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Horus Heresy. Battle for the Abyss Paperback – 2008


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Paperback, 2008
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844165493
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844165490
  • ASIN: B007FDAPTQ
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 10.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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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 Callatrics on 3 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first Horus Heresy book where I actually skim-read sections.

The first half of the book is really quite dull, strangely so considering the majority of it's an aggressive navel engagement. However as soon as the Warp starts giving them trouble and we meet the monsters it's apparent that Counter's very skilled at describing psychic elements, from denizens of the Warp, to the Warp itself.

The last third of the book, if you can disengage your sense of disbelief long enough to ignore the enormous unlikelihood of events, is actually very engaging. By this point the characters are a little more interesting since you feel you've known them for so long, an element of which comes from the fact the first half of the book drags along for so long you feel like you've been reading it for months.

The good parts of the book: The Thousand Sons character steals the story and runs off with it, frankly. I really, really wish there could have been more of him in it, as he was the most well-realised character in the entire thing. It's worth reading the book just for him if you're a Thousand Sons fan.

The bad parts of the book: The characterisation. There isn't any. Each marine, barring the Thousand Son, is a straight out stereotype of the most obvious facets of their chapter. The World Eater's a bloodthirsty barbarian. The Ultramarine is by the book (And incredibly angsty about it). The Space Wolf gets drunk and hits things. All the time. Any opportunity to show some depth to the characters is passed up in favour of...I'm not really sure. It's just completely ignored mostly.

The Word Bearers. I'm pretty sure they're not supposed to be quite this stupid and inept. I don't even like that legion and I was offended on their behalf!

The plot.
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