Book Review - Beast Arises Books 1 & 2

Warhammer 40,000 – I swore up and down that I wasn't going to buy hardcover bolter porn. I've waited months for the Horus Heresy books to come to mass market so they match my shelf and I don't pay more than $12 for a novel that I rarely read more than once. (But I might go back to them or pass them down so I HAVE to own them right?) 

Anyway I was at the bookstore and flipped through I am Slaughter the first book in The Beast Arises series. I was impressed the paper was a heavier stock than usual, the size was just a little bigger than a mass market, there will only be 12 books in the series and the graphic design is consistent. Couple that with a $12.95 price and the story being set between the heresy and current 40K; long story short I broke down and bought it.

The first book was amazing, and the second continued the intense story. It's a shame orcs on the tabletop don't act like they do in the novels. If they did I feel like you'd see many more orc players than you do now. 

Even though the books have been out for some time I don't want to go into to much detail as to spoil the story for anyone who hasn't read it.

I Am Slaughter starts with a joint Imperial Fist/Ad Mech task force attempting to wipe out a xenos species. Things go from bad to worse as the glory hungry High Lords of Terra make some bad political decisions and send the full chapter to war to cleanse this threat so close to the Sol System. 

The unique thing about this book is there is plenty of action but there's also a decent amount of political intrigue and behind the scenes shenanigans between the High Lords and their various underlings. 

The climax as should be evident by the spine of the book is an ork invasion unlike anything that has been seen since Ulanor. 

Predator Prey delves deeper into the story, as more and more Imperial Worlds fall to the Deff Star the high Lords are to caught up in their posturing to make and real decisions. The Fabricator General of Mars seems content to just analyze from afar in what appears to be an attempt to replicate the technology. Things are looking grim for the Imperials.

This story spreads out the implications of the invasion through several smaller stories that are all intertwined around the green tide tearing through Imperial Space. Told from the perspective of minor characters each of these highlights the hopelessness of facing a horde that appears from nowhere and seems to be limitless in the amount of bodies it can send to the fight.

So far I'm glad I waited on thie series as I should be able to pick up the next book as I finish each of them without having to wait months like I do for new Horus Heresy books. If you like orks, or want to see the Imperium in turmoil this is a series for you.