Gardens of Tycho by Dan Abnett A fun shift from the norm: Abnett weaves a detective story in to the 40 'verse and does so nicely. Again Dan Abnett shows why he's easily one of the best authors in the BL stable. I loved the characters, especially the protagonist who is very dissimilar to many of Abnett's other protagonists. 4 Stars
Fear Itself by Juliet E. McKenna A very strong tale of Guardsmen awaiting relief from a unit of Space Marines in the midst of a Tyranid invasion. Very gritty and very true in feel to the whole 40k "grim, dark future". Where many authors tend to save the good guys in the end, McKenna does a fine job in portraying the "holding on in the face of hopelessness" that is so very 40k. 4 Stars
Prometheus Requiem by Nick Kyme, a companion story to the Tome of Fire trilogy Fantastic characterization! I loaned out Salamander by Nick Kyme and it never returned home, so I didn't end up reading it. After this, I went and bought it at Barnes and Noble so I could catch up. 4 Stars
Mistress Baeda's Gift by Braden Campbell I admit it, I groaned when I saw this was a Dark Eldar story. DE tend to be so over the top evil it is hard to empathize with them. They aren't really very sympathetic characters. So I started out and I was very surprised. Braden Campbell does a fine job in telling a kind of Dark Eldar fable, complete with the moral at the end of the story. Well played! 3 Stars
Iron Inferno by C.L. Werner Iron Inferno is a story told from two sides of the same fight: Imperial Guardsmen and Orks. Orkyness is fun, but gets old fast, but CL Werner does a fine job in making it readable. I loved how he delved in to what both sides were thinking, and as the reader getting a laugh, seeing that they were both very wrong. 3 Stars
Sanctified by Mark Clapham This is an interesting take on an Ad Mech "John McClaine" taking on some invading Dark Eldar. It's easy to forget just how massive some of these ships are, and how nobody really knows what is going on in every nook and cranny. 3 Stars
Faces by Matt Farrer I didn't realize until the last part of this short story that this was a [redacted] story. Honestly, "listening" to the weird madness that gripped the humans in this, I was largely lost until it all came together in the final several pages. 2 stars.
Unity by James Gilmer This is a fantastic telling of a few guardsmen and a Raven Guard astartes on the run on a world lost to the Tau Empire. This is probably one of the best depictions of the Tau and the author does a fine job in making the reader guess how it all will end. 4 Stars
The Core by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, a companion story to the Night Lords trilogy I know a lot of folks have been anxiously awaiting this one, and it is worth the wait. Every taste of the Night Lords trilogy, whether a whole novel or short story is a tasty morsel. 4 Stars
Ambition Knows No Bounds by Andy Hoare A fine tale of a Rogue Trader who delves in to things far beyond their pay-grade. Rogue Trader plus Alien Artifacts plus Greed ...do the math. A fine intro for anyone considering playing Rogue Trader. 3 Stars
Rating: A very solid anthology of Xenos devilry. I don't recognize some of these author's names, but these were all excellent: I'd love to see more by them.
Overall, this was a well written book. The format breaks it into appropriately sized portions for those who only have time to read a chapter or two at a time. The stories themselves are interesting and diverse, but not without flaws. My biggest complaint would be that for a book titles "Fear the Alien", there is little emphasis on the background, personality or deadly nature of these xenos. They simply serve as enemies. A story from the perspective of the aliens would be quite unique and interesting, but sadly absent. In the end, this is just another fun collection of stories about loyal Imperial soldiers fighting the xeno menace. A good read, but don't expect anything you haven't seen before.
Good meaty reading. A great example of the Warhammer universe. I'll give The BookMan a shout out for an excellent product I couldn't find on any shelves in the Bluegrass. If you like mayhem, grab this and read!
If your an avid reader of DOW, review your collection and compare the chapters in Fear the Alien. Although the stories are awesome, there was not one new story that I already did not own the original book. I still give it a 5 star rating for the stories inside, especially if your a first time DOW reader.