Graham McNeill’s Horus Heresy novel Vengeful Spirit spun together a huge number of character threads, some of which were left crying out to be followed up in later stories. With Wolf Mother, McNeill picks up a few of those characters in the immediate wake of Vengeful Spirit’s conclusion, focusing on Alivia Sureka as she is forced to work alongside the Knight Errant Severian in order to rescue her adopted daughter from a resurgent fragment of Molech’s Serpent Cult.
While some stories can be read independently of the Heresy timeline, this is a straight follow up to Vengeful Spirit – if you haven’t read the novel, it’s inadvisable to read this story first. Assuming you’re familiar with the characters however, this brings Alivia and Severian together with interesting results, the pair of them gradually coming to trust each other in the ensuing rescue attempt. It’s a typical McNeill story – paced well, with believable characters and plenty of explosive action. The dialogue between Alivia and Severian is what makes the story though, each of them fascinated by the other but keen to keep their own secrets to themselves. It’s a fun, satisfying continuation of these characters’ arcs, suggesting that there’s more to come.