Throughout a fairly chaotic year for in 2016, one of the best things (books wise) was the regular publication of the Beast Arises series. It guaranteed me a new book to enjoy each month and I hope the Black Library will do something similar again in the future.
The series had some flaws and I know some people found it disappointing but overall, I found the story really good and interesting, particularly considering the difficulty of having so many different authors across the books. If you were to take the books in isolation then you could find yourself disappointed, but if you instead read them as one continuous story, then it makes a huge difference to your enjoyment; it did for me anyway.
If you don’t know already, then the premise is as follows:
- It is 1,500 years after the Horus Heresy
- The Imperium believes itself relatively safe
- The Orks shatter that illusion with a huge invasion of Imperial Space
- The Orks are more organised and dangerous than ever before
- Intrigue and politics amongst the High Lords hamstring an effective response
- It gets a lot worse before it gets better
It was quite nice to have the orks as such a major threat in the series, instead of just an annoyance that will eventually be dealt with. Although the orks are the main ‘enemy’ in the series, what is most interesting to read is the changing Imperium. I particularly mean with regards to how the High Lords function, as well as other branches and institutions such as the Astartes and Inquisition. My favourite passages in the book weren’t the huge battles but the intrigue between the High Lords.
Many great characters are in the series, but the stars of the show are:
- Drakan Vangorich
- Inquisitor Weinand
- Inquisitor Veritus
Those five really make the books, with almost all of the main events containing at least one of them.
I’m going to read through the series again over the coming months and as I do, I’ll set down a review of each of them on the blog.