Author - Ian Watson
Year - 1996
Stand Alone or Series - Stand Alone
Pages - 255
Reading Time Oct 2010 to Jan 2011
First published in 1993 – though completed some years earlier – at a time when the background to the Warhammer 40,000 universe was still in a state of flux and not yet fully coalesced, the book follows three young Imperial Fist recruits from their formative years in the underhive gangs of Necromunda through to fighting as part of the First Company within the bowels (literally!) of a Tyranid bioship.
Not only will you find squats in this novel –Tzeentch-worshiping squats at that – but also Space Marines controlling Titans, Space Marines with lasguns, the Pain Glove and more than a small amount of toilet humour. Oh, and a Zoat. How could we forget the Zoat?
Although the temptation was great to rewrite significant portions of this book to make it conform to current background, as a curiosity piece, an historical snapshot of the Warhammer 40,000 universe circa the early 1990s, this book is invaluable. It also serves as a shining example of what can happen when a respected genre author at the height of his powers is let loose on an established shared universe.
So this how everything began. Interesting read, oudated and somewhat interesting. But by today standards it fails to achieve the epic porportions or in terms of vast scale of other current novels.
Here we find how one turns a space marine -Imperial Fists. The IF takes his men from the Necromunda world. And in this particular case they took three hivers each from a different part of the hive city. It was interesting to read about the differences between them and how they try to bond beneath the IF.
Being an outdated book, from the first or second codex time, we have Squats and Zoats; both written out from the annal histories of Games Workshop.
You've got Space Marines eating enemies to know more about several situations and even to control a Titan!!
But don't get me wrong. This is a book where you will find a grim dark reality of the warhammer 40k world. People abducted, through painful treatments (with druges involved) turn into fanatic space marines.
Good story and I advice anyone into Warhammer40k to read it, or if you like Starship Troopers from Heinlein 7.5/10