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  • Storm of Iron

  • Warhammer 40,000
  • By: Graham McNeill
  • Narrated by: Michael Geary
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (86 ratings)

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Storm of Iron cover art

Storm of Iron

By: Graham McNeill
Narrated by: Michael Geary
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Summary

Winner of the Readers' Choice Poll.

Hell has come to Hydra Cordatus. A massive force of terrifying Iron Warriors have invaded the planet and laid siege to its mighty Imperial citadel. Can the defenders hold out? And just what do these ancient traitors want with such a seemingly insignificant world?

Listen to it because....

It's one of the true Black Library classics, and one of the first novels to make the bad guys the heroes...and it introduced the mighty Warsmith Honsou, who went on to plague the Ultramarines across plenty of novels. It also pits the Iron Warriors against their oldest foes, the Imperial Fists, which is always a guarantee of quality action.

The story:

On the nightmare battlefields of the far future, few foes spark more fear and dread than the Chaos Space Marines. Nurturing a hatred that is millennia-old, they attack without mercy, spreading terror and destruction in their wake. Now hell has come to Hydra Cordatus, for a massive force of terrifying Iron Warriors, the brutal assault masters of Chaos, have invaded the planet and lain siege to its mighty Imperial citadel. But what prize could possibly be worth so much savage bloodshed and destruction—and how long can the defenders possibly hold out?

Written by Graham McNeill. Narrated by Michael Geary. Approximate running time 11 hours and 4 minutes.

©2022 Games Workshop Limited (P)2022 Games Workshop Limited

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    3 out of 5 stars

A fierce and monsterous anime

The heading of this review was a line in the book. Yes it was pronounced that way. 10/10 best narrator, would sack his duck.

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Wonderful

really enjoyed this, read it many years ago and I was amazed at how clearly I remembered some of the scenes. really brought me back, thoroughly enjoyed it. Good on Guardsman Hawk!

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Warning! Rose-tinted glasses advised

Growing up in the early eighties I loved the Transformers cartoon on British TV Saturday mornings. It was insanely good and the memory of my enjoyment of it has stayed with me into adulthood. So it was shattering to me, when on an idle Sunday afternoon, I finally tracked down an episode on Youtube and I discovered… that it was bilge. Utter bilge. Horrible, cheap animation, cheesy dialogue and absurd plots. A huge piece of my childhood was taken from me right there and then. Which, as a preamble to reviewing Storm of Iron, is all merely to say: be careful what you wish for.

'Storm of Iron', first published in 2002, recently won a poll by Black Library asking fans to identify an older 40k story for re-publication. The new audiobook edition offers a salutary reminder as to why rose-tinted glasses can be dangerous.

Clearly, a great many people remember reading Storm of Iron when it first came out and have fond memories of it. However, in all frankness, warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia for something is generally a very poor basis for making decisions (see 'Brexit').

Viewed in the cold light of 2022, Storm of Iron is a straightforward yarn about a siege, featuring — who else? — the Iron Warriors and the Imperial Fists, and scores of Imperial Guardsmen who, in true Black LIbrary tradition, die as soon as they've been introduced to the reader.

The problem with Storm of Iron is that even a fairly uncritical 12-year old today would probably find it lacking in depth or subtlety. Black Library still publish a fair amount of turgid, wooden crud today, but in general the quality of writing in their output has been raised considerably in the years since this first came out.

Since 2002, Black Library has given us the likes of Josh Reynold's masterly Fabius Bile trilogy, Aaron Dembski-Bowden's Night Lords saga and Chris Wraight's Lords of Silence. These are books which not only write from the perspective of the bad guys but also make them sympathetic, complex characters, and they credit the reader with enough intelligence to figure out what is going on without having every detail pointed out via constant, heavy-handed exposition. Set against this standard, Storm of Iron's clunky dialogue, wooden characters and general lack of a cogent story line serves mostly as a reminder of how much things have changed for the better.

