Warhammer 40K


First and foremost i must say i really like this site. I Generally agree with lists lists even though i have not read all off the novels listed. All in all the page is a good place to find inspiration for new reads.

Recently i stumbled upon the Warhammer 40K novels and in my opinion they seem very interesting. Have any on this board read any of them and are they worth reading? Just wanted to know the opinion on this forum. At Amazon the books are rated very high, but i thought i wanted more opinions on the matter.

Also feel free to recommend which book in the series are the best if any.

Hoping to hear from anyone having an opinion on the books


Got in a fistfight with Dresden
Dan Abnett is probably the best writer of Warhammer 40K fiction, so anything by him is good.

Of the other authors I've read I'd recommend:
  • Ben Counter - Soul Drinkers series [/*:m:3s8bhnix]
  • Graham McNeill - Ultramarines series[/*:m:3s8bhnix]
I love 40K literature!

DAn Abnett is surely good, especially his earlier books. Nowadays he tends to get a bit weird...

Horus Heresy series is brilliant. Most books very good there.

Sandy Mitchell's ciaphas cain novels are absolute blast! Very very funny indeed. You can get them in omnibus form too, so they are cheap.

But to understand and appreciate the literature, you really should have some backround knowledge about 40K universe. Me, I've dabbled with miniature games for about 20 years now, so I have no trouble getting inside jokes and stuff from the books...

Good starting point would be the horus heresy series for new reader, as they are abou the history of the 40K universe.

Lev Daert

Philosophizes with Kellhus
Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts are pretty well done, maybe the best the Black Library has to offer. The individual books are also pretty diverse. while all having, obviously, a military basis in their scenario; men with guns fighting other men with guns. some of the books successfully manage to employ something more.
Only In death was a really good ghost story, build-up is all, slow at the start and really spectacular in the end when everything goes full-on haunting.
Straight Silver is a good trench-warfare novel with one of the best finales ever, Honour Guard is a quest-type novel, Traitor General a Guerilla warfare novel, The guns of Tanith employs some jet fighter action, this one even has its own spin-off novel called double eagle (which I haven't read) and almost every other book has a city under siege.

If you are interested at all in 40K you should definitely look into Gaunt's Ghosts, keep in mind that the first two books are sort of hit and miss, consisting mostly of short stories designed to acquaint you with some of the more interesting characters of Gaunt's Ghosts,
there's 3 finished omnibi now, with the third one, The Lost being my favourite. Fourth Cycle is still in progress
Other good books by Abnett are The Eisenhorn Trilogy that most everyone swears by, I like the books but never can quite remember much about them afterwards.

If you're interested in 40K's trademark Space Marines (yes i'm aware that heinlein employed them first) the Space Wolves Saga is a good introduction as to how these space marines are brought about, these were the first novels I read of the 40K verse. they're very good for beginners, Although now they might be a tiny bit outdated.

For the better Space Marine work go to the Night Lord Trilogy by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, the level of depth in his characters Is really interesting. filled with Prophecy and guest (evil) heroes from the 40k verse, this is my favourite trilogy in 40K, everything is well-rounded and well written.

Word Bearer Omnibus is pretty good, reading about dark rituals and the enslavement of planets was quite fun. This one I found especially athmospheric, also a bad-ass cover, seriously, look it up.

Ciaphas Cain Novels are basically Blackadder in space, there's even a guy that could pass for Baldrick's double , these novels are quite lighthearted and ocassionaly yank the tail of the serious business that is 40K.

The Horus Heresy Series is a thing all on its own. detailing the major event that lies at the heart of all the war and carnage in the 40K verse: the titular Horus heresy. most of these books are good, however there are some quite abominable ones.
must reads Are Prospero Burns With a main character based on the greatest enigma of the 19th century ;kaspar Hauser. prospero Burns is part of a duology together with A Thousand Sons and needs to be read after that one. The First Heretic is another really good one by mr Bowden. Fulgrim is a how-to guide to the depravities of the chaos gods, seriously this was a very good one, it really shows what chaos is all about.
Nemesis I really liked despite some people's penchant for just hating on james swallow, I though it was a really cool detective style novel, and spear is a really cool character... thing.
There's alot to like in these novels, military sci-fi being its strongest point. The black library used to just release as many of these books as they could hence the dip in some of the books quality.
they seem to have slowed down for the moment though. and despite not having read any of the more recent ones, I hear that the quality has really gone up.
there's alot of references to other literature hidden throughout the books which I found quite a joy to spot.

Now the Black Library are real money-grabbing swines at times (hey that rhimed!) but don't let that deter you from seeking out some of the hidden gems on their catalogue. The Above mentioned are worth it.