Saturday, 22 February 2014

Best 40k novels

There is chick lit and there is fan lit and there is 40k lit. And there is lots of  other things lit. Sometimes these offerings from generally held these cliches transcend their genre. This blog offers no opinions on chick lit. As far as 40k goes opinions abound. The following is therefore a personal assessment.

The Ciaphas Cain series by Sandy Mitchell is definitely one of the best and easiest to read, but if unfamiliar with the 40k world it might be hard going except for the futuristic flashman with a large dose of insight. If unfamiliar with 40k taking it as SF with the internal monologue should allow it to continue to make sense.

Favourite and key character in this series is the indefatigable Jurgen, he of the body odour, webbing that contains everything, imperturbability in the face of certain horrible death in combat, but with a fear of flying and the ability to produce ready bowls of tanna anywhere and at any time, plus a handy multimelta. Jurgen is probably the real hero, Commissar Cain is the likable narrator despite and because of his admitted personal failings. Cain is sucked from one catastrophe to another, triumphing despite the odds and despite his penchance for running when the going gets only a little rough because of the ever present unquestioning support of the odorous and imperturbable Jurgen and his melta. If only GW would make a mini of Jurgen. Why is Jurgen not on the cover??

In addition as good a read is Ian Watson's Inquisition War trilogy taking in the Eldar. A complex and in some ways unsatisfying tale at the end.

In a similar vein is the amazing Dan Abnett Eisenhorn trilogy of Xenos, Malleus and Hereticus spanning all (is it really all) of the Inquistions flavours.This is the back story for the Inquisition and a must read for anyone wanting to deploy the Inquistion on the table top with any connection to the background story. 

Finally there is the Ravenor trilogy also written by Dan Abnett. Less reflective  and more action than the Eisenhorn trilogy but less weighty all the same.


Anonymous said...

Brothers of the Snake is really good, so is Andy Chambers' Dark Eldar series.

I also like the Space Wolf series, especially Wolfblade.

Kobrakei said...

A favourite of mine is The Emperor's Gift. It' just an excellent book, and is more about the realpolitik of the Imperium than just bolter porn. Plus if you like Ravenor it ties in in an interesting way...