Like all Space Marine Chapters, the Soul Drinkers are bound to serve the Imperium by ancient vows But when an ancient relic of the Chapter is misappropriated, the Soul Drinkers face a terrible dilemma betray the Imperium, or lose their honour Their final choice, and its consequences, form the theme of this classic trilogy of SF stories set in the nightmare world of the st millennium


10 thoughts on “The Soul Drinkers Omnibus

  1. Christian Christian says:

    The first book in this three book omnibus was great at establishing the premise of an emancipated Space marine Chapter The second book was very anticlimactic and the third was pretty much all action with a very flimsy plot The storytelling is very uneven and the characterization is shallow Truthfully, it s kinda flat Ben Counter seems to write better Imperial Guard characters than Space Marines Hope it picks up.


  2. Sixth Sixth says:

    Worst Author of the black liberay strikes back again, bringing pages after pages of boring garbage.Unless you like story written like And then he shot, and then he kill, and then a slip, and then he fall, and then he stand up againYou should avoid this book or just burn it


  3. Krissy Pilkington Krissy Pilkington says:

    It readlike fan fiction characters very one dimensional with zero real character development and zero convincing motivations Oh We were tricked by Tzeentch Nope, sorry, that doesn t quite wash it with me If I suspend my disbelief i can get behind thier motivation for going renegade though it does seem an extreme reaction , but a formerly and apparently STILL loyal chapter of Astartes wholesale just embracing mutations and stuff With all their decades of training to destroy here It readlike fan fiction characters very one dimensional with zero real character development and zero convincing motivations Oh We were tricked by Tzeentch Nope, sorry, that doesn t quite wash it with me If I suspend my disbelief i can get behind thier motivation for going renegade though it does seem an extreme reaction , but a formerly and apparently STILL loyal chapter of Astartes wholesale just embracing mutations and stuff With all their decades of training to destroy heretics, xenos etc Really Brother whatever has just grown a whole load of extra eyes on his face and our chapter master has turned into a giant spider yup, defo the blessings of out beloved God Emperor Burn the heretics Nope Just nope Ok book to fill a few hours reading, but essentially a pulpy written mess that leaves you scratching your head if you have a decent knowledge of 40k fluff and lore.Just a disappointment really Find it hard to believe the same guy wrote the brilliant Grey Knights books


  4. Simon Simon says:

    Like many series from Black Library, the different books are of variable quality on it s own I d rate 1 as 4 stars, but the other 2 drag it down I don t know if it s just laziness on the author s part, or Black Library demanding sequels for successful books asap, but most Black Library series go downhill as the books go on the Forbeck Blood Bowl novels being an exception, as they started awful and stayed that way.I like the idea of exploring a Space Marine Chapter or any other human force Like many series from Black Library, the different books are of variable quality on it s own I d rate 1 as 4 stars, but the other 2 drag it down I don t know if it s just laziness on the author s part, or Black Library demanding sequels for successful books asap, but most Black Library series go downhill as the books go on the Forbeck Blood Bowl novels being an exception, as they started awful and stayed that way.I like the idea of exploring a Space Marine Chapter or any other human force that doesn t follow the Imperium way without being inherently evil as my own Marines did back in my 40k tabletop days , but in the end felt it went to far in the warped without being Chaotic path That said, stillinteresting than the Follow the Emperor Burn the Emperor that is the standard fare


  5. Sven Mysterioso Sven Mysterioso says:

    I m pretty big into Warhammer 40k I freely admit that And that being said, I m okay with a lot of weirdness and canon defilement because this is what Games Workshop does.What Counter does here with this Souldrinker chapter is just not right.You expect a certain behavior A certain mindset In a very real sense, a 40k reader is as psycho conditioned as one of the Space Marines is supposed to be They are holy knights who have been sleep taught and indoctrinated into the faith They are complete I m pretty big into Warhammer 40k I freely admit that And that being said, I m okay with a lot of weirdness and canon defilement because this is what Games Workshop does.What Counter does here with this Souldrinker chapter is just not right.You expect a certain behavior A certain mindset In a very real sense, a 40k reader is as psycho conditioned as one of the Space Marines is supposed to be They are holy knights who have been sleep taught and indoctrinated into the faith They are complete brainwashed zombie types real true believers.The Soul Drinkers aren t In fact, the Soul Drinkers somehow completely ignore 10,000 years of ritual, training, indoctrination and brainwashing No They aren t Space marines.It might be a decent story, but they AREN T Space Marines So don t read this looking for Space Marines


