Book Review: Flesh and Iron
In his second novel of the Imperial Guard, Zou scores big time.
Author: Henry Zou
Publisher: Black Library
Reviewing Author: Jim Zabek
Warhammer 40,000 game fiction has spawned dozens of authors and hundreds of books. Some authors can reliably produce great writing, and although only his second book in the Warhammer 40,000 universe (and my first of his to be read), Henry Zou has joined the ranks of eagerly anticipated authors whose novels I cannot wait for the next to be printed.
Flesh and Iron focuses on the action of a specialized Imperial Guard unit, the 88th Battalion of the 31st Riverine Regiment. What sets Zou apart from many other excellent writers is the authenticity he brings to his writing. He takes the “being there” quality of many Warhammer 40,000 writers to another level. His experience in the Australian Army seems to come alive in Flesh and Iron. The sounds of explosions in water, the light shining through the trees, the smells, the way troops under fire grip their helmets, the tactics of riverine operations…and so much more…all of these things bring the reader into a world that it seems Zou has experienced personally.
His description of the water-world of Solo-Baston seems a combination of archipelago lands of the
With every page turned I felt like I was almost reading a diary of Zou’s experience in the military, but dramatized and set in a Warhammer 40,000 world. Adding to the real-world connection of his writing, the twisting plot and dramatic action makes Flesh and Iron a Must Read for any fan of Warhammer 40,000 fiction.
I won’t even begin to go into details of the novel – from the outset of the book, Flesh and Iron is a page-turner, and I wouldn’t want to spoil even the smallest surprise. It’s a great read. Go get it!