped millions), but in my personal opinion...writing style helps.

Ok...rant over.


I disagree with the J.K.Rowling comment but this isn't the topic for it.

Ben Counter attempts to go outside the BL's comfort zone. However the difference between him and Ian Watson for example (Author of Space Marine and Inquisition War Trilogy) is that while Watson explores the interesting wierd facets of 40k with greater detail and goes for differing morals of the story, so to speak, Ben Counter simply goes for the traditional 40k approach of 'Who are the heroes of 40k? Are there any?" that gets boring real quick. Especially with Space Marines. You can only write so much about Space Marines unless you go down the quirky path, of which case you have to write it well and interesting. Ben Counter writes like a generic fan-boy, engrossed in super man syndrome of characters, as opposed to Watson or Spurrier who introduce characters only for them to be blown away the next page.

TenTailedCat
14-07-2005, 03:11
My main problem with Counter (and to a larger extent JM Swallow, who I took great pleasure in remonstrating on the BL forums, why did he even join?) is the complete lack of knowledge. it's almost as if they were given a quick ten minute overview of the major points of 40,000 and then set about writing their book. We have Blood Angels guarding a backward cemetary world, when they're the cutting edge of Imperial armed forces - they have much more important uses for their time.
Then we have Grey Knights who're so tactically inept that they allow their Thudnerhawk gunship to sit on a forest clearing and get ripped apart by savages, when even an idiot knows that you don't leave your primary means of escape vulnerable to danger in a combat situation. I could go on all day listing these things but I'm sure you see what i'm getting at. Bad writing and bad research. I expect much, much better for my money.

FutureEmperor
14-07-2005, 03:16
Thank you for the feed back, i definately have to go out and get me a copy of the Eisenhorn. and writting style matters, but if its to complex it just ends up being boring, i really like getting immersed into a book and having a deep conection with the caracters, like in american gods, wow! now that book is fricken awesome. anyways im not here to hijack my own thread so thanks everyone, i will continue to read any discussion about any books out there as it will help, but i think im set for a while now, lookes good.

some very good input.

Brusilov
14-07-2005, 15:49
I think Eisenhorn will give you a strong connection with the lead character, it's written in first person and that usually works really fine for identification and immersion into the story. Then Eisenhorn is a human, not a Space Marine which I always find easier to relate to.
Finally the books are the history of a downfall, and that's a theme I'm always attracted to.

Although, personally the last 40k book I read, Lord of the Night, really blew my mind. I rank it among the top 40k novels I've read. Maybe it made such an effect because I read straight after Crimson Tears, but I think it's definitely a worthwhile novel, plunging the reader into the twisted mind of a traitor and what makes him tick, and that's really nice.

Depravicus
15-07-2005, 03:34
Although, personally the last 40k book I read, Lord of the Night, really blew my mind. I rank it among the top 40k novels I've read. Maybe it made such an effect because I read straight after Crimson Tears, but I think it's definitely a worthwhile novel, plunging the reader into the twisted mind of a traitor and what makes him tick, and that's really nice.


Got to agree with that 100%.

Xhalax
15-07-2005, 18:21
I enjoyed Lord of the Night....an excellent idea but I found it very slow and somewhat confusing at times (again, writing style in my mind).

Plus it's more how I see the Night Lords rather than being immersed in Chaos like some of the other Legions.....just bitter and resentful and happy to have a jab at the Imperium with whatever means that can get their hands on, even Chaos but without bowing down to it.

x-esiv-4c
15-07-2005, 18:27
I was wondering if anyone had a chance to read "Fifteen hours" i'm very curious about it and I would like to know what the general opinions of it are.

Spooky
15-07-2005, 22:19
I just reviewed Fifteen Hours for amazon.com here. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1844162311/ref=cm_aya_asin.title/103-9130172-8182231?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance) My review (the John T. Miller IV one) and the other present do not contain any spoilers of any kind. You will however get an idea of what to expect.

Let me know what you think.

Xhalax
15-07-2005, 23:27
One the topic of Fiffteen Hours....there's a short in the new anthology (Bringers of Death (http://www.blacklibrary.com/bookdetail.asp?id=432) ) that's set just before the events in Fifeteen Hours. So if you enjoyed the novel, it might be worth a look.

Plus there's a Ciaphas Cain short in it too (dances with joy)...Full list of what's in the book (http://www.blacklibrary.com/news.html?id=639&offset=0)

Enjoy!

Kensai X
16-07-2005, 09:57
Sweet... New Ciaphas Cain short....

