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  • The Wicked and the Damned

  • Warhammer Horror
  • By: Josh Reynolds, David Annandale, Phil Kelly
  • Narrated by: Doug Bradley, Richard Reed, Emma Gregory, and others
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 64

On a misty cemetery world, three strangers are drawn together through mysterious circumstances. Each of them has a tale to tell of a narrow escape from death. Amid the toll of funerary bells and the creep and click of mortuary-servitors, the truth is confessed. But whose story can be trusted? Whose recollection is warped, even unto themselves?  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • simply amazing

  • By Anonymous User on 04-04-19

The Emperor's House of Horrors

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-05-19

I'm surprised Warhammer hasn't tapped the classic horror portmanteau to date, so it's pleasing to see its been done right. Much like Dead of Night or Dr. Terror's House of Horrors, the individual tales are held together by a framing story that will ultimately reveal the connection between them, and of course the reason for them being there.

The stories themselves are extremely good: predictable to be sure but a true pleasure to saviour. Leading the descent into madness is Doug Bradley, who brings the story of a Commissar struggling to do his duty to vivid and unforgettable life. Its a fascinating introduction to a new and rich seam of 40K and I'm excited to see where this will head. For those who are dreading the coming end of the Heresy series, here's hoping the Black Library will continue to develop this series for years to come.

  • Titandeath

  • The Horus Heresy, Book 53
  • By: Guy Haley
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 13 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 154
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 153

Horus’ armada gathers, and he has defeated all enemies sent against him, even the Emperor’s own executioner. One barrier remains before he can strike for Terra and lay waste to the Emperor’s dream. The Beta-Garmon system occupies the most direct and only viable route to the Solar System and Terra. To break it, Horus assembles a war host of incredible proportions and Titans in untold numbers. To lose here is to lose the war, and Horus has no intention of turning back. But the Imperium understands the importance of Beta-Garmon too. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Titandeath

  • By JBragg1984 on 21-02-19

Possibly the dullest of the series

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-03-19

Titandeath proves once again its near impossible to conjure any excitement around machine warfare, and it's almost a relief when the action moves away from the deathly dull Titan crews to anybody else. Fully two thirds of the book is devoted to uninspiring characters and scenarios, the better to garner sympathy for their fates or motivation for their choices. It doesn't work: origin stories this far into the series only work if they bring something new and vital to the mythos and this is the first reason Titandeath fails.

The second is the scope: limited to just a single House and a prolonged engagement with nothing of the wider war or individual unit actions. The war then ends abruptly, though how the deciding blow arrived or the role of the Khan in the outcome is left to guess.

The one highlight is Sanguinius - the assault from orbit is nothing short of phenomenal and reads like the opening of a Mission Impossible film. Gone is the stilted and often hackneyed script that typically accompanies the Lord of the Blood Angels and instead we see him unleashed (all too briefly) in the books real highlight. Otherwise a slow start, unexciting middle and an abrupt, weak ending.

  • Our Martyred Lady

  • Warhammer 40,000
  • By: Gav Thorpe
  • Narrated by: Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Andrew Fettes, and others
  • Length: 5 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68

During the turbulent Reign of Blood, a great schism in the Imperial Ecclesiarchy threatened all of Terra and promised a darkness to rival the terrors of Old Night. Fell times have come again to the Imperium, and a War of Faith appears inevitable. Standing in the way of catastrophe is Celestine, the Living Saint and one of the greatest heroes of the age. Only she can reunite the warring factions of the Ecclesiarchy and prevent a second Reign of Blood. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • absolutely incredible

  • By Jake Dootson-whelan on 20-03-19

Surprisingly Enjoyable

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-03-19

It takes a little while to get into it: the politics are necessary to get the plot moving and while the first ten minutes does feel like The Phantom Menace it soon settles into another great 40K story. Set a little after the recent events of Cadia and Watchers of The Throne novel this is a nice addition to the Dark Imperium storyline and is as good as any full cast BBC audio drama.
The cast is uniformly good: Tate is a surprising but welcome choice as Inquisitor Grayfax, just enough weariness and arrogance to sell the character rather than full-blown fire and brimstone which you'd typically expect from a newcomer. It may require a little reading around (Trayzn) but other than that is fairly straightforward even for those new to 40K. It's also only 4hrs not 5, the last hours reserved for interviews. Buy it to learn more about the Dark Imperium and for a decent audio drama in its own right.

