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Horus Heresy - Galaxy in Flames Paperback – 20 Nov 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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  • Horus Heresy - Galaxy in Flames
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  • Horus Heresy - False Gods
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Black Library (20 Nov. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849707537
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849707534
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 10.6 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Counter impresses with intelligent storytelling and strong writing. --RPG united --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ben Counter is the author of the Soul Drinkers and Grey Knights series, along with two Horus Heresy novels, and is one of Black Library's most popular Warhammer 40,000 authors. He has written RPG supplements and comic books. He is a fanatical painter of miniatures, a pursuit which has won him his most prized possession: a prestigious Golden Demon award. He lives in Portsmouth, England.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Good, but not quite up to the same standard as the previous books. There's a certain "something" missing. And the title is a bit melodramatic.

Dan Abnett got off to a great start with Horus Rising and Graham McNeill carried on in the same style with False Gods. With Galaxy in Flames Ben Counter had a tough act to follow and with the characters now "fixed" on their path he had limited flexibility to develop them, especially since the action is limited to one planet where Abnett had the freedom to move between three different worlds. However, I don't think he was the right Black Library author for this book. I've read the Soul Drinkers and Grey Knights books and so I think he might have been better off writing at a later stage. (I think William King (the Space Wolf series) would have been a better choice given the restrictions.)

Some of the key characters (e.g. Erebus) that McNeill had made efforts to establish are relegated to the background and Loken, the core character is not as strongly portrayed. Horus also probably needs more time on centre-stage. His fall is documented, but not quite as well as it could have been. To be honest I'd blame this on McNeill - he had a good opportunity in False Gods to describe Horus's deathbed biographical narrative (and thoughts) to Petronella; Counter could have built on that - and he is clearly reliant upon what the other two have established in this book.

The composition and action is pretty good, although there are a few inconsistencies - the main one I spotted was the virus bombs supposedly annihilating all life on the planet on one page, but then we find a few billion people alive to be burnt up in the subsequent firestorm later on... oops!

Perhaps I'm too much of an Abnett fan; it's not that bad. In any case I look forward to the next instalment, Flight of the Eisenstein.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Horus Heresy really gets going in this third book of the series. In it we have the first of the major battles of the Warmaster's rebellion against the Emperor. It loses some of the subtlety and nuance of the first two books. They focused more on the corruption and seduction of chaos, even amongst the mighty space marines, but this is a more predictable affair, with a little less philosophy, but balanced with a lot more action.

On the positive side it does feel like a 40k story, and the grim reality of the universe is captured well. Unfortunately it feels a bit simplistic, and is really a novel length show down between the various legions. Many of the big players of the rebellion are present, and you can see how they start to form the characters in the histories of the heresy.

While it lacked some of the strengths of the first two books, it did create enough excitement for me to purchase the next three books, although I do hope that they return some of the depth lacking in this story.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Horus rising had the searing characterisation and scene-setting that Dan Abnett is rightly known for.

False Gods had the nuanced plot that McNiell has shown to be his forté.

However, you get the impression that, as pointed out in a previous comment, that Ben Counter was brought in too early. Yes, he handles action with the panache typical of Black Library releases, but in terms of plot and character development, he seems to be far outclassed by Abnet and McNeill. Yes, it probably didn't help that he had to work with already established characters, and yes, I dont think that this means that he is a better or worse author, but the difference in style between the first two books and the third is pretty jarring.

And what's with the guy making the seemingly unilateral decision to change 'Istvaan' to 'Isstvan' ?
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Format: Paperback
Galaxy in Flames follows pretty seamlessly on from Horus Rising and False Gods, and all the characters were present and correct for the explosive finale to the Horus Heresy's opening act. There's some great stuff in here, especially in terms of action, and the way that Ben portrays Angron in battle without succumbing to what must be the overwhelming urge to overdo it is spine tingling. I also the love the bit where Iacton Qruze (my new favourite character in the series!) finally gets his time to shine.

A worthy read then, though not quite at the same level as Horus Rising and False Gods, though I think a lot of that is to do with the nature of the series and not to be laid at Ben's door. Another book between those first two, or between books two and three, to portray the gradual corruption of the Legion and the clandestine work of Erebus and the lodges would have helped. I couldn't help but thinking that Loken or Torgadden would have stood up Horus over this long before Isstvan.

And Eidolon. Oh Eidolon. There must be some hidden qualities to that guy that only Fulgrim can see :)

I'm a third of the way into Flight of the Eisenstein now and I'm enjoying the way it overlaps with Galaxy in Flames rather than continues from it, and actually addresses some of those little niggles by showing the build-up to Isstvan from a new perspective. All very nice, and I'm catching up slowly!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Overall - a fantastic read (devoured it in a matter of hours after purchase) and a fitting finale to the opening trilogy of this series.

Ben Counter has again turned out a stunner, adding another great title to his novels (I highly recommend his other work, Soul Drinkers and Grey Knights series), and the humanisation of these previously-mythical characters continues.

However, there were a few things that could have been improved:

* with the large number of legendary characters present, not all of them were fleshed out. Mortarion (Death Guard Primarch) was left as a "name drop" - present, but not so much as a physical description. Angron (World Eater Primarch) was apparently forced to retreat by "normal" Luna Wolf Space Marines - but there's no detail as to how they drove off the most fearsome of all the Primarchs.

* the use of numerous authors has led to some inconsistencies. Example: previously, the "Half Heard" Luna Wolf captain was described as a Terran, who fought in the Legion before the ascension of Horus as leader of the Legion - leading to him being regarded as a relic of the past. Now, he is described as a native of Cthonia, and the only one who stays true to the ideals of this world, having been a ganger there before joining the Legion. Small details, but it flies in the face of the previously-established character.

These small details stop this being a 5-star rating. But don't let that stop you buying this and immersing yourself into the richly-detailed world of an area that has previously only been described in the vaguest ways.

Roll on the next trilogy for this series!
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