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You Die When You Die

(West of West #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  834 ratings  ·  121 reviews

You can't change your fate - so throw yourself into battle, because you'll either win or wake up drinking mead in the halls of your ancestors. That's what Finn's tribe believe.

But when their settlement is massacred by a hostile tribe and Finn and several friends, companions and rivals make their escape across a brutal, unfamiliar landscape, Finn w
Kindle Edition, 512 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Orbit
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  834 ratings  ·  121 reviews

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Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Anne by: karen
This was a funny book.
Funny ha-ha or funny odd, you ask?
Both, I say.


I read this book because karen made asked me. Now, she normally doesn't ask me to do anything for her. Well, there was that one time she had a few odd requests, but in her defense, she had been drinking heavily - as was evidenced by the fact that she kept calling me Handsome Sir while awkwardly petting my hair.
Ahhh, boozy karen is a fun gal...
Point is, she said this was a weird little story that would be right up my alley. I to
this book has been flirting with me for a while now. and i’ve been flattered - i love its cover and there’s something about the font that pleases me deeply, but our coy little dance always followed the same pattern:

“ooh, that cover kicks ass. that font is fun. why haven’t i bought this yet? *turns over book*

oh, man, that makes me want to go home and listen to oingo boingo, blah blah blah battle, ancestors, prophecy, combat - oh, right. viking alt-history military stuff. not my thing.”

this cycle
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

You Die When You Die was a crazy wild ride I never wanted to end. Wooooootah, did I love this book! After having a blast with Angus Watson’s Iron Age trilogy I had a good feeling that his new book would be another glorious full-hearted adventure through new frontiers of dark fantasy, and I’m telling you all right now, I was abso-fucking-lutely not disappointed.

Though this novel is more heavily steeped in magic and fantasy,
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
August 1, 2018: only 0.99€ ($1.16) today!!!

Because karen said: "it's dark and bloody and there's lots of - erm... lowbrow humor and cussin' and feckless antihero and badass females and - this is the important part - in the third book, the one Angus Watson is finishing up right now, there is A GIANT CRAB. A. GIANT. CRAB."

Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-shelf, fantasy
From a title like this, I almost expected a thorough fantasy grimdark bloodfest that wouldn't stop until the main character died in a spectacularly glorious fashion.

Okay. So I was wrong.

But that doesn't mean that the novel didn't have its fair share of a ton of bloody action and gratuitous death. It did! It just happened to have a bunch of funny moments, clever internal dialogue, and a generally slow-moving grind through many various American Indian tribes roughly a thousand years ago.

And let's
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Callous, heartless adults who enjoy sadistic humor; Neo-vikings
All-righty then. Let's get down to defeat, the Huns.

Admit it. That song is totally stuck in your head now. You. are. welcome. If you don't know what I'm speaking of, you are a sad person, and I have no desire to speak with you (just kidding; education is simply in order).

But seriously, this book. I tried to ignore this book. Something about the cover looks awesome in a "300" kind of way which made me concerned it was targeting twelve year old boys in some sort of a "get-them-read
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
When I was approached to read the first book in Angus Watson’s new series I was a bit hesitant. His Iron Age series has some glowing reviews and solid scores on various blogs but I’ve never had one of those people that I really listen to when it comes to books tell me it was something I had to read. You die when you die came out in 2017 and although I only just got to it I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed it and wish I had picked it up sooner. It’s great fantasy with interesting cha ...more
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an odd experience. Not that the book itself was odd, more that from the cover and even the blurp, I was expecting something quite different. I was expecting a historical fiction book about Vikings that was therefore full of blood and gore. What I got instead was a fantasy book featuring some Vikings and Native Americans.

