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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great and unmissable novel
I read this book recently and once I started reading it I was instantly enraptured and devoured this and the two sequels in the space of about a week!

I really enjoyed this opening book of the Horus Heresy series. Dan Abnett is a great writer IMO and I loved the gritty and dark style of this novel.

I think Abnett does a great job of bringing what...
Published on 3 Feb 2007 by Mr. J. D. Wetherall

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lie back, and think of the Emperor.
I played a decent amount of 40k back in my teens, and experiencing an urge to feel dice in my hand and smell that unique GW smell of paint and sweat, I decided to buy this book and immerse myself in the 40k setting instead, having heard good things about the story.

It is clear from the beginning that this is intended to be the start of an epic set of stories,...
Published 23 months ago by HeecheeRendezvous


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great and unmissable novel, 3 Feb 2007
By 
Mr. J. D. Wetherall "jameswetherall" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I read this book recently and once I started reading it I was instantly enraptured and devoured this and the two sequels in the space of about a week!

I really enjoyed this opening book of the Horus Heresy series. Dan Abnett is a great writer IMO and I loved the gritty and dark style of this novel.

I think Abnett does a great job of bringing what are essentially and army of faceless clones to life with many interesting characters. The action is fast paced and gripping and for those into the 40K universe this is a great window into the history of the Space Marines.

Highly recommended. I would advise buying the first three books together as once you start reading the first novel it is very hard to put down and you'll be hungry for more when you finish it!
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the Warmaster!, 19 April 2006
By 
Mr. M. R. Churchill (South Wales, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
When I first became aware of Games Workshop's plans for the Horus Heresy range, I greeted the news with some degree of apprehension. The planned assortment of art books, collectible card games and accompanying novels visit an era in the wonderfully wicked Warhammer universe that had hitherto been shrouded with veils of mystery and couched in legend. These were the days when the Emperor of Mankind walked amongst the stars and the Great Crusade liberated all of humanity from foul aliens and oppressive tyrants. My initial response to the announcement of the Horus Heresy series was simple - 'Heresy!'. It would be an act of sacrilege to make graven images and scrawl little yarns about these sacred times. How could a Primarch of the Astartes, a demi-god in battle-plate, fit comfortably within the pages of a modern novel? By letting Dan Abnett write the novel, that's how.

Horus Rising is the first of a trilogy of books that catalogues the final days of the Great Crusade, and the infamous rebellion of Horus against his own father, the Emperor of Mankind. It is set 28,000 years in the future, 10,000 years before most of the other Games Workshop science fiction stories. A familiarity with Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 universe is pretty desirable before reading this book - take a look at the company's website for a flavour of the horrors to come in the far future. Horus Rising inverts many of the preconceptions that fan-boys like myself have of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, with in-jokes and foreshadowing aplenty to get the sci-fi Forums jangling. The most notable revelation is that religion was banned under the Emperor's rule, yet all Warhammer 40,000 fans know that he was revered as a god after his death. It would seem that denying one's divinity is not sufficient to stop the inexorable rise of worship. And paradoxically, though religion is banned in these glorious days, the theme of faith resonates far truer in this book than in most other Warhammer fiction. Martial force may triumph on the field of battle, but 'hearts and minds' cannot be crushed so easily.

The Dramatis Personae at the start of the book reads like a who's who of Warhammer 40,000, and I noticed with some excitement before reading the novel that Primarch Sanguinius, First Chaplain Erebus, and Lucius of the Emperor's Children would be making 'guest appearances'. Horus himself is a charismatic presence, the Warmaster who dominates every page of text that he is in. Yet as an immortal Primarch he is too big, too immensely big for the reader to identify with, so we have Captain Loken as our guide through the novel, a straight up-and-down everyman figure who possesses a fundamental decency and reassuringly simple innocence.

But the book is more than a celebrity showcase to satisfy the fan-boys. There is real story, character and themes here, amongst the discharge of boltgun shells and laser fire. The book is undoubtedly and unashamedly the first act in a tragedy. Warhammer artists skilled more with paint and easel than word-processors shy away from the post-modern and are drawn to past glories of the gothic and baroque. So too, no doubt, will this trilogy run - reading more like a Greek tragedy than a post-Tolkien heroic quest. The concepts of loyalty and duty feature strongly in Horus Rising - knightly loyalties that the Space Marines have to their oaths, their legions, and their Emperor. These Space Marines are grand figures, single-minded and determined. Yet by the end of the novel the loyalties become unravelled, as doubt and reality assail their superlative qualities.

