Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy. I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings. Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them. For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday I return to one of my favourite franchises, the Warhammer 40,000 universe, and look at four epic upcoming tie-in novels coming out in the next few months that I am extremely eager to get my hands on.
I have been having a particularly good year for Warhammer 40,000 fiction as I dive further and further in the franchise by reading a ton of outstanding books. There is something about this grim and entertaining franchise that deeply appeals to me, and I have had an exceptional time getting through various books from this universe that feature brilliant authors, elaborate storylines, and a fun mixture of genres and sub-genres. 2023 has been particularly Warhammer intensive for me as I spent a ton of time earlier in the year reading several great books so I could list all my absolute favourite Warhammer 40,000 novels, which turned out extremely well. Even since then I have been diving even deeper into the franchise, with additional books from the Gaunt’s Ghosts series by Dan Abnett, such as Necropolis, Honour Guard and The Guns of Tanith, filling up my Throwback Thursday posts, while I only just published a review for the cool standalone novel Warboss by Mike Brooks. However, 2023 is far from over as there are still several epic new Warhammer 40,000 novels set for release. As such, I thought I would take this opportunity to dive into the four upcoming Warhammer 40,000 novels I am most excited for, all of which are from new-to-me authors and which sound pretty damn incredible.
The first book I want to highlight in this post is the outstanding new Warhammer Crime novel, The King of the Spoil by Jonathan D. Beer. The Warhammer Crime sub-franchise of Warhammer 40,000 is a slick and cool series of crime fiction novels that make great use of the franchises background to create some amazing reads. Set at various points in the vast, lawless city of Varangantua, the Warhammer Crime novels have been some of my favourite books in the franchise, especially as each novels use different crime fiction elements perfectly. Some of the best examples of this include the crime thriller romps The Wraithbone Phoenix and Dredge Runners by Alec Worley, the noir-inspired Grim Repast by Marc Collins, the intriguing buddy cop read Flesh and Steel by Guy Hayley, and the more classic crime fiction novel Bloodlines by Chris Wraight. All these Warhammer Crime books have beyond exceptional, and I have been very eager for a new entry, which is why I am particularly excited for The King of the Spoil.
The King of the Spoil, which is currently set for release on 4 July 2023, is another intriguing crime fiction read, set in a whole new area of Varangantua, known as the Spoil. This novel will see the return of Beer’s protagonist info-broker Melita Voronova, from the short story, Service, which appeared in the Sanction & Sin anthology book, as she is forced to investigate a murder in the most lawless part of the city.
Delve into the lawless underbelly of the vast city of Varangantua in this fantastic Warhammer Crime novel.
Within the vast sprawl of Varangantua lies the Spoil. It is a broken crossroads, forsaken by the Lex, abandoned by the city’s uncaring masters, where the only choice is a slow death in the manufactories, or a quick one on the street.
And it is in turmoil.
Andreti Sorokin, the gangster king whose vicious rule brought order to the Spoil, is dead, slain in the most brutal fashion.
Melita Voronova, skilled info-broker and reluctant agent of the imperious Valtteri cartel, is tasked with uncovering the mystery of who killed Sorokin, and preventing his fragile alliance of thugs and narco-pushers from collapsing into chaos.
As street-blades clash and gang leaders turn against one another, Melita’s instincts tell her there is a larger conspiracy at work. Someone has created this crisis not merely to disrupt the Spoil, but to overturn the foundations of Varangantua itself.
Unsurprisingly, I love the sound of The King of the Spoil, which has an epic sounding narrative to it. Watching a complex info-broker character attempting to find out who killed a legendary gangster king should be amazing, and I have no doubt this story will be loaded with twists, betrayals and a full-on gang war. I have had so much fun with some of the great mysteries in the other Warhammer Crime books, and this unique scenario has so much damn potential for an outstanding story. While I haven’t read Beer’s previous short story about Melita Voronova, these novels are pretty good at reintroducing the reader to the characters, and I am sure that I will have no problem diving into this one. Frankly, based on my previous very positive experiences with the Warhammer Crime series, as well as the awesome sounding plot above, I am very confident that The King of the Spoil is going to be one of the more entertaining novels of 2023 and I am so damn excited for it.
The next book I want to highlight is the excellent sounding read, Cypher: Lord of the Fallen by John French which is set for release on 18 July 2023. French is a well-established Warhammer author who has written several great books in the past, and I am very interested in seeing his take on one of the most compelling characters in the extended canon, Cypher. Cypher is a mysterious and sinister figure strongly associated with the Fallen, former members of the Dark Angels Space Marines who turned traitor and are now zealously hunted by their former brothers. Cypher is a figure of intense anarchy whose deeds have haunted the Dark Angels for millennia as they try to hunt him down, and there is some real mystery behind his try identity and intentions.
Cypher: Lord of the Fallen is a very intriguing novel that will provide readers with a personal look at this mysterious figure as he tries to make his way through the most secure location in the universe, the Imperial Palace on Holy Terra. This is another book with an exceptional plot to it, and I have to admit that I am highly intrigued to see what French pulls off in this book.
Delve into a great new story featuring the enigmatic Cypher!
As the Great Rift unfolds in the night sky above Terra and daemons walk upon the birth world of mankind, the Primarch Roboute Guilliman returns, heralding a dark new age.
During the breaking storm, Cypher and his band of Fallen escape from the most secure prison in the Imperium. Now loose in the Imperial Palace, they are hunted by warriors of the Dark Angels, forces of the Adeptus Custodes and Imperial Assassins. But what are Cypher’s intentions? Can anything or anyone be trusted?
