The book discussion thread

Page 4 - Love gaming? Join the PC Gamer community to share that passion with gamers all around the world!
I was looking for something a bit different, so I started reading Swan Song by Rober R. McCammon; well actually re-reading, but I hadn't read it since sometime in the 1990s (published in 1987). It's an epic journey of several characters through a post-apocalyptic US in the aftermath of World War 3.

His characters are very well developed, even those that are only in the book for a few chapters, and the story evolves through their lives and trials as they try to survive. But it's also about demons, demonic possession, god, and good against evil in a destroyed world.

It's brutal, and some of the situations are quite graphic, but it's very well written and you'll come to love or hate some of the characters. It's a long story, almost 1000 pages, and similar in scope to Steven King's The Stand.

Another book finished in the siege of terra series. Mortis continues the story where we last left off, where despite the saturine ambush being wildly successful, its only bought the defenders another day of misery and with both space ports captured by the warmaster's forces, the outer defences are overrun and the defenders retreat to the inner palace walls.

With both space ports captured, horus now deploys his titan legions in force. Legio Mortis, Horus personal titan legion, the largest and oldest of the titan legions, is tasked to crack open the inner palace walls.

The defenders have little choice but to commit their own titans and standing against mortis are the rag tag survivors from the HH story titan kill, titan legion ignatium (the fire wasps) and ordo sinister.

Outside the stories of the titan duel that takes place, there are a few other stories that take place. We follow the story of the other perpetual Oll who has spent much of the HH series travelling through the warp/reality and even through time to get to Terra and finally meeting up with John Grammaticus to continue on their final mission.

We also continue the story with the hapless conscript Katsuhiro (who was introduced throughout the siege of terra series) finds him soon thrusted once more in harms way holding a siege line that's practically overrun and forced to lead a rag tag bunch of soldiers.

there are other plot points to pull such as the keeler and the imperial creed, shiban khan who somehow survived the slaughter when his whole section was sacrificed for the saturnine ambush and the entry of Corswain of the dark angels and his 20000 strong space marine force, making a solitary strike on terra to capture the psychic beacon. Hopefully lighting the way for the loyalists that are on their way to terra.

Honestly, the whole book felt like filler. We know the inevitable is about to happen and the whole thing seems to end on a cliff hanger with the wall breached. Not much to say really. I guess the story is now set up to turn from sci fi war story to a fantasy one as the corrupted forces of chaos and their demonic allies press the attack.

roll on the next book: Warhawk
  • Like
Reactions: Brian Boru
After finishing Swan Song a couple weeks ago, I decided to re-read Steven King's The Stand (uncut version), as I was in an apocalyptic mood I guess. Both books are about the remnants of the human race surviving an apocalyptic event: Swan Song was nuclear, while The Stand was viral.

Both books were originally published back in the late 1980s (uncut version of The Stand was 1990), but the events felt relevant to today's world state. A nuclear holocaust from a conflict between Russia & the US, and a 99.4% fatal virus that escaped from a laboratory (imagine if Covoid had that mortality rate).

Both books also have a supernatural, good vs evil twist to them. Both are told through the personalities and experiences of the survivors and have excellent, believable characters, and delve into their backstory. While not truly prophetic in nature, the events were eerily similar to the world today, at least to me.

If you like that type of fiction, I highly recommend both these books.

Another book of the horus heresy finished, this time its book 6 of the siege of terra Warhawk

With the internal palace finally breached, no tactical defense remains. All thats left to do is to retreat and hold. The defenders are ordered to withdrawal to the last few defenses and the plan is simple: hurt the traitors as much as possible, make the traitors suffer as much as possible trying to advance.

But not everyone is retreating. The primarch, Jaghatai Khan of the White scars, is planning a counter attack, its not in his nature or his legion's nature to stand and fight in siege warfare. Their ways have always been mobility and throughout the siege of terra the white scars have been mobile performing hit and run / decapitation attacks as opposed to supporting defensive positions much to Dorn's annoyance. But you can't tame something outside its nature and the khan had free reign to do whatever he wanted and so dorn has no choice but to make the most of it.

