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First and Only (Gaunt's Ghosts, #1)
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First and Only (Gaunt's Ghosts #1)

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,319 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
In the nightmare future of Warhammer 40,000, the galaxy-spanning Imperium is riven with dangers. In the Chaos-infested Sabbat system, Imperial Commissar Gaunt must lead his men through as much in-fighting amongst rival regiments as against the forces of Chaos. First and Only is an epic saga of planetary conquest, grand ambition, treachery and honour.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 7th 2002 by The Black Library (first published January 1st 1999)
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Dániel Feketű Here you can find all books of the series

First And Only (1999, ISBN 1-84416-164-1)
Ghostmaker (2000, ISBN 0-671-78410-2)
Necropolis (2000, ISBN…more
Here you can find all books of the series

First And Only (1999, ISBN 1-84416-164-1)
Ghostmaker (2000, ISBN 0-671-78410-2)
Necropolis (2000, ISBN 0-7434-1159-5)
Honour Guard (2001, ISBN 1-84154-151-6)
The Guns of Tanith (2002, ISBN 1-84154-232-6)
Straight Silver (2002, ISBN 1-84154-262-8)
Sabbat Martyr (2003, ISBN 0-7434-4360-8)
Traitor General (2004, ISBN 1-84416-113-7)
His Last Command (2005, ISBN 1-84416-238-9)
The Armour of Contempt (2006, ISBN 1-84416-400-4)
Only In Death (October 2008, ISBN 1-84416-662-7)
Blood Pact (May 2009, ISBN 1-84416-693-7)
Salvation's Reach (October 2011, ISBN 1-84416-821-2)

If you want to know more check wiki (
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Jun 19, 2016 Carmen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People Who Love Reading About War and Have No Need for Women
"Give any man the power of a god, and you better hope he's got the wisdom and morals of a god to match. There's nothing feeble about my moral line. I value life. That's why I fight to protect it. I mourn every man I lose and every sacrifice I make. One life or a billion, they're all lives."

I knew nothing going into this book. I have never played Warhammer 40k, I have never watched it being played, I never had a man who was into Warhammer40k – my usual way of brushing my fingertips against the ga
"Walk hardy and carry a bigger gun than anyone else" – the motto when reading Warhammer 40,000.

Recently I decided to pick up First and Only by Dan Abnett as it has been some time since I read it and felt this was due a review (1999 I believe). Why? Mainly as it opened my eyes to the literature coming out from Games Workshop at the time. OK, the first novel I ever read was Wolf Rider which I believe was written by Jack Yeovil, but might be wrong there. The second novel was Horus Rising by Dan
Ren the Unclean
Aug 13, 2008 Ren the Unclean rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sci-fi fans
Shelves: sci-fi
Don't let the fact that this should be mass produced Warhammer 40k garbage throw you. Dan Abnett has a particular talent for this kind of story and a lot to offer even those of us who are not really into the 40k universe.

First and Only covers a major campaign in the Ghosts' history and is a good introduction to the Imperial Legions or whatever they are and how the various troop interactions work between the different companies that are harvested from different worlds. This book has a lot of inte
Sep 16, 2012 Ubiquitousbastard rated it really liked it
I should not like this series, and everyone I know agrees with me. I can't help it! I sometimes indulge in military fiction, but never, never Warhammer. I only dared to read the first book because I had heard that there was more to it than I assumed (and the covers let on). Good characters, messed up plots, and Gaunt is a badass. Sometimes it does get a bit over my head, probably because of my utter Warhammer-ignorance, or maybe because it's getting a bit too military (I like to believe it's the ...more
Andrew Ziegler
Aug 04, 2011 Andrew Ziegler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why has it taken me 10 years to finally read this book that one of my good friends told me to read back then? Stubborn I guess, who knows. Anyway, Dan Abnett's first 40K novel is well paced and very intriguing. He is my favorite of the Black Library's current authors and probably the best Marine author they have. Hear he starts the story of Gaunt and his First and Only Ghosts. They are an excellent regiment of imperial guard, and much like Abnett breathed life into the Lunar Wolves, and the Iron ...more
Nov 03, 2012 Martin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: warhammer-40k, sci-fi
"The series follows the exploits of Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt and his regiment of scouts and recon specialists, the Tanith First-and-Only (nicknamed Gaunt's Ghosts), as they serve in the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. Their battles are normally against the forces of Chaos, although they briefly face orks on Typhon Eight. Up until 'Guns of Tanith' the Ghosts are mainly pitted against heretical rebels armies, but on Phantine and in most of the campaigns following it they face the well-trained and elit ...more
Sean McBride
Jul 18, 2010 Sean McBride rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good..either that or i'm on a four star kick. I approached this thinking it was going to be mindless dribble. I was wrong. Think Band of Brothers but in space battling all kinds of nasty alien forces (this is actually Derek Manus' evaluation of the book, but i find it very apropos). There is also a bunch f infighting which Abnett ties a little too perfectly together.

