SYNOPSIS: Legend tells of an expedition past the Halo Scar, led by a radical Magos of the Adeptus Mechanicus in search of a mysterious technological artifact. Now, thousands of years later, an ambitious and desperate Magos leads an Explorator fleet into the dangers of wilderness space in pursuit of the lost expedition.
PROS: From the solid prose to the beautiful descriptions, the solid and varied cast of characters to the wonderment of the expedition, this book brings an entirely new flavor to the franchise.
CONS: I wanted more. I wanted a lot more, and this book was just a sample of what is to come.
VERDICT: This is McNeill’s best novel since Storm of Iron and Dead Sky, Black Sun. Not only that but this is also a refreshing change of pace for the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
Graham McNeill is a member of what I would consider the Black Library, Old Guard. This is a man who has been writing 40K fiction since I started reading it, a man who was able to turn my distaste for the Ultramarines into a glowing admiration. He is also the man responsible for one of the best pieces of 40K fiction available, Storm of Iron, perhaps one of the coolest sieges I have ever had the pleasure to read about. Unfortunately some of McNeill’s more recent novels have been less worthy. Though his latest Horus Heresy novel, The Outcast Dead, started out with promise, it faltered in execution. I am happy to say that Priests of Mars is everything I hoped it would be and more. This is McNeill writing at his best, and when that happens everyone wins.