#1 Posted by JayEH (534 posts) -

I've been looking for a new book series to read since I finished A Dance with Dragons a couple months ago. I looked into the 40k universe and it really seems interesting to me.

Only problem is there is a ton of books and it can get really confusing where is a good place to start. I looked a little and it seems Horus Rising is a good place to start but I'm not sure. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

#2 Edited by Genfuyung (251 posts) -

The Horus Heresy Series.

#3 Edited by crusader8463 (14429 posts) -

I wish you luck. Maybe I got the wrong book, but I bought some 5 inch thick omnibus and I had to give up a couple chapters in. Every other sentence was "remember the battle at hr7yry56 where h5iur6yu45br67n fought with ge6456h54 and then that made nrynr7nr6y mad and then dfggbeynr5y showed up and then the battle of byn56n54556 started. Which reminds of when b554nn7547m6ed6b6yhnimid......." and I could not keep track of anyone or anything that was going on. I was rereading every page like three times over trying to make the connections and I was lost.

That said, there are a lot of good 40k comics. I have read most/all of the ones I can find and they are all worth a look at.

#4 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6405 posts) -

Super curious about this too. I'd love to get into some of these books.

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#5 Posted by altered_ego (1 posts) -

I started with Horus Rising, the first book in the Horus Heresy. They are extremely akin to many fantasy style books. Oodles of characters to remember but they're not that long so you can get through them.

#6 Posted by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1811 posts) -

Anything by Dan Abnett.

#7 Posted by Jeffsekai (7054 posts) -

Read the first 3 books in the Horus Heresy Series. The Eisenhorn, and Ravenor omnibus's are both great. And I have recently just finished the first Gaunt's Ghosts Omnibus which to me might be the best place to start because it deals with the Imperial Guard (aka Normal Humans) so it's a lot easier to understand than something involving Space Marines.

#8 Edited by Vuud (2035 posts) -

It may be hard to find these days, but Space Marine by Ian Watson is THE best 40k novel I ever read, because it's a great science fiction novel even if you know nothing about Warhammer.

Other than that, the Horus Heresy is good. Rynn's World. Helsreach was pretty good. ALso Let the Galaxy Burn, which is a short story collection. Just go to your local libary and pull some 40k novels off the shelf.

#9 Posted by Guesty_01 (382 posts) -

Unfortunately I can't suggest any 40k books, however, if you ever decided to venture into Warhammer fantasy novels, I can reccomend the Gotrek and Felix Slayer series, starting with Trollslayer.

It's a really great series about a dwarf whom, because of past sins, has become a slayer and is set on a quest to find a glorious death. Accompanied by the human poet Felix Jeagar who has sworn an oath to record the dwarf's death, the two get into loads of great adventures set in the rich Warhammer world.

#10 Edited by insane_shadowblade85 (1536 posts) -

I've only read one 40k book and that book is "Angels of Darkness" by Gav Thorpe mainly because I really like the Dark Angels Space Marine Chapter.; I enjoyed it,

#11 Posted by Scampbell (501 posts) -

My favourite books based in the 40k universe is probably the Eisenhorn Trilogy (Xenos, Malleus, and Hereticus) and the Ravenor series (Ravenor, Ravenor Returned, and Ravenor Rogue). Both series are written by Dan Abnett. The stories are linked as Ravenor is the pupil of Inquisitor Eisenhorn.

#12 Posted by Brickers (4 posts) -

In terms of novels, I've only ever read the Gaunt's Ghosts series. I can heartily recommend them. I'll second Jeffsekei on them being perhaps the best place to begin. They really communicate a sense of the scale of the setting at the level of the average human. I mainly read the codices and White Dwarf for my fluff, didn't really get much further into the novels. I've heard good things about Eisenhorn as well. Basically, I'd give most anything by Dan Abnett a go.

#13 Posted by Wuddel (2100 posts) -
#14 Posted by supamon (1334 posts) -

First 3 books in the Horus Heresy series should set you up on whether you'll like it or not. After that it's pick and choose your favourite chapters/legions or authors. Anything by Dan Abnett, Graham Mcneill and Aaron Dembski-Bowden is good stuff.

#15 Edited by phrosen (157 posts) -

I remember enjoying the Sandy Mitchell books, the Ciaphas Cain series and the Dark Heresy novels.

#16 Edited by BBAlpert (1583 posts) -

@supamon said:

First 3 books in the Horus Heresy series should set you up on whether you'll like it or not. After that it's pick and choose your favourite chapters/legions or authors. Anything by Dan Abnett, Graham Mcneill and Aaron Dembski-Bowden is good stuff.

@phrosen said:

I remember enjoying the Sandy Mitchell books, the Ciaphas Cain series and the Dark Heresy novels.

One thing to note about the Ciaphas Cain series is that it's got a decidedly lighter tone than most other 40K books. Not necessarily comedy, though. Thinking about it now, I'd probably say it's the closest thing the 40K universe has to its own Gotrek and Felix series.

Also, I second the suggestion of the Eisenhorn and Ravenor trilogies.

#17 Posted by ervonymous (1297 posts) -

I loved the first Horus Heresy novel, curiously by the well liked Dan Abnett, the next four were pretty hit and miss but not outright insulting. There's always the random page button on Lexicanum if all else fails.

