I Am Slaughter is the first novel in Black Library's new "series event" The Beast Arises.
The series takes place in the 32nd millennium, a time of relative peace after the events of the Horus Heresy - and by relative peace, it's a time of limited engagements with Xenos forces rather than all-out war amongst the worlds of Man.
This is a new timeline for Black Library and with Dan Abnett at the helm, you know that it's going to be involved, violent and dense with characters - and he certainly doesn't let us down.
The story opens on a Xenos world at as the Imperial Fists crush the non-compliant world of Ardamantua, but we aren't stuck on one world, in fact this story takes us to the Imperial Palace on Terra, into the space fleets and a tantalising glimpse inside the Adeptus Arbites.
As promised this review of the Audio Drama version of the novel has no spoilers (there are enough out there already) so read on if you're tempted...
The Audio Drama is just over 5 hours long and again read by Gareth Armstrong - "read' is probably a little unkind considering how much performance he puts into each character, and there are a lot of characters in this book! With each character he gives a great performance, even making the marines sound pretty similar - stoic and strong - while the members of the Palace of Terra sound small and conniving.
It's no secret that Orks turn up in this story, and their arrival is really well handled - epic, deadly and brutal. It's a different approach to Orks than I'd seen in a while, maybe harking back to some years ago when Orks weren't just stupid savages as seems to be the way these days. You will enjoy this look at them!
The portrayal of the Imperial Fists is really interesting, especially how they have organised their forces after the Horus Heresy and how these elites of the elites feel about their duties in the Imperial Palace on Terra.
The Chapters aren't too long and, like the book, keep you wanting more.
I haven't heard lots of these audio adaptations, but this was a very satisfying listen.
At around $45 it isn't cheap, and with another 11 books to go, this could get pretty pricey! There is a subscription deal that gives you the last two books for free, but at twice the price of the novels it's worth having a think if you want to spend almost twice the amount of the novels to get involved in the story.
Tell you what though, if you take the train or the bus or you're going on a flight, this would be for you!