Jaghatai khans plan? to attack the lions gate space port. The very one lost back in saturnine, Jaghatai was somewhat annoyed by Dorns decision, but the decision to attack the port are equally rational as they are personal. The space port guns might still be intact and can be used to attack the traitors fleet in orbit and also as a way for the relief forces to make a landing. Personal because the death guard are occupying it and jaghatai suspects the recent spate of miasma of depression/demoralizing isn't all from the stress and the steady losses. More importantly, unfinished business with the death guard who have been their main adversary throughout the entire siege of terra. Who will triumph? Prior engagements Jaghatai and Mortarion where equally matched, but now the death guard have been changed and powered by the forces of chaos...

So it sets the scene the White scars final main story based on them and their involvement of the Siege of terra itself. Chris Wraight wrote all the white scars books so its fitting he wrote this one. I like Chris's stuff, he does a fine job of the white scars story and into the white scars themselve, especially challenging when there's very little in game lore or any back story other then "space mongolians". Its a pretty good send off for the white scars and its pretty entertaining.

Whilst the main story is focused on the white scars, it does tug at a few other strings that explains the lore of the imperium itself. We see the first steps of how or why the imperium is built on a foundation of hate/xenophobia (its always has tbh, but more so now) and the death motifs that the game is so keen on. I won't go into more details as its getting a bit long but yeah, does make interesting reasons or first origins of the imperium.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Brian Boru

Not about a book, but I thought it was a cool article about Steven King and how it basically allowed Remedy Entertainment use a quote of his for the upcoming Alan Wake game. No profit, no royalties, just a nice gesture. Rare these days.

Speaking of Steven King, I've on kind of a SK kick lately in my reading. After finish The Stand, I re-read both The Talisman and The Black House, both co-authored by Steven King and Peter Straub. Both really good books, but different than his usual horror work, as the books are more fantasy than horror. I don't know how two authors can write a book(s) together, but they pulled it off.
I don't know how two authors can write a book(s) together, but they pulled it off
I know a few different pairs of authors who write books together. They say the ability to bounce off a partner is a great help—most authors have 'crit buddies' to bounce off when stuck, but it's much stronger when the buddy is an invested co-author.

It can be linear—you do the odd chapters, I'll do the even—or it can be you do the interactions and I'll do the locales and scenery, or say you do the nouns and I'll do the verbs…

How to Write a Book With a Co-Author

Author Collaborations
Terry Pratchet and Neil Gaiman wrote a few books together, (nope they wrote one, remembered wrong) Pratchett also wrote The Long Earth series with Stephen Baxter which were pretty good.

I've listened to The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin and enjoyed it. I'm sure theres a lot of physics that went over my head but there are a lot of really mind bending ideas throughout the book, also interesting to read a Scif Fi book from a different cultural perspective from a US or European author. Wooden at times, the characters are written around the story and ideas a bit, maybe down to the author being an engineer as I felt that Alistair Reynolds had a similar problem in his books.

Also Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer, really liked it too. Quite an in depth insight into the main character to go with the extra dimensional warped reality cosmic horror weirdness.
Last edited:
Another book in the siege of terra series finished. This time its book 7: Echos of eternity. We're into the final days of the siege, the traitors have breached the inner walls, the khan is close to death, Dorn is besieged in Bhab bastion and no help has arrived to save them. Sanguinius, primarch of the Blood angels, prepares one last stand at the Delphic Battlement before the traitors breach the emperors inner sanctum. There's no where to run and there's no other choice but to endure and face the final onslaught.

The book is broken into several sections the retreat/collapse of the inner wall defences and key characters make their way to the Delphic battlement and the eternity gate, some backstory/lore into the blood angels early years before we finally get into the battle in the Delphic battlement.

Aaron Dembski-Bowden is probably one of my fav writers in the HH (betrayer was especially good) and this one is no exception. its well written, exciting and interesting. The book is very much centralized on a single fight which is a brutal affair focusing on the ordinary fighters. No focus on the perpetuals, keeler or stories away from the conflict, all that matters is this fight. Vulkan realizing that the emperors shield is failing with the daemons breaching reality, he makes the decision to enter the webway to fight magnus the red who has been doing everything he can to weaken that shield. the battle between Vulkan and magnus sort of highlights the fallacy of the imperium of man, the emperors dreams and how in Wh40k there are no good guys, pointing that everyone is believes they are in the right when in fact they're all just as bad as each other.


