Customer Reviews


45 Reviews
5 star:
 (34)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading
The First Heretic, by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, is Book 14 in The Horus Heresy Series published by the Black Library. This novel focuses on the Adeptus Astertes of the XVII Legion - The Word Bearers - and their Primarch Lorgar Aurelian, as their rejection by The Emperor leads them to seek answers elsewhere in the universe. The main character in the book is Captain Argel Tal...
Published on 4 Nov. 2010 by Mr. A Bridger

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
after reading this novel i just have one question. why did i buy this piece of......
Published 5 months ago by r shah


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, 4 Nov. 2010
By 
Mr. A Bridger (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The First Heretic (The Horus Heresy) (Mass Market Paperback)
The First Heretic, by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, is Book 14 in The Horus Heresy Series published by the Black Library. This novel focuses on the Adeptus Astertes of the XVII Legion - The Word Bearers - and their Primarch Lorgar Aurelian, as their rejection by The Emperor leads them to seek answers elsewhere in the universe. The main character in the book is Captain Argel Tal of the 7th Assault Company of the Serrated Sun Chapter.

The novel is extremely well written and the author, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, has created some fantastic major characters as well as minor characters who are expertly developed throughout the book. The reader is given some great insight into these characters which allows for a greater understanding of the novel and The Horus Heresy as a whole. The plot of the book is also very well thought out as it attempts to answer many of the questions raised in some of the previous novels in the series, as well as introducing many new questions and information for an observant reader.

Overall, this is an excellent book that I would strongly recommend to any fan of The Horus Heresy Series. This book would also appeal to a lot of Warhammer 40,000 fans who would like a greater understanding of the events that shaped the 40K universe.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars By your word, 9 Nov. 2010
By 
Brad (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The First Heretic (The Horus Heresy) (Mass Market Paperback)
Yet again the inconsistency of the Heresy Series confounds and delights. Shoe-horned in between the excellent Fulgrim, Legion and Mechanicum we get the markedly inferior Decent of Angels and Battle for the Abyss. Nemesis was utterly dire, and for me easily the weakest entry in the series so far. Then we get to The First Heretic.

Before I go on I'm going to admit something quite childish. I always know when I'm completely gripped by something because when my periphery realises that I am coming to the end of a passage or chapter, I have to cover it up with my finger. I lack the willpower to keep my eyes from skipping ahead, you see. It's pretty dumb. I only mention this as I lost count of the amount of times that I had to do this while reading The First Heretic, as it's a barn-storming, bowel-loosening, thunder-hammeringly* enjoyable read that had me grinning with delight from start to finish. I've read the author's Helsreach and enjoyed it, and have been an avid follower of ADB's blog too (if you haven't checked it out then you really should do - he's a very, very funny man), and so I had some high hopes for this one. Sometimes, just sometimes, like looking forward to a good roast dinner, expectation leads to delightful fulfilment. And belching.

The book begins 40 years before the events on Istvaan V, and chronicles the Word Bearers' fall to darkness, beginning with their admonishing by the Emperor, their subsequent odyssey to the edges of known space in search of the`true faith', their ultimate corruption (of themselves and of the other traitor legions) and, finally, their part in the drop-site massacre on Istvaan. The story is told mainly through the viewpoint of Lorgar, Primarch of the Legion, and Captain Argel Tal and his accompanying Chaplain, Xaphen; the writing is deft, pacing is excellent and contains a tremendous amount of flair, and there are also so many achingly cool moments it's difficult to know where to start, and I'm not going to spoil them for you. Well, not much anyway.

We meet some of the remaining Primarchs for the first time, most notably Corax and Konrad Curze, both of whom are badass in extremis, as are the Custodes, who are perfectly portrayed; in fact all of the characters are well rounded and intriguing. The human supporting cast are fantastically written too, especially the imagist and general rogue Ishaaq, who really deserves his own novel at some point. Plus,(ok, semi-spoiler alert) if you thought that Fulgrim/Ferrus was the only Primarch showdown on Istvaan, you're in for a big surprise...