Told from Cypher’s own, unreliable point of view, this tale of truth, lies and secrets sees one of the Imperium’s most mysterious figures make war at its very heart. But what are the true motivations of the Lord of the Fallen?
This sounds like another particularly cool Warhammer 40,000 novel as it will combine a great character with a fun story in the most iconic setting in the canon. I love the idea of Cypher causing chaos in the Imperial Palace as everyone tries to hunt him adown and kill him, and it will no doubt result in several particularly intense scenes. I also look forward to learning more about Cypher, although it sounds like he is going to be an unreliable narrator, which isn’t too surprising when you consider the character this book is focused on. Thanks to how great this story sounds, I also have a lot of hopes for John French’s new book, and I cannot wait to read Cypher: Lord of the Fallen. I will probably try to read the recently released novel, The Lion: Son of the Forest by Mike Brooks before I get to Cypher: Lord of the Fallen however, as the new details around the returning Dark Angels Primarch might tie into this book as well.
The third fantastic 2023 Warhammer 40,000 novel that I want to highlight is the compelling book Longshot by Rob Young which is part of the Astra Militarum sub-series that focuses on the soldiers of the Imperium of Man. I have often said that some of the very best Warhammer 40,000 novels are those that focus on the normal, human soldiers who are thrust into some particularly dark and weird situations. Some of my favourite books focused on these normal humans include the Gaunt’s Ghosts books, Steel Tread by Andy Clark, Outgunned by Denny Flowers, 13th Legion by Gav Thorpe and Catachan Devil by Justin Woolley, all of which have successfully captured these human experiences and produced some exceptional reads. This is what I am really hoping for from Longshot, which has a deeply epic plot to it.
Explore the life of a Cadian Sharpshooter in this great Astra Militarum novel from Black Library!
Transplant. Cadian. Sniper. Legend.
Sergeant Darya Nevic is all of these and more… but behind the stories stands a soldier haunted by the unwelcome fame her successes have brought.
During the Cadian 217th’s assault on the manufactorum world of Attruso, Darya finds herself out of her depth in a war that is fought with words as much as with weapons. As a fearsome winter closes in and her men begin to die around her, she will be forced to confront her doubts and make an impossible choice: to become the figurehead her soldiers need, or to believe the unimaginable promises of the mysterious t’au.
With the fate of her regiment in her hands, which path will she choose?
This is another exceptional sounding Warhammer 40,000 novel that I will definitely be reading when it comes out in mid-August 2023. I love the idea of a sniper novel, especially in the dark Warhammer 40,000 universe, which will no doubt bring out the grittiness and intensity of a sniper war. However, it sounds like Longshot is going to dive deeply into its main character as she tries to balance being a legend and hero to her comrades, while also trying to survive the nefarious propaganda of the T’au. I think that Young is trying to replicate a Stalingrad-esque battle, à la Enemy at the Gate in this book, with the sniper battle, propaganda, and cold, cramped city warfare. I have a feeling that this is going to be one of the more emotionally powerful Warhammer 40,000 books of the year and it is definitely pretty high on my to-read list for the second half of 2023.
The final upcoming Warhammer 40,000 book I want to focus on this week is the pretty significant sounding read, Creed: Ashes of Cadia by Jude Reid. Now, anyone familiar with recent Warhammer 40,000 history will know the names Creed and Cadia, both of which have played major roles in the canon. As such, any new book that focuses on them is going to be pretty damn important and that makes it very interesting for me. As such, Creed: Ashes of Cadia, which is set for a later 2023 release, is going to be one of my most anticipated novels of the year.
What does it mean to be Cadian after the Fall?
Ursula Creed has come to terms with the loss of her home world. For decades she has built a glittering career in the furthest reaches of the Imperium, far from her legendary father’s shadow. But when unexpected orders arrive from the Avening Son himself, Roboute Guilliman, the new lord castellan realises that the past may not be ready to let her go.
Dispatched into shattered remains of Cadia in search of Ursarkar E. Creed’s final battle plans, Ursula finds the planet a hellscape full of deadly secrets. What horrors claim Cadia’s corpse as their domain? What became of those left behind? What orders did Creed leave for Cadia when all was lost? And, most troubling of all, how can she succeed where her illustrious father has already failed?
Now this is a Warhammer 40,000 book that could go some places. Not only do we get introduced to a new interesting character, one with a connection to the legendary Ursarkar Creed, but we also get to see the destroyed planet of Cadia after the catastrophic destruction of the 13th Black Crusade. Based on this plot scenario alone, this is probably going to be one of the most important and impressive Warhammer 40,000 novels of the year and I am pretty damn excited for that. I cannot wait to see what lies behind on Cadia and it’s going to be one of the first major views of it we’ve seen in years. I am also very curious to see if they’ll dive into the fate of Creed senior, and it will be interesting to see why the man’s final battle plans were so important. Like the rest of the books, I think that Creed: Ashes of Cadia has some major potential, and this one will probably have a great blend of universe building and character development.
Based on how much I have rambled on over the last few pages, I think it is clear that I am very, very keen on all these upcoming Warhammer 40,000 novels. All four sound extremely epic and unique in their own way and I have very little doubt that I will love every single I spend with them. Knowing me, I will probably get these novels as audiobooks, which is my preferred format for Warhammer fiction and I cannot wait to hear how each of these different tales unfolds.