When Ufthak and his orks attack the forge world of Hephaesto, the last thing they want is to share the spoils with the notorious Kaptin Badrukk. But with armies to defeat and loot to seize, Ufthak’s boyz might just need Badrukk’s help – though that doesn’t mean they can trust him….
Ufthak Blackhawk and the green tide descend upon Hephaesto – an Adeptus Mechanicus forge world bristling with loot – only to find it already under siege by the notorious Freebooter Kaptin Badrukk. When his warboss, Da Biggest Big Mek, orders temporary co-operation, Ufthak seeks to make a name for himself by crushing some of the Imperium’s most advanced defenders and claiming the greatest prize. But with a sinister new war machine on the horizon, Badrukk’s plotting and a thoroughly annoying grot in his way, Ufthak is going to need the brutal kunnin’ of Mork himself just to survive.
Author: Mike Brooks
Narrator: Tom Allenby
Publisher: The Black Library
Running Time: 8hrs 20mins
Audio Release Date: 15/09/2020
Genre: Science Fiction (WH40K)
My Rating of ‘Brutal Kunnin’: 4 out of 5
Having been a fan of the Warhammer and Warhammer 40k universes for a long time the question of ‘can we have alien POV novels has been around for what feels like forever. It was always a hard no on the basis of aliens are, well, alien. So much so that their thought processes should be so different from humans that POV from their side of things just wouldn’t work. Thankfully, that hard no has turned into a solid yes in the form of ‘Brutal Kunnin’. It was bound to happen.
Brutal Kunnin is one of those books that can only go one of two ways. In traditional ork fashion, there simply is no middle ground. You are either going to really enjoy this, or curse Black Library for a pack of fools. I fall into the ‘well, that was much needed and pretty damn awesome’ camp.
The orks, as you can imagine, are a shooty, smashy, ill-tempered and hot-blooded race that (especially considering their chant at one point of ‘come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough’) puts me in mind of English football thugs just out for a good scrap.
This book is set in two different POVs. On the first hand we have the orks; everything they do is brilliant and utterly hilarious. Everytime an ork POV ends and switches over to the Mechanicus, it has you hungering for more greenskin badassery. And then there is the aforementioned Mechanicus. For my money, the cogboys are a very difficult group of people to make interesting. They are more machine than human and have very few, if any, emotional attachments. This makes them VERY hard to warm to, VERY hard to get behind and INCREDIBLY hard to care about. In Brutal Kunnin’, the Mechanicum were a little easier to get in the minds of. I feel Brooks did an excellent job of writing them but, for me at least, they are the reason this book is a four instead of a five.
As good as their parts were, I feel that, when writing for the Mechanicum, Brooks was simply a victim of his own success. He did such a great job of making the orks utterly wonderful, that I just didn’t care about the other side of things as much as the author would have wanted me to. Which is a shame, as their part of the story was very intriguing. I just kept wanting it to hurry up so I could get back to the mindless brutality of the orks.
I feel this would have been a solid five out of five if the Mechanicum were switched with an Imperial Guard faction as getting to see a WAAARGH!!!! through the eyes of men and women who are human enough to appreciate the sheer terror of what is coming for them would have been excellent. I can only hope that, with future novels, the orks will have a more human enemy to balance them out (even if it’s the space marines it would have been an improvement).
In short: read this book or, better yet, listen to the audio book. The narrator was outstanding and bought such energy to his performance that you felt as if you were being swept up and dragged along with the green horde.