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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book, somewhat original but not the best
I am always amazed when reading reviews that either heap praise or blast a book to pieces without really explaining WHY the respective reviewers either "loved" or "hated" the book. It is largely because many reviewers do this (including myself, at times, when I am not careful) that I started writting reviews of my own. Here are a couple of examples, to illustrate how easy...
Published on 5 Mar 2012 by JPS

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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fear no closure
This is a well written book, but my expectations of Abnett are pretty high and this novel did not quite reach the bar. Why? I think there are a few reasons:
1. I was going to say it's too short, but I've just checked and the HH standard is about 410 pages, so it's actually pretty average (discounting Graham McNeil's novels). So instead I'll say it's too short for the...
Published on 26 Feb 2012 by Me


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dan abnett is the warmaster, 9 April 2012
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This review is from: Know No Fear: The Battle of Calth (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
After the disappointment of galaxy in flames i jumped ship and read the tremendous ciaphas cain books which are imperial guard but with a unique main character (think gaunt but more endearing ).Like my reviews state the last 3 of the eight books didn't do ciahas justice so i decided to jump ship again. I am much more for the imperial guard than for the spacemarines. I like the regular joes up against all the nightmares of the galaxy but i am also a follower of the ultramarines. They are the biggest legion in the 31k universe and up untill now they havent had much of a say in the horus heresy. That changed when dan the man wrote this book. With over 500 planets loyal to the emperor that make up the worlds of the ultramarines and its peoples it was only a matter of time untill the heresy tried to take a bite. A seemingly large gathering of men and material are circling calth. Some are ultra and some are from the word bearers, a legion with a past who want to prove themselves equal of the ultramarines. Horus is gathering his forces for an overkill annihilation of orks...he also wants to show he is the warmaster and that the primachs must obey him. As this overwhelming force of arms gathers on land and in space something happens that will turn brother against brother.....yes nothing new you say but this book is epic stuff. The first 150 pages or so read like a script from a hollywood disaster movie. Its like dan spoke to micheal bay and james cameron...its that glorious. Then the hell begins and the stories of trust,betrayal,death,bravery smash you in the face untill you just cant take anymore. Then you realise you cant put the book down. My one issue is that it seems a bit short but its 400 or so pages which is what the heresy series seems to have adopted.
Since galaxy in flames the heresy series of books has become a series of books that can be read standalone. this will probably continue untill the final epic galactic battle between horus and the emperor but this train will be milked for a while i imagine. This book was a page turner and although ive jumped straight back to the imperial guard again after this book i would say this is well worth the cash.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars on the Abnett Scale, 2 Mar 2012
By 
P. Elliott "lord of the dance" (South East UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Know No Fear: The Battle of Calth (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
Despite what some have said about the lack of character development, I think that this novel, provided just as rich a variety of characters as one of the early gaunt's ghosts novels. What it lacks, however, is the sense of potential development of those characters. This is what I have really enjoyed about all the very best Abnett novels. He writes easily the best characters of all those in the Black Library ( barring Bill King's ). I enjoyed the plot and the way Guilliman was presented, he seemed a lot richer and well fleshed out than many of the other primarchs have been in the series.

What I must emphasise is that this novel isn't conclusive and epic in scale, it is a fast paced snapshot.

For all that, I enjoyed it, it certainly is different from a lot of the pulp that the black library publishes, and good for precisely that reason.

In summary; not Abnett's best, but better than the rest. ( and refreshing )
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disaster and betrayal on an epic scale, 17 Mar 2012
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C. Verspeak "f*" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Know No Fear: The Battle of Calth (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
Dan Abnett has a great knack of choosing one or two themes to focus on in his Horus Heresy novels. In 'Know No Fear' he appears to have chosen making the action seem immediate and desperate and making an apocalypse really really apocalyptic. And does so, seemingly effortlessly (well, how else do you explain his prolific output if not that he just writes really well, really easily?).

Pretty much the entire novel is written in the present tense, a potentially risky choice, but one that makes the action feel non-stop, leaving the reader as breathless as the characters in the story. (Abnett seems to have taken it easy on his thesaurus for this book too) And the disaster that starts the whole conflict - well, Abnett channels devastation like that visited on Caprica in Battlestar Galactica, making the destruction of Calth's fleet, shipyards, and cities feel as monolithically cataclysmic as you could hope for.