Well Anyways IMO the worst things about BL that I Absolutly hate is when the make Chaos Space Marines look like pansies. For crying out loud their Super Humans with the technilogically advanced armors and weapons...and their evil!!! Yet in battle they drop like flys to the Accurrate fire of space marines. Do you really think that a warrior who has perhaps been in thousands of battles is going to get cut down in the opening volley?

Fortunatly I notice that in both the Guant's Ghosts and Ciaphas Cain stories they manage to make the Chaos Space Marines at least have better accuracy then the A-tean and actually seem threatening.

OT: What Space Marine books did Ian Watson write???

TenTailedCat
16-07-2005, 10:15
Didn't Ian Watson write Space Marine?

Regardless, that's supposedly the best Marine-related novel out there.

Nazguire
16-07-2005, 16:03
Didn't Ian Watson write Space Marine?

Regardless, that's supposedly the best Marine-related novel out there.


He did indeed write that novel. He also makes the Chaos Marines seem bad-assed too. And debauched. Very Debauched. And Imperial Fists are actually cool in these books, and very masochistic.


example

A fun activity for the Imperial Fist community is to burn your entire hand off down to the bone in acid and scrimshaw the bones.

Autarch
16-07-2005, 16:33
Having read the first two books of Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn trilogy (before they came out in the omnibus) and his work on Durham Red in 2000AD I can wholeheartedly recommend his stories for well-paced, interesting reads. His characterisation can really make you feel for the characters (which, whether it be hate or love or something inbetween is incredibly important imo).

I've read little 40K fiction outside of the old codex's (Ultramarines and Angels of Death amongst others) and 2nd Edition versions of the Rulebook, Wargear and Codex Imperialis, so I've relatively little to compare his 40K stuff to (as in other writers). I do recall reading something that Ian Watson did, I think it was his Inquisitor stuff.

Just out of interest, is there any specific order that people would recommend books are read in, chronologically or otherwise? In other words do you feel that certain books belong in a certain order after each other or does it not matter? I don't mean obvious stuff like series (i.e. Book two comes after one) but what you may think is best. State reasons why etc if you would.

Lord-Warlock
16-07-2005, 16:36
When it comes to Eisenhorn, do it chronologically - Eisenhorn saga, then Ravenor books and then Gaunt's Ghosts. Everything he writes in the 40K universe seems to connect - Princeps Hekate, Inquisitor Defay and Inquisitor Hand are briefly mentioned in Malleus, Gravier and Defay make an appearance in First and Only, etc.

Grand_Marshal_Kazan
16-07-2005, 21:45
I remember some of the original 40K novels and remember one story which had a female assassin being surgically altered to infiltrate a Genestealer cult.

Are there any of the current books which have Necrons in them and are they any good?

Inquisitor Maul
16-07-2005, 21:57
Are there any of the current books which have Necrons in them and are they any good?

Caves of Ice includes Necrons and is damn good, though, you've best read For the Emperor first (and Traitors Hand after that ;) )

Damn, I love Ciaphas Cain :D

"Best" Commissar ever after Yarrick :evilgrin:

Other then that, Nightbringer features Necrons, though only briefly. It's a good read.

Brusilov
16-07-2005, 22:09
And then there is obviously the short story Deus Ex Mechanicus, in some anthology or other (Words of Blood or something like that IIRC). It's a must read story IMHO on the matter of the C'tan. It delivers a lot of information. It was basically meant as a teaser for the Codex release

Xhalax
17-07-2005, 00:45
.Are there any of the current books which have Necrons in them and are they any good?

Nightbringer also has Necrons in it....hence the name of the book.

It's quite good, I enjoyed it and went of to read the other Ventris books.

Brusilov
17-07-2005, 13:25
Well, the Necrons are more the backdrop of the story than really among the main protagonists to be honest. Although the final confrontation more than makes up for it ;)

Xhalax
17-07-2005, 23:10
Yeah...but there still in there. Although everything that happens is all because of them.
After all the De Valtos is looking for the Nightbringer....so everything that happens is more or less a consquence of his search....you just don't realise it until the classy final confrontation

anarchistica
18-07-2005, 03:21
He did indeed write that novel. He also makes the Chaos [QUOTE=Grand_Marshal_Kazan]I remember some of the original 40K novels and remember one story which had a female assassin being surgically altered to infiltrate a Genestealer cult.
That's from Ian Watson's Inquisitor War trilogy. It was originally published in 1990 (15 years ago, bloody hell) and reissued as Draco in 2002.

