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First and Only (Warhammer 40,000 Novels) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2000
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About the Author
- Publisher : Games Workshop; Reissue edition (March 1, 2000)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0671783750
- ISBN-13 : 978-0671783754
- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.5 x 0.75 x 7.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #922,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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The major problem with this first book is that Abnett is too secretive on the plot. In his attempt to shroud the ending in mystery, he just negates all hints, meaning that the end battle has the character chasing after . . . literally I had no idea. No clue. No concept. This lead me to feeling disconnected because I didn't understand the implications, if there were any, leaving the battle to feel mostly useless because I had no idea what the fighting was really for.
3 stars though, because it was really just this one issue dragging the novel down. Once I figured out what all the mystery was about, I was re-hooked back in and enjoyed the last 5% or so. Plus, like I said, I know Abnett really gets it together later on in his career, so I don't want to dissuade people from trying his work.
Just go easy on this one. It's his first, but thankfully not only.
I thought this book would be an origin story. It isn't. Instead the author slips back and forth between flashbacks and the events currently unfolding during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, where the Tanith First and Only apply their backwoods skills as light infantry.
However, in addition to facing external threats, the Imperium of Man is rife with internal strife ranging from inter-service rivalry to open rebellion. So Colonel-Commissar Ibram_Gaunt finds himself confronting a conspiracy to usurp the crusade and snatch piece of archeotech.
I can see why Dan Abnett is such a popular Black Library author, even readers who haven't played Warhammer 40K like his work. Although I agree with the one 3-star rater here, in that there's a sequence of coincidences and prophecies that fall into place to advance the plot.
Unlike the Ciaphas Cain stories, First and Only plays the grimdark of WH40K straight, but was still an enjoyable book that I'll give a 4-star rating to.
I look forward to reading the further adventures of "Sharpe IN SPACE!"
Gritty, pulsating, and involving.
Top reviews from other countries
Abnett writes a fast brutally paced novel that pulls no punches. The universe is at war and there is nothing else.
The characters in the Tanith first and only are deep and easy to connect with. In all the horror that is the warhammer 40k universe there are flashes of humor, love and loss.
The best part of the writing for me is not just the battles and in depth feel but the relationships between General Commissar Gaunt and his men and how each event shapes it from those that love and respect him to those who wish him dead.
Abnett writes an exciting and fast paced story but no detail or depth is lost. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.
This book introduces Gaunt's Ghosts, the nickname for an Imperial Guard regiment. No time is wasted diving right into the exciting action, but don't let it fool you into thinking it's not plot driven as it did me. The plot is astounding and has everything you could ever want in a war novel, including betrayal, conspiracies, rivalries, and of course battles. I have to applaud the way in which each plot element is introduced in a creative way.
As much as I enjoy reading about the exploits of the regiment, I also appreciate the wealth of background information on the unit and key characters involved, not to mention on Gaunt himself. Even if you know little about the Warhammer 40k universe you will be able to recognize his daring tactical abilities and how he regards his fellow men with admiration and respect, unlike the typical commissar.
This was without a doubt one of the best books I've ever read, so much so I had to order numerous others in the series immediately. I can only hope you find it as thrilling as I did!
What I liked:
Where do I begin?! There are characters you'll love and overs you'll love to hate, well paced and high-stakes action, the story (as nearly all the Gaunt's Ghosts books do) takes the characters and events across varied and well descripted locations and by locations I mean exotic, far off worlds far removed from the worlds we're used to! I could really go on and on.
This is an Imperial Guard series (Or Astra militarum if your going to be anal retentive about it) and by the Emperor is it the best! When being introduced to the Gothic sci-fi franchise of WH40K I was skeptical about the army force called Imperial Guard.
"They're just squishy humans in bellow par armour, why would you want to play them, let alone read about them?" was my first thought and how glad I was wrong. The characters here are indeed human, you can relate to them. You can feel their plights in a hopeless battle (the Ghost's always do!) and laugh out loud when they're just relaxing and interacting during their down time. This story is based in a rather rich fictional source material and the events in Dan Abnett's novel really add to it.
What you may not like however:
This novel dives straight in, expecting you, the reader, to already know the basic source material of WH40K. Sure lasguns and and servo-skulls you pick up on quick, just don't expect to get a detailed explanation on the difference between a Leman Russ Demolisher from a Vanquisher.
If you want to enjoy these novels to the fullest, your going to want to brush up on your lore.
Would highly recommend this to any first time 40k fan, or to anyone quite frankly who loves a fast paced, thriller novel