Its always tricky to tell a story people know the ending of and keep it engaging and interesting. The secret of course is good characters doing interesting things. 'Know No Fear's characters are perhaps a little weak - there's only so much space around the titanic first strike against Calth after all. But the focus is perhaps on the Ultramarines Legion as a whole, rather than individual Astartes, and as a treatise on the nature and character of that Legion, an explanation as to why Calth and the destruction of the Word Bearers is so important to them, 'Know No Fear' is still pretty awesome.

It is perhaps not an essential title in the Horus Heresy series. There is only one story arc in it that really ties it it into the whole saga, that is, characters and mysteries that are likely to appear in future titles. But anyone buying it is unlikely to be disappointed. As a disaster novel and a background to one of the most popular chapters in the 40k universe, 'Know No Fear' is packed from start to finish with great action and great writing.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Dan Abnett classic, 10 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Know No Fear: The Battle of Calth (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
I havent finished the book yet but my god its difficult to put down!

Do not read this if you have work the next day! You have been warned. Ive really been speed reading this book far too much and I think Im going to have to re-read it properly from the start. One criticism I would have is that it keeps breaking away from Gulliman all the time...its infuriating and then I speed-read more.

I dont think its his best work but it is completely utterly addictive.
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7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 10 April 2012
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Mr. Ri Extall (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Know No Fear: The Battle of Calth (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
First, let me start by saying that I am a big fan of Dan Abnett. He is by far the best writer that the Black Library have. However, I found this book not up to the mark, for several reasons. For me it lacked the usual feeling than Dan puts into his works, the usual emotion and depth just was not there. Secondly, there is some very bad science in this book; the sound of explosions travelling from orbit to the surface of a planet!! (Sound cannot travel through a vaccuum), and explosive shockwaves in space (again, shockwaves cannot travel through a vaccuum) are but a couple of easily remembered examples of bad scientific understanding on Dan's part. Yes, I know this is a sci-fi book set in a fantasy setting of the future, but this doesn't change the law of physics and thermodynamics does it?
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7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Six stars, and a testament..., 16 Feb 2012
By 
A. Lau (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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...to the virtually limitless capacity of the English language and Dan Abnett to describe anything imaginable.

Let me advise prospective purchasers in the strongest possible terms to not purchase 'Know no Fear' except on a Friday, as it is so high-octane that you will read it in one sitting and your sleep patterns for the next day will be seriously messed up. I actually missed my Tube station on the way back from work, turned back, got off, and sat down at the platform for nearly three hours to finish the book; it's that incredible. In most of Dan's books, the odd word appears that I have never met before, and I reach for the dictionary; in KNF, the tension was so great I physically couldn't stop turning the pages to check them.

Every masterpiece of bolter-porn ever crafted by the author has been a run-up to this book: the Space Wolf assault on the Quietude homeworld in 'Prospero Burns', the showdown on Herodor in 'Sabbat Martyr', the retaking of Gereon in 'The Armour of Contempt', the Atrocity at the Spatian Gate in 'Malleaus' and (his previous masterpiece) the siege of Vervunhive in 'Necropolis', are totally eclipsed. Dan Abnett plants himself in pole position to be the one to describe the Battle of Terra and - through an ingenious manoeuvre - in KNF actually gets started on the process.

It's a triumph on so many levels.

The book is daringly written entirely in the present tense, and with more abrupt shifts between narrative threads than previous books. It makes the sustained tension exhausting and unbearable.

Dan previously mentioned that he was unsure about how to tackle Space Marines; I suppose the question was how to give context to the superhuman scale of them. He conquers that in KNF by simply ratcheting up the conflict concerned to levels beyond anything he's ever done, with pulverising, apocolyptic effect. To have even IMAGINED the things that happen in the story is phenomenal; to then adequately take the reader through them is just an extraordinary accomplishment.

A host of characters from other books are brilliantly woven into the longest cast of characters of any Abnett book so far. Though the story is event-driven, there are lots of insightful, human moments. Two characters really stand out: the musings of Telemechrus, the Dreadnought, and Roboute Guilliman himself. In 'Prospero Burns', Dan avoids giving Leman Russ too much stage time to avoid over-description; in KNF, Guilliman takes centre stage and his depiction is perfectly judged.