Community Contributor
I bounced off Three Body Problem pretty hard. I liked the start, set in the Cultural Revolution. As it went on, though, it got more and more tiresome. A pity, because a whole lot of people really loved the book.

I'm still going through the Amber books. I'm in Hand of Oberon now. (Characters fighting ON the Pattern! Yipe!!)
I have Lord of Light on the shelf, a friend told me I should read it a long while back but I've not gotten past the early chapters for some reason. Maybe something else is a better starting point with Zelazny?

I started the Dark Forest which is the next book in Three Body Problem but wasnt feeling it just now. Went back to my old safe space in The Culture and started Use of Weapons again.
  • Like
Reactions: Brian Boru
Jul 2, 2023
Ok, enough!



Community Contributor
I have Lord of Light on the shelf, a friend told me I should read it a long while back but I've not gotten past the early chapters for some reason. Maybe something else is a better starting point with Zelazny?
All I know is the Amber series. Even new, all 10 "books" are only $18 on Amazon. He's got lots of fun world-building, where you think you understand how everything works, then he messes with it. I put "books" in quotes because, really, there should be just two books, each with 5 parts: the book of Corwin and the book of Merlin.
Another book finished, this time its the HH: siege of terra Novella Garro: Knight of grey .

Esstentially the book concludes Garro's story in the Horus heresy series itself. Those familiar with your wh40k history will know that Garro plays a pivotal role in the entire horus heresy and has several audiobooks and novels written about his exploits. it seems fitting that it all ends with him facing off against his former liege lord Mortarion and his former death guard legion.

A part of me feels that for such a key character/hero of the series, it seems a bit of a shame to have his final story end with a novella rather then say an actual book. But in the grand scheme of things Garro's struggles is a very small footnote on the siege of terra itself, which itself is nothing but a huge tragedy.

Speaking of tragedy, after i finish the next book, i will be fully caught up with the siege of terra series. Then i can move onto my non WH40K books in my backlog...
  • Like
Reactions: Brian Boru
Jul 14, 2023
I read this magnificent fairy tale for the first time as a teenager. And recently, I reread this book, and now I don't want to be an adult. 'The Little Prince' is a book that sinks into your soul and tears you apart from within - a legendary tale not just for children. It seems to be intended for children, but only in adulthood can you truly appreciate it. During a certain period of my life when I needed it, I wouldn't have understood it. But now, I have truly felt it. The beauty lies in its rich content and profound meaning.
  • Like
Reactions: Brian Boru
Welcome to the forum :)

The Little Prince
Have you been able to locate the 1996 biopic 'Saint-Ex" anywhere? Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is one of my fav 20thC 'unknowns', and I'd love to get a chance to see the movie.

He also made one of my fav observations about design:
"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
Another book finished this time its the latest book in the siege of terra: the end and the death part 1

yes thats right the final climatic battle of the siege of terra is going to span (apparently) THREE books. it takes place in the final hours of the siege of terra.

The end times are upon humanity.

The last of the defenses have been breached, the defenders are being attacked on all sides and there is no where to run. The emperor up until this point has been sitting on his throne battling the warp and preventing demonic incursion single handedly. it has not being enough. Reality on terra is starting to collapse, demonic incursons are increasing, time has stopped and even simple travel is chaotic. its not just the loyalists experiencing insanity, all structure/coherency of the traitors is collapsing as they are lost in the fighting and corruption of chaos.

The war in the real space is soon to be lost. The emperor has no choice but to rise from the throne and face horus ,his most favored son, and gamble on an opportunity that is no doubt a trap.

