This year was my biggest reading challenge to date as I made myself a goal to read more books than I read last year. If I can remember my current reading checklist I’ve read about 20+ books, although I wanted to do a top ten list to make this post not too long.
So here’s my top ten books of 2019, enjoy!
10) Legacy of Dorn by Mike Lee
This book was a nice book to read at the start of 2019 to inspire me to build my Primaris Crimson Fists. The story takes place during the Rynn’s World War in the perspective of a few surviving Space marines who have to survive alongside surviving Rynn’s Guard troopers.
A very intense and engaging story of survival and struggles to keep order in check, this story explores what it means to be a son of Dorn, how a Space marine deals with loss and regret and how the Crimson Fists work alongside imperial Guardsmen.
9) Nagash The Undying King by Josh Reynolds
This AoS novel covers the events after Nagash’s defeat by the blade of Archaon, telling the tale of a tribe called the Rictus Tribe who have become the centre stage of the story’s plot. It’s an insightful look into who worships Nagash and how they’ve had to deal with the Great Necromancers silence after his defeat.
A nice novel to read, I’d say it’s one of the better AoS books out there with tons of interesting lore and themes that hobbyist might like to create. A noble army of Maggotkin of Nurgle Knights, a clan called the Rictus Clan who worship Nagash and even a skeleton Giant makes an appearance too! (Make a warscroll of that please GW).
Overall if your a fan of Nagash or just an avid fan of AoS and want to know more about Shyish during the Age of Chaos, this book is certainly a must to connect the dots for the Malign Portents and the Necroquake.
8) The Land Leviathan by Micheal Moorcock
Reading outside of Black Library books, I’ve been reading some Micheal Moorcock fiction. Whilst I’ve never read the first book in the series, the second book, The Land Leviathan is an amazing science fiction story about an alternate future where western society is destroyed as an African superpower takes over the world.
It’s a great story as it explains how an inventor solved world hunger with technologies that excelled the living standards for poor people. In a nutshell, society got too greedy and started a nuclear war thanks to the inventors own Warmachine creations. Western society goes downhill as the war destroys pretty much every governing nations.
But, whilst the western world is nearly wiped out, Africa rises up and uses the remaining technology to take over the world.
I won’t spoil the whole story, but there’s a lot of questions to ask, and the themes that run through this story. If you like science fiction that has a completely different style of presenting an alternative timeline, The Land Leviathan is worth read.
7) The Corum Trilogy: The Knight of the Sword by Micheal Moorcock
Another Micheal Moorcock book that I’ve added to my list due to its significance of being my favourite fantasy story that’s not GW related.
The Knight of the Sword is a fantasy story that follows the first book in Corum’s adventures, the last of his kind, Corum goes in search of revenge to destroy the first Chaos god of the Sword rulers. This book has some interesting lore about the universe that this story is set in, and how it connects to the grander scale of the multiverse.
6) The Fog by James Herbert
The latest book I’ve read from the master of horror writing by the late James Herbert. The story follows the events of an unnatural earthquake that opened a fissure in a small village, releasing a fog like cloud into the sky.
What follows is a string of physiological horror stories that lead up to a growing rise of murders and strange behaviour from those affected by the fog.
This is quite a good book to read that explores the concept of how everyone can be turned into the worst aspects of themselves. Hatred, love, regret, fear and deepest emotions can be triggered by the fogs presence.
5) A Knight and his Horse by Ewart Oakshot
As a hobby I like researching history that’s mostly a Medieval and the battle of Stalingrad, although I’m not fluent enough to give guided tours on these subjects.
But there’s one book that I really enjoyed reading this year that covered my favourite subject, Knights and Jousting. A Knight and His Horse is a book that explains the history of how cavalry was developed of the centuries, how Knights would be armoured (and their horses) and the types of horses that were used during the Medieval times.
Packed with some interesting illustrations and facts to understand what Knights really did. I don’t know if this book is still reprinted today but I’d highly recommend reading a copy for it’s easy to read guide on Knights.
