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Baneblade (Warhammer 40000) Paperback – 11 Apr 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 415 pages
  • Publisher: The Black Library; 1st Edition edition (11 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849700761
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849700764
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 257,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Guy Haley began his career on SFX Magazine in 1997 before leaving to edit Games Workshop's White Dwarf, followed by SF magazine Death Ray. Since 2009 he has been a wandering writer, working in both magazines and novels. He lives in Somerset with his wife and son, a malamute and an enormous, evil-tempered Norwegian Forest Cat called, ironically, Buddy.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After reading the short story Stormlord there was no chance of me not giving this book a try. I play 40k and have done for years. I've always love the Baneblade. There is something intimidating about placing such a huge model on the board. It really does dwarf the other tanks on the board. I'm a big fan of changing my opponents battle plans before they've moved a single model and this is just that kind of asset. In fiction it is if anything even more scary and this comes across really well in this book.

I normally skim read prologues as they can be a bit weak but this one is fantastic. As a piece of flash fiction that introduction would stand proudly aloft praising the Omnissiah. It sounds simple and a little boring when I say that it is about the final stages of construction and commissioning of the tank. It is so well done that it sticks with you all the way through the book to the end. There is a sense of synchronicity between the start and the finish which would leave the story unfulfilled without the prelude.

There is a dichotomy that runs through this book. The massive size of the Baneblade and the cramped interior that squeezes the tankers at every move can seem at odds. I've seen my share of tanks and even been lucky enough to climb inside a few of them. The one thing they all have in common through the ages is that they are all cramped and hostile places. Fuel, ammo, electricity and people are not exactly four things I'd fancy having in close proximity for long periods of time. Tankers are a different breed and that come through in a way that helps shape the people and their interactions.

Orks and Imperial Guard always make for a nasty battle of attrition but when you add in Super Heavy Tanks and and Ork Super Heavy Walkers the carnage is greatly increased.
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Format: Paperback
Guy Haley's debut 40K novel shows great promise for this new addition to BL's stable of regular authors. (As does his second book, the excellent Death of Integrity.)

Centred around a (rare for 40K novels) noble-born Imperial Guard tank commander, and his adventures serving aboard a Baneblade super heavy tank in a campaign against Orks on a hostile desert world, the book very effectively captures the claustrophobic atmosphere and punishing grind of tank warfare in the Grimdark Future. The characters are extremely well drawn and plausible, both in their drip-fed background, and in the way they interact and talk to each other. Indeed there are some conversations in this book that I think are more true to real life than almost anything I've read elsewhere in 40K fiction - for example a great little flashback scene where the guilt ridden central character approaches his Guard veteran uncle asking his help to get into the Guard, and the uncle basically says though he's proud of his war record, he wouldn't wish his life on an enemy, let alone his nephew, and then goes on to advise the hero to live out his life at home, serving the God-Emperor in safety and comfort. You just don't get this kind of true to life stuff in most 40K books, but I think if the setting were real this is entirely how people would be.

The descriptions of the interiors of the tanks, especially the massive and ancient Baneblade, are brilliantly done, and the battles are tense and suitably bloody. Characters die, and they are missed, that's a good sign.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although we've had many great Imperial Guard novels I've always been disappointed that while a few novels have included the mighty super heavy tanks, none have focused on them. It was the same with the titans until Graham McNeill and Dan Abnett did a fantastic job with Mechanicum and Titanicus, they may have had their flaws but in general they did a superb job depicting the incredible machines. Sadly while Baneblade is a reasonable read, I was really hoping for more given the subject matter.

The novel is split into two stories which both start together with the main story going forwards and the other story going backwards to explain one of the main characters, a young Lieutenant being deployed for the first time to a world with hellish weather conditions that has been invaded by the Orks. The strongest elements of the book for me are the non-combat sections where we're given a good idea of what it would be like to be deployed alongside superheavy tanks and how it would feel to serve inside one of them. There's a simple moment near the start of the book where a couple of Leman Russ crew men while on board the transport ship at warp sneak into the loading bay just to catch a glimpse of the superheavy tanks. A section later on gives a superb guided tour of the tank and a good impression of how it all works, the different sections, how they interact and all the crew required to keep the massive machine going. Yet despite the awe of the tank from the outside, the day to day working within the tank are not in any way glamourised and conveys the fairly grim day to day life of being based in the cramped, hot tank well.
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