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This review is from: Battle for the Abyss (The Horus Heresy) (Paperback)
I found this installment in the Horus Heresy series very disappointing.
As a previous reviewer rightly notes - the quality of the storylines and characters have deteriorated markedly since the first trilogy, which is a tragedy considering the wealth of source material available to the writers.
The first three books were amazing. It was genuinely exciting to discover that a deep and detailed sequence of novels were in the making about a storyline that was previously delivered in scraps to me as a kid through White Dwarf about fifteen years ago. I devoured them in the space of a few days. It was genuinely tense wondering what was going to happen next. Following on from the early books Flight of the Eisenstein was quite good and Fulgrim was okay. Descent of Angels was awful and completely irrelevant. Legion was utterly baffling and then we get Battle for the Abyss.
The characters are boring and shallow whilst the plot is formulaic and frankly quite dull. I was expecting some exciting showdown on a massive scale as the Word Bearer's assault Macragge with the Furious Abyss and demonic allies. Instead I get a plodding spaceship chase through space/warp/space/warp/space, culminating in the most powerful ship the galaxy has ever seen being boarded by half a dozen randomers, who manage to fight their way through half a space marine legion with nothing other than a few cuts and bruises before chucking a couple of grenades in the reactor. Bang. The end.
Its probably a good job the Word Bearer's defected judging by the marksmanship and general inneptitude. What a bunch of ponces. I couldn't help but picture them like the hapless generic goons in Dr Evil's lair in the Austin Powers movies.
I am not some uber nerd fanboy prone to critiquing minutia. I simply feel frustrated by the sliding quality of what should be a landmark series. The early books were of such quality that they might have acheived the rare accolade of expanding the readership beyond simply appealing to the usual Warhammer nerds. With the way the series is heading however they are likely to drive away even the captive fanbase.
Ben Counter is obviously a great writer having produced the fantastic Galaxy in Flames so this only adds to the palpable disappointment. Maybe he is being restricted by GW's dictates? Come on guys - give us more of the first three books!
This book is worth reading for those following the trilogy I guess, though don't expect too much...