  • The Crimson King

  • The Horus Heresy, Book 44
  • By: Graham McNeill
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 14 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 134
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 134

Removed from the concerns of the galaxy at large and regarding the Warmaster's unfolding Heresy with cold detachment, he has dedicated his hollow existence to the preservation of all the knowledge once held in the great libraries of Tizca, should mankind ever seek such enlightenment again. But his sons can see the change in their primarch - he is a broken soul whose mind and memories are slipping away into the tumult of the warp.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Neither one thing nor the other

  • By Lertimo on 02-04-19

A disjointed 'Search for Magnus'

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-02-19

Unlike the Search for Spock there is no real emotional driver here or even a good starship-stealing sequence. The story could easily have been told in novella or even in linked short stories. Characters come and go, linked by a fairly cogent story at the start. As the hours progress little happens - and this is with Lucius somehow in play. I'm reminded of the second half of the movie Excalibur and the Grail quest - a basic explanation and some random wandering with a sudden and rather abrupt conclusion. Not a bad book but a boring one

  • Watchers of the Throne: The Emperor's Legion

  • Warhammer 40,000
  • By: Chris Wraight
  • Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
  • Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 386
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 362
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 361

The Custodian Guard have stood watch over the Emperor's Palace on Terra since the foundation of the Imperium. Charged with protecting the Master of Mankind from all threats, within and without, their fearsome resolve is renowned throughout the galaxy, and their golden armour is the last thing that a would-be assassin or saboteur will ever see.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enthralling

  • By Kai Leingod on 09-10-17

Excellent - one of the best 40K experiences so far

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-18

Told by three narrators at various points, the 40K universe undergoes a fairly terrifying upheaval in the status quo. What makes this novel a huge leap forward compared to more run-of-the-mill contemporaries is that Wraight truly shapes his own part of the cosmos with living, breathing humans and transhumans alike. The idea of three narratives allows us to appreciate the scale on both a personal and global level while at all times keeping a tight rein on plot and characterisation.

For one of the Custodes' revelations in particular this pays off handsomely and credit to Wraight for continuing to develop his own mythos rather borrowing from others. The narrations are excellent and really take this to the upper heights. I rarely venture beyond Heresy novels and this one demands its own series. Well done to all for an essential addition to the Black Library

  • Heralds of the Siege

  • The Horus Heresy
  • By: John French, Guy Haley, Nick Kyme, and others
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble, Matthew Hunt
  • Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 131
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129

A galaxy burns and brother turns on brother as the conflict brought about by a beloved son’s betrayal reaches its fateful end. The Warmaster Horus has triumphed. His massive fleet at last nears Terra and the patriarchal Throne of his hated father. Many have fallen to bring this moment about; their tales are the ashes upon which the Heresy was born and prospered. Others have played their own small parts, drops in an ocean of war and blood. None of it matters. Terra looks to the skies as it raises its defences. Armies muster, heroes raise their swords, citizens cower. The war is coming. And nothing can stop it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent selection of stories

  • By 451 on 24-11-18

Excellent selection of stories

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-11-18

Heresy anthologies have lately been a hit-and-miss affair packed with more filler than anything else. Heralds of the Siege marks a welcome return to form, and many rewards for those who've stayed the course. The stories are no longer filling in time to get from point to point, and really, truly finding new character beats and nuances in long-established figures.

Even the venerable Jonathan Keeble is upping his considerable game: his portrayal of Leman Russ borders on Brian Blessed levels of unhinged awareness and truly polishes off an already excellent story. This one - Magisterium - finally gives Constantin Valdor a real voice, and brings a much greater understanding of the Custodes beyond just plain arrogance.

As with all anthologies there's one or two duds; Matthew Hunt in particular hasn't quite grasped the 30k lexicanum but it's early days and those jarring pronunciations should be soon hammered outyl. As with the last few Heresy novels the pace seems to be renewed, with authors such as Thorpe, Wraight and French once again stepping up to the mark where only Abnett or McNeill would previously tread. Worth buying indeed.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Ciaphas Cain: For the Emperor

  • Warhammer 40,000
  • By: Sandy Mitchell
  • Narrated by: Stephen Perring
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 394
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 362
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 357

On an Imperial outpost world on the fringes of tau space, the renowned Commissar Ciaphas Cain and his fractious regiment of Valhallan Guard, newly created from the remnants of two devastated units, find themselves in the middle of a war. As the Astra Militarum struggle to contain worldwide civil insurrection, can the wily Commissar Cain identify the real villain before the planet is lost to the Imperium forever?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The rest of the series needs to be recorded too.

  • By Dougall on 20-09-18

Funny and exciting, a real blast

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-09-18

Most people make the inevitable comparison to Blackadder when trying to categorise Cain but both are fantastic and individual creations. What elevates Cain among the ranks of 40k literature is that he's not at all heroic but does have a strong moral core. That describes most of us: we won't go looking for trouble and would run if given the chance - but every once in a while we can do something heroic. Moreso if it frightens us to do so.

