WH40K Novel Recommendations

LeapingGnome wrote:

The Ragnar series by William King is a great way to start in my opinion, but they kind of spoil you because they are one of the best series.

http://www.blacklibrary.com/product....

Ragnar's story is outstanding. Some other good starts are:

Last Chancers - 13th Penal Legion. Outstanding stuff.
Eisenhorn - Prequel to the Ravenor novels. Outstanding stuff, one of the first forays into the shadowy world of the Inquistion
Ravenor - Once you've read Eisenhorn, dig into these for more awesome.
Gaunt's Ghosts - The story of the Tanith First and Only. These are some of my personal favorites.

In general, look for anything by Dan Abnett or Gav Thorpe and you're on very, very solid ground.

Abnett is a good read but he does write in a flaw or two. Like white laser beams....

I really enjoyed The Last Chancers, The Ultramarine Omnibus and Eisenhorn and the related book as well.

I can second the recommendations above. After the Ragnar series I read the Eisenhorn omnibus and all the Gaunt's Ghosts omnibuses. I read the Souldrinker's omnibus and it was eh, ok. I have the Ultramarines omnibus but haven't read it yet.

In case you can't tell, I like picking up the omnibuses. They are a lot cheaper than buying the 3-4 books separately and they often contain a whole story arc. I have been waiting for a Ravenor omnibus to read those books.

If you like the original Warhammer fantasy at all, King (Ragnar author) also wrote the good fantasy series Gotrek & Felix. There are a couple of omnibuses out there for them. And Abnett wrote the Malus Darkblade omnibus, which is pretty decent as well.

NathanialG wrote:

I loved the Ravenor books, do we know when another is coming out? things seemed to be fairly up in the air at the end of the last one but deffinately seemed to be room for a sequal.

To quote Dan Abnett from his blog:

I’d like to thank Satan for the musical tips (not THE Satan, obviously), and advise his wife that the third (and final) Inquisitor trilogy will begin as soon as I can get to it. I‘m as anxious to see how it all ends as you are (clue: it’s not going to be pretty).

Arise thread! Thread arise!

EDIT: I'm an idiot who doesn't read thread titles closely enough. To the search engine, Gunga!

I'd be kind of interested in this too, after playing the Warhammer 40k games. Where should I start? I'm most interested in the Imperial Guard, the Tyranids and the Necron. The Orks and Eldar break immersion for me; I like their respective cultures and technologies but part of me can't get beyond "space-orcs" and "space-elves."

The best place to start is the Eisenhorn omni and the Gaunts Ghost omni. A Ravenor Omnibus is going to be coming out soon.

Reading the Ciaphas Cain books - pretty good so far (commissar in the Imperial Guard). Gaunts Ghosts and The Last Chancers are all about the Imperial Guard. I started the first Horus Heresy book as well, but it is a bit slow going. I forget the title of the book but it is about the Space marines in the Death Watch (I think) - it was pretty darn good as well. The books written for the first Dawn of War game were so-so. Echoing NathanialG - the Omnis are a great place to start. If you want Inquisition Spooky - go Eisenhorn, if you want Space Marine - go Ultramarine Omnibus, if you want the Dirty Dozen but in WH40K go Last Chancers and if you want some Imperial Guard flavor - go Gaunts Ghosts. The Ciaphas Cain books are really centered around one man, Commissar Cain, and his (mis)adventures with an Imperial Guard Regiment. Well written, good fights, solid story, and a good dash of humor.

I've been reading Goto's stuff recently. I've heard it's crap, but I don't know enough about the fluff to know what's official and what's not, so they haven't been that bad. Of course, the first book was like reading the Dawn of War cinematics, so it's not like it took all that long.

Cain was fun. The Gaunt omnis were generally good. Eisenhorn was excellent. I'll have to keep an eye open for the Last Chancers.

Goto has been hit or miss for me personally. I am a big Dan Abnett fan.

As per the novel discussion in the movie thread, I've just finished the Grey Knights Omnibus, and have been slogging my way through the Heresy books. (There was a low patch of two or three books in the last year, but A Thousand Sons was really good and I'm looking forward to Abnett coming back into the chain with the Burning of Prospero as well.)

I've also just ordered 'Legends of the Space Marines' for some short stories.

Glad this thread got resurrected. I've seen these in the store and wondered about them. I'm going to pick up the Eisenhorn omnibus.

Eisenhorn, Gaunt's Ghosts, Ravenor and The Last Chancers are easily the 4 best series, in no particular order. Personal favorite are the Last Chancer's novels.

Following up on my last post, Legends of the Space Marines was good, but I wouldn't recommend spending more than £3.50/$5.00 on it. Lots of interesting vignettes about different Astartes chapters, but only a couple that really grabbed me.

I've got Path of the Warrior up next on my 40k pile, but I'm going save it while I read some less pulpy stuff.

Haakon7 wrote:

I really want to pitch the Horus Heresy series. If you're like me, part of the draw of the universe is its history, and this is the apocryphal point which shapes everything after it. The origin of myths and the birth of legends. Besides, its a good way to get a taste of each author, as each novel's written by different authors and have distinctly different style.

I'll perhaps work my way through this series (once I've read all the breeze block sized Abnett omnibuses.) I'm so into Abnett's style that I'm wary of trying any other authors but the 'Horus Heresy' does intrigue me.

Higgledy wrote:
Haakon7 wrote:

I really want to pitch the Horus Heresy series. If you're like me, part of the draw of the universe is its history, and this is the apocryphal point which shapes everything after it. The origin of myths and the birth of legends. Besides, its a good way to get a taste of each author, as each novel's written by different authors and have distinctly different style.

I'll perhaps work my way through this series (once I've read all the breeze block sized Abnett omnibuses.) I'm so into Abnett's style that I'm wary of trying any other authors but the 'Horus Heresy' does intrigue me.