There are also some ingenious tie-ins with the events of previous books, most notably in the Emperor's Gene-Lab sequence, which not only brings another tantalising reference to fate of the missing primarchs, but hints at something far, far more interesting and sensational, and this was one of the highlights of the book for me. Not since False Gods have I felt my normally staunchly-loyalist sensibilities slipping to the dark side, and ADB captures the lure of Chaos perfectly, with whispered lies and half-truths that started me thinking, albeit briefly, that maybe the rebels had a point.

For me, this is what sets great sci-fi apart from the mediocre; the good guys sometimes do bad things, the bad guys sometimes have regrets, and nothing is in black and white, and this is perfectly epitomised in Lorgar. Lorgar is everything that a Primarch should be; magnificent, wise, devoted to his Legion. He is also childish, insecure, fallible, gullible, petulant and, perhaps most extraordinary of all, doesn't really like fighting; the `only one among twenty not born a soldier'. For me, this makes him far more interesting than Rogal Dorn, Angron, and many of the other main players in the Heresy series so far. It also leads me onto what I feel is the only weak point in the novel.

As I mentioned in my review of Mechanicum, for me there is a consistent flaw throughout almost the whole series so far, and that is that the rebel elements turn against the Imperium just a little too easily for my taste; there just isn't enough resistance - it's as if they have all been waiting for an excuse to go rogue. Admittedly, one of the tantalising aspects of this book gives a reason why this may be so, but it's still all too easy, and The First Heretic is no different in that respect. There's also a little bit too much similarity for me between the fall of the Word Bearers and The Thousand Sons; the inclusion of Magnus the Red as Lorgar's closest friend and confident only served to highlight this to my mind: Father tells off son for pursuing sorcery. Son lies to Father and carries on regardless. Father tells off son for pursuing religion. Son lies to Father and...well, you get the idea. Now, to be fair, I do not think that these faults lies with the author, but rather the restraints of the canon and length of the novel, and as with Mechanicum, it's really a couple of minor grumbles in an otherwise terrific yarn.

A great entry to the series, and a stunning HH debut by ADB. More please.

*Yes I know that there are no thunder hammers in The First Heretic. I also know that hammeringly isn't a word.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacularly good!, 5 Mar. 2011
By 
Immortal (Östergötland, Sweden) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The First Heretic (The Horus Heresy) (Mass Market Paperback)
This was just spectacular. Aaron Dembski Bowden killed it. For me he established himself as the best BL writer at the moment with this piece of art, every damn character is well made and most of the time even beyond well made. The action will surge though you! The plot is great and the amount of epicness made me read this in an almost fanatical way. To finish reading this book made me sad and angry because by the God-Emprah I wanted and still want more of this. To go on and read the next book in the series (prospero burns by the legendary Dan Abnett) felt like a disgrace.

Cheers and thanks to Aaraon for this even though in a sense he ruined the series in the long run because he just raised the bar and I can't see many books reaching this high.

BRAVO
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restored my faith in the series!, 7 July 2012
By 
S. Bramley (Essex, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The First Heretic (The Horus Heresy) (Mass Market Paperback)
Most of these reviews start by expressing the readers love for the series. I'm going to go the other way and say that, after the first 4 (and even the second one was weak) I began to lose all interest in the mediocre plots, atrocious editing and childish wording.

Aaron is the first writer since Dan Abnett (who seems to have completely given up recently) in the Horus Heresy Series who can write an engaging, twisting story with mature, rounded characters and deliver it all in a well structured package.

