Published: 18 August 2020
Publisher: Black Library
Series: Warhammer Crimes (Stand Alone)
Format Read: Kindle
In the immense city of Varangantua, life is cheap but mistakes are expensive. When Probator Agusto Zidarov of the city’s enforcers is charged with locating the missing scion of a wealthy family, he knows full well that the chances of finding him alive are slight. The people demanding answers, though, are powerful and ruthless, and he is soon immersed in a world of criminal cartels and corporate warfare where even an enforcer’s survival is far from guaranteed. As he follows the evidence deeper into the city’s dark underbelly, he discovers secrets that have been kept hidden by powerful hands. As the net closes in on both him and his quarry, he is forced to confront just what measures some people are willing to take in order to stay alive…
Bloodlines was a book I got through Net Galley, the fact that I got it for free did not influence my views in any way. I would like to thank both Net Galley and Black Library for making it possible to read advanced reader copies like this a thing.
Bloodlines was the first entry in the new Warhammer Crimes series that Black Library started this year. Very much like their Horror series, this series will be taking the spotlight away from the more well known Space Marine orientated books and giving it to normal human people trying to make their living in the 40K universe.
I read Bloodlines with Milou which started of pretty great, but around chapter 7 lost it’s charm on her and we decided that she should stop. Milou is not as well versed in Warhammer as I am and some of the jokes and terminology was lost on her. I did do some explaining, but even I am not to well informed on certain aspects of the setting. Milou did say that the open scene was a pretty cool one and that she would’ve loved more of that instead of reading how the main character took forever to get to drawing his conclusions. I was sad to see Milou depart, but I made it mission to update her after I finished each chapter.
Whether it was Wraight’s intention to wrong foot me like he did in Bloodlines I do not know, but I have to say well played good sir well played. From the start I did not really care for our main character Zido. He came of as obtuse as a wooden board, but nearing the end I could not help but cheer him on as he had to go through quite a few scenarios in order to make me realize that he had already early on in the book made his conclusions as to the who dunnit part of the story. Or rather had a hunch, but needed to go through the motions so we as the readers could experience the procedures involved in taking on crime in 40K. The pay off and the WHO was such a great reveal and I was really glad with the outcome. I do not know if that makes any sense, but I am glad that this is the way Bloodlines turned out. In it’s essence it was a basic police story set in the 40K universe, with it’s own twists. I feel that Wraight did an amazing job with how he handled this story. At times there had to be a lot of world building in the same instance as moving the plot along, but it is something that was needed as Varangantua is a new setting. I am not yet sure if it is going to stay just in 40K and this city/world, or if it will crossover to Old World and Age of Sigmar as well, we will have to wait and see.
Zido worked out as a great character in the end. The man is flawed, he has been on the right side of crime for many years, he and his wife do not seem to see eye to eye anymore, they have a daughter that wants to go to serve the Imperium, but they would rather have her stay in Varangantua. The people that were written in this short novel felt like they could be real. Some showed more emotion than others, but when you take where they come from/ have worked most part of their lives, that is to be expected. One thing that was quite profound for me was the fact that this was set in 40K, yet the people that live in Varangantua do not believe that aliens exist, nor that there is something called Genestealers. It was quite refreshing to see how terms like that were used, but the people either have never seen any or the world itself is so new to being in compliance that they have not set out themselves to fight among that stars this was great, I loved the idea of it.
For a 40K novel and this being a crime book, there was not a lot of action involved. For those people that like their “Bolter Porn”, this might be a bit of a let down. As Bloodlines is more a look at the detective work of the Probators. I am not too well clued up on the policing system that we have in 40K, but I have read about the terminology of some parts within the Adeptus Arbites, Probator was a totally new experience for me and I am glad to say that in my case it worked out pretty well. I liked the interactions of the different job descriptions interacting with one another. One thing that got me wondering why I loved this novel so much was if it was because of the success that Sherlock Holmes had on me this past year. The answer was a very positive yes for me. Not that Zidow is as amazing as Conan Doyle’s creation, but there was a certain charm, or some kind of kick I got out from reading it. I am very happy with what I got within the pages of Bloodlines.
This novel, as I have not stated yet, was a very solid kick of in the new WH Crimes series in my opinion. It got a 4 out of 5 on GR and NG. I can recommend it to anyone that has been hesitant on trying out Black Library’s new venture. I wish I could say that anyone could pick this up with no prior knowledge of 40K, but there are some terms and jokes that will not work if you do not have some idea of the setting. The best example I can give is one that made me chuckle as I read it, where Zido takes a suspect down for questioning and upon him asking the guy’s name he replies “Rogal Dorn”, for those not in the know Dorn is the Primarch of Imperial Fists Space Marine Chapter. So scenarios like that can make or break a new reader’s experience with this series. I want to thank Net Galley and Black Library once again for making it a possibility to read this ARC in advance. I had a great time and it feels great to finally be able to take a book off of my huge TBR on there…
I am also glad that I can close of my 2020 Reviews of on a high note. If you do not hear from me tomorrow or on the first, I would like to wish you all a very Happy new year. Thank you for being around in 2020 and I hope that 2021 wil be a lot less harder on us all.