Others have added their superlative praises for this book. Make no mistake, these praises are deserved. Dan Abnett really is the master of Warhammer fiction. 'For the Warmaster!'
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horus is coming, 12 April 2006
By 
T. Brown (UK) - See all my reviews
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I have to admit a series of books definng the horus heresy is what all 40k fans have wanted for ever. This is the most important part of the history books in the 40k universe, and dan abnett has not let us down.

I found horus rising a very good read, much better than most science fiction novels. Unlike a lot of books set around games workshop games this is not just a novel filled with battles and fights. There is much more to this.

There is exploration, brotherhood, and more than just space marines too, it humanises the astartes, it allows you into their minds, but it never lets you forget they are superhuman warriors.

I cant see why any fan of games workshop, black library or sci fi in general would not want to read this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 20 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Horus Rising (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
Bought for my son for Xmas he had been waiting ages for this book from library so when he got it for Xmas he was over the moon, if you play war hammer you will love this book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lie back, and think of the Emperor., 13 Aug 2012
This review is from: Horus Rising (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
I played a decent amount of 40k back in my teens, and experiencing an urge to feel dice in my hand and smell that unique GW smell of paint and sweat, I decided to buy this book and immerse myself in the 40k setting instead, having heard good things about the story.

It is clear from the beginning that this is intended to be the start of an epic set of stories, and I really wanted to like it, but unfortunately this book is really slow. Not very much happens, and the writing is quite clunky and repetitive (I lost track of the number of times there was a dialogue between marines who were holding their helmets under their arms. As I read the second book, I have noticed that characters rub their foreheads with the heels of their palms quite regularly too). You get the impression that the writer had a set of events he wanted to show, and is stringing them together - of course, I would expect a book like this to be written in this way, but it shouldn't feel so contrived; the most important parts of these events are the interactions between the characters, and the action should lend urgency to these, but I did not feel that at all. Some of the simple conversations in quiet settings felt more tense than the action sequences on different alien worlds, which were pretty forgettable.

I liked (most of) the characters and the setting, but really hoped that there would be more attention to the smaller details about the space marines, and how their unique biology makes them different to mortal men (and what differences there are between 30k and 40k marines, and how these came about), and life in the 31st millenium in general. There is a bit of marine biology (Ho ho ho!), to be fair, in the beginning of the book, but it quickly tapers off and you don't get any sense of this later on, and the marines feel like typical army grunt characters. They are to be offset by the arty remembrancers, but I felt that their characters weren't developed very well, and it was hard to distinguish between them, especially the female characters.

In spite of the above misgivings, I did like the main character, Loken, and have started reading the second book anyway to see what happens. I did really enjoy Abnett's Darkblade series, so I know he can write brilliantly and come up with excellent characters. Let's hope it picks up!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Epic Begining, 5 Aug 2011
This review is from: Horus Rising (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
Horus Rising is by far the best book of the Heresy until book 5 titled Fulgrim.

This book is the beginning and so draws the reader into a false sense of security. It is so personal about the characters you feel as if you actually know them, especially Horus and Gabriel Loken. That said these two characters couldn't be more different if they tried although you genuinely set off believing they are both warriors of principle.

Twisted amongst this book is the secrecy and hidden agenda's of the warriors lodge and friendships are broken and others rekindled. Dan Abnett does an amazing job at bringing the 31st millenium alive and does not skimp on the gore we all love and know as blood lust in battle.

Overall a very good book. Word of caution however is with this series some books get a bit tedious as you do not progress in time, simply see the events through different characters and legions eyes. That said it can get rather tedious especially with later books like Mechanicum and Nemesis going off on tangents which again do not progress the storyline.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 9 May 2011
Exactly what you expect from Abnett, who - barring Brothers of the Snake (which though still readable was a oonsiderable step down in his storytelling) is always an excellent read.

