I was lamenting a lack of "books by men, for men" a while ago. To assuage my need for masculine validation I'd been going over the works of Robert E. Howard and, while satisfying, was striking me as an anachronistic pursuit. I needed something modern. Then along comes a sudden obsession with the fiction of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 and I find myself in literary hog heaven.
The last audiobooks I listened to were George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones ones, just after the HBO series came to its god-awful conclusion. It's not that I'm a purist, by no means. I've always found it "better" for me to read actual text. I don't like dividing my attention, as would be the case with book-listening, and as was the case with this one. I'm at the gym for two hours almost every day, and I was curious how much focus I'd be able to turn to a book-on-tape while grinding through my somewhat demanding routines. As it turns out, it was quite a lot. I'm sure there were times where my mind may have wandered or been forcefully pulled from attending to Toby Longworth's incredible narration, but I got the gist.
I liked this, a lot. It's good start at the ground level of an epic saga. This series is some 50+ novels in length, and at this rate I should be done with them before the end of 2023. It's nice to have them to look forward to during the training sessions, too. The hypermasculine stories really do seem to raise my T-count while I crank out the sets and reps. No joke.
As far as the actual book goes, I mean, it's just the start of something really grand. It serves its purpose in that regard, but I feel I have to reserve total judgement until I'm done with the whole thing. Dan Abnett certainly captured the grimdark, gothic overtones of the universe, and this was pounded home by Toby Longworth's great characterizations and careful reading.
A+, highly recommended.