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Horus Rising (1) (The Horus Heresy) Mass Market Paperback – August 26, 2014
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|Mass Market Paperback, August 26, 2014|| |
Under the benevolent leadership of the Immortal Emperor the Imperium of Man has stretched out across the galaxy. On the eve of victory, the Emperor leaves the front lines, entrusting the great crusade to his favorite son, Horus. Promoted to Warmaster, the idealistic Horus tries to carry out the Emperor'sgrand design, all the while the seeds of heresy and rebellion have been sowed amongst his brothers.
About the Author
- Publisher : Games Workshop; Reprint edition (August 26, 2014)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1849707448
- ISBN-13 : 978-1849707442
- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.2 x 1 x 6.7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #342,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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If you are simply a sci-fi fan, you will not find much to like here. The characters are one dimensional and serve to tell a predictable story. You have the protagonist, Loken, who is clearly the protagonist because he does no wrong in the entire story. The rest of the cast is filled out with the Nietzsche-esque Astartes that are all basically the same character, the god-like Horus, and the remembrancers who do little else than serve as people the reader can relate to. While the characters are shallow, the author does a good job filling in little characteristics to differentiate the characters, again showing the strong world building that Games Workshop is known for.
If you are a 40K fan, you still won't find that much to look forward to. You won't find much of the grimdark setting that 40K is famous for, the tone is quite light-hearted as the Imperium is on the verge of triumph. Fans of other playable races will also likely be disappointed as there is almost no mention of them in this book, the Space Marines only fight cliche and forgettable enemies that are not mentioned outside of this series. Even Chaos barely shows up! That being said, Space Marine fans will find that the author fills in gratifying details to the pre-heresy legions.
All-in-all, a book you probably won't regret skipping out on, even if you are a 40K fan. In fact, the most 40K thing about this book is the business practice, as you won't be getting the whole story about the Horus Heresy without buying almost 50 books and counting from Games Workshop. In that case, maybe save yourself some money and time and just read the 40K wiki.
This is my first Warhammer 40K series book and must say Abnett's story telling is superb. The book is fast paced, but between times you gather bits and pieces of the Imperium of Man and the long distant past of humanity. The action is soaring, the gorge ravaging, and the gothic-like descriptions melding scifi and fantasy are literally out of this world. I will not, however, proceed with the suggested order of the novels by The Blacklibrary, as the following books are not written by Abnett. The Warhammer 40K universe is so vast I'm actually skipping to the Eisenhorn series by, nonetheless, Abnett. A must read Space Opera.
Sadly there's no Kindle version. And the iBooks version is $15, which I find ludicrous.
All in all, read this book if you want to know who was the guy that was the best of all, before something went terribly wrong, and he destroyed everything he built before, but stop there and skip the other two books.
Top reviews from other countries
While the book is set far in history from the games' point of view, as these are the precursors to the famous space marines it didn't take long to familiarise myself with the setting. If you're new to the universe then this probably isn't the best book to start with, as there's little introduction to the mythos.
The book's setting before the more formal marine chapters known later allow a greater flexibility with the marine characters as they conduct their great crusade to stamp the Imperium's seal across the galaxy. They're still superhuman killing machines, but there are nuances to their cha=racters which help offset the bleakness of the world they inhabit. Of particular interest if Horus, his fate is known to those familiar with the mythos, and its interesting to see the seeds of his future, and see him before his fall.
That grim future is one of the aspects that attracts me to the 40K universe. It's very over the top, with enemies on all sides, and within if you're not careful. The basic premise is that humanity had once spread across the stars, but contact had been lost, and Earth was now reclaiming the lost colonies. Naturally many resisted, and that's were the book starts with the subjugation of one such world.
As is often the case with these books the action soon involves aliens, and while they're not the most imaginative foes, they are sufficient to provide for some good action. The writer's style works well for the story, it has a sombre formality which matches the nature of the Imperium, but also well paced action for the fighting.
My only real complaint was that the ending feels a bit rushed. I would also have liked to have learned more about the second set of aliens. Overall though, I enjoyed reading it. It portrays the world in a detailed fashion, yet at a steady pace. It also has a few philosophical moments with so solid insights. A good read.
The writing is solid and grim, and shifts from well-paced fight scenes that are vividly imagined to contemplative and introspective dialogue among the characters. You'll probably end up loving the Luna Wolves as your first Space Marine Chapter, as I have, but this only fuels the fire. I suddenly find myself rapt with the theatrical nature of this series, and I'm certainly interested to read about the other Chapters and the Emperor, beloved by all.
Abnett, however, has a strong command of the mechanics of a story, setting and character even while writing about superhuman war gods who make things explode. A good number of writers who aren't trying to attach a narrative to a bunch of plastic soldiers don't do half as well as this. Expecting the novel equivalent of a Call of Duty campaign, I was pleasantly surprised to read engaging characters, solid pacing that wasn't anchored to the body count per page, dialogue that forgoes the usual cliche bombast, and an all-round enjoyable story.
As far as easy-digest sci-fi goes this is up there at the top.
Strong characterisation, a plot that decently weaves amongst multiple threads and a superb ability to set whole worlds alive in the imagination. Yeah this is a page turner, one that could've been very workmanlike but instead is a joy to read as all the pieces come together and find their inevitable place.
Now how it reads to someone less well versed in the lore I couldn't say. Indeed the revelations at the end of the finale may not entirely stick the landing if one is unaware of what follows in the almighty lore. That said, such an understanding isn't required for the vast majority of this book and that's quite the balancing act to pull off. Recommended.