Warhammer 40,000 Novels: which ones are good?

Although I don’t play any more, I still like reading novels written for the Warhammer 40,000 setting.

Of the ones I have read recently:

The Ciaphas Cain novels: I recommend all but the last one (Cain’s Last Stand). I didn’t respect the villain as a villain and the references to the time-skip were just kind of depressing. I have no complaints about the others.

Faith and Flame: I liked it a lot, but I’m biased, as I bought the book solely because it featured the Sisters of Battle, and I hadn’t read anything prior to that.

Dark Apostle: I loved the parts with Tech-Magos Darioq, and there were a lot of other things that I enjoyed reading about, but I hated the ending.

Specifically, the tower broke my suspension of disbelief. When the Terminators took down the titan, this was a legitimate victory for the Word Bearers. When the tower no-sold the Ordinatus and one-shotted it in return, my reaction was that the author was cheating his ass off.

I think the most common answer here will be anything by Dan Abnett. Gaunt’s Ghosts being the standout series here but Eisenhorn works very well as the life story of an idealistic inquisitor.

Outside of there I love the Battle Fleet Gothic novels Execution Hour and Shadowpoint by Gordon Rennie. 13th Legion by Gav Thorpe I liked but the sequels get worse quickly. I started to read the Horus Heresy series but the standard of writing varied to much for me to even think of continuing to purchase and read.

A friend had tried Redemption Corps and says that it starts with great ideas but goes downhill. Rynn’s World didn’t work for me so I won’t be trying any more of that series.

What’s the big deal about taking down Titans? I do it every time one shows up.
(For the Greater Good! (my current tally is five different player’s Titans. ))
More seriously, I can’t say anything but Cain and the Ghosts, but if you like Cain, try one of the source novels, the Flashman series by George McDonald Frasier. GREAT stuff.

Oh, I liked Fire Warrior.

From what I’ve read I’m inclined to agree, although both times I was interrupted by real life. I’ve actually got the first omnibus of each series, but haven’t gotten back to them.

I read Execution Hour when I was back in high school, and enjoyed it back then. I even gave a presentation about it for a literature class. I’ll have to read it again some time.

There are Titans, and there are Titans. Taking down some half-assed Stompa with massed fire doesn’t quite compare to ambushing and boarding an Imperator.

Done it. Once. Technically, it was only a leg, as that was all that was on the board. But I’ve done it. Mostly, it’s Wolfhounds.

I’ve never played WH40K (and likely never will), but enjoy reading the novels.

Abnett’s stuff is good, particularly the Gaunt’s Ghost, Eisenhorn, and Ravenor series.

The Horus Heresy (“WH30K”) books are, indeed, wildly inconsistent in quality. Abnett again is pretty reliable here (Legion was pretty good), but avoid avoid avoid Descent of Angels. Ugh.

I was going to mention the Horus Heresy books too, particularly the first one by Abnett - I was stunned at how good the book was. The follow up by a different author wasn’t as good, but by no means bad.