Phalanx by Ben Counter. Book review

WARHAMMER 40K: PHALANX by Ben Counter, Black Library p/b £7.99

Reviewed by Steve Dean

On the star fort of Phalanx, the Imperial Fists space marines are hosting the trial of members of the Soul Drinkers chapter, tainted by chaos. If you’ve read any of the previous novels, you’ll know that all isn’t as clear cut as it sounds. The Soul Drinkers have in fact been fighting against the forces of chaos, although they have had battles with other imperial forces, mainly those trying to capture or kill them.

Of course, it isn’t going to be a straight up legal battle. The fort is invaded by chaos demons, who manage to open a portal directly into the star fort, and summon an army of nasty critters.

All those aboard the fort are forced to band together to survive, those on trial as well as their accusers.

After a slow start, the story picks up and becomes a three sided battle, before differences are put aside and the demons faced by a united imperial force. It’s not the kind of novel that will leave you breathless with excitement, nor stun you with its originality. But it does all work and hang together, it ties off a few loose ends, and leaves a few open.

Overall it’s competent enough, and you won’t regret spending your money, if this is the sort of thing you usually buy.