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Mechanicum (The Horus Heresy #9)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  2,163 ratings  ·  65 reviews
As the flames of treachery spread throughout the Imperium, Horus plots to subvert or destroy all those who would stand against him. On Mars, home world of the Mechanicum priesthood, the great manufactory-cities have long produced much of the weaponry required for the expeditionary fleets across the galaxy - making the world invaluable to whoever controls it in the coming w ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 25th 2008 by Games Workshop
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Horus Rising by Dan AbnettThe First Heretic by Aaron Dembski-BowdenA Thousand Sons by Graham McNeillFulgrim by Graham McNeillFalse Gods by Graham McNeill
Horus Heresy Collection
20th out of 95 books — 39 voters
Horus Rising by Dan AbnettProspero Burns by Dan AbnettFalse Gods by Graham McNeillEisenhorn by Dan AbnettDescent of Angels by Mitchel Scanlon
Top Warhammer 40,000 Books
6th out of 30 books — 6 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Of every Horus Heresy novel to date, I think I was looking forward to this more than any. Boy was I setting myself up for a huge disappointment! Rather than the rise of the Dark Mechanicum and a massively draw-out high-tech war (which is after all McNeill's raisen d'etre), we get a plodding story which weaves several seperate strands together to knit an underwhelming whole.

Once again, we get one side told from the perspective of 'normal' humans, something which is overdone by this point in the s
We've met several 'alien' planets in the course of the series thus far but they've never been more than peripheral. That's never been an issue as those brief impressions served their purpose. Now, however, we're closer to home: Mars. Tens of millennia of history, second jewel in the crown of the Imperium an' all that. It's a shame that the book never quite captures the scale of the whole thing. Functionally, this is a whole world at war and yet we see only minute snippets as we're given an endle ...more
Keamy Loken
Good read, likable characters. (Possibly the first time I liked the normal humans in a story.)
Up to this point what I have read about adepts etc. Makes them all out as terrible not interesting characters. This showed their true colors :P
I'd recommend it to any heresy fan. The ending left me smacking my head, and added some interesting ideas for my fan fiction :D
This is Book Nine of the Black Library Horus Heresy series, the second novel of the series by Graham McNeill.

Thus far I have read the entire series. The series is overall exceptional; easily the best work but out by Black Library to date. There have been a few small “bumps” along the road. I point to Descent of Angels as the low point of the series as far as catching and holding my attention as well as staying true to the feel of the other books.

My favorites of the series so far are Flight of th
Fabian Scherschel
Definitely one of the best books in the series so far; on par with Dan Abnett's awesome opening. A great story, surprisingly epic, that sheds a long-awaited light on the nature of the Mechanicum. McNeill paints a brilliant picture of Mars and its cults, and while the book has a slow beginning and slow stretches in the middle, it is fascinating all the way. The final battle is nothing short of breathtaking and the characters are very well written. This is one of the books in the series where you ...more
Rey Mysterioso
An odd book.

Good filler for the Horus Heresy. There's got to be a lot of meat in the Mars Schism plotline. This book doesn't deliver it though. Its too caught up in its own micro-plotting and you miss the larger overtures. Just feels like it wants to be a human interest story.