One criticism I had of 'Prospero Burns' was that the reminiscences between the action scenes were too abrupt a shift of pace; they seemed bogged-down and ponderous in comparison. That's avoided here by just making the whole story an unrelenting action sequence.

In a few Abnett books, the endings come as slight anticlimaxes, either OTT or too riddled with non-sequiters; the ending of the Ravenor trilogy and 'Titanicus' come to mind. In KNF, the narrative comes to a logical and powerful conclusion fully worthy of the rest of the book.

BTW, the story was apparently written to the soundtrack to 'Tron: Legacy", and I can confirm that the two seem to go perfectly well together.

Just read it. But, for goodness' sake, start on a Friday.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Abnett Magic, 29 Feb 2012
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Know No Fear: The Battle of Calth (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
If there's one author that is a constant as well as a trend setter then its Dan Abnett, his imagination is rich, the worlds within vying for attention and I suspect that the devils on his shoulder must be fighting it out in strategic battles just to get their chance to whisper in his ear. (Although I suspect that he probably has a set of Heavily Armoured Angels with bolters dug in there. LOL)

This, the 19th book in the Heresy series is one that delivers what fans want, heavy combat, intrigue and of course blends it all together with blood, heroism and strategy. It's hard hitting, the combat bloody and when all hope seems lost a pyrrhic victory is won. It gets the heart beating and of course I suspect that a certain author is perhaps responsible for quite a few Aquila tattoos. Great fun all in and one of my favourite heresy titles to date.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hard Work, 5 April 2012
This review is from: Know No Fear: The Battle of Calth (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
This book feels more like work than recreation. First of all let me say I've read most of the 40k stuff out there, not because I'm a massive fan but because i enjoy it. The attention to detail in the whole 40k universe, the fact that it all ties together with very little contradiction from one novel to the next. This book however takes the attention to detail to a mind numbing degree. To the point that it ruins what should be a very simple story. Word Bearers betray the ultramarines at Calth. This could so easily have been an epic book with memorable moments and characters like fulgrim or eisenstein (2 of my favourites) however non materialise. There is zero character development due to the fact that there are so many characters. 40k always been character heavy in its books but the average is about 30 give or take. This is a lot to take in if your a casual reader but Know No Fear has nearly 80! i spent more time flicking back to the character list at the front and re reading sections trying to work out who was who then enjoying the story. Thus ruining the flow of the book. If these books continue in this way i'll have to abandon the series leaving it to the massive fans.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic Triumph!, 25 Feb 2012
This review is from: Know No Fear: The Battle of Calth (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
One of the greatest novels Dan Abnett has ever written, filled with action and tradegy in equal measure, for fans who have waited years to see this battle it fills every expectation and the depiction of Guilliman is breathtaking. The plot is nail biting and will keep readers hooked up to the very last sentence. The only confusing aspect is the return to the subplot of 'The Cabal' started in Legion, this doesnt really go anywhere except to set up a plot for some later book.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining. But the retcons is pretty funadmental., 17 Mar 2012
By 
sean (Brussels,Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Know No Fear: The Battle of Calth (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
Warning - a spoiler.

The action in this book is great. It is a full on planetary invasion, and Dan Abnett is up to the task. I won't comment more on this as other reviewers have. Read the book just for that.

So instead I will register my rejection of the retcons - Guilliman has almost nothing to do with the defense of Calth, nor the co-ordination of the fight back. This book is a complete re-write of other published stories on the war, and I see as a tremendous cop out. He is famous for calm, cool, incredible tactical and strategic acumen, and instead his role in this book is little more than to be the biggest of the good guys and to personally get in the fight. Sure he does some thinking and talking, but not the kind that impacts the battle.

Its a let down because all the primarchs in the series are usually portrayed as big, tough fighters, and I was hoping to see Guilliman actively strategising an impossible come back. Instead, the only Ultramarine battle co-ordination we see comes from a Magos; and that happens while Guilliman is off getting himself tossed around by an evil guy with a bit of warp juice.

I give it 1 stars for a high quality portrayal of a battle invasion, but take away 4 for uninspired retcons and a dull presentation of Guilliman. Its not even clear after this book that the Ultramarines have a strong enough force to go to Terra and threaten Horus' invasion, which we know they do. Strange.
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Know No Fear: The Battle of Calth (The Horus Heresy)
Know No Fear: The Battle of Calth (The Horus Heresy) by Dan Abnett (Paperback - 1 Mar 2012)
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