The story is that of a tribe of Vikings that have settled in America some generations ago after some decided to leave what is now Europe. So far, so realistic, as V
Nils | nilsreviewsit
‘Only the dimmest and dullest adults can’t let themselves be behave like children every now and then.’
You Die When You Die by Angus Watson, is the first instalment in the West Of West series. I admit initially I was actually disappointed with this book, but just over halfway through things changed and I was utterly hooked!
I expected a very dark, grim and brutal read right from the onset, so when I noticed a very humorous light tone to the book I was really taken aback. As we are introduced t
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hardwork doesn’t really live up to its name. It is actually quite an idyllic place to grow up. The villagers lead a cosy life, the local native tribespeople are more than happy to provide them with resources like food. Everything is nice and tranquil up until the point where a group of warriors arrive with the intention of killing every man, woman and child. A massacre ensues, but a small group of Hardworkers manage to escape their gruesome fate. Pursued by the fearsome Owsla*, the elite warrior ...more
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
"There is no better burden on a journey than good sense. In a strange place it is better than riches." - Gunnhild Kristlover

This read was a breath of fresh air. Although the cover looks very grim indeed, this was actually a warm, humorous tale about Vikings, social identity, magic and monsters. I happily give this 4 stars for the quirky, likable characters and their adventures - plus an extra star for making me chuckle out loud in parts :-)
Daniel Kelly
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More than a historical fiction

I didn't actually read the description of this book before I read it so I had been expecting a Viking historical fiction book. I was wrong in the best possible way. It does have a Viking base but mixed brilliantly with magic, blood sacrifices, crazy beautiful badass superwoman death squads all mixed in with Angus's unmistakable wit which had me snort with laughter a few times. Read this now...
Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it

Good gory action scenes, good plotting and fast paced writing, however I wasnt overly fond of any of the characters. I also felt there just too many in this gridmark type fantasy novel. The author is known to combine a good amount of humour throughout his novels and dialogue. I just found that it was a little overboard. Maybe I overhyped this one or wasnt in the mood.
Patricia Crowther
I did not expect to love this as much as I did. Fast paced and hilarious. SO much love for these characters!! Right, I'm off to buy all the Angus Watson whilst I not so patiently wait for book 2. ...more
this was abso-fucking-lutely fantastic and so bloodthirsty!

every single character has a uniqueness, and strangeness to them, that you sort of appreciate, doesn't matter if you loathed or love them.

from the batshit crazy fight scenes (which were gruesome, I tell you) to the hilarious, this book was something wild.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
Amazing book! A fast paced page turner that is highly entertaining.
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Two aspects to the review; primarily the book itself but also my first tussle with Audible!

The story is very clever. It’s inspired by the historically factual Viking settlement on the North American coast around 1000AD but everything else is a witty, magical, imaginative fantasy.
Vikings they may be but after years of isolation and a relatively comfortable life in their New World they’ve become just a little ‘soft’ and now find themselves under threat, for their very existence. The indigenous po
Scott  Hitchcock
Having read his Iron Age Age of Iron series which I liked but started to tire of by the end I decided to give Watson another shot. Unfortunately this read as more of the same. I quickly lost interest in the story and couldn't wait for it to be over. It didn't help that this was an audiobook and I don't care for the narrator. If you liked Iron Age and still want to give this a shot I'd suggest reading it not audio. ...more
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars
After you finish this book i want you to look closely at the cover, read the top note and also read the blurb again. When you're done sit back and marvel at how well you just got played (i'm not really mad though cos this book cost £0.99) Now if i'd bought the second one for £6.99 best believe i'd be mad pissed.

It's not like this book is horrible and utterly unreadable, it's just incredibly unbelievable that it's lauded as an epic fantasy. I mean this was basically Year One (the Jack B
Ross Thompson
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the alternative-reality story of the Hardworkers, a small clan of Viking descendants in pre-Columbian North America. A mentally-damaged young boy in the clan has a premonition that the village will be attacked and they should head west. When the village is indeed attacked by natives (who themselves had a premonition of these Vikings ending the world), the clan quickly up-sticks and head off.