  6. Gee Spizzle Gee Spizzle says:

    The first thing I should say isI started reading he 40K series with Ben Counter s Grey knight Omnibus I thought it was the most interesting trilogy I have ever read and I wish there wereadded to that series For that reason, I started reading the Soul Drinkers Omnibus I couldn t even finish it I am a picky reader, granted However, this series is slow and lacks action The 40k series is all about fast pace If you could compare it to a genre of porn it would be live action tentacle p The first thing I should say isI started reading he 40K series with Ben Counter s Grey knight Omnibus I thought it was the most interesting trilogy I have ever read and I wish there wereadded to that series For that reason, I started reading the Soul Drinkers Omnibus I couldn t even finish it I am a picky reader, granted However, this series is slow and lacks action The 40k series is all about fast pace If you could compare it to a genre of porn it would be live action tentacle porn This just didn t hit the pace or syfy smut fix I look for in 40k novels


  7. Pauli Pauli says:

    A great book, full of action, betrayal and deceit The story is really fast paced and full of mystery that i couldn t wait to read what would happen to the Soul Drinkers The story starts when the Adeptus Mechanicus steal a sacred artifact of the Souldrinkers the Soul Spear which was lost for centuries till it was found by a collector running a prison occupied by mutants.


  8. Jake Marshall Jake Marshall says:

    One of my favorite 40k novels It has the usual fast paced blood and guts action that makes me love these books I couldnt put it down once I started What makes this one stand out to me is the premise I love the way the chapter progresses and where they go once they have faced the truth.


