"Space Wolves Omnibus" is a collection of three science fiction novels written by William King, a freelance author working for Black Library - the publishing branch of Games Workshop. The stories are set in the dark and war-torn universe of Warhammer 40 000. They follow the early adventures of Ragnar Blackmane, a member of Space Wolf chapter of Adeptus Astartes.
What makes Space Wolf different from the other Space Marine omnibuses I've read (Soul Drinkers and Ultramarines Omnibus, both of which are essential reads for all 40k fans) is the fact main characters aren't all-powerful heroes at the beginning of the story. These three novels aren't so much about heroic deeds and fast-paced action, as they are about one marine's - literal and metaphorical - coming-of-age.
The majority of the first book depicts Ragnar's life as it was before he was inducted into the Space Wolves. It gives us an insight into Ragnar's own mind, as well as life on Fenris in general. It then proceeds to show us the induction rituals of the Space Wolves; how they are chosen, how they train, what they eat, how they cope with the loss of their humanity, and the final tests they need to pass before they can truly join the ranks of Adeptus Astartes. In this way, it's also a story of a primitive savage coming in contact with high technology and discovering a world vastly different from his own. The second book continues in a similar fashion, only now it explores Ragnar's wonder at seeing new worlds, meeting all sorts of people he never could've encountered on his home planet, and getting used to the fact that despite his improved physique and nigh-impenetrable armor he's still far from invincible. The third book deals with Ragnar's promotion to a Blood Claw leader, his struggle to come to terms with his newfound responsibilities, and his interaction with his superiors.
The writing style is rudimentary. William King tends to over-explain, often pointing out the obvious, or stating things we already know. Weird descriptions and comparisons are plentiful. Once again, Black Library proves they don't proofread the novels they publish. There are typos, grammatical errors, and missing words aplenty. A shame, since most 40k books would be so much better if they could only receive proper editorial attention.
Overall, Space Wolf Omnibus is a good read. It's fast-paced, packed with action sequences, has a lot of character development for a Black Library novel, and does a fine job of capturing the morbid atmosphere of Warhammer 40 000. It's also a great marketing device. I must admit that, after reading these three books, I have a desire to collect my own space wolf army and to have Ragnar Blackmane lead it. With the current Space Wolf codex, this would actually be possible. Here's to hoping Games Workshop decides to make other Black Library characters - such as Uriel Ventris and Sarpedon - into playable characters someday.