This story follows the Word Bearers decent into chaos but, unlike Graham McNeill's efforts in False Gods (where all the angst, sense of betrayal, pride overcoming reason and loyalty etc is pushed aside in favour of Horus being corrupted by a big possessed sword), or in Fulgrim (where all the angst, sense of betrayal, pride overcoming reason and loyalty etc is pushed aside in favour of Fulgrim being corrupted by a big possessed sword), the author really manages to convey a sense of wrongness in the Emperors dealing with the Word Bearers, and the justifiable sense of hurt and betrayal stems from that.

What is also refreshing is that the Word Bearers enter the embrace of Chaos with their eyes open which, again, makes a nice change from the very weak `whoops, I've been duped into being bad' theme that runs through a lot of the previous books. What is even more impressive is that, even as their worship becomes stronger, their actions and reasoning is no more callous or brutal than the Imperium which they rejected, leaving the reader to wonder who is really on the side of evil in all this.

Well worth a read, and has definitely inspired me to read more of this authors work, as he seems to be the only one left in the GW team who is capable of writing above the 8-12 age range.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally!, 6 April 2011
This review is from: The First Heretic (The Horus Heresy) (Mass Market Paperback)
I've read all of the HH series, with the exception of Fallen Angels, which I couldn't face after the excruciating Descent of Angels. Most of them have been pretty good, with one or two being stand-outs and a couple read more out of duty than desire. For me this is the only one that has been able to fully realise the potential of the over-arching story of the Heresy. It is fascinating, intelligent, scary and well paced. I'm particularly pleased as this is an author whose name I don't recognise, and I hope there are more additions to the Black Library from him.

Let's hope the series keeps building from here to a stupendous climax!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars This is an essential purchase if you love 40k., 14 Oct. 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The First Heretic (The Horus Heresy) (Mass Market Paperback)
I do not hand out 5 stars often. 5 stars is perfect for me at that time. It is amazing, wounderful and totally jaw droppingly good. I much prefer imperial guard as you can relate more to the un enhanced ground pounders than someone decked in power armour. After reading the first three books in the horus trilogy i was left very much on the fence. Horus rising painted a good picture but then the story became plain. I returned later and jumped to 'Know no fear' in the series as i love the ultramarines books and cant get enough of the honourable little smurfs. That book was good but the series really wasnt doing anything for me so back to the guard i went. After reading aaron's lovely 'The emperors gift' about the grey knights some time later i decided to look for more of his stuff. A reviewer on amazon marked 'The first heretic' as essential and he was absolutely right. You see i strongly believe that horus in the first trilogy would have taken much more of a shove to turn traitor than a view hallucinations and a frankly ridiculous wound from an evil sword. I was left un impressed but in the first heratic you can plainly see how a primarch and a legion can fall and quite frankly after just finishing this book and being along for the ride I would have fallen with them too. I dont want to give away too much but you can feel the uncertainty and anger from lorgar and his word bearers after being punished ,stripped of pride and ridiculed by others and yes after doing what they thought was right most people would try to seek the answers they sought after. I actually felt for lorgar and felt quite torn when the ultra marine primarch Guilliman did what he did...being a fan of the ultramarines i suddenly turned traitor on them myself.....the book is in my mind that GOOD!!!
I really couldnt put this book down.If your reading this and thinking who are the word bearers and what is 40k then please dont buy this as a standalone book. Some background to the heresy of the 31k universe is needed and the first three books in the horus trilogy are a must before reading this god like effort from aaron. This is book 4 in the series make no mistake as its essential essential ESSENTIAL.Full of excellent story...charecters who are superhuman but who you can relate to and a totally plausible,sensible and heart wrenching justification in turning to chaos. BUY IT NOW>
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Damned Goode!! By Far The Best Black Library Book I Have Read, 24 Feb. 2012
By 
Mr. S. A. Wake "Darth Sebious" (Isle of Wight) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The First Heretic (The Horus Heresy) (Mass Market Paperback)
It has taken me a while to come to write this review, as it did the last Horus Heresy book, but for reasons of stark contrast; where I had to take time to level all the criticisms and charges at Nemeisis, I had find ways and means to praise this book at an appropriate level.