The writing is solid and the characters are lush, though it's a little confusing at first because a number of them ha
Jul 31, 2012 Brook rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I didn't get very far before I gave up. No real plot, just piggybacking on a group of soldiers. Except: This is the far flung future with spaceships and laser weapons, but they're still using artillery, grenades, and fighting in trenches. No air support or orbital bombardments. I know I'm supposed to suspend my disbelief, but the lack of plot mixed with that, was too much.
And, for a final quibble, Abnett kept referring to "coffee" as "caffeine". As in, "...poured himself a tiny cup of rich black
Jan 29, 2012 Flint rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I picked this up after being impressed with the high rating on goodreads. Unfortunately, "First and Only" never even came close to living up to all it's hype. The book starts off with Gaunt and his Ghosts being deployed as ground forces against the enemy shriven. This goes on for a third of the book without Abnett even making the slightest effort at developing even one character among the entire ensemble, thereby creating a huge waste of time. The book does improve after this battle, but not by ...more
Feb 09, 2011 Scorpion12 rated it liked it
I'll be honest, I don't follow the Warhammer 40K world at all. I don't read the books, and I don't play the games. I read the book because it was free.

One thing that threw me out of the book continually was the language. It wasn't vulgar or anything but the usage of semi-archaic terms and knowledge of... I needed more backstory to support the book or a glossary... I guess the more I read the more I'll learn; but I'm not sure I want to learn about the world too much.

I liked the book and I've foun
Jun 03, 2016 Sven rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
I desperately wanted to love, or at least like, First and Only. As the first in a long book series about a company of space marines it sounded like something I would love. Tragically though, after gradually dragging myself through it I just don't think this book is any good.

While I have a number of issues with it. The two things that bothered me the most were the prose and story. The issue with the prose is how verbose it is. It really gives the feeling that the writer is sitting there with a th
Adam Mieszcanski
May 06, 2008 Adam Mieszcanski rated it it was amazing
If you like Warhammer, even if you don't, regardless, this book kicks off one of the best action/adventure series I have ever read. Massive battles, intrigue, honor and brotherhood under fire make this book, much like the rest of the series, outstanding.
Jerod Dunn
Dec 20, 2010 Jerod Dunn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: warhammer-40k
Dan Abnett did a great job really bringing the grit and dark world of Warhammer 40k to life. I didn't instantly start reading the second book, Ghostmaker, only because it wasn't available in ePUB format yet.
The first in the series of Gaunt's Ghosts novels.

Commissar Ibram Gaunt is one of the most interesting characters in the Warhammer 40k setting.
Chris Pratt
Jan 23, 2011 Chris Pratt rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. Nothing more needs to be said, except that Abnett truly brings the Warhammer 40k universe to life.
Feb 27, 2016 Patrick rated it it was amazing
Bit slow to get going i think, but really picks up!

First 40k book i read, love it!
Nov 15, 2015 Tristan rated it it was amazing
Now I am often not one for big war books. I often find that having to keep track of a regiment of soldiers, their leaders, their objectives and what they get up, not too mention their regiment history and what makes them special gets tiresome. But this was an issue I didn't come across in First and Only. We spared having to learn everyone's names and instead are treated to the sergeants, who in turn represent the spirit and character of the men they command. We are still shown the scope of who m ...more
Nov 13, 2015 ArumaGesta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me gusta el estilo narrativo de Dan Abnett. Sus descripciones no se alargan demasiado, y dejan muy claro el aspecto del entorno, los personajes y los hechos de una manera que apoya y realza la atmósfera tan oscura que tiene el mundo. La lectura es muy ágil, y los capítulos cortos garantizan dinamismo.
Se agradecen mucho los flashbacks. Y las escenas de acción son muy visuales.
Solo tengo una pequeña queja acerca del estilo, que detallaré en el apartado de personajes.

No conocía demasiado el mundo d
Sep 15, 2015 Bookhode rated it it was ok
While I used to play a lot of Warhammer RPG back in the day (and I thought it was pretty great, because it had the most actual role playing of all role playing games I've tried), I really did not know much about Warhammer 40K, the crazy, violent, battle-ravaged universe this novel is based in. But it turned out that it was pretty simple to figure out the setting, and after that just relax and dive into this action packed story.