  9. Callum Shephard Callum Shephard says:

    The Soul Drinkers series is one which is generally either hated or held in low regard While not as universally reviled as the things produced by Goto it s definitely hasarguing its flaws than praising what it gets right While many problems can be excused by various fan theories and ideas, there s little to deny the execution was less than stellar Much of this comes down to Ben Counter himself flip flopping on the direction it would take and the conclusionthan anything else That b The Soul Drinkers series is one which is generally either hated or held in low regard While not as universally reviled as the things produced by Goto it s definitely hasarguing its flaws than praising what it gets right While many problems can be excused by various fan theories and ideas, there s little to deny the execution was less than stellar Much of this comes down to Ben Counter himself flip flopping on the direction it would take and the conclusionthan anything else That being said, it s rarely judged fairly Few critics ever seem to reference any events beyond the final pages of Soul Drinker however, so how it the trilogy as a whole Let s find out.Soul DrinkerAs the opening stated, introduction to the series isn t that good While not the worst thing Black Library has ever published it has very distinct problems in pacing, direction and general logic.Set in the dying days of the forty first millennium no change there the Soul Drinkers are active throughout the Imperium A fleet based chapter with a glorious history, their acts have been well documented and their deeds remembered From the dark days of the Second Founding to helping end the mad reign of Goge Vandire, they have fought to defend humanity from the horrors both within and without.Yet for the first time in thousands of years they find themselves with an opportunity to regain that which was lost.The Soul Spear, prized weapon of Rogal Dorn himself has been uncovered on a rogue star fortress among a collection of relics Racing to take back this artifact of a bygone age, the Soul Drinkers do not realise that they are being easily manipulated for greater goals The crux of the problem here is in the introduction You know the Soul Drinkers are being manipulated right from the start and it s increasingly clear that it s not by natural forces It s not long before this reaches the point where you desperately want someone to jump into the narrative yelling YOU RE ALL BEING DUPED Preferably while punching Sarpedon, the protagonist, in the face While some ignorance might have been acceptable due to distractions and what we learn later on it definitely could have been better handled.Up to the point where Sarpedon duels their Chapter Master their actions are just about believable After they start gaining mutations, calling them blessings of the Emperor, it s much harder to accept This isn t helped by many of the often mind numbingly bland characters.The cast needed to either show aspects which could be latched onto for Chaos to influence them or sympathetic personalities Ones diverse or varied enough to keep interest amongst the marines, but we don t really have either here While Luko, Lygris, Graevus and Tellos work well others like Pallas, Sarpedon, Givrillian and others do not This is especially problematic as many require you to care about them or at least appreciate what they are saying, especially in Sarpedon s case He s written some sort of warrior philosopher you re never given a real reason to care about him or want him to succeed While his actual decisions, fights and thoughts might be interesting he lacks that edge to make him truly interesting Unfortunately many of the non astartes secondary characters are no better, either seeming very bland or come across as blanks The captains of the ships, Arch Magos Khobotov and the minor sects worshipping the Architect of Fate all lack any real attachment Some have aspects which should work but they aren t pushed far enough.The problem with the limited characterisation is that Counter tends to give every character a history While this can help to make the universe feel bigger, it tends to bog down the narrative and doesn t really add to them Worse still, the same thing goes the same way for the Soul Drinkers chapter itself The army was retconned into being a creation of the Second Founding, specialises in boarding actions and has a unique doctrine they follow For all this nothing is really given to set them apart from any other force Had this been intentional, showing even an extremely codex adherent chapter falling easily, this might have worked, but the Soul Drinkers are an atypical force within the imperium The only time when this is used effectively is one particular Chaos champion, largely due to the author s descriptive capabilities with mutations and unnatural phenomena.It s clear why many people dislike the series if this was their introduction Both with continually awkwardly shifting in locations, predictability and weaponised plot driven stupidity it s a rather poor novel Despite some good action, fast pacing and some genuinely great one liners it s a bad introduction into a much better saga.The Bleeding ChaliceFollowing on only months after their battles against the daemonic forces of Ve Meth and Abraxes the Soul Drinkers find themselves on the verge of annihilation Though no longer blinded to the force which manipulated their succession from the Imperium, they find their bodies corrupted and mutations rampant within their ranks.With over a quarter of their marines dead and their gene seed too unstable to replenish their numbers, Sarpedon is forced to lead his chapter into a warzone With records suggesting a cure to their plight can be found within the sector they must avoid the traitor forces which have carved out a minor empire within the Imperium.Almost every aspect of the book from its overall tone to its characterisation of the forces involved has been vastly improved The difference in quality is effectively day and night and were this the first novel to the series the Soul Drinkers books would likely be muchhighly regarded Right from the beginning you understand how different the book will be when the primary Imperial character and Soul Drinkers are introduced They rerounded, written faras humans and have minor details and character quirks which help them stand out beyond their role and rank None are effected by the virulent brain cell eating virus which was apparently spreading through the last book.The very fact Sarpedon doesn t try to storm the entire warzone and take it by force is proof enough of this but if you also get him reflecting upon some of his actions here While he never says he s wrong and still considers the Imperium to be too corrupt to be worth serving, he never tries to justify being duped by Abraxes Further a few of his thoughts come across as muchhuman and understandable here, especially considering the Soul Drinkers desperation This improved characterisation definitely helps the book s themes and makes its much darker tone all thereal.The Soul Drinkers are no longer completely in the right and many of their actions stand the chance of doing as much damage as they do good As such rather than overly zealous fanatics or officials motivated by greed, many Imperial forces they oppose start becomingsympathetic Inquisitor Thaddeus is one such example and is a vast improvement over Chloure or Khobotov along with being faran investigator and even handed in his judgements While driven to perform some questionable acts he is called out on such actions and his behaviour in the final chapters shows a surprising degree of flexibility For a force which was last seen ignoring the theft of a primarch s weapon and declaring a chapter excommunicate traitoris at the drop of a hat, this is a farbalanced portrayal.Another vast improvement, again with the characters, is with the novel s antagonist Teturact While Ve Meth, Khobotov and Abraxes only served their purpose as villains, Teturact is a character He has a background, motivations which make him stand out from them and while occasionally veering into clich he is farmemorable due to his presence He also serves a role as both a dark reflection of the Soul Drinkers, what they could become if they did embrace Chaos, and of the Imperium s much darker secrets.The characters which previously stood out continue to remain decent here While not outstanding they feel like they haveof a dimension than the others, having beenclearly established and fleshed out as characters At the same time