Sunday, December 27, 2009

“Thunder from Fenris” by Nick Kyme

After far too long away, I was able to grab some copies of new Warhammer 40,000 fiction, and I had to throw all sense of what I was reading next out the window in my excitement to finally return. I decided to dive into all four December releases from Black Library (Two 40k, two Warhammer), and began with the new audio Warhammer 40,000 story, “Thunder from Fenris,” penned by Nick Kyme. Kyme is currently receiving quite a lot of acclaim for his novel Salamander, the first in the Tome of Fire trilogy. I had read a couple pieces by him (see Assault of Black Reach: The Novel and “Fires of War,” the prequel to the Tome of fire trilogy), and I thought both were good but not great. I haven’t read any of the Space Wolf books (all of which are now conveniently packaged in two omnibuses, The Space Wolf Omnibus and Space Wolf: The Second Omnibus), but this looked like a neat product to dive into.

On the planet Skorbad, Chaos had taken a very strong hold, but the work of the Cadian Imperial Guard and the arrival of the Space Wolves had pushed most of it back. There are only lingering pockets of Chaos infestation left, when the worst happens: one of the Space Wolves goes feral, under the curse of the wolfen, and changes into a beast that has killed one of his own. The Space Wolves must track down their stricken brother, while facing a legion of Chaos-infused zombies.

The story was fast-paced, and the narrator did a brilliant job with voices, with interesting background sound effects taken from the Warhammer 40,000 computer game, Dawn of War. The characters were a little too much the same, so that if they didn’t get different voices by the narrator they would be easy to confuse, and the story had moments that let my thoughts stray while I was listening to it. The action was well-written, and it was performed quite well.

“Thunder from Fenris” left me with much the same feeling as Assault on Black Reach: The Novel and “Fires of War” did. Every piece by Kyme that I have read (or listened to) left me feeling that he has a lot of potential and just isn’t quite reaching it. Maybe he did it with Salamander, which I haven’t read. I will continue to read his work, although it won’t rush to the top of the pile, until he hits consistently what he does in parts now. When Kyme is hot, he is with the best Black Library has, and if he kept that up throughout the whole story, I could easily see him becoming one of the most popular authors they have.

Keep an eye out for “Thunder from Fenris” for an hour’s entertainment. It may not be a staple of your audiobook library, but it will still be a pleasing way to pass the time.


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