Like a lot of fans of the W40k millieu, I had my doubts about the Horus Heresy series. Surely these times belonged in myth. To give them details, and characters, would cheapen the nature of the grand tragedy that is to come (and in that I dont mean the heresy, but the woeful state of mankind 10,000 years on).

However, trust in Abnett to set the tone. He doesnt gloss over or cheapen the tragic melodrama that is to come, in fact he revels in it, by showing a world of hope and pride that makes the fact that we know how this ends all the more tragic.

None moreso than in the character of Horus. I NEVER expected to like him. He was always (in the surrounding literature, codices and explanations) seemingly born to fit in the role of spoilt child who rebelled - or a pantomime badguy. But Abnett pulls it off. He actually presents a Horus that makes you believe that what will happen is a tragic end to one of the best and brightest of the demi-gods of the W40k universe.

A truly excellent read, and joyfully sets the tone that the next two authors (for the most part) successfully run with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Idea, 17 Sep 2010
By 
Lee Hanley (London, England) - See all my reviews
It was a fantastic idea to create a series of novels about the Horus Heresy. It complements and illuminates the 40k universe with a view on how it use to be and how they got where they are today.

The first novel is a great start to the series. There is a air of menace or doom about the story in that you feel all the way through that there is some defining moment or disaster just around the corner that kicks the whole heresy off. That is what keeps you reading until the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dan Abnett A Primarch of writting 40k, 27 Aug 2010
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This was my first 40k Novel but I did have some knowledge of the Warhammer 40k universe as it is something that had taken my intrest a few years ago with the release of Dawn of War.
Now I will admitt for someone who isn't too familliar with the concept of 40k and some its lore and fluff the books could be quite confusing and overwhelming however I think the first Trilogy in the Horus Heresy Series (Which in my opinion is becoming too big for what it is) is a perfect place to start reading the novels.

Now onto my review, the book is fantastic, well plotted and paced and kept me turning the page and always telling people "Let me just read one more chapter." Which is a good testiment to the book. Dan Abnett is by far one of the greatest authors of 40k books and the following 2 books in this starting Trilogy are written by far poorer authors.
The characters are well rounded and believable and I was in for such a shock when it came to Horus. Having known before I went into the series that Horus would turn and cause a galactic civil war I thought heading into the book I would see or you would just know soon as Horus was introduced that he was going to turn bad but in all he was a very loveable character, a man who is a soldier and leader first and at the same time a man who is very down to earth and knowledgable. Infact I would quite happily say he is one of my favourite character in this novel (And in the next two books stays so, even with his change occuring.)
The only real issue I have with this book really is that I think Dan had a slight issue in where to start or ground the begining of the series and what direction to take it and in some areas seems quite muddled but I think it's saving grace is its characters, I think the author decided that rather than finding a setting to propell the story instead grounded it in character development and introduction and for me that gets a big thumbs up but it does take several chapters for it to find its feet.

I would deffinatley recommend this book to anyone intrested in 40k and would probably recommend it to someone intrested in good Military Sci-fi or just Sci-fi generally aslong as they understood there was alot of backstory and things occuring in the background of the books and alot of fluff and lore surronding alot of it that isn't really explained within the books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Setting the scene for an epic betrayal, 11 Jan 2010
Dan Abnett has done great things for the Warhammer 40,000 universe, proving that despite all the dross the Black Library has published since Ian Watson finished his work for them, there is still room for actual prose-as-art and better than workmanlike storytelling to happen in the setting. This book doesn't quite have the same love and honesty in its words that his 'Gaunts Ghosts' series has managed, but it's got characters who feel like people, battles that tighten your grip on the covers a little and a wonderful sense of impending tragedy.

All of which is absent from the next two volumes of the series and there, as much as in the Horus Heresy itself, is a true betrayal; the series is handed over to a pair of 'Warhammer 40,000 enthusiasts' with no writing skills beyond the ability to churn out words in bulk to deadline. It's not until book 4 that a real author picks up the sequence again and we see writing of this quality return.
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Horus Rising (The Horus Heresy)
Horus Rising (The Horus Heresy) by Dan Abnett (Paperback - 14 April 2011)
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