Quicklook make anyone else kinda wanna read the books?

#1 Posted by Barrock (3525 posts) -

I looked at them at the book store and the problem is I have literally no idea where to start. There are only a million books. Are they any good?

#2 Edited by Perdido (48 posts) -

Starting out with an omnibus is, in my humble opinion, a great way to break into reading about the Warhammer 40k universe. I would suggest you start out with either Caiphas Cain, Ultramarines, Space Wolves, Gaunts Ghosts, or the Last Chancers.

Gaunts Ghosts: if you want to start out with a good set of stories that's written about normal a group of infantry scouts, lots of good sneaking aorund in these books as well as trench warfare. I believe there are currently 3 of these omnibuses, each containing 3 novels along with some short stories, and two additional novels. The one to start with would be Gaunts Ghosts: The Founding. Dan Abnett is one of the better writers withing the Black Library.

The Last Chancers: think Dirty Dozen mixed into the Warhammer 40k universe.

Space Wolves: a good series for those looking for good fast paced action that's well written.

Ultramarines: genetically enhanced superhuman warriors, heavy action mixed in with last ditch efforts, and some well written intrigue.

and the best for last atleast in my opinion, Caiphas Cain: for this one I won't give anything more than the recommendation to go read it. Graham McNeil is also one of the better Warhammer 40k writers.

You can also find a good bit on these novels at The Black Library.They even have a helpful section called "Getting Started".

#3 Posted by PulledaBrad (608 posts) -

I give a thumbs up to all those suggestions and would add in Eisenhorn. Space Wolves is pretty great if you want to know how the space marines are created.

#4 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4038 posts) -
@Perdido: Nice little write up there. Much appreciated sir.
#5 Posted by shamroll (145 posts) -

I've been reading the books for a little while and I really enjoy them.  It is a lot of bloody fighting, the good guy doesn't always win, and the universe is really deep. 
 
You might also want to check out the Horus Heresy books with the first one being Horus Rising.  This is the best "starting point" in my opinion because it sets up the events that lead up to the current Warhammer 40k universe.  Either that or the Ultramarines omnibus is good too.  

#6 Posted by Vodun (2365 posts) -

Stupid 40k books all about space marines or imperial gourds. Where's my Tau fiction? FOR THE GREATER GOOD!

#7 Posted by shamroll (145 posts) -
@Vodun said:

Stupid 40k books all about space marines or imperial gourds. Where's my Tau fiction? FOR THE GREATER GOOD!

isn't the Fire Warrior book about the Tau?  I haven't read it but I think that one is the only Tau book.  I think an Ork book would be funny.
#8 Posted by Vodun (2365 posts) -

@shamroll said:

@Vodun said:

Stupid 40k books all about space marines or imperial gourds. Where's my Tau fiction? FOR THE GREATER GOOD!

isn't the Fire Warrior book about the Tau? I haven't read it but I think that one is the only Tau book. I think an Ork book would be funny.

Yeah, but from what I've heard it's barely a book =/

#9 Posted by Perdido (48 posts) -

@PulledaBrad: Oh definately Eisenhorn for the Inquisition side of the universe, and maybe even some Ravenor(both of which are written by Dan Abnett). There's just way too many good books out there to read, after you get started though I would suggest picking your way through the Horus Heresy novels, and see where the conflict raging across the 41st millenium began.

#10 Posted by PulledaBrad (608 posts) -

Crap, boys, we've lost focus. Duder needs a good starting point. So with that in mind I would suggest maybe Heroes or Legends of the Space Marines which are short story collections. Quick to get through and gives you a pretty good idea about the different SM chapters, as well as a taste of the fiction.

#11 Posted by ClaritySam (594 posts) -

Anything by Dan Abnett or Graham McNeill is worth reading, other than that the quality varies enormously so try and read a few reviews on each one.  I'm really enjoying the Horus Heresy series but it is starting to drag a little, 

#12 Edited by Skytylz (4015 posts) -

I rarely read books based on the expanded universe of games or movies, but I did recently start reading some star wars books and they're pretty good.  I might open my mind up and look into some video game books after I finish the trilogy I'm reading now.  

#13 Posted by Sitoxity (551 posts) -

@Skytylz: The 40k Universe is a wonderful place. It's not just "expanded" like games or movies, the books are part of the lore. The Codex and Rulebooks do have some of the lore intact, but only in the books can you learn about more of the specifics about main events (like the Horus Heracy). Looking at it objectively, games like Dawn of War, Kill Team and Space Marine are technically the expanded universes, but even those are licensed and are classed as canon, even making the Blood Ravens a more popular chapter that was previously unheard of or at least very rare.

#14 Edited by CitizenKane (10501 posts) -

It still surprises me that in the 41st millenium, mankind has evolved to conquer half of the galaxy but are still confined to using chainsaws as a melee weapon.

#15 Posted by Scrawnto (2413 posts) -

Gaunt's Ghosts! Great series.

@CitizenKane: Well, they do have power swords, power fists, storm claws, force hammers and such. Chainsaws are just for rank and file Space Marines.

#16 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2661 posts) -

@CitizenKane said:

It still surprises me that in the 41st millenium, mankind has evolved to conquer half of the galaxy but are still confined to using chainsaws as a melee weapon.

I don't know a ton about it, but from what I gathered from Dawn of War and Dawn of War 2 (and Kill Team, but that was shit) is that the current humans in Warhammer 40k don't know how to make jack shit. They're making do with what was around before. Not sure why.

#17 Posted by Sharpshooter (874 posts) -

I've read the Dawn of War books. I enjoyed them, they arn't exactly literary gold by any degree by they flesh out the universe from the games which I really like. That said I guess you could say I'm a bit of a fan of video game novelizations, I have all the Halo novels all the Dawn of War novels and (believe it or not) the novelization of Command & Conquer 3. Yup I did just type that.

#18 Posted by alternate (2655 posts) -
Since the Black Library relaunched they are putting out an awful lot of books and they don't seem to be too fussed about the quality.  I agree with what other have said on here - go for the recommended authors rather than the subject matter that sounds the most interesting.
 
 
@CitizenKane said:

It still surprises me that in the 41st millenium, mankind has evolved to conquer half of the galaxy but are still confined to using chainsaws as a melee weapon.

I can tell you jest but they actually explain away the relatively low level of tech - I am no expert on the universe but if I remember correctly humans developed all this super high tech level and then over the ages lost that knowledge.  So the high tech stuff they use like space ships and plasma weapons are all made by these automated factory worlds where they don't really understand how they work anymore or the process that makes them run, they sort of regard tech now as holy and only tech priests etc are allowed to access it and then they sometimes dig old tech up like titans (huge mechs) and power swords (higher tech than chainswords) but as they lost the tech to make this stuff they are very rare and tend to go to hero units. 
 
I am sure a fan will come and tell me all this was bollocks but that is the jist I get ;-)
#19 Posted by Vorbis (2748 posts) -

Gaunts Ghosts is a great starting point.

#20 Posted by Marz (5608 posts) -

nah not really, though i do kinda want to just read the Codex.

#21 Edited by Do_The_Manta_Ray (508 posts) -

@alternate:

You're pretty much spot on, mate. See, in the 40 K Universe, there's a dimension known as the "Warp", it runs parallel to normal reality, and humanity saw fit to use it for their own needs. It enables them to travel distances in their star-ships, which would otherwise take thousands of years in mere months, and allows them to communicate with each other over vast distances. Well, at the peak of human ingenuity came along a time known as the "Age of Strife", or "Old Night", in which mankind was seperated by so-called warp-storms: spread thin over the galaxy with no means to communicate with each other, effectively isolating every single planet. The human reign was, at that point, completely dependant on each different planet for materials, food, medicine, as no single planet could support all the human needs. And so, anarchy followed, it was each man for himself, and everyone wanted to cut out a piece of land for themselves, their families, their neighbours. This here lovely period lasted some 5000 years, during which the population of man did their very best to kill each other what little depleted resources were still up for grabs.

Then, all of a sudden, these storms settled down, and the warp became tranquil yet again. Now, this is the point where the so called "Emperor" rose up to unite all the different war-bands on old Terra (Earth), and with the help of the Mechanicum of Mars (offshoot of the human race which have begun to worship machines), began a crusade to reunite all the lost human tribes over the galaxy.

Now, we're still just in 31 K, at this point. And without giving too much away, and making this post even longer.. The next 10 thousand years make the age of strife seem like a pleasant lull.

Now, for starters: I'd simply recommend "Horus Rising" of the Horus Heresy. It sets everything up wonderfully, and you get a pretty decent understanding of the workings of the IP. A few people mentioned Eisenhorn, and I think that's a great idea, as well. I'd also like to throw "Lord of the Night" in, as it's a very different perspective than those already mentioned, and I think the book gives you a great idea of how the Imperium runs and manages to put a human face on it, warts and all.

Lastly, I'd like to give you a tip, mate. Don't draw black and white lines, there really is no good or evil in the 40 K IP. Enjoy!

#22 Edited by Thule (690 posts) -

@CitizenKane said:

It still surprises me that in the 41st millenium, mankind has evolved to conquer half of the galaxy but are still confined to using chainsaws as a melee weapon.

@Rolyatkcinmai said:

I don't know a ton about it, but from what I gathered from Dawn of War and Dawn of War 2 (and Kill Team, but that was shit) is that the current humans in Warhammer 40k don't know how to make jack shit. They're making do with what was around before. Not sure why.

@alternate said:

I can tell you jest but they actually explain away the relatively low level of tech - I am no expert on the universe but if I remember correctly humans developed all this super high tech level and then over the ages lost that knowledge. So the high tech stuff they use like space ships and plasma weapons are all made by these automated factory worlds where they don't really understand how they work anymore or the process that makes them run, they sort of regard tech now as holy and only tech priests etc are allowed to access it and then they sometimes dig old tech up like titans (huge mechs) and power swords (higher tech than chainswords) but as they lost the tech to make this stuff they are very rare and tend to go to hero units. I am sure a fan will come and tell me all this was bollocks but that is the jist I get ;-)

The Warhammer 40k universe is a mash-up of a ton of sci-fi(Dune, Star Wars) , fantasy(LotR) and other random things that it's creators thought was cool. Fighting your enemies with a chainsaw sword/axe is cool, so therefore it's in, even if it doesn't really make sense. Sometimes the simple answer is the best one.

#23 Posted by mrangryface (771 posts) -

I have a huge collection of 40k books- I even have the mock munitorum manual and infantryman primer books, which are a lot of fun to read. Warhammer books range from good stupid toilet reading to stuff with world building and writing that rivals some of the better sci fi stuff imo. Go in with a baseline expectation of guns n oath swearing and you'll never be disappointed.

#24 Posted by Seedofpower (3909 posts) -

@Vodun: For the greater good.

@alternate said:

Since the Black Library relaunched they are putting out an awful lot of books and they don't seem to be too fussed about the quality. I agree with what other have said on here - go for the recommended authors rather than the subject matter that sounds the most interesting.
@CitizenKane said:

It still surprises me that in the 41st millenium, mankind has evolved to conquer half of the galaxy but are still confined to using chainsaws as a melee weapon.

I can tell you jest but they actually explain away the relatively low level of tech - I am no expert on the universe but if I remember correctly humans developed all this super high tech level and then over the ages lost that knowledge. So the high tech stuff they use like space ships and plasma weapons are all made by these automated factory worlds where they don't really understand how they work anymore or the process that makes them run, they sort of regard tech now as holy and only tech priests etc are allowed to access it and then they sometimes dig old tech up like titans (huge mechs) and power swords (higher tech than chainswords) but as they lost the tech to make this stuff they are very rare and tend to go to hero units. I am sure a fan will come and tell me all this was bollocks but that is the jist I get ;-)

Yes a fan will come along and explain this bollocks. =)

Mr.Kane if you want to know why they still use chainswords after conquering MOST of the galaxy, it is out of fear and tradition. The fear that knowledge will lead to heresy and turning to the ways of the dark gods. The tradition of using relics of our ancestors with the faith that it will harden their resolve to over come greater evils. Yes, they have lost much in the ways of manufacturing new weapons and the growing fear of turning away from the Emperor's light prevents much of the Imperium from gaining such enlightenment.