Let me first say this: This is exactly what I have been waiting for ever since Xayver Jubal become possessed in Horus Rising - This is the first real introduction of Chaos into the Horus Heresy and it is exposed in harrowing, beautiful script.

Essentially this is the tale of the Word Bearers from their scolding from the Emperor to their part in the frivolities of Isstvan V, encompassing their Pilgramage and communion with the Primordial Truth.

Everything in this book is epic and delectable, as one would expect from AD-B from the very personal and harrowing journey of Argal Tal and Cyrene, who are essentially the male and female leads respectfully, to Daemonic possession and the influence of the Ruinous Powers.

AD-B has a wonderful innate ability to expose the lies and attrocities committed in the name of Imperial Truth, forcing the reader to see how grey the goodness of the Imperium is, whilst at the same time casting a unique light on the frailty of man, astartes and even primarchs, which creates a wonderful level of understanding how the Chaos Space Marines came to fall.

There are so many revealtions in this book, as well as fantastic, undulating moments of soul searching and introspection that are simply fascinating and beautiful. There is also a far bit of bloody, visceral and immediate action.

This book has everything you need and more and has managed to be the first to take my number one spot, ahead of the opening trilogy.

I can't wait to read my limited edition Aurelian now!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 11 April 2011
This review is from: The First Heretic (The Horus Heresy) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a book written by one, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, a relative newcomer to the BL book churning factory. I was initially quite confused as to who this book was based on judging by its cover. I thought they fast-forwarded the story to the Invasion of Terra (see the golden guy with the bolter/spear thing). And then doubly so when the Ultramarines turn up. But the plot explained itself and I wasn't confused anymore, not by a grand mile.
This book revolves around the escapades of the XVIIth legion; the Word Bearers, woe betide them. We all know they are the first to be turned to chaos and we get glimpses of them every now and then, primarily because of First Chaplain and personal aide of Horus, Erebus, i.e. the little git, but this book focuses on their fall from grace, their reprimand by the Emperor, and their subsequent search for faith elsewhere. Its split into 3 sections, the first starts around 40 years before Istvaan V, the second is three years later, and the third section is back to present of Istvaan V.
They are a legion shamed and cast as the only failure by the Emperor, who they look onto as a God. With the admonishment of the entire legion (all 100,000 of them) in front of the Ultramarines, and their faith in the Emperor shattered they return to the skies, a dejected and purposeless legion. After counsel with his trusted and closest advisors, Erebus and Kor Phaeron, Lorgar decides to undertake a journey to have his faith renewed. What follows is how Lorgar and his legion search for faith elsewhere in the galaxy.
The thing with the Horus Heresy is it has the most amazing characters to begin with and these characters need to be developed, and some writers of this series have done that masterfully,..... sometimes. Garviel Loken, Abaddon, Horus, Fulgrim, Saul Tarvitz, beautifully created and then you have the other side of the spectrum, Russ (shamefully enough), Lion, and the entire cast of Nemesis (especially the Vindicare). But ADB develops the characters in an exquisite way. The way Argel Tal (the main protagonist) still doubts the path they are undertaking, to Xaphen, his chaplain, always unwavering, to Lorgar, the most malleable and easily influenced Primarch of all, but more of that later.
The book gives wonderful insight in the creation of the Primarchs and how the Emperor, beloved by all, carried out a few backhand deals, and more importantly so a little bit more information on the purged II and XI legion, along with how the primarchs actually came to be scattered across the galaxy. What we are also given insight to is the coming of chaos and the downfall of the eldar. All in all, this book provides the answers one wants while reading a HH book.
Now onto Lorgar Aurelian, with the telling off by his father he seeks knowledge and guidance from this closest brother and his closest aides. We get to a read fair bit about him, his rise, and his crusade on colchis, thus providing a good history of the legion as well. What we also get to read about is his character, and more than anything else, is his inability to bear arms. Despite being genetically engineered to lead, he himself admits he doesn't have the know-how to plan and orchestrate warfare. Compared to the other primarchs portrayed in the book, like Corax, and Conrad Curze, Lorgar is clearly not of military mettle.
Aside from the generous amounts of information about the Word Bearers, and their actions and the consequences of those actions, we get something not very evident in every HH book; Emotion. Massive Spoiler. From the chastisement by the emperor to Argel Tal doubting the path of chaos they are adopt. This book radiates the emotions of the characters expertly. You will be hard pressed to keep your choler in check through most of the 3rd section of the book whence the Word Bearers along with the Alpha Legion, Night Lords and the Irons Warriors betray the loyalists present on Istvaan V already. The clash between the two primarchs and the words exchanged during that act and the betrayal are expertly portrayed. Even Lorgar seems to fully understand the consequences of the path he's going down and the full extent of the treachery which will unfold. Ive read this book 5 times now and every time while towards the end of the book I cannot help but feel despair, anger and most of all, grief at what has happened on Istvaan V.
This is a masterful creation, expertly written with care for all characters and how they develop. This is brilliant foray into the HH series by the writer and I hope there will be more to come of the same intensity. Bravo Sir.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Neck and Neck with A Thousand Sons for Best HH Book, 24 Jan. 2013
This review is from: The First Heretic (The Horus Heresy) (Mass Market Paperback)
My son and I are heavily into Warhammer 40k. Whilst he likes the Ultramarines and their War Gear, I have have taken a liking to the whole background behind 40k and in particular the period of the Horus Heresy. Having taken about six of the Heresy novels with me to Abu Dhabi as light reading whilst there on business, I must agree with some reviewers that their quality is variable.

