Born To Us by Dan Abnett – Short Story Review [Shadowhawk]


Shadowhawk reviews one of the latest eShorts to be published by Black Library, part of their Advent Calendar 2012.

“Gregor Eisenhorn and Harlon Nayl are back in another superb outing!” ~The Founding Fields

To give some context to this short review for a short story, I’m doing my own version of an Advent Calendar: counting down to Christmas, I’m doing short reviews of 400-700 words each day, covering everything from novels and short stories to graphic novels and audio dramas. You can follow the progress of the calendar here. This review is Day 5 for this “series”.

Born To Us is a 1,000 word flash fiction set within the timeline of Dan Abnett’s mostly excellent Eisenhorn omnibus, which is one of the classics of Black Library fiction and a very good introductory set of novels to get your feet with the Warhammer 40,000 setting. It’s been quite an age since there was any new Eisenhorn publication, and after some false starts, we finally got Pariah last month, which is subtitled Eisenhorn v/s Ravenor, Ravenor being Eisenhorn’s former apprentice. [Yes, I know Thorn and Talon came out roughly a year ago, but that’s the point, even a year is an age where it concerns Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn!].

The story goes back to an earlier point in Eisenhorn’s career, somewhere between the first two books I’d say, at a guess, and involves Eisenhorn and Nayl investigating some local superstitious rumours on a backwater world about the rebirth of a great leader. What they find, turns out to be something very unexpected, and I’d say is a great match of factions.

Born To Us is a typically excellent Dan Abnett story. It has his particular brand of humour and his straight-edged narrative. We learn a little more about both characters, as well as how religion functions in the wider Imperium, as a product of thousands of years of religious indoctrination. The ending, when it comes, is quite sudden and unexpected, setting up a really tense confrontation for both the characters. I really wish that this was a longer story! I want to know what happens!

This is another great Eisenhorn installment from Dan, and I’m looking forward to reading Pariah now, which should be soon, depending on when my print copy arrives.

Rating: 10/10

Shadowhawk is a regular contributor to TFF. A resident of Dubai, Shadowhawk reads, reads and reads. His opinions are always clear and concise. His articles always worth reading.