Book Review: Bringers of Death - edited by Christian Dunn & Marc Gascoigne

In the grim darkness of the far future, mankind teeters on the very brink of destruction. The galaxy spanning Imperium is under threat on all sides by a multitude of alien races and from within by the insidious forces of Chaos. Constant war is humanity's only chance of survival and standing at the forefront are the Space Marines - genetically engineered warriors, and the massed ranks of the Imperial Guard, each willing to lay down their lives for mankind’s survival.Brimming with action packed tales of bloodshed, heroism and courage . Bringers of Death throws you headlong onto the desperate battlefields of the 41st millennium.

Even Unto Death - Mike Lee 26
Red Reward - Mitchel Scanlon 30
Menshad Korum - CS Goto 36
Xenocide - Simon Jowett 124
13 Sector - Sandy Mitchell 28

This first story given to us by Mike Lee, the writer behind Malus Darkblade series, is of Space Wolf Scouts on an Ork occupied world. The plot is plagued by too-convenient devices toadvance the tale, and the Orks are written as boring, brainless antagonists manipulated by dark eldars. Interesting plot but I didn't like it. On the other hand I love Malus Darkblade serie.

"Red Reward" written by Mitchel Scanlon, is a story that continues where "15 Hours" left of or began. In the story nothing is said about it. Either way, "15 Hours" is one of my favorite WH40K book, and I was glad to take another look at the doomed planet of Broucheroc. The endless war, the violence and the grit really come through in a story that, by itself, might come off as creatively weak. The atmosphere is the most important part of the story. I really hope to see one more book or story about that planet by Scanlon.

C.S. Goto seems to champion the Xeno-tale for the Black Library and his offering here, Menshad Korum, is no different, using Eldar as its main characters. Unfortunately, though he provides a very interesting concept for his tale, its execution leaves something to be desired. He works a little too hard to integrate named characters from the wargame into the tale, and his action sequences push beyond "suspension of disbelief." The year after this story was release he wrote a book about Eldar called Eldar Prophecy and one story about eldars in another anthology. It was the most confusing story to me. Maybe I don't know much of eldar race or their actions. Either way it was good.

The longest tale, Xenocide by Simon Jowett, is a well crafted yarn dealing with an Orkish invasion of an early-gunpowder era world (one quite similar in devolved technology to Warhammer Fantasy Battle, but otherwise unconnected). The characters are engaging and cunningly combine many disparate elements of the 40K background. Both the primary and secondary climaxes are unexpected and enjoyable. By the end, we learn that the salvation that some look for can condemn us just as easily. A challenging and ultimately sad story. It's a suitable centerpiece for the anthology.

If Xenocide was one of the saddest story this one was the opposite. It brings back Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain in a story called, Sector 13. The short story is actually better than some of his longer works (it brings back memories of second book), ,presenting Commissar Cain at his worst, which is at his best and most humorous for the reader. It's a fitting, almost light-hearted, ending for an otherwise dark collection of tales.

Althought I prefer the warhammer world rather than warhammer40k but from time to time I like to travel to 40k. After all I have them all. Probably the next book from warhammer 40k to be devour is Brothers of the Snake from Abnett.
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