The Horus Heresy book series is by far the best way to get into the fiction. For the most part it explains how the Imperium became how it is in the 41st millennium. How the Cult of the Emperor was founded and how much knowledge was lost during the civil war on mars (Mechanicum, 9th book in the series and I'm currently finishing up).

I don't understand how this game can inspire people to want to read the fiction. There is no real story, no named characters and no real tie in for the Space Marine game. For christs sake, all you are listening to is some generic voice hold your hand through out the game and the world you are defending is flatly named "Forge World."

If anything Relic's games do a better job and is a much better reason to start reading the books.

I think I'm nerd raging enough to write a blog about all this.............

#25 Edited by phrosnite (3517 posts) -

I started reading 40k novels since 2009 because of Dawn of War 2. So far I have:

  • Eisenhorn Omnibus
  • Horus Heresy books 1-4 & Legion
  • Path of the Warrior
  • Ravenor Omnibus
Eisenhorn is fantastic. You.Must.Read.It.
 
Planning on buying:
  • Horus Heresy: Fulgrim by McNeill, Graham
  • Horus Heresy: A Thousand Sons by McNeill, Graham
  • Horus Heresy: Prospero Burns by Dan Abnett
  • Horus Heresy: Nemesis by James Swallow
  • Horus Heresy: The First Heretic by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
  • Titanicus by Dan Abnett
  • Path of the Seer by Gav Thorpe
#26 Posted by Seedofpower (3909 posts) -

@phrosnite said:

Eisenhorn is fantastic. You.Must.Read.It.

Agreed.

#27 Posted by SgtGrumbles (1024 posts) -

@Vodun said:

Stupid 40k books all about space marines or imperial gourds. Where's my Tau fiction? FOR THE GREATER GOOD!

<sick burn> Just read some furry/anime slash fiction! <sick burn>

#28 Posted by YoungFrey (1319 posts) -

I've read a number, but Dan Abnett's boks are my favorite.  It's really hard to go wrong picking one of his.  I'd suggest (like others have) starting with the Gaunts Ghosts or Eisenhorn series.  The Gaunt's books are a lot more down to earth.  There are fantastic elements, but it's more about hard manly men scraping to stay alive and killing shit. You can get the collected first 3 forused for less $7.  
 
If you want more aliens, demons and magic powers, go for Eisenhorn.  Not a slight, but I'd say I like the characters in Gaunt's more but the cool factor of Eisenhorn is higher.  It can also be had affordably from Amazon.
#29 Posted by mazik765 (2315 posts) -
@CitizenKane said:

It still surprises me that in the 41st millenium, mankind has evolved to conquer half of the galaxy but are still confined to using chainsaws as a melee weapon.

Where do you evolve when you've reached the pinnacle of badass ways to kill someone's face?
#30 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

Aaron Dembski-Bowden's Night Lords series (Soul Hunter, Blood Reaver, and the forthcoming Void Stalker) are the best books that the Black Library offers, and are some of the best stories I have read period.

ADB is an amazing young author who somehow manages to write a story from the perspective of the Traitor Legion most known for being despicable, disgusting, torturous murderers, and still manages to make you able to identify with them and care about them without ever making you sympathetic toward them. He also uses normal human characters taken out of their element as a way of acclimatising the reader to the core concepts of the universe and the story, it's truly masterful.

I have handed these books over to a dozen friends who have no idea what a Warhammer is beyond 'hurrrrrrrrrrrrrr toys' and they have absolutely loved these books. Dark, gothic science fiction fantasy at it's finest.

#31 Posted by Morka (152 posts) -

I've just started reading the Space Wolf books. Luckily for me, you can get all six books collected in two HUGE books, so they were easy to pick up.

But holy shit, I've not been able to put my book down since i started reading. They're damn good! :D

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