Sunday, August 28, 2011
Dead Men Walking: An Imperial Guard Novel
Okay, so as my two readers know I am a major fan of Warhammer 40,000. I play the tabletop, I am looking forward to the upcoming Space Marine video game, and I love reading the fluff books. (For those of you that don't know, fluff is a term for all the stuff that isn't game rules but provides context and stories.) A lot of Warhammer 40k books focus on the Imperial Guard, the army of ordinary guys who have to face down aliens, giant robots, and demons from alternate dimensions. As such the men and women of the Imperial Guard make really great protagonists because it's easy to relate to them.
Dead Men Walking is kind of different from other Imperial Guard novels because it focuses on the Death Korps of Krieg. This is worth mentioning because the Death Korps is hands down the scariest Imperial Guard regiment out there. They always wear gas masks, refer to themselves by numbers, and are willing to take massive casualties to achieve objectives. This provides an interesting contrast in the novel because the enemy the Death Korps is fighting is the Necrons. Basically these guys are killer zombie robots that stop at nothing to kill everything. Everything. Anyway, so we have two very single-minded armies and an entire city of people caught between them. It makes for a very interesting story.
Honestly, if you're already a Warhammer 40k fan and want to read a book about the Death Korps and Necrons, you'll like reading this. If you're not a fan and want a book to introduce you to the universe, I'd suggest reading something else. Necropolis by Dan Abnett or Rebel Winter by Steve Parker are great books to get you introduced.
Otherwise the book's okay but only stands out because it focuses on the Death Korps. I don't know of many other books that do. It's okay, but not mind-blowing. I give it three sheep.