First and Only is a hard core military space fiction novel, with a lo
Shawn Fairweather
Mar 09, 2015 Shawn Fairweather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty good introduction for me to the Warhammer 40k lore universe. For those like myself who have wanted to start reading the novels but were thrown off by there not really being a good starting point I hear you. 40k does not subscribe to a timeline of any sort really or at least there isn't one that I have found yet so you the reader essentially must pick a starting point and jump it. The difficulty however much like the game is that you jump right into the middle of a campaign and ...more
In the grim darkness of the future, there is only war. An opening title common to any book part of the Warhammer 40000 universe based on the tabletop game. This novel focuses on Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt, leader of a sole surviving regiment from the planet of Tanith. Destroyed by the forces of chaos, corrupted elements that were once human, this single regiment are merely ghosts, Gaunts Ghosts. Leading his men in the crusade of the chaos infested Sabbat system, the horrors of war appear full ...more
Michael T Bradley
Nov 07, 2014 Michael T Bradley rated it really liked it
Shelves: w40k
It's very, very difficult to write about this book & the "following" one, Ghostmaker. Both are, essentially, a collection of Gaunt's Ghost short stories with a longer novella tacked on at the end. This one works better because it's mostly later stories, once Abnett had really gotten a "feel" for what he could cover in a GG story, and his lyricism as an author has rarely achieved such a state as it did in this book.

I'm sure if you're reading this you know the basic plot. Ibram Gaunt, Imperia
Jun 02, 2014 Paulius rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter Simko
Mar 27, 2014 Peter Simko rated it liked it
I genuinely love the Warhammer 40k universe. Every single time I read or hear about things like astropaths, tech-priests, chainswords or basically anything related to WH40k, I feel happiness, so I guess I couldn't really go too wrong with Dan Abnett's first book of the Gaunt's Ghosts series. Before reading this, I had only read WH40k novels focusing on space marines, so I was kinda curious how much I would enjoy a story about the Imperial Guard who are, after all, mere mortals. I have to say Dan ...more
Sep 29, 2011 Kelley rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I'm not a big 40k fan. I'm not even a big science fiction fan. I found the Founding omnibus ridiculously cheap. I had been in a conversation about the franchise recently. My knowledge of it extends only to a few of the video games. The person I was talking to enjoyed the books. I said it sounded like the scifi equivalent of a Dragonlance type series. (Fun but kind of shallow.) He insisted 40k was much, much better.

So far, my opinion... No, it isn't. Not really.

The action is ridiculously well wri
Jul 28, 2012 John rated it really liked it
Stop sniggering! It's actually pretty good!

Military sci-fi at its finest. Having heard much about it from many sources, and being hopelessly addicted to warhams stuff like I am, I decided it was past time I read this.

It doesn't disappoint. Abnett has a gift for description which extends from the evocative worlds and battlefields he builds to the frequently awful living conditions of the soldiers to the frenetic, blood-drenched fights which make up an impressively high percentage of the novel.

Ryan Lynd
Dec 26, 2013 Ryan Lynd rated it really liked it
I actually read this book as part of "The Founding" 3 book omnibus, of which "First and Only" is the first book of the first of three omnibuses (omnibi?). I said all that to say that there are a lot of books written in this series. I am stopping after this first story to take a break for some other books I want to read.

This first book gives the introduction and a lot of background material. This book is also a complete story in it's own right. Having read Abnett's "Eisenhorn" trilogy, I have to
Joey Brockert
Oct 13, 2013 Joey Brockert rated it liked it
Ibram Gaunt was a warrior. His Father was a warrior, too, killed in battle when Ibram was school age (I think eight (8) years old). After his father died, he was sent to a military boarding school, trained in the arts of war. He grew into higher and higher command. The structure of the Galaxy at the time was that it was ruled by a king who had lived for 10,000 years, and would rule for however much longer he wished to. The military was sent out to conquer and protect the various interests of the ...more
Appy Apperson
Mar 27, 2016 Appy Apperson rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the way in which Abnett used flashbacks to earlier events to not only show instead of tell, but also to break up the action, create suspense and create a transition during time lapses. The overarching story was intertwined into smaller sidearchs, which flowed well.

The action was well described and interesting with enough intrigue to keep things from feeling same-y. The writing requires a little bit of understanding of the Warhammer 40,000 backstory, but generally descriptions we
En el despiadado universo del lejano futuro solo hay guerra, dicen los de GW.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Aventuras del Comisario Imperial Gaunt, uno de los pocos con el permiso para dirigir personalmente un regimiento, y de sus soldados, los Primeros de Tanith (también conocidos como los Fantasmas de Gaunt), que nos lleva atrás en el tiempo para narrarnos los tiempos de cadete del protagonista y otros posteriores, mientras nos cuenta las operaciones de Gaunt y sus hombres en dife
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Other Books in the Series

Gaunt's Ghosts (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Ghostmaker (Gaunt's Ghosts, #2)
  • Necropolis
  • In Remembrance
  • Honour Guard
  • The Guns of Tanith
  • Straight Silver
  • Sabbat Martyr
  • Traitor General
  • His Last Command
  • The Armour of Contempt

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