Eisenhorn: The Omnibus
After reading the first few Discworld novels I wanted a change of tone, so it was back to Black Library books again for me and Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn: The Omnibus was my choice this time.
I generally get on fairly well with Abnett, for a Black Library author, and this set was no exception to the rule. It's still fairly pulpy military sci-fi that's too action-heavy, but Abnett somehow manages to elevate it a little, and write characters and plots that I actually find myself caring about and getting immersed in. The Eisenhorn books, however, are some of his earlier work, and I didn't find myself enjoying it as much as some of his later novels.
The first few books are fairly average Black Library, but the viewpoint that an Inquisitor brings is different enough from the normal genetically engineered super-human solider that the book are always going to be more engrossing. It's still far too action heavy and rather long winded, but I found the characters and intrigue of the story still managed to hold my attention. Eisenhorn is actually a fairly bland character for Abnett, but there's enough going on with the plot and interesting locations that it mostly makes up for this.
While the first few books were pulpy, however, The Magos was almost something much better. Somehow, whether it was the change in primary viewpoint from Eisonhorn to another character, or the shift to first-person perspective, it was like reading a completely different book. Perhaps I'd just got a little bored of the repetitive nature of the previous books (reading 4 novels in a row featuring the same characters can get a bit tedious, no matter how good the author), but suddenly I found myself really enjoying a book that felt in the same league as his later work; this didn't feel like a Black Library book anymore, but something by a talented author writing on their own terms.
Sadly, even the Magos began to drag a bit and it devolved into one extended action sequence towards the end, but it definitely increased my average enjoyment of the books by quite a substantial margin.
The verdict, then? Really not too bad for Black Library novels, and the Magos is almost something special.