Episode 126: Black Library Book Club 2
In this episode, we talk discuss two Black Library books as part of our Black Library Book Club series. We take a look at two books focused on the God Machines or Titans of Warhammer 40K; Titanicus by Dan Abnett and Imperator: Wrath of the Omnissiah by Gav Thrope. Although both have Titans at the center of the story, they are very different stories. We start with a spoiler free review section and give our recommendation for each book. We will then do a more in-depth spoiler-filled dive into each book to discuss the themes, characters, and stories.
The Black Library is the literary arm of Games Workshop that publishes novels by several authors set in the Sigmar and 40K universes. Some books are amazing, others not so much, and that is why we review them on our podcast.
For our Black Library book club, we compare two books by two different authors with roughly similar stories or themes and discuss how different authors approach writing in the Warhammer 40K Universe.
Titanicus and Imperator, Wrath of the Omnisiah
We picked these two because we wanted to talk about titan units in 40K. Not knowing anything about the plot, they each had a picture of a titan on the book cover so we figured they would be similar enough to compare.
Turns out they are VERY different stories:
Titanicus has a huge cast of characters and battles and conflict takes place over a huge battlefield.
Imperator has 3-5 main characters and takes place entirely inside an Imperator titan.
Spoiler free section
Titanicus, by Dan Abnett
Its war on the Mechanicus colony of Orestes, where Chaos Titans have arrived to seize control of the major Forge on the planet. A Legio of Titans has arrived to take on the Chaos forces.
The Mechanicus and the Imperium make for sometimes difficult partners, and even within the Mechanicus there are competing views or beliefs in the divinity of the Emperor (is he the Omnisiah?)
Big cast of characters, from civilians in the hive to, to army troopers, to Titans and their crew, to the lord governor and Adept Senioris.
Plot weaves throughout many different stories, all meant to show not just a main character at war, but an entire forgeworld.
Cast of characters
Imperium, Mechanicus, Legio, civilians, tank commanders, PDF troopers, no chaos; they are the unseen force that is simply there to be a protagonist.
Princeps Gearhart, the Red Fury, a legendary Princeps who is slowly succumbing to the machine spirit of the titan.
Varco, a gritty tank commander who loses his first battle and has to get his remaining men to safety.
Moderati Tarses, who loses his Princeps at the beginning and has to learn to work with a new one that has never seen combat and is arrogant to a fault.
Imperator: Wrath of the Omnissiah, by Gav Thorpe
Story takes place entirely within an Imperator titan; the Casus Belli.
Magos Dominus Militarus Xaiozanus Skitara Xilliarkis Exasas (or simply Exasus) commands the Skitarii
Ghelsa is a Tributai who lives and works in the Titan.
Princeps and Moderatus; more human than the Dominus, command the Titan
Harkas, an Inquisitor who suspects heresy.
Gradually during the course of a battle, the conspiracy is revealed. Harkas, Exasas, and Ghelsa battle to uncover the conspiracy.
The outside battle is always from the POV of the Titan itself. The battle inside the Titan is more the main focus, as Chaos Space marines and heretic Skitarii battle to take control.
Introduced to the alien nature of Mechanicum; Exasas whose mind is almost entirely artificial, who can split off consciousness into secondary and tactical parts of himself.
We tackle the Siege of Terra! Starting with John French’s Solar war and Guy Haley’s The Lost and the Damned.
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