4) Domain by James Herbert
The third book in The Rats Trilogy, Domain is probably one the most depressing books I’ve read from the trilogy. Set after a nuclear attack devastates London and the rest of the U.K., those that survived live in either well maintained underground fallout shelters or basements to survive.
Unbeknownst to the survivors that something vast and hungry has come to search for the survivors and devour them alive. The giant mutated rats are back, and they now rule the streets of London.
At this point in the series things get very same old as you know well enough what these mutant rats will do if they ever see you. That’s not to say it wasn’t interesting, having it set after a nuclear apocalypse is a great way of changing the narrative.
The short stories within this book highlight just how horrible the apocalypse can be for those that survived, as the rats catch their scent and on mass hunt the survivors down. I can’t spoil much here but be prepared for some really depressing stuff. One the bright side, the short story about a neighbour who built his shelter despite ridicule (and laughed at them in return as he survived the apocalypse) is stuck with a cat. It should have been its own story due to it’s well written humour and horror.
3) Storm of Iron by Graham McNeill
Iron Warriors are one of my favourite traitor legions from the first founding, their Horus Heresy stories have a lot of insight into the legions organisation and the flaws that defined their downfall to Chaos. I was especially pleased with Perterabo’s Primarch novel alongside the short story (in Sons of the Emperor) which fills in more information on Olympia. It was thanks to Angel Exterminatus (by the same Author as Storm of Iron) that I started reading HH books.
Storm of Iron is very much a sequel to Angel Exterminatus that features some of the most intense fighting of swift warfare. The Iron Warriors led by the Warsmith, have come to take down a highly fortified stronghold to find something which even the defenders don’t know about.
I was very impressed with the story and how Graham brought back my favourite Iron Warrior legends like Kroger, Forrix and the Warsmith.
Honsou is my new favourite Iron Warrior just for the sheer badass stuff he does!
2) Honour Guard by Dan Abnett
Whilst I’m still reading the Gaunt’s Ghosts the Saints Omnibus, I do have a favourite book in the collection that I wanted to add to my list. Honour Guard is a great story that continues off from Necropolis (one of my all time favourite Gaunt’s Ghosts book!), which sees the Ghosts and the Verghasties on the holy world where Saint Sabbat herself was rested. After a major error resulted in the destruction of a holy site, Gaunt must lead an honour guard on a mission to recover the remains of Saint Sabbat. A mission that may be his last……
Whilst it wasn’t as good as Necropolis I did enjoy this book for the narrative of a long road journey, a sort of final act of dignity and spiritual journey that Gaunt must take to succeed the mission. Surprisingly there was a lot of good humour especially from Major Rawne’s parts.
When judging the Saints arc I think Honour Guard is probably the best book so far in the omnibus, the others were fine although they didn’t have that quality that the former had. Straight Silver was good but I thought the first half of the story was jarring to read, the second half started to read like a proper Gaunt’s Ghost story. I didn’t like the third book in the series, it just felt like the other books I’ve read before.
1) The Rats by James Herbert
My top book for 2019 is The Rats, a story that’s chilling to the bone reading the most bloody graphic descriptions I’ve ever read. For such a small book with only a 100+ pages, I was captivated by the narrative and disgusted by the horror that the late James Herbert crafted.
This book was his first time publishing books, and that’s saying something for one of his most popular book in his career.
The Rats takes place roughly in the 1970’s, a string of deaths have occurred by hungry giant mutated rats, larger, stronger and hungry for human flesh. The victims are described by their background and what led them to where they are now before their fate is sealed as the Rats kill them alive. You feel connected to the victims, some good, some bad, but you want them to survive no matter what will come next.
I’ve made a few posts about The Rats earlier this year after I’ve found a copy of a Graphic novel, The City. It was by a random chance encounter that would lead me on to discover James Herbert and The Rats Trilogy.
So it was by no doubt that I wanted The Rats to be my top book of 2019.
That’s all for today, check back tomorrow to see what my new post will be for my 12 days of Winter blog posts.
Until next time,