#18 Posted by Jeffsekai (7054 posts) -

The one thing I will mention about the Horus Heresy books (Especially if they are the first 40k books you are reading) is that there is a lot of implied knowledge. For example they never really explain that a Space Marine, and Adeptus Astartes are the same thing. I recently recommended Horus Rising (the first book) to a co-worker who has never read 40k, and he found him self very overwhelmed with the whole Space Marine things and what that actually meant. Honestly I think the best thing to do before you start any 40k book, would be to just read a couple wiki pages, get a decent understanding of what the Adeptus Astartes are, maybe even look up what a Primarch is.

http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Space_Marines (You don't have to read all of this, just skim it.)

http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Space_Marines#.UlFYTlAjKkE

For these reasons I really think that Gaunt's Ghosts may be easier, there are a couple things that could be a little confusing for a new reader but the fact it deals with normal Humans and only really mentions Space Marines a handful of times, I think would make it a much easier read.

#19 Posted by Olu (95 posts) -

Eisenhorn books by Dan Abnett are really good science fiction, you can read it even if you don't really know anything about warhammer. Horus heresy is mixed bag, some of them are really good (first 3 books, Thosand Sons is GREAT) some are not. Anyway, i don't advise on starting with HH because it's more of a expansion for Warhammer fans that already know universe, it can be quite hard to keep up with everything for compltely new reader.

#20 Posted by MildMolasses (3229 posts) -

I loved the first Horus Heresy novel, curiously by the well liked Dan Abnett, the next four were pretty hit and miss but not outright insulting. There's always the random page button on Lexicanum if all else fails.

I enjoyed the first 3, but I really did not like the fourth (Flight of the Eisenstein). The author's style wasn't doing it for me, and it didn't help that almost half the book is just a retelling of the events of the previous one.

#21 Edited by ch3burashka (5260 posts) -

I like video game books because they're quick, but they make me feel stupid for reading such a LCD book (yes, I know 40K isn't a video game exclusive universe - I don't care).

Apparently Bioshock has a book - considering reading it, despite feeling it'll disappoint.

PS Honestly, I think if you're jonesing for some sci-fi, there's an infinite of better stuff to read. I still haven't read a bunch of K. Dick, le Guin, Asimov, Henlein(?), etc.

#22 Posted by ervonymous (1297 posts) -

- it didn't help that almost half the book is just a retelling of the events of the previous one.

That's what really bothered me and made me wary of things to come, seeing how the series is already 25 volumes.

I expected the series to be just gory Adeptus Astartes fanfiction but the characters and schemes were by far my favorite part, up to #5 at least.

#23 Posted by Jeffsekai (7054 posts) -

@mildmolasses said:

- it didn't help that almost half the book is just a retelling of the events of the previous one.

That's what really bothered me and made me wary of things to come, seeing how the series is already 25 volumes.

I expected the series to be just gory Adeptus Astartes fanfiction but the characters and schemes were by far my favorite part, up to #5 at least.

As someone who has read 16 of the HH books, my favorite books are the ones that deal with the Astartes in a very human way, and seem to try very hard with making the reader empathize with the characters. My two favorite HH books are The First Heretic, and A Thousand Sons. These two books really did a great job for me in making me really feel for the Characters in them, the battles were just icing on an already amazing cake...a heresy cake.

#24 Edited by subyman (669 posts) -

Get ready for some "barking bolters" and endless "salvos."

I've read numerous WH40k books and the only series worth a damn is the first three in the Horus Heresy. Don't bother with the rest.

#25 Edited by DocHaus (1377 posts) -

CIAPHAS CAIN, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM.

Seriously though, read the first omnibus of that. Kind of a comedic look at a Commissar in the Imperial Guard who wants to do the least work possible but keeps getting thrown into the frontlines and emerging as a heroic survivor every time.

Also, Gaunt's Ghosts if you want a slightly more serious band of brothers deal.

#26 Posted by Zalrus9 (117 posts) -

I agree with @dochaus. Go with Ciaphas Cain. Love the blend of seriousness with a little bit of levity. Almost like if you put the last season of Blackadder in the 40k universe. Great stuff.

#27 Posted by Toastburner_B (162 posts) -

Like others have said, Gaunt's Ghosts is a good place to start. The Eisenhorn stuff is a bit deeper in fiction, but is very enjoyable. The Ciaphas Cain novels are a fun read, but some of the jokes might not make sense to people who aren't familiar with the universe.

If you want to jump straight into Space Marine stuff, I'd recommend either the Ultramarines omnibus, or Brothers of the Snake.

#28 Edited by Rick_Fingers (523 posts) -

I gave the Eisenhorn Omnibus to my mum and she read it and enjoyed it.

My mum!

So yeah, I recommend that.

Suggestions of Horus Rising, Gaunt's Ghosts, etc, are all good, so I'll make a different one:

Soul Hunter by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. ADB is the best author the Black Library has, and this series is a fantastic piece of work following a band of Night Lords Chaos Space Marines. There's definitely aspects to it that benefit from having knowledge of the setting, but it is such a wonderfully written, gloriously fucked up piece of work that it doesn't matter overly much.