Do yourself a favor, and read Gav Thorpe.

AnimeJ wrote:

Do yourself a favor, and read Gav Thorpe.

Ok he's next on my list to try :).

Just discovered the 40k fiction and I've started with Gaunt's Ghosts. I'll have to go back through this thread to find other great works once I finish the first two omnibuses of Abnett's stuff.

Finally!

I've been waiting on this for quite a while. The Black Library has set up a digital store and will begin releasing their books in mobi and epub formats. I wish I could get them directly from Amazon, but I'll take what I can get.

Today (Fri 10/8) only you can download First & Only for free and they'll have another free book every Friday for a few weeks.

Enjoy...

http://www.blacklibrary.com/Digital

I've promised something of an update to what I've been reading, and I will do that later, but for now, can I just say that The Burning of Prospero was probably my favorite single Dan Abnett book, and probably one of my top three 40k books.

Unbelievable what the man can do when given a rich vein of material. Felt both new and different, but still very much the Space Wolves. Made William King's Ragnar series look like the Disney version of the Chapter.

Good to hear! I picked that up about a month ago but I haven't started it yet. I really wish Black Library would get on the eBook train.

LeapingGnome wrote:

Good to hear! I picked that up about a month ago but I haven't started it yet. I really wish Black Library would get on the eBook train.

They have. Head on over to the website and they have a large number of e-books for sale. For their upcoming compilation book Victories of the Space Marines, they have each individual short story available as an e-book.

Dr._J wrote:
LeapingGnome wrote:

Good to hear! I picked that up about a month ago but I haven't started it yet. I really wish Black Library would get on the eBook train.

They have. Head on over to the website and they have a large number of e-books for sale. For their upcoming compilation book Victories of the Space Marines, they have each individual short story available as an e-book.

Someone even put a helpful link a few posts above.

I do wish they'd work out a deal with Amazon though.

Haakon7 wrote:

I've promised something of an update to what I've been reading, and I will do that later, but for now, can I just say that The Burning of Prospero was probably my favorite single Dan Abnett book, and probably one of my top three 40k books.

Unbelievable what the man can do when given a rich vein of material. Felt both new and different, but still very much the Space Wolves. Made William King's Ragnar series look like the Disney version of the Chapter.

Interesting. Thanks.

*Heads to Amazon.*

Dr._J wrote:
LeapingGnome wrote:

Good to hear! I picked that up about a month ago but I haven't started it yet. I really wish Black Library would get on the eBook train.

They have. Head on over to the website and they have a large number of e-books for sale. For their upcoming compilation book Victories of the Space Marines, they have each individual short story available as an e-book.

Really? Great! I have checked both Sony and Amazon periodically waiting to see them show up. I haven't visited their website in at least a couple of years.

In my defense that post is months old and I didn't scroll up to it.

EDIT: This part kind of sucks though:

What about omnibuses?

All eBooks will be produced as the single books and not the omnibus editions.

Im currently reading the Salamander series which features the Prometheans - black skinned space marines with glowing demonic eyes and a fetish for fire. It's definitely interesting to read about a chapter that's not the Dark Angels or Space Wolves, and Nick Kyme's books have a bit more "sci fi" elements than some of the other 40K series I've read. The first book is a little slow but really picks up about a quarter in.

The format of the newer 40K books like the aforementioned Salamader series is seriously pissing me off. They take a shorter than average novel, format it in an oversize binding, then inflate the print size to something that looks like it belongs in a kindergarten primer and charge 150% or more of the standard paperback price for what amounts to 2/3 the amount of content in a normal paperback.

Books have been going up in price out of relation to inflation for years, and now publishers are trying to cash in even more by going "Look! This book is even bigger than a normal one and is clearly worth more!" All the while they hope nobody notices that you're actually getting less content in a format that's not as comfortable to read.

/stomps off to his rocking chair on the front porch, sets down his shotgun, and pulls out a Gaunt's Ghosts omnibus.

Elycion wrote:

The format of the newer 40K books like the aforementioned Salamader series is seriously pissing me off. They take a shorter than average novel, format it in an oversize binding, then inflate the print size to something that looks like it belongs in a kindergarten primer and charge 150% or more of the standard paperback price for what amounts to 2/3 the amount of content in a normal paperback.

Books have been going up in price out of relation to inflation for years, and now publishers are trying to cash in even more by going "Look! This book is even bigger than a normal one and is clearly worth more!" All the while they hope nobody notices that you're actually getting less content in a format that's not as comfortable to read.

/stomps off to his rocking chair on the front porch, sets down his shotgun, and pulls out a Gaunt's Ghosts omnibus.

LOL, good point Elycion, but if you think a 40K novel is overpriced, take a look at how much rulebooks and codexes cost versus what you get. I like that GW is at least adding more imagery and background fluff to new codexes, but compared to Privateer Press they're still a major rip-off. And don't get me started on the price of minis themselves. Now that I have a kid, I'm having a hard time justifying spending $60 on one plastic land raider kit.

I'm enjoying Titanicus. Dan Abnett, forge world, archenemy, engine wars and a heretical division between Imperials and Mechanicus. Lots of punchy, brutal combat and void shields a-flarin' as dozens of engines go walking.

If I have any complaint it's that there are too many interwoven stories between the three featured engine crews, the two companies of soldiers stranded in the wastelands, the Imperial politicians, the mechanicus archivists, the dock worker, the brain fried engine captain turned gardener and the toy shop owner. If you can keep them straight though, they each have a very interesting and personal story amid all the large scale warfare.

I'm reading it on nook but if you buy the paperback it also doubles as a brick for household construction projects and lobbing at the heads of arbiters during riots.