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Battle for the Abyss (The Horus Heresy) Paperback – 4 Aug 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: The Black Library; First Printing edition (4 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844166570
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844166572
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Now that news of Horus' treachery is in the open, a time of testing has come. Some Legions have already declared their allegiance to the Warmaster, while the loyalty of others lies firmly with the Emperor. As Horus deploys his forces, loyalist Astartes learn that a massive Wordbearers fleet is heading to Ultramar, home of the Ultramarines. Unless they can intercept and destroy it, the Ultramarines may suffer a blow from which they will never recover. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Brad on 4 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
Despite what you may read elsewhere, BFTA is not a total disaster. Yes, it has very poor character development, yes it is riddled with tired stereotypes and cliches, yes its poorly edited, yes its not a patch on the first four books (I liked Fulgrim, worth the entrance fee for the opera scene alone).

The final quarter of the book shows great pacing, however, and is genuinely exciting as it races towards the sadly obvious conclusion. Good writing in this genre, I think, is measured by 'movie moments' - scenes and set pieces where you can visualise the action in your head as it would appear on the big screen, with a worthy director and unlimited budget. Mhotep's struggle with his demonic adversary is one such moment, as is Cestus' journey through psyk-induced hell, Brynngar squaring up to Balenos (sp) for the second time...its just a shame that you dont care about these characters in nearly the same way you cared about Loken, et all.

This series has really lost its way, and I do not think that this is the fault of the writers. GW, in true GW style, obviously sold a shed load of books to start with and realising they had a genuine cash-cow on their hands seem to be hell-bent on making the series last as long as possible, to make as much money as possible, and are probably putting pressure on its authors to churn out books as quickly as possible to keep the momentum going. I think BFTA is a good example of this - Ben Counter is not a bad writer, as he showed admirably with Galaxy in Flames, but this feels horribly rushed. In addition, as with the awful Descent of Angels, BFTA is very much a 'filler', that really does nothing to move the story on. There needs to be a strategic rethink on the whole series, as if things continue as they are, by the time the end of the saga is reached, there will be no-one around to care.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jonny0377 on 26 July 2012
Format: Paperback
I enjoy the Horus Heresy, the grand scale and scope really capture me. I am also an Ultramarine fan, and have read both Ultramarine trilogies by Graham McNeil, which if you're an Ultramarine fan I would recommend. On this premise I maintained a glimmer of hope, that all the faults I had read in review could be overlooked by giving an insight into a pre-heresy Ultramarine army. Unfortunately, I was greatly disappointed; battle for the abyss is a stand alone story that offers little in regards to new cannon or information surrounding pre-heresy chapters. The story line is simple and uninspiring, the characters (of which only two are ultramarines) are too briefly visited and switched between and consequently never develop depth. I rarely felt attached to any members of the cast. The Traitor Marines are 2D in motivations and you will have no reason to side with there point of views, my sympathy goes out to Word Bearer fans. My main problem however is (and maybe this is were I'm wrong or biased) that I believed this to be the book that would enlighten the 40k community on the Ultramarines role in the Horus Heresy. This does not come to pass. The UM characters are bland and the most uncharismatic in the book and regularly, if not every time, have their glory stolen by a supporting cast member.
This is not a book to be read by an Ultramarine fan, in truth I wouldn't recommend it to any 40k fan as it is pointless and holds no consequence to the greater Heresy/Ultramarine/40k universe. Its only redeemable feature is that the action is very well written, but considering the amount of SM captains fighting humans or rank or file troops, I would have expected greater deeds of heroism and triumph. Smurf lovers and haters alike should avoid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 8 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wasn't expecting this to be great, but sadly it still managed to disappoint me. I actually quite like the Ultramarines chapter (the xbox game Space Marine is very good) but in this novel the chapter members seemed to me both bland and generic. I couldn't get a "feel" for any of them and I had to re-read a couple of passages as I thought I'd missed something because the tone seemed off.
The plot didn't advance the series as a whole - there aren't appearances from any of the Primarchs or major characters from previous novels and I'm pretty sure I could have skipped this one without missing anything important in subsequent books.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Something Blue 4 You on 10 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
I shall keep this short and sweet, and sadly harsh. Battle for the Abyss is a very anti-climactic mess filled with annoying repetition, stereotypical, bland characters formed from the personifications of their chapter traits. The Ultramarine is regimented, the Space Wolf a drunken brawler, the World Eater does a hulk smash, and the Word Bearers chant of a directionless and uninsightful philosophy given no depth. They follow a religion whose sole creed is to be a religion.

The first half of the book wastes no time dropping you into the action, and it suprisingly backfires. We learn nothing of the goals, desires, flaws, or fears of either the heretics or the loyalists. There is a naval engagement, a scene in the warp (with gribblies) and those two events with recycle repeatedly.

The second half of the book intensifies as the enemy come closer to their master plan. I won't spoil anything for the battle scenes and combats, but the final hundred pages feature some firm hardcore action. You don't care that the characters are 2D because they're laying some serious hurt on each other.

Then comes act 3, or as I like to call it, the final 3 pages. They basically forge the notion that the book is conclusive of itself, entirely pointless, and finished with all the finesse of a sledgehammer. The Battle for the Furious Abyss is irrelevant, there is no conclusion, epilogue, meaning, sentiment, moral. Did the author find out he had one week to finish the book, and he hadn't started it? Did his ex-wife sneak into his office and write these final pages before sending it to Black Library? Did Ben Counter just hate me? I do not know, but what I will say is this book is entirely skip-able, which is never a good thing in a series. Poor start, ebbing middle, no end.
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