Jeffrey Alan Love has created a beautiful work of art in his book Notes From The Shadowed City. This book is GORGEOUS.
I still recall the first time I encountered Love’s artwork on a SciFi book cover and how amazed I was by it. Everything about his style grabs my attention and draws me to the books featuring his cover illustrations. So when I first heard he was working on a book of his own that would prominently feature his artwork I knew I would be purchasing it. I had high expectations and expected the book would meet them. It exceeded them.
Mike Mignola describes it best. “Plain brilliant” This work is lovely and dark with ominous tones. The book is a journal of an adventurer who has lost his own identity but discovered a city residing beneath the dark shadows of a floating city of magical beings. Having no idea as to who he is he decides to use the journal he has with him to illustrate his discoveries within the Shadowed City. Masked swordsmen, bandits, warriors, giants, mages, powerful swords, and secrets abound.
This book really brings out and engages the imagination of the reader. After each page you’ll find your thoughts wandering along with the adventurer’s, imagining what wondrous things you might encounter in so magical a city. I couldn’t be happier with this amazing work of art and highly recommend you order a copy for yourself! You can do so here: FleskPublications and you can get a glimpse of the artist’s work on his Instagram page or on his Twitter account. I’ve truly been amazed by his art and the dark beauty captured within the pages of this book.
Warhammer40K is one of my favorite SciFi universes to get lost in. I could spend ages reading book after book in this series only to pick up yet another book in the series and then another again. I’m not saying it’s addictive, I’m saying it is that damn good. I’m often asked where to start, where best to dive into the WH40K universe, or what exactly is this universe?
WH40K is a time in the distant future in which all is war. There is no bright hope. There is no peace. It is a soul crushing time of despair and devastation. Sound depressing? Well for the average person alive during this time I quite imagine it is! Humanity spread to the stars and formed the greatest empire in the history of mankind! The empire is protected by our military, and our military is aided by genetically enhanced superhumans known as Space Marines. Space Marines are the genetic offspring of the Emperor’s chosen and created sons, the long missing Primarchs. These Space Marines are the heroes of the Imperium and are larger than life characters who live only to battle humanities enemies. They are aided by the Imperial Navy and regular army troopers known as the Imperial Guard.
Fifteen Hours is one of my personal favorite WH40K stories as it highlights the plight and dangers of a new Imperial Gaurdsman. Now with such protectors as these why is humanity in such danger? Why is there no hope for the future? Why is this Imperium not a brighter place? Well once upon a time it was! Ten thousand years prior the Emperor himself walked amongst the people with his chosen and created sons The Primarchs from whom the Space Marines are descended from. Humanity was at its strongest and brightest point. There was no limit to what we might have accomplished. But alas, a darkness fell upon us all. The Horus Heresy.
The Horus Heresy was the death of hope for humanity for in it the favored son of the Emperor, the Primarchs Horus, rose up and split the galaxy in two with his civil war. The Horus Heresy has long been a time of myth in the 40K universe but now those myths are coming to life in the 40+ book series being written.
So what should you read? Where should you start? Well if you want a deep rabbit hole to jump down into I recommend picking up Horus Rising and encountering the Imperium as it should have been and witnessing the tragedy of the fall. If you’re wanting to get your feet wet first then picking up Let The Galaxy Burn would be a great start as it gives you multiple WH40K short stories to choose from. If you want to commit but don’t want a 40 book saga and want to see humans to connect to rather than superhumans then Gaunt’s Ghosts is for you! If you’re more of a mystery sort of person then consider Eisenhorn.
Really most any book series you encounter in the WH40K universe will draw you in and be an excellent starting place. They’ve made their universe easily accessible. However please do remember that in the grim future there is only war. Take that to heart and be careful to not grow too attached to your favorite characters. War is hell, but the Emperor protects.
Three years ago today I started the fun journey of being a book reviewer by sharing this photo of my bookshelves on Instagram:
I hadn’t yet chosen the name RedStarReviews or created my website, I just knew I owned and read a lot of books and wanted to talk about books with likeminded people. Shortly after launching my Instagram profile I decided on the name RedStarReviews for various reasons, launched my website, joined Twitter, and started a Facebook page. The response and communication from likeminded lovers of books has been amazing and deeply appreciated!
Three years later and I’m still here discussing books with people that love books! I’ve had the chance to meet authors, be a beta reader, review books prior to publication, and just share my love of books with people around the world. My bookshelves have changed and my collection grown, while my love for books has deepened. This is one of the joys of my life. I am so thankful for this opportunity and so happy for each of you that have taken the time to take part in the conversations and book tags and everything.
My goals are to continue on! Life gets busy and puts a lot of claims to my time but I intend to continue shooting for my weekly comic book review, in January I’ll be working on VintageSciFiMonth yet again, February months will be devoted to clearing out my currently reading pile, return to finding and sharing one indie or small publishing co book a month, and just carry on with reading, reviewing, talking about, and enjoying books and the community!
Thank you for being a part of three wonderful years! A special thanks to my wife who supports me in all things and believes in me always, and to our little puppy who loves books! Here’s to many many more years!