I bought The First Heretic expecting the worst, particularly as I have found previous books about the Word Bearers to be hard going (those about them post-heresy). However I was delighted with this book. It has a great lead in, the characters are written with (some) human rather than super-human emotions and the quest to find "alternative" gods after the Emperor ruthlessly destroys a compliant world and chastises Lorgar (in front of his Legion) for encouraging his worship, is believable. Painting Lorgar as the one of the twenty (or eighteen) Primarchs who is the weakest willed (Erebus and Kor Phaeron having a sway over him that none of the lieutenants of any of his brothers have) and does not actually want to be a warrior general is a masterstroke.

Having read all the HH novels my top four are (1) A Thousand Sons, (1-2) The First Heretic, (3) Prospero Burns (despite some poor reviews it needs to be read straight after A Thousand Sons) and (4) Flight of the Eisenstein.

This one gets five stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A dark beginning, 24 Aug. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The First Heretic (The Horus Heresy) (Mass Market Paperback)
Being a huge fan of the Horus Heresy series so far, I had high hopes for this book and I wasn't disappointed. It sheds light on the descent of the Word Bearers from zealous fanatics devoted to the Emperor to their eventual fall from grace and their destiny of worshipping the Gods of Chaos. The story has a nice pace, with enough happening throughout to keep your interest but not too much that it confuses you, and the character development is impressive. It is especially poignant seeing the twisting emotions of the Word Bearer Primarch Lorgar as he struggles with his choices, not knowing that he is being manipulated by one he calls friend. There are a few twists and turns which help the plot, and though I originally felt that maybe this should have been the first book in the series as it charts how the very first seeds of betrayal are planted in the Legionnes Astartes, I appreciate that to do so would have ruined the build-up into all out war. Seeing Lorgar dive head-first into worship of things he knows he shouldn't at the end of the book has an oddly-satisfying feel to it.

All in all, it was thoroughly enjoyable and once the series is finished, I will be reading all of them one after the other in order, and this is one I'll be particularly looking forward to.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The First Heretic (The Horus Heresy)
The First Heretic (The Horus Heresy) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden (Mass Market Paperback - 1 Nov. 2010)
£6.39
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews