Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Ciaphas Cain Novels)

Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium - Sandy Mitchell This was a pleasant discovery, and it will go down for me as one of the best reads for 2008. In fact, it was the last book read for 2008 for me. I had never read any Warhammer 40K books before this one. I was familiar with the strategy game. I just happened to pick this volume up in a bookstore out of curiosity. The description for Ciaphas Cain as a sly rogue looking for an easy life, yet ends up the hero who does the right thing, seemed like the perfect thing for my mood at the time. I am very glad I picked it up after reading the first chapter. I was hooked. Commissar Cain has become one of my favorite literary characters. This series blends military scifi in a pretty grim far future with humor. Cain's adventures, always with his malodorous sidekick Jurgen, are filled with humor, adventure, and the search for the easy life. He may not want to be a hero, but the galaxy needs a hero, and he is it whether he wants the job or not. Another appeal factor, and this may work for librarians like me, is that the Cain novels are written from his own point of view, then an archivist is putting together Cain's narrative. So, there are footnotes, "editorial" asides, so on, which make the tale entertaining, and can be as amusing as Cain's own words. For people who may not have read any Warhammer 40K stories before, this may be a pretty good introduction. I know it worked for me, as I will be looking for other titles. I will definitely be looking for other Cain novels. I highly recommend this. If you like characters like Lazarus Long, you may like this as well. This volume collects the first three Ciaphas Cain novels, plus three short stories, which makes the volume a pretty good value overall.