The second of Black Library’s Summer of Reading stories sees a new name added to the author pool in Andy Clark, whose story Whiteout sees a Deathwatch team launching a pinpoint strike against a vast ork Waaagh! that’s threatening to overwhelm the Imperial defences. When their insertion goes wrong the Marines find themselves in the midst of a blizzard, battling against time as well as a vast tidal wave of orks as they attempt to destroy a vital bridge and deny the enemy an easy route into the Imperial lines.
There’s a real sense of potential in this story – despite a fairly straightforward race-against-time plot and a cast of characters full of all the usual Deathwatch stereotypes (loudmouthed Space Wolf, closemouthed Raven Guard, stern Ultramarine, etc.), Clark injects enough humour and warmth into the story to give it a fresh voice, a little different to the usual 40k stylings. The dialogue doesn’t always feel quite appropriate to the 40k setting, and the writing is occasionally a little simplistic, but overall it’s a fun, action-packed romp that somehow feels like more than the sum of its parts. An impressive debut, and hopefully a sign of good things to come.