the writing quality with the others seems to have caught up with them and those like Pallas and the newly introduced Salk feel like they re worthy of focus A few previous strengths are overlooked to accommodate this new focus, most notably Tellos who is pushed into a background role, but these mostly consist of characters whose arcs are over.Despite the improved writing the pacing is excellently done It s easy to find yourself racing through the endgame of events on Stratix Lumine before you realise you re well over halfway through the book Similarly the descriptions and battles remain as good as ever with some nightmarish ideas and details being given to the reader as the usual over the top action and bolter fire erupts onto the pages In this case imagine Operation Market Garden with zombies and a corrupted Emperor Class battleship.Overall The Bleeding Chalice generally feels as if it knows what it wants to be It s a sobering tale in spite of itsoutlandish elements, one dealing with the fallout of the Soul Drinkers actions and depicting them close to death It doesn t end on a high note or try to show it as some glorious tale of victories and war Even when the Soul Drinkers do emerge victorious it is not without severe costs and any celebration of their accomplishments is notably subdued.Ultimately it is a decent tale and one which shows what the series is capable of when handled correctly.Crimson TearsAs the last book in the trilogy, Crimson Tears shows the Soul Drinkers still attempting to recover from the wars which have sapped their strength.Still numbering only five hundred astartes even with the influx of new recruits, the Soul Drinkers have been avoiding many wars in the effort to ensure their survival Unfortunately for them they are onceforced into battle, this time to ensure their secrecy Despite having apparently been killed on Stratix Lumine, Tellos and his warriors have re emerged on a war torn world where the Imperium is fighting the Dark Eldar Frenzied and having succumbed to Chaos, they now slaughter everything in their path Despite this Tellos knew of the chapter s secrets and of their base s layout, something which could give the Imperium an edge it would need in destroying the chapter Leading the astartes they have left, Sarpedon departs to deal with Tellos once and for all.The novel is best remembered in the series for how it portrays many factions involved besides the Soul Drinkers Both the Crimson Fists and Dark Eldar gain details which affect them for both better and worse, but it s the Imperial Guard who benefit the most from the additional focus.As a force who is wrongly normally presented with the tactic of throwing badly trained troops into meat grinders, they re here shown in anormal light Having been gathered together at the last minute to retake the world the crusade consists of various regiments which have not been trained to work together Ones who while having flaws and problems are not presented as utter incompetents sent in only to clog up the enemy s guns.Much of this is due to Lord Commander Xarius, a favourite among fans, who is an exception to your usual Imperial Supreme Commander He values the lives of his men and understands the battlefield but remains a solid and surprisingly human character throughout One who is desperately trying to hold a failing campaign together even as it falls apart around him, but isn t willing to throw away lives at the drop of a hat.What s interesting about this is that it works in spite of the obvious use of the Imperials Counter was going for He presents the campaign as the Imperium as a whole, at least from the Soul Drinkers perspectives A force made up of various different regiments of different skills and varying degrees of competence who are all trying to act on their own, even as a single force tries to command them One which while vital to the overall effort in bringing down their enemies can t keep up with the battle as it takes place due to continual delays and interference All the while the astartes themselves act as a law unto their own, pursuing their own agendas and often ignoring the force which is supposed to command them They re loose cannons who seem to have no regard for any overall plan and seem to frequently undermine any effort to effectively combat their enemies as a unified force Something which is also not helped by the hit and fade tactics the Dark Eldar employ.Again, this isn t supposed to present the Imperium in any definitive way but instead as the Soul Drinkers see them As a result it does a lotto flesh out the Imperium from their perspective than we have seen in previous novels and serves as a good criticism Many of the books in the Black Library are always from an Imperial perspective so it is interesting to see them in a way which could be critical of their tactics while not going foolish worshippers of the corpse god Unfortunately though, some of this came at the cost of others.While the Crimson Fists are given a rare degree of focus exploring their chapter s diminished state post Rynn s World, the company here feels wrong Not that they aren t visibly space marines or act unusually towards traitors, but that they seem to have lost much of their insight They continually pursue the Soul Drinkers above all other objectives and ignore the Imperial Guard s war in favour of bringing them down The problem is that the Crimson Fists are supposed to be a pragmatic chapter One which would normally be able to keep things in perspective and havetactical awareness than the average khorne berserker If their commander, Reinez, had some dishonour to try and overcome or prove the Fists were a capable force even while diminished that would be one thing The problem is that the novel never gives a powerful enough of a reason for him to be so zealously pursuing them.The good news is that they re the only space marines who come across as acting strangely here The Soul Drinkers themselves behave in a farsane manner and a few get some surprisingly good character development between events Chief among these is Luko who, while being certainly likable, was rather one note in previous events and is given a new angle here It presents something which is unfortunately never fully explored but makes him farthree dimensional than before In addition to this the squad of Soul Drinkers scouts, led by Eumenes gives a new perspective on events and the chapter itself Beyond them however we get few developments as Sarpedon remains largely the same and the few insights we get with Chaplain Iktinos don t quite match up with what we see later.The violence is handled in a surprisingly different way than before and it really works The first two novels featured the Soul Drinkers jumping from planet to planet, leaving battlefields as soon as they arrive, but here they re stuck in one place It allows Counter to try something different and we see the Soul Drinkers trying to move through the city, lure enemies into traps and outmanoeuvre the enemy rather than just fleeing back into orbit It s nothing you d not expect an army not to do, but it shows they do havetactical sense than people usually give them credit for.At the end of the day the novel is extremely mixed with a few good elements holding out despite its flaws There s certain enough here to like but periodically you re going to just raise your eyebrow and wonder Really They re trying that If The Bleeding Chalice got you interested enough in the Soul Drinkers then you ll enjoy this one but just be warned it s a step down from the previous novel.Omnibus Conclusion Soul Drinkers Redemption is very much a rollercoaster ride of quality For everything it gets right it seems to get something else wrong and It will take the series some time to finally even out in terms of writing quality That being said, despite a sub par first book the rest of the series is fairly decent with ideas and details which worked The chapter s status as renegades is always at the forefront of the stories and you never get the feeling they re having an easy time or not at risk of destruction Something which shows how much a chapter needs the Imperium for survival and how risky turning traitor can truly be If you like the concept behind the series find a few extract of The Bleeding Chalice and read through them If you like what you see give the series a try, otherwise look for atraditional story about traitors


  10. ドミネーター トライアンベイト ドミネーター トライアンベイト says:

    this is one misunderstood chapter although half of them turned traitor its like chaos loyalist vs chaos traitors its really fun concept.