Up until this point, the HH series has a lot of loose ends to tie up and it cover numerous different characters, battlefields events. its broken down into many chapters no more then 2 or 3 pages long and zips back and forth trying to cover as much ground as possible whilst also throwing a few tidbits on the struggles and desperation on all sides. But despite that, its not enough, the first book ends in a cliff hanger where key characters finally make their way back to the horus capital ship the vengeful spirt. As someone who has a vested interest in the whole HH i found it quite good, but yeah, in the grand scheme of things/progression very little has happened. Roll on vol 2.

So now that i'm all up to date with the HH siege of terra time to step away from GW stuff and read up on some classic literature. i'm looking forward to reading brave new world. I enjoyed 1984 and i wanted to read the other side of authoritarian dystopia.
A couple of days ago i finished Aldous Huxley's brave new world. You know, to see the other side of a dystopian authoritarian government that uses contentment, kindness, drugs and free sex to control its population in the name of progress.

Not as impactful as 1984, but still interesting all the same. I think the problem is the world building is a slow burner, as you're not entirely sure of the main characters and the overall story arc is. its not until midway when Bernard and Lenina takes a trip to Mexico and encounters the "savage" john does the story pick up. As john visits the "brave new world" he at first enjoys the experiences of the civilized world until he starts seeing the fallacy, flaws and the perverseness/toxicity of it. The best part is definitely when the savage and the controller (Mustapha Mond) argues about the civilized world. its here we discover why civilized society was shaped that way and it does provide some compelling/reasonable motivations as to why and the price they must all pay to have this society - namely the loss of art, advanced science, traditional values, religion, meaningful relationships, restraint etc.

i have to remember that the book was written in the 1930s so it was never going to be realistic (everyone travels in helicopters!) . Again, overall whilst not as gripping as 1984, i still enjoy reading it.

From one apocalypse to another i'm reading the dark judges - the fall of dead world. Stupidly, i started on book 2... So i'll need to read book one after that... Enjoying it so far, the artwork is great and it does provide a gripping view of the messed up society and corruption of Judge Death's influence in that world. Certainly a more dark one compared to the other story of the origins of judge death.
brave new world
You might also enjoy his Island, the last novel he wrote. It's the opposite, the Utopia to BNW's dystopia.

It's ~50 years since I read his stuff, but he's one of my top 5 England authors for sure. I know I also enjoyed Chrome Yellow and Point Counterpoint, even tho I can't remember a thing about them :D

Try Orwell's Animal Farm if you haven't, it's another social-political commentary wrapped up in a great story.
Try Orwell's Animal Farm if you haven't, it's another social-political commentary wrapped up in a great story.

Although i've not read the book, i know the story and play well enough. In fact if its not 1984, animal farm is the other popular book pick for school curriculum (i think both my brothers got the book as their reading material). Me? i got john steinbeck's of mice and men.
  • Like
Reactions: Brian Boru
I had a brief moment to read some graphic novels before i moved onto my next book, this time its The dark judges: the fall of dead world book 1-3

Written by Kek-W and illustrated by Dave Kendall, the 3 books goes over the final days of Deadworld, judge death's earth realm. Those of you who've read Young Death - Boyhood of a Superfiend will know sydney De'ath origins, but the one thing that book glossed was the final days of deadworld and how he managed to succeed in killing billions of people.

The story is fantastically written and well told. it really gives off that real horror vibe like civilization is collapsing, succumbing to the horrors brought on by the undead. It not only explores the last days of deadworld, but also side stories like what does the 4 judges do once everyone is dead? who were the dark judges what about the minor players like judge fairfax or ives? What happened to the grey judges after they purged the world of the living? The main story just lays on disaster after disaster to keep the entire thing explosive, soon its not just a war between the living and the dead, but also between the Sovs (the russians) and also internal struggles within the dark judges as they struggle for power.

But what really brings the how thing together is Dave kendall's artwork. capturing the horror and the feel of the story perfectly. All in all, highly recommended. Even though i'm not a fan of the judge dread series, this one is a cracker.
Another book finished a few days ago. this time its the classic Fahrenheit 451 by ray Bradbury. its not the longest novel. Had its moments, but on the whole it felt meh to be honest. It wasn't horrible, but i certainly expected more based on the acclaim the book has received over the years.
  • Like
Reactions: Kaamos_Llama


Latest posts