Book Review: Survival Instinct by Andy Chambers

Posted on by 5WC in Book

It’s happened! I’ve finally found a Necromunda novel I truly like. There aren’t many named characters in the world of Necromunda, it’s much more about gangs, fighting for survival and territory, under the association of their respective noble houses, but there are one or two outsiders. Characters who stand alone. Arguably the most famous, and certainly the most strikingly notorious, is Mad Donna Ulanti. So legendary is her renown that on the Tales from the Underhive page of The Black Library website, it’s Mad Donna taking the central role in the titular artwork. She was in a story, and I have been longing for it.

I didn’t know, however, which story she would be in and so, was again placing my “reading order trust” purely in the “zip file modification date” system I now employed. Uploading Survival Instinct, the apparent next tale in my journey deeper into the Underhive. As the cover of the book loaded before me, a shiver ran down my spine. There stood Donna. A look of abhorrent disgust in her eyes, her infamous chainsword standing to attention and her trusty Plasma pistol pointing at me, beckoning me inside. Read more

Book Review: Salvation by C.S. Goto

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It was with tentative trepidation that, once again, I re-entered the Underhive; continuing my journey through the “Tales of the Underhive” omnibus of Necromunda novels. I had slipped down the slope of expectation with both Outlander by Matt Keefe and Junktion by Matthew Farrer and, therefore, taken some time away, to cleanse my mind of the disappointment it had felt, before stepping back in.

I think the reason I’ve been so disappointed, however, is entirely due to the image of Necromunda I hold in my head. A few days ago, I was discussing the age-old argument of “book versus film”, saying that I was worried about the upcoming release of Ready Player One onto the big screen. It is arguably the best book I’ve ever read, but worryingly, the film trailer is leaving me very cold. I’m fearful of what’s to come and I think I’m now having the same problem with these stories. I want the world I picture, not the world as interpreted by others, and it’s clouding my expectations and enjoyment as a result. Read more

Book Review: Brothers Of The Snake By Dan Abnett

Posted on by 5WC in Book

I don’t know if I should admit to the fact that I only bought this book because it was (relatively) cheap! Games Workshop’s publishing arm – The Black Library – was celebrating it’s 20th birthday and my local store was having a party (I even baked a cake). Lots of hard to find books were back on the shelves (well a huge pile by the till) and special promotional goodies were on offer. Simply turn up and get a free book of short stories; go further and actually buy a book and get a branded bookmark as well. Read more

Book Review: Outlander by Matt Keefe

Posted on by 5WC in Book

Spend a few minutes looking through the book reviews or reading about my creative history and you’ll quickly realise I’m a fan of the worlds created by Games Workshop. I may not roll dice, or spend hours holding a paintbrush anymore, but I still draw great enjoyment from delving into the sci-fi and fantasy imaginations of the Warhammer worlds through the books they publish.

When I was younger, and did actually play the games, the one I was into most was Necromunda. Skewed from the lore of Warhammer 40,000; it involved small gangs of street fighters struggling to survive in the harsh urban sprawls of a hive world. It appealed to me as the games were shorter and more narrative. Fights were between equal numbers and tactics were simple – it’s last man standing. Your gang developed as it gained experience, one fight helping narrate the next. Winning or losing didn’t really matter; Necromunda rewarded experience. Read more

Book Review: The Path Of The Warrior by Gav Thorpe

Posted on by 5WC in Book
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The first book in the omnibus is the Path Of The Warrior, the story of Korlandril and his search to find his true purpose in life, the reason for his living. His fate.

Gav Thorpe brings a writing style to the page that made it very easy to paint a clear picture in your head of the world in which the story takes place. Whether it’s a wide expanse or a single room, you feel like you know what it looks like, what it smells like, you create the details with precision clarity in your mind. Read more

Book Review: The Path Of The Outcast by Gav Thorpe

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The Path Of The Outcast promises so much, having taken so long to arrive. Everything is set up and repeated in the first two novels of Gav Thorpe’s The Path Of The Eldar omnibus that the weight of expectation you create onto The Path Of The Outcast, the demands you place on it to give you the story you want, to tell you how everything finally ends, is almost too much to ask. Read more

Book Review: Path Of The Eldar – Short Stories

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There are three short stories that accompany the main Path Of The Eldar trilogy – The Curse Of Shaa-Dom, The Reward Of Tolerance and Dark Son. And they mainly follow a pattern of taking some of the lesser characters or supporting events from the main trilogy and attempting to expand they out briefly to give us a new insight.

For me though they just don’t work. Read more

Book Review: Yarrick: A Plague Of Saints by David Annandale

Posted on by 5WC in Book
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If you’ve read some of my previous book reviews you will have seen my musings on two stories – Valedor and Wraithflight – by Guy Haley which recount events surrounding a Warhammer 40,000 race known as the Eldar. And if you’ve also spent some time flicking through the various pages of this site, you will have come across mentions of my interest, both past and present, in the whole hobby and gaming pastime from which the stories are born.

It should therefore, come as no surprise to you that when it comes to reading, I gravitate towards and enjoy the Games Workshop produced stories that accompany my hobby and, as I mentioned in my review of the Ultramarines movie, the first miniature I ever painted, was an Imperial leader called Commissar Yarrick. Since I still have that model proudly sitting on my desk, it should also be no surprise that I have a loyalty and soft spot for the character even though I no longer have or use the army he commands when playing. Read more