Watson wrote the script for A.I. with Kubrick, the movie is as awesome as his books. As the Commissar-Lord said, if you don't know a thing about 40K this will show you the most important elements: The Emperor, the Eye of Terror, the Black Library, the Warp, the Webway, Astropaths, etc. It's fairly unrealistic (*cough* understatement *cough*) but very amusing. Especially the rebelling astropath and the Slaaneshi planet made me laugh (copulating buildings...). Very neat stuff.

Another favourite around here is Storm of Iron. Great plots, lots of cruelty and a deeper look at the details of trench-warfare. Just read it. :)

Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts series is plain awesome. I disliked the latest book (Traitor General), but the others are better than most garbage BL produces (i can know, i got the Gotrek books and a compilation book with Fantasy stories by Gav Thorpe). Abnett's stuff is very original, aside from the constant stealth thing. He takes the Ghosts to lots of different settings and happenings, and always they get through using stealth. :p The only reason why this is acceptable is because of the characters and all the ideas he throws at you. He actually makes the 40K world seem realistic, despite all the saints, miracles, daemon princes, etc. He even kills of main characters, the bastard.

Brusilov
18-07-2005, 06:39
I would not say the Inquisition War trilogy is unrealistic, it's just out of date on part of the way the universe is pictured. Unless you mention the last novel, that is somewhat surprising (not revealing too much hear I hope).

worldshatterer
18-07-2005, 08:21
Erm why is the Inquisition War unrealistic?

It is written with more imagination and flair than the modern Black Library book, and gets across the Gothic madness at the heart of the 40k universe . Modern Black Library on the whole lacks this, as the authors seem to want to make the Warhammer universe a more conventional space-opera setting .

Sikkukkut
18-07-2005, 13:03
Erm why is the Inquisition War unrealistic?

It... gets across the Gothic madness at the heart of the 40k universe.

Which, arguably, is not actually a very realistic place.

Inquisitor Samos
18-07-2005, 13:42
Besides which, gothic madness and deep philosophical matters, especially when they don't match up that well at times with the current "state of the background" in the 40K setting, don't sell the game very well.

A "more conventional space opera" approach does! ;)

anarchistica
18-07-2005, 14:09
I would not say the Inquisition War trilogy is unrealistic, it's just out of date on part of the way the universe is pictured. Unless you mention the last novel, that is somewhat surprising (not revealing too much hear I hope).
We're talking about the same books here, right? The books in which some Inquisitor teams up with a Squat, an Imperial Fists Captain and the only Assassin that can turn herself into a Genestealer to unravel a conspirancy involving the Emperor. They visit the Eye of Terror, the Webway, the Black Library, the Emperor, a Space Hulk in the Warp, an Eldar Craftworld and more such locations. Not to mention that they meet a Phoenix Lord, are guided through the Imperial palace by the Emperor himself...before communicating with him and all the other stuff. Dude, it even beats one guy finding an Iron Men STC, the Saint and fighting insane odds of 10,000:1 or such. :p

TenTailedCat
18-07-2005, 14:27
some Inquisitor teams up with a Squat, an Imperial Fists Captain and the only Assassin that can turn herself into a Genestealer to unravel a conspirancy involving the Emperor. They visit the Eye of Terror, the Webway, the Black Library, the Emperor, a Space Hulk in the Warp, an Eldar Craftworld and more such locations. Not to mention that they meet a Phoenix Lord, are guided through the Imperial palace by the Emperor himself...before communicating with him and all the other stuff.


...Holy *****....

Xisor
18-07-2005, 16:34
Well there's no fun reading about the man who says hello to the Tau Fio'la that lives down the road is there!

I think Jaq Dracos adventures simply are extravagant, it's 'unrealistic' because it's set in 40k, taking it to this one-off extreme simply adds to the magnitude of the story. Sure it's unrealistic, but that doesn't mean it won't happen! :p

Xisor

Brusilov
18-07-2005, 19:36
As mages in Discworld would point out, things that have one in a million chances to take place happen nine times ouf of ten. :p

Now that you say, it is a little over the top, but so what, the whole universe is like that. And personally I would have loved to read it as my introduction to the 40k universe (but maybe I'm speaking in retrospect, as someone who understands the concepts mentioned in the books). Like I said, it's a crash course on the 40k universe and does a good job at it.

And you forgot stealing the Book of Rhana Dandra, finding the place in the Webway where time flows backward and many other such things. But so what I say...