Safely in the top spot for my favourite books in the Warhammer universe, The Wraithbone Phoenix by Alec Worley diverges from the standard fare of space marines and the multitude of horrors inflicted on the galaxy by countless aliens and gods and instead serves up a cracking heist story in the boneyards of a dystopian world. Plenty of action, humour, and mystery, all ticking along breakneck as the race for the mysterious artifact called the Wraithbone Phoenix kicks off.
Baggit is a rating (small, hedonistic, tenacious human), and Clodde is an ogryn (ogre-sized human). Both work in the boneyards, trying to eke out an existence in any way possible, usually black-market goods and the like. Baggit is sharp as they come, always seeing the angles and what it will take to survive. Clodde is a lumbering giant with enhanced intelligence that makes him spout profound things, sometimes at inopportune moments. As a team, I’d happily read more of these guys.
When they stumble upon news of the artifact Baggit is determined to get it. Every thief in the city is after it too, and so begins the search of the hulking voidship carcass, where not all the dangers are from the other treasure hunters but also the ship itself.
As mentioned earlier, this is a departure from the standard Space Marine-style books of the Warhammer universe. Seeing the “civilian” side is a nice change. One particular thing of note were the Imperial Voxcast messages that popped up now and again, with over-the-top rhetoric reminding everyone how good it is to work in slave conditions and how to turn in your mates.
Narration by Harry Myers suits this story to the ground. He’s got a gruff, working-class/cockney accent which reminded me a little of Badger from Firefly. I tended to picture Baggit as having the same features come to think of it. Either way, a great choice of narrator.
Suffice it to say, I enjoyed the heck out of this book and would love to see more adventures of Baggit and Clodde.
For the sake of openness and clarity, I provided proofing services to the publisher of this book. I have not let this arrangement affect nor influence my opinions of this audiobook and have voluntarily written this honest review.