Fast, funny and the best of the bunch (so far)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 August 2020
I'm re-reading this for the third time since it arrived, as I just LOVE the entire story, the characters, and the sheer fun of this book. Kal Jerico returns, married to a woman who sometimes tries to kill him to collect the bounty on his head, his "friend" Scabbs has even more interesting skin diseases to play with, and now Jerico is forced to team up with other bounty hunters in order to simply survive while trying to collect the bounty on the maniacal Redemption Preacher Desolation Zoon.
Add in a mutie invasion, a Beastman fellow bounty hunter, and the fanatical Cawdor gangers who seem to be everywhere Jerico turns, and you have a rollicking adventure for all tastes.
This is so far my favourite book in the new series of Necromunda novels, which seem to have fallen victim in some ways to the new "Woke Culture" that is going on in the world, and so the first three books in the new pantheon lacked the visceral atmosphere of the WH40k/Necromunda of previous novels from many years ago.
Sinner's Bounty is a refreshing return to the dark Underhive and the dark humour that makes me smile all the more, as our hero and his friends risk life and limb in order to fulfill a contract, forced into uneasy alliances with other bounty hunters, fight off hordes of muties, and also try and keep his marriage together at the same time.
There's some back story to Jerico's Uphive illegitimate birth and upbringing, his marriage to Yolanda, and even some history thrown in as to what Scabbs did before he met Jerico, which is wonderful, as it fleshes out this much maligned character much more, and we see a side of Scabbs that show his romantic aspirations, his lack of a tribe, and some of his childhood memories as he remembers seeing the sun for the first time, as a rite of passage as a child, before returning to the ever dark of the Underhive.
There are gunfights aplenty, betrayals from even his nearest and dearest, and a safe return to the darkness that Necromunda brought to light all the way back in the 1990's.
I am thoroughly enjoying my third time reading of this book, as I am finding things that I missed the first two times around, and knowing more about the other characters as I go.
The Mutie Queen Wart is a wonderful new character addition to the books, and the Beastman bounty hunter is much more believable than most of the others, and that's before we meet the Squat bounty hunters, who just made me cheer from the moment they appeared, as Squats are not often mentioned in the WH40k universe now, but to see them here is beautiful for me, someone who still has a Squat army from the 1980's Imperial Guard range of miniatures :-)
All in all, for me, this is just the perfect book for those who are just getting their first taste for Necromunda, or for the "Old Guard" like myself who were there when Necromunda first appeared almost 30 years ago now.
It's a stand-alone adventure, with just about everything you'd expect from Black Library at last.
Some people don't like it, but I just fell in love with the entire Underhive all over again after reading this, and would recommend it to anyone who just wants a good read that doesn't just have Space Marines blasting Xenos species apart.
Some laugh out loud moments and some truly moving episodes combined, to make the Underhive live and breathe again.