Cain himself is a fabulous storyteller, sarcastic and constantly beset by people he'd rather see the back of. In this the performance of Stephen Perring is of a first-class raconteur and you get swept into it immediately. As for the footnotes - Penelope Rawlins should be listed too - it's as much her book as Perring's. A good tale of high adventure and thoroughly insulting character portraits, its a great listen as the days get darker.

  • Shadow Show

  • All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury
  • By: Sam Weller (Editor), Mort Castle (Editor)
  • Narrated by: George Takei, Edward Herrmann, Kate Mulgrew, and others
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 10

Ray Bradbury - peerless storyteller, poet of the impossible, and one of America's most beloved authors - is a literary giant whose remarkable career spanned seven decades. Now 26 of today's most diverse and celebrated authors offer new short works in honor of the master; stories of heart, intelligence, and dark wonder from a remarkable range of creative artists.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Near-perfect homage<br />

  • By 451 on 09-09-18

Near-perfect homage<br />

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-09-18

Almost every story here evokes the warm memories of reading Ray Bradbury for the first time. A few take a little while to get going but almost every single one pays homage to the great man. A few of the stories stumble: Margaret Atwood's contribution is fine but Bradbury would have told the story far more elegantly and without resorting to cursing. The story is saved by the magnificent George Takei, but it is a little jarring, especially next to the sublime effort of Neil Gaiman. Mort Castle's entry is the weakest and can be safely skipped but otherwise every story is suffused with love, ideas and even some outright laughter. Worth a blind buy

  • Slaves to Darkness

  • The Horus Heresy
  • By: John French
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 169
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 153
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152

After a long and gruelling conflict, the traitors at last close upon Terra. But time is dwindling for an attack. Both Guilliman and the Lion are returning with all haste, and their armies could turn the tide. The hosts of the Warmaster must unite, for only then can they attack the Throneworld itself. While Mortarion is sent on ahead as the fleet’s vanguard, it falls to Lorgar and Perturabo to marshal Fulgrim and Angron, both now elevated to daemonhood and perhaps beyond even the will of the Warmaster to command.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not sure about this one.

  • By mr m a french on 11-08-18

Good but not essential

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-08-18

Horus Heresy is at the Clone Wars stage where they're delaying the final transition to the Siege of Terra. In the case of later titles such as Old Earth it works well but here it's just an issue of logistics for the traitor side. The story is fairly simple - Perturabo and Lorgar are sent to fetch Fulgrim and Angron. What follows is not at all unexpected.

French is a good writer - though he's usually a little short on plot he's great with detail and as one of the darker writers of the Library he's often able to get away with it. The best parts of the book show the schism within the Sons of Horus but really it's Maloghurst who saves the book, with even Lorgar being reduced a supporting role. Nothing for the overall arc is accomplished here so you're free to skip this. However if you're like me and have read everything (even Battle for the Abyss) then it's similar to Path of Heaven - a good read though one you probably won't revisit as frequently as The First Heretic or Legion.

  • Old Earth

  • The Horus Heresy
  • By: Nick Kyme
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 113
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 112

Reborn in body and spirit beneath Mount Deathfire, the primarch Vulkan gathers his most trusted sons and prepares for the final part of his journey. The Legions shattered at Isstvan V have stalled the Warmaster’s advance across the galaxy, but fresh cracks are spreading through the alliance between the Iron Hands, Salamanders and Raven Guard, along with mysterious rumours of the return of Ferrus Manus. Haunted by a sense of destiny unfulfilled, Vulkan must choose between joining their war of vengeance against the traitors and following his own barely understood path all the way to the Throneworld itself.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Slow but welcome addition

  • By 451 on 24-08-18

Slow but welcome addition

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-08-18

I like Vulkan and while his Legion does tend to be stereotyped a little, one can never get enough of the Lord of Drakes. Old Earth is essentially a journey home - padded out with the return of Meduson. Two fairly slender threads each slowly but expertly woven to reveal the final fates of both Shadrak Meduson and Vulkan as he makes the journey back to Terra.

What keeps the story from true greatness is the addition of Eldrad Ulthran. I'm happy that the markers are moved in place for certain characters but all they did was to slow the pace of the novel and as a result its skewed. What should have been a one-two gut punch at the end is smoothed out by the addition of the Eldar - its like the heavy, soulful dialogue that always cuts into the finale of every season of Supernatural. Sometimes you just have to obey the story.

Ultimately the book completes the saga of the Shattered Legions and Vulkan. The latter in particular is finally given a role in the run-up to the final assault on Terra and while his particular story is rather rushed at the end, it is still one hell of an ending.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful