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Descent of Angels (The Horus Heresy) [Mass Market Paperback]

Mitchel Scanlon
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Book Description

29 Sep 2007
This is the next novel in the ground-breaking, bestselling series that tells the story of the Horus Heresy - the civil war that nearly tore the human Imperium apart, ten thousand years ago. This novel explores the early history of the Dark Angels Legion and their Primarch Lion El'Johnson. When news of Horus' treachery reaches Caliban, the loyalties of this proud and mysterious Legion are tested to the limit, wth tragic consequences.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: The Black Library; 1st edition (29 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844165086
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844165087
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 10.6 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Mitchel Scanlon cut his teeth as a comic book writer. He has also written a number of short stories, and the popular Imperial Guard novel Fifteen Hours. He lives in the sheep-infested vales of Derbyshire.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Descent of Angels 29 Oct 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Descent of Angels is a step in a different direction for the HH series. Where the first five novels follow on from one another or occur during a similar time frame, d.o.a takes us back to a period at the very beginning of the Great Crusade.
The author does a fantastic job of conveying the fractures already inherent in the Dark Angels, even before they leave their home world. Luther who is central to the 'fall' is portrayed as a noble and great warrior, who is only overshadowed by his Primarch The Lion. The flashes of jealousy he feels towards his commander build up to an exciting conclusion where the author leaves much to our imaginations in that we do not know what words have been exchanged between the two protagonists to result in Luther's banishment from the Great Crusade.
The story of Luther however in not the main thread of the plot, though it will in the continuing story arc of future Dark Angels HH novels. D.O.A however focusses upon the experiences of Zahariel and Nemiel as they grow up on the death world of Calliban.
The descriptions of the almost medieval style of life before the comming of the Imperium are the high point of this novel. Though the novel lacks the break-neck action of the other novels in the series, it is by no means unexciting. The hunt for the Great Beasts is a great parallel to the Great Crusade itself, with many questions raised over the right for mankind to impose its will upon those unwilling to comply.
There is great sense of a gothic undertone throughout the novel that culminates with Zahariel's exchange with the Watchers in the Dark. The suggestion is made that Calliban itself may be corrupted by the Dark Powers before the Horus Heresy.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the rest? 25 Oct 2007
By Me
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This would merit 4 stars if it hadn't stopped just when the story was about to get good.

The story starts before the Great Crusade truly begins and tells the tale of a young knight on Caliban. The background to the Dark Angels is interesting , although more could be said about the characters involved, and the writing style is perfectly adequate. However, as the story begins to pick up the pages start to run out; Just as it gets really intriguing it stops.

The next book in the series is about the Alpha Legion... so where does that leave the tale of the Dark Angels? Buy it for the sake of completeness, but expect to be frustrated.

The Black Library needs to take some risks and allow its writers to produce longer books. I'm not sure the WH40k audience is entirely teenage any more...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read 2 Dec 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The 6th novel in the horus heresy series detracts away from the style of the previous 5 novels, and takes us back to the beginning of the dark angels legion. As a result, around half of the novel reads like a warhammer fantasy story, with the 40k setting kicking in later. for this reason I think, many people didn't like it. Like the later book Battle for the Abyss, I was put off by the reviews and actually moved straight to legion, even though I brought Eisenstein and Fulgrim along with this, but I am glad I went back to this and made up my own mind.

Overall it was a very good book, and one if its main strong points was that, unlike the other novels, the story almost exclusively focuses on the one character, or at least from his point of view, rather than jumping from character to character like the others did. I agree that the ending was quite abrupt, and I sensed that the author ran out of space, and had to 'sum up' at the end to keep within the desired page count, but if you know the fate of the dark angels from the codexes or elsewhere, there are few questions left to be answered.

I'm not sure if it will be made into a trilogy as some rumours say, but even if it isn't, enought has been said here for the rest, as the saying goes, to be history.

Overall, an entertaining story, but if you expect an exclusive sci-fi novel, you might be dissapointed by the earlier parts. On the other hand, if you enjoy a good story, and don't worry so much where the setting is, you won't likely be dissapointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Rich
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Descent of Angels was the book I skipped to after not being able to make it through the slightly less awful precursor of the HH series, "Fulgrim". Somewhat amazingly,t his book actually manages to be worse in almost every respect. To cut a long story where almost nothing happens a little shorter, this novel deals with the pre-history of the Dark Angels chapter and their Primarch, charting their unspectacular life on Caliban before the Imperium landed and turned everything on its head.

If the book had been written with an ounce of literary knouse, that may have been an entertaining read... however, the author of this book, MITCHEL SCANLON, seems to have developed an unerring ability to completely rip out every shred of unique character perspective from a story, and has written the entire novel in completely the same monotone, which means that ALL characters have been written exactly the same in style of prose. Not only that, but said prose used by said author is so mind-numbingly overwritten in terms of the language used, as to make you want to skip 5 pages for every one read. I shall give you some quotes that I conveniently highlighted and saved for this very review on my shiny new Sony e-reader. Please bear in mind that the subject matter of this book is a selection of hardened warriors on a supposed "Death World", who spend the vast majority of their time time fighting warp-spawned chaotic beasts, and the rest of it living in near poverty. Mitchel portrays this by writing as follows:

"Again his words were stolen from him, but his violent exclamation had, for a brief moment, turned the darkness assailing his soul away".

I find that violent exclamations always help when my soul is assailed. Honest.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
good seris must read you will get hocked like I have got so give it a go and see what you think
Published 8 months ago by mike harrington
1.0 out of 5 stars Terribly written - what a disappointment.
This book should have been great. After the first 5 books being more or less chronologically continuous (and brilliant), a look back at the Great Crusade from the other side of the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good service
The product is just as desribed, clean. What is more, I got the book in just one week, and I live in Turkey, thousands of miles away from the UK! Read more
Published 14 months ago by Arda Yigitoglu
2.0 out of 5 stars Worst book in the HH series so far.
Don't want to wax lyrical here - I've just put up with Michael Scanlon writing like that for the entirety of what was a hard slog second reading of the book. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Andy Wise
5.0 out of 5 stars Different but not necessarily worse
This is a step away from the usual Heresy fare - not being cantered on Horus and his cohorts... But it is a great read. Read more
Published on 8 Jan 2012 by The 'Scribe'
5.0 out of 5 stars dark angels
once again another excellent part of the on going saga the Horus heresy. we are told the story of the first chapter and how it all started way back in the 31st millennium. Read more
Published on 5 Nov 2011 by bob sebotka
2.0 out of 5 stars Not sure why I read that.
I'm a completest, so not reading this book was never really on the cards. That having been said, this is not a great book. It's also not *bad*... Read more
Published on 16 Oct 2011 by Callatrics
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice change of pace to the Heresy
I've always thought that the Horus Heresy series as a whole was not just about how the Warmaster betrayed the Emperor, but also how the Empire of Man itself was different 10,000... Read more
Published on 18 April 2011 by JMG
5.0 out of 5 stars Descent of Angels (The Horus Heresy)
Althoug it is part of the Horus Heresy series the storyline of this book is set much much earlier, at a time when Caliban wasn't yet discovered by Terra. Read more
Published on 11 Mar 2011 by crna_ovca
2.0 out of 5 stars Yawn
This book reminded me of that sci fi film "Contact" with Jodie Foster. I spent the whole book waiting for something interesting or relevant to happen (while dodging rather... Read more
Published on 11 Jan 2011 by Bemischen
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