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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Embrace the Fear
Like probably most readers I've followed the Horus Heresy series from the start and I have my favourite authors and until this book James Swallow wasn't amongs them. I felt flight of the Eisentstein was the weakest of the first five books and whilst Nemesis was a big improvement it still wasn't up there with the McNeil or Abnett offerings.

All that has changed...
Published 23 months ago by SEWyvern

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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Standard fare
This isn't a bad book, but I didn't feel that it had much depth, just 'bolter-porn' with a bit of a Horus Heresy backdrop. I look back at Horus Rising, a book which was 100 pages shorter, and wonder how it managed to convey so much story and feeling. Here we follow a familiar path to several other books in the series - a bit of backstory (which is important and works very...
Published on 27 Aug 2012 by Me


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Embrace the Fear, 15 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Fear to Tread (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
Like probably most readers I've followed the Horus Heresy series from the start and I have my favourite authors and until this book James Swallow wasn't amongs them. I felt flight of the Eisentstein was the weakest of the first five books and whilst Nemesis was a big improvement it still wasn't up there with the McNeil or Abnett offerings.

All that has changed with Fear to Tread.

James Swallow has done an excellent job in conjuring a picture of the Blood Angels as an elite unstoppable force and builds an initial picture of this legion and its vast starships as an incredibly effective, disciplined and powerful force with the ability to shatter worlds and defeat any enemy.

He then proceeds to introduce a real element of ominous disquiet and as with the best horror stories the supernatural element builds creating a sense of unease even for the superhuman space marines of this elite legion and yes, even for their primarch.

Perhaps one of the best achievements of all is to show how fragile this superhuman force is when compared to the truly awesome power of chaos and perhaps in all the Horus Heresy books so far this best demonstrates the sheer scale of the chaos powers. This is best shown when (SPOILER WARNING) the Blood Angels fleet sees the stars begin to dissappear throughout a quadrant of space as something impossibly vast and dense begins to blot out the stars. It's a great sequence and gives the impression that for possibly the first time the Blood Angels and their primarch are feeling a frisson of fear as they begin to appreciate the scale of their enemies power.

The book isn't perfect and the first half and the build are probably more effective and powerful than the last part of the book. As has also been pointed out by some other reviews the physics of some aspects of the action are questionable, but to my mind that's irrelevant. We all read these books because they are sheer escapism and who is to say what physics in the 41st Millenium will look like and where Daemons are concerned the laws of physics simply don't apply anyway, so my inclination is to forget about the science and enjoy the ride.

Putting the core story to one side the book also perhaps more than any other in the series so far demonstrates the vulnerability of the seemingly unstoppable and all conquering space marines and imperial navy when confronted with the powers of the warp. It also gives an interesting insight into the the way that Sanguinius is perceived by Horus and others and the different agendas of Horus and the different chaos powers.

Fear to Tread is the 21st Book in the Horus Heresy series and in my view it deserves to be in the top third in terms of quality together with a couple each from Abnett and McNeill and the First Heretic by Aaron Dembski Bowden.

It's a must read if you are following the Heresy storyline anyway, and if you are a fan of Space Marines it's also a good addition to the canon and it even stands up pretty well as a stand alone novel.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Standard fare, 27 Aug 2012
This review is from: Fear to Tread (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
This isn't a bad book, but I didn't feel that it had much depth, just 'bolter-porn' with a bit of a Horus Heresy backdrop. I look back at Horus Rising, a book which was 100 pages shorter, and wonder how it managed to convey so much story and feeling. Here we follow a familiar path to several other books in the series - a bit of backstory (which is important and works very well); a bit of build up then the betrayal; the aftermath; the promise of more to come. A few books have broken this mould in a good way (Fulgrim, Legion, Thousand Sons) but most haven't.

Chraracterisation is rather weak: The story is told (mainly) from the perspective of three Blood Angels: two of them, Meros and Raldoron are fairly standard space marine characters; the third, Kano, could have been interesting but didn't quite get there. Some of the secondary characters (Amit, Redknife, Stiel, DuCade, Niobe) have more going for them, but this wasn't explored in much depth - which is a shame because I think the author could have done this relatively easily by cutting out some of the lurid depictions of Chaos related characters/phenomena/actions. Even at the best of times I find this difficult to take seriously, and this book is full of such weirdness.

Sanguinius is portrayed a little better than in other HH novels, but that's not saying much. His action scenes are good though - I particularly liked it when he casually threw his sword at a nearby enemy. We get a feel for how he feels betrayed by his friend and brother, although I feel it could have been made more emotive since we know how his story tragically comes to an end.

Also, like "Know No Fear" it has rather irritating physics-related flaws: giant spacecraft crash landing with nary a scratch to the occupants; planets rotating upside down/backward at high speed and... yeah those wings aren't big enough to allow a fully armoured space marine to fly, but hey.

I would give this 3.5 if I could. It's above average for the series, but doesn't rise above the other novels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 July 2014
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This review is from: Fear to Tread (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
A Present
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good story but some flaws, 14 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Fear to Tread (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
Another good Horus Heresy book. I sometimes struggle with James Swallow as he can be a bit graphic for my tastes but generally this was a good addition to the series and added interesting Blood Angels information. I struggle with planets that attack you and the extreme ends of the Chaos possession stuff.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Entry of the Blood Angels, 27 May 2013
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This review is from: Fear to Tread (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
I found Fear to Tread an easy going read that brought to life the struggles that Sanguinius and his Blood Angels have to face as the Horus Heresy strikes them hard. The final chapters raced along to their conclusion satisfactorily.

The book starts by sharing with the reader the fault at the heart of the Blood Angels Legion which the enemy use to full advantage in the closing stages of the book to try and bring the Primarch to his knees and turn traitor.
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5.0 out of 5 stars At last a book about the Blood Angels Primarch, 30 April 2013
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B. Jones - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fear to Tread (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book. It was a good read and you get to learn about how the Blood Angels acquired and cope with their curses.
There is plenty of action in it and a really dramatic ending. When I got to the end I just wanted to read more.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great story, but weak characterisation, 27 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Fear to Tread (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
In my judgement, this book suffers from weak characteristation (the space marines weren't hugely distinctive, or interesting), and for most of the book I didn't much care about the characters. As a result, several times I'd stopped reading the book altogether, only to resume a few weeks later.

I'm glad I finished the book, however, as the last 100 pages were epic, and very memorable. And the epilogue was very cool.

Still, cant help but feel this was a wasted opportunity. Great story but with cardboard cutout characters.

(I'd actually give this 3 1/2 stars, but that option isnt available.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jolly good!, 3 Dec 2012
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D. Nelson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fear to Tread (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
Enjoyable, one of the better 4 or five HH books, well written, well paced, original for a HH book. Technical stuff not perfect but its a small quibble.
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5.0 out of 5 stars truly epic, 19 Nov 2012
This review is from: Fear to Tread (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
A stunning return to the glory days of the Horus Heresy series, this book has everything that made this series so popular. The dangerous niavity of the Legions, the dark machinations of horus and the pain of a brother betrayed, the action is pretty cool too. One negative is the physics are a bit unrealistic but the sheer thrill it describes means you just dont care. The best bit is the depiction of Sanguinius who practically shines from the page and makes you realise why he was always described as angelic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fear to Tread, 26 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Fear to Tread (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
Very good book. Nice to get back to a full length story again. Gripping read. Still got a chapter left but no signs of a dip in the story.
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Fear to Tread (The Horus Heresy)
Fear to Tread (The Horus Heresy) by James Swallow (Paperback - Sep 2012)
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