Late to the Waaagh Review: Heroes of the Space Marines by Various AuthorsHeroes of the Space Marines by Nick Kyme, Darren Cox, Gav Thorpe, Lindsey Priestley, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Peter Fehervari, Graham McNeill, Dylan Owen, Steve Parker, Chris Roberson, Richard Ford
Series: Warhammer 40000
Series Rating: four-stars
Published by Black Library on April 28, 2009
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Genres: Short Story, Military Science Fiction, Science Fiction, WH40K
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In the grim darkness of the Warhammer 40,000 universe mankind is beset by foes in a galaxy wracked by eternal war. Step forth the Space Marines, superhuman warriors and the ultimate protectors of humanity. Heroes of the Space Marines is an anthology of stories about these brave champions and their dark counterparts, the Chaos Space Marines.

This anthology features an Ultramarines series tie-in by Graham McNeill featuring the Iron Warrior Honsou, a prequel story to the forthcoming Salamander series by Nick Kyme, a tie–in to the new Imperial Fists series by Chris Roberson and all–new Deathwatch and Night Lords stories, setting the stars ablaze with the fury of the Space Marines.

ContentsDarren Cox - No FearAaron Dembski-Bowden - One HatePeter Fehervari - NightfallRichard Ford - LabyrinthNick Kyme - Fires of WarGraham McNeill - Skull HarvestDylan Owen - Honour Among FiendsSteve Parker - HeadhuntedChris Roberson - Gauntlet RunGav Thorpe - Renegades

As I carve my way through the world of Warhammer 40,000, one omnibus at a time, I decided to read Heroes of the Space Marines next as part of my WH40K education. I haven’t read an older book since finishing the Eisenhorn omnibus (which was fabulous), and I have way too many of these older novels collecting dust on my shelf. To my delight, I quickly discovered that Heroes of the Space Marines is a collection of short stories regarding the various factions of Space Marines. Even though the title has the word “heroes” in it, not every hero in these stories are part of the loyal factions. Some are from chaos legions, and one story involves the Night Lords, who are loyal to no one.

Every story was absolutely riveting. You often find one or two stories as the weakest links, but I didn’t find that here. Instead, I learned which factions I really don’t care for. This was my first foray into reading about the Salamanders, a fairly popular faction amongst fans. I won’t actively look for another book regarding these marines. They’ll pop up in other books and short story collections I’m sure, but as for looking to add a Salamander omnibus to my library? That’s a hard pass. Every faction has their air of arrogance, but none are as obnoxious as the Salamanders. Perhaps in future short story collections and novels I’ll come across a loyalty faction that’s even worse. For now, it’s hard to imagine a group could be as narcissistic as the Salamanders.

I do, however, want to learn more about the Space Wolves, Blood Angels, and Iron Knights. I will actively hunt down any omnibuses on them.

That’s exactly why I would make this collection a must-read for anyone wanting to learn more about the space marines and their various legions. Instead of reading lengthy novels about a faction you may strongly dislike, check out short story collections instead for a less risky educational experience. It helps that the stories are pretty darn good as well, even those about the Salamanders.

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