W40k book recommendations

Jeffk38uk
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Jeffk38uk
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Joined: November 4th, 2004, 10:55 am

July 18th, 2012, 9:44 am #1

So I'm nearing the end of the current Horus Heresy series, right now I'm on the third story arc of The Primarchs. And since the two next planned books are not out yet, I plan to move on.

Problem is I don't know what, so recommendations of what series I should read next would be appreciated. At this stage I know it focuses more on specific Astartes chapters or companies. I would be partial to any Imperial Guard novels or any that sort of continue the Horus Heresy arc line or at least maintain the continuity from pre-40k and onward as I have no clue about current 40k aside from the relic videogames.

Any suggestions would be helpful as I said tho.
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Hercule Pyro
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Joined: October 13th, 2004, 2:04 pm

July 18th, 2012, 10:22 am #2

The obvious choices are:
  • The Eisenhorn Trilogy (Xenos, Malleus, Hereticus, comes in an anthology edition that has the short stories Missing in Action and Backcloth For A Crown Additional), by Dan Abnett. Told from the first person, it's a series charting the life and career of an Inquisitor, and his descent into Radicalism. Regarded by many as some of the best stuff Black Library have ever published.
  • The Ravenor Trilogy (Ravenor, Ravenor Returned, Ravenor Rogue, comes in an anthology edition that has the short stories Thorn Wishes Talon and Playing Paitence), by Dan Abnett. Basically the follow-up series to Eisenhorn, although it's very much it's own thing. I would suggest reading the Eisenhorn Trilogy first if you're going to read this, but as heretical as it sounds, I actually prefer the Ravenor trilogy. It follows an Inquisitor through the course of an investigation that starts out innocuous enough, only for things to snowball when it becomes apparent the subject of his investigations is only a by-product of a much darker plot.
  • Both of those will be followed up by a third trilogy, starting the end of this year.
  • Ciaphas Cain, Hero of the Imperium (For the Emperor, Caves of Ice and The Traitor’s Hand, Death or Glory, Duty Calls and Cain’s Last Stand, The Emperor's Finest, The Last Ditch, plus the short stories Fight or Flight, Echoes of the Tomb, The Beguiling, The Traitor's Gambit, and the audio drama Dead In The Water), by Sandy Mitchell. Presented as the true memoirs of celebrated Commissar Ciaphas Cain edited by an Inquisitor with a personal interest in his career, instead of being the selfless, noble hero presented to the public at large, he's a self-serving coward with a lot of self-loathing. It's a fun enough series, but by the time you reach Death or Glory the joke (The commissar who everyone loves is in fact an abject coward who is only marginally more terrified of being shown up to be a fake than he is of things trying to eat his head) wears a bit thin and the series certainly gets formulaic by the time you reach The Emperor's Finest. I'd get the first anthology to see how you go, it's good stuff, but I think the spark has gone out of the series now.
  • Gaunt's Ghosts, (First and Only, Ghostmaker, Necropolis, Honour Guard, The Guns of Tanith, Straight Silver, Sabbat Martyr, Traitor General, His Last Command, The Armour of Contempt, Only in Death, Blood Pact, The Sabbat Worlds Anthology [Different authors' takes on the Sabbat Worlds Crusade] and Salvation's Reach. Also, there's the spin-off book Double Eagle, which is set in the same Crusade, but has nothing to do with the Tanith First & Only. There was supposed to be a sequel to that, Interceptor City, but Dan seems to be working on almost everything else these days), by Dan Abnett. The big one, following the trials and tribulations of a regiment of Imperial Guard as they're thrown around the Sabbat Worlds Crusade after their homeworld is destroyed, led by Colonel-Commissar Gaunt. It's big and it's had a fairly huge impact on 40k background, if only as it's helped popularise the idea that some commissars prefer to inspire their men (If only because it makes it less likely you'll die in an "accident"), and that the mortal armies of Chaos weren't just lunatic fanatics, with the likes of the Blood Pact inspiring a thousand and one Traitor Guard armies. Word of advice, don't get too attached to any character, and whilst I'd argue it gets into a bit of a rut by Straight Silver, the series perks up again with Traitor General, when Dan starts exploring things from the point of view of Chaos. I will say I'm not as much of a fan of the series as I used to be, it's the Imperial Guard series.
  • The Night Lords trilogy (Soul Hunter, Blood Reaver, Void Stalker), by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. Bleak stuff, really bleak stuff, but some of the best fiction from the point of view of the Traitor Legions we've got. It takes some real skill to make a cast of monsters almost likeable enough to root for them, even when they're going up against Abaddon the Despoiler and Huron Blackheart. Great stuff, and as you can probably guess from his Heresy work, Aaron is a man to watch.
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HunteRS
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HunteRS
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Joined: October 18th, 2005, 12:04 pm

July 18th, 2012, 3:35 pm #3

15 Hours is an Imperial Guard Novella and come highly recommended as a nice snapshot of Guard life.

The Iron Warriors books by Graham McNeil can be hit and miss but do give a nice insight into the minds of a vicious bunch of paranoid psychopaths.

East's pretty much got the rest-though I'm sure he awaits I, Orkimedes with baited breath...
I would actually kill for that book to exist.
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Hercule Pyro
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Hercule Pyro
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July 18th, 2012, 4:58 pm #4

HunteRS,Jul 18 2012 wrote: East's pretty much got the rest-though I'm sure he awaits I, Orkimedes with baited breath...
I would actually kill for that book to exist.
I would kill several men for a follow-up novel to Deff Skwadrun (As further comics seem unlikely).
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Jeffk38uk
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Jeffk38uk
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Joined: November 4th, 2004, 10:55 am

July 21st, 2012, 7:44 pm #5

Right, well Ive got the Eisenhorn anthology and all the available Gaunt's Ghosts so that will do for now, will get the rest later.

Currently going through the first novel of Gaunt's Ghosts and quite liking Gaunt as a character so far. Also Milo. I am however prepared if and when any good character suddenly gets snuffed. Horus Heresy has set the tone that the galaxy hates you and you will die despite who you are.

But yeh, thanks for the suggestions. Im willing to expand this topic for anyone to recommend w40k novels or audiobooks in general really. We all have our preferences for races really.

One question tho, any Tao novels?
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Hercule Pyro
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Hercule Pyro
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July 21st, 2012, 7:51 pm #6

Alien-perspective novels are rare as hell, because GW are reluctant to publish them. The only one that comes to mind is Fire Warrior.
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