Graham McNeill is, of course, still a highly prolific BL author today. I find his output infuriatingly mercurial. His recent Priests/Lords of Mars books were enjoyable, character driven stories. Sad to say, Storm of Iron belongs in the same bin as his ongoing, excretiable Uriel Ventris series. Yet, I shall always forgive him these blips thanks to The Last Church, which remains possibly the greatest w40k short story ever.

If you read Storm of Iron back in the day, and it gives you warm fuzzy feelings to hear it now in audiobook format, I don't begrudge you your enjoyment of it one bit. Michael Geary is a newcomer to W40k narration, admittedly given a relatively undemanding set of characters to portray he still hits most of the right notes here, but even his enthusiastic performance doesn't mask the fact that in 2022, Storm of Iron clunks badly.

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Lives up to the text, amazing effort!

Of the many Black Library books set in the 40k universe, this one is my favourite. This book got me into playing the game and gave me an unhealthy obsession with Iron Warriors, so as much as I wanted an audiobook version, I worried that it wouldn't live up to the novel.

I needn't have worried. This is a superb effort and the narrator does a great job of making the characters distinct and the action scenes pop.

Still my favourite 40k novel and now one of my favourite audiobooks too!

Iron Within, Iron Without.

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Justice to a classic

Storm of Iron is one of my favourite Black Library books from my first steps into the written lore. It was as much of a pleasure to listen to as it was to read over a decade ago.

Michael Geary really seems to understand the weight of these characters from Honsou, Forrix, Guardsman Hawk, and even the Warsmith, and channels these personalities magnificently. I’d love to hear him read more of the Iron Warriors stories, and even more Chaos Marines books (Word Bearers Omnibus please)

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Nostalgic, but doesn’t quite hold up

I’ve got a first edition of this on a shelf and loved it as a kid. Hearing the story again, it becomes clear that it is literally just a series of (well done) siege based action scenes with not much else. Only Hawke and Forrix have any real character development and every one else is kind of bland. I think it would really work well as a graphic novel, as the scale of the siege is very well described. Also the narrator is a bit bland with a lot of the voices but wasn’t terrible. It’s nice to have a solid chaos focused story.

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iron warriors doing what they do

just not as paranoid and bitter as expected. ok setup for a number of characters and a look at the iron warriors.

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A boring siege a below average novel for me

Hello Everyone
You’ll find me on the camp of Black Library that loves 40K only and within that
Eisenhorn and Raven or and recently Pariah
So as someone else put It I am leaning to side that is less about gore and bolters and more about story and characters….
But don’t get me wrong I LOVED the night lords books, then the Fabio’s Bile (what imagination) The first 4/5 of Horus heresy (the rest is just a shameful and scouting act of capitalism and fan base disrespect

Do check my other reviews to see what I like

So on to this novel:

I got 60% through this and gave up
Not an exciting siege
voices are a bit samey (sorry dude)
story boring
characters not exciting

I don’t know why I cant get into the Gaunts novels when everyone else likes them and I love the Luther novel- one of my top3 if you have any recommendations for me drop me and email or tell me is there an online place we can rant about these novels!!

Ben

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Love the story

Especially guardsman hawk! Had the book for a while and was looking forward to the audio at long last, did not engage with the narrator, I found him not to my taste but I am sure others will like him

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  • Richard Burgener
  • 05-10-22

FINALLY! THIS IS LONG OVERDUE

Storm of Iron is a 40k classic! It rises to the top of the list of novels of this franchise, definitely in the top 10. It's a great depiction of not only the Iron Warriors, but also the Chaos Space Marines faction as a whole. The author himself is aware of how beloved this novel is, and has been told by many of his fans that this began their love of collecting and playing the Iron Warriors faction in Warhammer 40k. If you enjoy it, the story continues with an AMAZING novel in the Horus Heresy series called Angel Exterminatus, which is the direct prequel to this novel.

The Warband depicted in this novel is perhaps not the absolute representation of an Iron Warriors fighting force, definitely among the most corrupted by the Warp and an extreme example, but it's very enjoyable nonetheless. The villains, heroes and antiheroes of this novel are all extremely likeable, and no matter your allegiance, you'll find your sympathies in conflict. It's just that well-written. The only downside is that Black Library did not include the extra chapters that the author penned for the limited edition printing. Even still, we'll take it! Some of us have been waiting years for this story to become an audiobook!

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  • David J Ray
  • 26-09-22

Black Library Classic

There’s no denying that this is a Black Library classic, and deservedly so, but it’s definitely a child of its time. For example the overall Iron Warriors depiction doesn’t have the layered complexity that you might expect in the modern era – they’re recognizably Iron Warriors, but there’s not a huge amount that differentiates them from generic Chaos Marines. Likewise McNeill’s prose isn’t as developed as it is today, unsurprisingly for his second ever novel, but his storytelling, plotting and pacing are all genuinely successful. What makes this still really work though, over 20 years later, is how pleasingly tricky McNeill makes it to decide which side to really root for. The Iron Warriors aren’t exactly likeable, but Honsou is somehow still relatable despite it all, and while it’s hard not to want the Imperials to scrape to victory there’s something essentially 40k about watching the bad guys on the up.

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  • jonah mendiola
  • 28-11-22

Good. Needed more Hansu and chaos.

Needed more development of or beloved half-breed. audio booking this and comparing it to 30k iron warriors is jarring. The damnation of the Iron Warriors just confirms how destructive the horus heresy was and makes me sad that most characters in 30k are nothing bud chaos Spawn now.

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  • Andrew
  • 28-11-22

Why can’t all the books be like this?!

What a full tilt rollercoaster ride of a book! If more of the 40k books had actual stakes like this than I would have read them all by now. My only gripe is that I would have like a more duels between the Space Marines and the Iron Warriors but That’s about it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-11-22

Amazing Introduction to Iron Warriors

It takes a lot for me to enjoy Space Marine stories, to the point where I can barely get through the beginning of The Great Work without losing interest due to how monotonous Space Marines become. Iron Warriors are anything but, and even the stories of the Imperial Guard within this story kept my interest the entire time. Amazing, definitely a recommendation. Had this audiobook on my radar when I heard it was being recorded and did not disappoint.

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  • Blacklung512
  • 22-11-22

Absolutley worth listening to

10/10, this book is filled with action, drama and genuinely interesting plot twists. Would highly recommend any fan of sci-fi to give this a listen

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  • Alex
  • 10-11-22

One of the worst audiobooks I’ve ever heard

I really truly wanted to enjoy this story (Iron Warriors are my favourite legion), but the writing was so incredibly clunky and the narration so awkward I had to stop and give up after a couple of hours. Particularly jarring was the constant repetition of the same word within the same or adjacent sentences. It read like a thirteen year old who doesn’t own a thesaurus’s fan fiction - truly awful and a waste of a credit.

Come on GW, where is your QC? The Horus Heresy and Jonathan Keeble make this look like amateur hour in comparison.

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  • Tim
  • 06-11-22

One of the best books out there

one of the best books out there and I've read 100s. With an avatar of khon, demon prince, and the two best siege -attacking and defending forces of 40k going head to head- killing thousands on both sides, what more can you want, please make this into a movie!!!!!!

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  • Devon Mcdonald
  • 02-11-22

iron within iron without

I absolutely love to this book if you want a book that is based in chaos this is your book The Iron Warriors have become one of my favorite Legions amazing writing and the VA voice is amazing for every character

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  • Ethan Whitmore
  • 18-10-22

Amazing set piece with some interesting characters

There are lots of characters and most get a small arch, but don't be thinking you will get any amazingly deep characters here. There are some epic moments and tragedy.