There follows a brilliant, exciting, funny story of this small clan with mixed abilities (some wel
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

Started slow and I struggled a little at the start but really started to win me over by the end.

Some very interesting world building and some really vivid descriptions of the world around them. It really suits for what is happening and also shows the differences in the many cultures and groups on display here.

The characters took a while to grow on me and I wasn't really connecting with them. Most weren't what I'd call instantly likeable and all had issues that didn't make them appealing.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, while maintaining Angus Watson's trademark irreverence, comedy and peril, went to a whole new level of imaginative adventure. It felt a bit like the Vinland Sagas, Time Bandits and the works of Roddy Doyle had been put in a liquidiser and then reconstituted by somebody whose sanity should probably be examined by a professional. I confess to being a big fan of Angus Watson's writing, and I think that this is his best book yet. It's set during the time of the first Viking settlements of ...more
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book, humerous, dark in places, fast paced and witty. Oh, and the Britishisms (is that a word?) and the part where the wost torture was kept for "murders, child molestors, rapists and those who take offence on behalf of others.." - brilliant!

I have gone straight onto his Age of Iron series because of this, and he has made it in to my coveted 'buy in hardback on pre-release' author list. Well done!

Note: I listed to the audiobook version, was very, very well read!
Marat Beiner
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very nice book, and I was hopping that Angus Watson will create another great trilogy as Iron age was.
I only hope that the other two books will be even better.
Good story, great characters, definitely recommended.
Hiu Gregg
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Ehhhh... The humour was alright, but there just wasn't much else here that meshed with me, to be honest. Maybe it would have been better in text rather than audiobook, but I suspect that this one just isn't for me. ...more
This isn't working for me & yet I don't hate it. There's some good writing. For instance, the queen's feelings of her ungainly size as she nears the end of her pregnancy is wonderful. I wish my wife had put it so well & then her complaints would have at least been amusing.

I just can't get into it because of a lot of small stuff. The narrator isn't my favorite, but he's not terrible. The names are weird & difficult to understand & remember, but not hopelessly so. Mostly, the story just seems rat
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
The humor in this, at times, had me side eyeing, lips pursed into an exasperated straight line, pulled taut with consideration on whether or not I should continue. And yet, before I knew it, I had finished the book and found myself inexplicably on Amazon fully prepared to preorder the next in the series! There were times when scenes had me laughing out loud and sometimes rendered me in a state I could only shake my head! The trip was worth it regardless.

This is a book about a civilization that h
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Buy it, download it, devour it - as I did.

Far too much fantasy recently takes itself far far too seriously but not this one - funny and yet depthful, light and emotive, it is simply a fantastically ripping good yarn, well told, with superbly drawn characters and exceedingly good narration. I stopped listening only for absolutely crucial things like work and sleep :)

To my mind, Angus Watson (particularly twinned with Sean Barrett who really brings the tone and comedy of his writing to life) is o
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this author's previous books - the Iron Age Trilogy. Naturally, I wanted to check this one out, and I was not disappointed. Using a blend of history and myth, the story is about a group much like the Vikings who have been living near a fresh water lake much like Lake Michigan. They are surrounded by natives like those who existed long ago in America. "much like" is a relative term, though. The characters are wonderful and the story moves along at a good pace. There is some magic involv ...more
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Angus Watson is as amusing as ever, loved this, looking forward to book 2 😀
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In his twenties, Angus Watson’s jobs ranged from forklift truck driver to investment banker. He spent his thirties on various assignments as a freelance writer, including looking for Bigfoot in the USA for the Telegraph, diving on the scuppered German fleet at Scapa Flow for the Financial Times and swimming with sea lions off the Galapagos Islands for the Times. Now entering his forties, Angus liv ...more

Other books in the series

West of West (3 books)
  • The Land You Never Leave (West of West)
  • Where Gods Fear to Go (West of West #3)

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