Also, the Mechanicum is always portrayed a certain way with their surrender of humanity and emotion. This novel stands out alone in that it ignores that. I mean, you have to, in order to have good conflict and build up, but
Well, The Black Library apparently has its own STC on writing Horus Heresy books xD Though, the emotions are vastly varies for me while I've been reading through three recent books of the series, which were "The Legion", "Battle for Abyss" and "Mechanicum". It was like "Wow, that's splendid!" during the "Legion" and "Oh, crap, what a disaster" on the "Battle for Abyss" and I was nearly about to drop wasting my time on the whole cycle. "Mechanicum" has returned me the faith that the wh40k novels ...more
Es una de las novelas más espectaculares de la saga, con unas dosis de acción deslumbrantes y una ambientación muy carismática y lograda. La trama de Dalia es un poco más floja comparada con la de la rebelión, lo que lastra un poco el resultado, pero no impide que nos lo pasemos en grande mientras nos enteramos de todos los entresijos de la guerra en Marte. Brutal y espectacular a lo bestia, hará las delicias de todos los fans de la acción de la franquicia. Por otro lado, no es una novela que ac ...more
A great addition to the Horus saga, this one details the concurrent civil war on Mars raging between loyalists to the Emperor and the Horus motivated Dark Mechanicum. Adept Zeth rescues Dalia, a transcriber, from execution with the aim of using her to develop a machine that can allow mankind to reach unheard of levels of intelligence. Zeth, along with many others who make up the massive fabrication machine that Mars has evolved into for the Emperor's use, is unaware that elements exist who want ...more
Mechanicum is the ninth instalment in the dramatic and tragic Horus Heresy science-fiction series. The book, through the writer Mr. Graham McNeill, explores Mars and the order of the Mechanicum, it's fall in unity after Horus Lupercal's decision to fight against the Emperor and describes the genesis of Dark Mechanicum.
Mr. McNeil once again proves that he is one of the best writers in the Black Library. He does well in describing the amazing creations and inovations of the Mechanicum and their cu
This book is part of the Warhammer 40K: Horus Heresy series, so non-WH readers may find themselves lost. Reference to other characters, incidents and places put this right in the middle of HH events leading up to the confrontation between Horus and his 'father' the Emperor.

Mars has been ruled by the Mechanicum for thousands of years. An order of technician/priests to pray to a being called the Omnissiah, the Mechanicum have been split between those who believe that the Emperor is the embodiment
Derek Weese
Graham McNeill did it again.
He made me lose sleep, he made me daydream in lecture, he made me wonder what the hell was going to happen next.

I never thought I'd care about a book on the Adeptus Mechanicum, I considered that a novel all about the 'cog boys' would be about as exciting as a depressed Ben Stein describing the sex life of a koala in a audio drama read by an irate Gilbert Gottfreid. (Ok, I'd actually listen to that just for the sheer comedy)
In truth, Mr. McNeill wrote a great book.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Юлиан Карамфилов
The only thing that redeemed this book for me was Verticorda of House Taranis and The Stormlord.

Spolers ahead

Kelbor-Hal and his loonies seem like villains from a children's book after the civil war starts. And the forced drama with the Akashik Reader and not being able to stop it... Can't they just pull the plug and shut it down. Also what was Malcador even thinking when the ship carrying Adept Regulus bypassed Terra and went to Mars first. I mean he clearly should have gotten the que considerin
Dylan Murphy
Ah Mechanicum.
This truly glorious story was about the civil war that takes place on Mars at the start of the Horus Heresy, and details the fall of mars and the rise of the Dark Mechanicum.
The novel was really, really good. I read The Kaban Project before it, and the tie-ins were amazing. It provided some really good insight into some of the characters.

Now for the novel itself, there were so many awesome things. The very technological battles that took place were awesome, as well as what the Da
John Back
Splendid book. Captivating journey through the Mechanicum, absolutely nothing like I had imagined it. Engaging figures, exciting stories. Wonderful drama and Knight/Titan fighting. Astonishing this story can encompass so much in so short a space, with excellent pacing and characters you care apart - despite their supposed lack of humanity. It's also tied off in a delightful circle, but no spoilers. Another series highlight.
"Mechanicum is the first book in the Series not to focus on Primarchs or Space Marines. Instead, it is about the civil war on Mars, which takes place around the time of the start of the wider Heresy conflict. The planet is the seat of the Mechanicum, a Terra-allied technocracy responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of all Imperial military and civilian technology. Planning his imminent campaign against the Imperium, Horus obtains the secret allegiance of highly placed Mechanic ...more
Emil Söderman
Mechanicum deals with yet another institution getting involved in the Heresy, this time the Tech-Priests of Mars. I've always kind of liked the Adeptus Mechanicum, their mix of cultic devotion and sheer geekery being fun. (them being an obvious homage/ripoff of Asimov is nice too)

This tale lets us see some of the Mechanicum's own weapons in action, something that is relatively rare (they have an oddly well-described military in fluff, but basically no presence on the tabletop except as part of o
Feb 16, 2014 Henry rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
The ninth book in the Horus Heresy series continues in the same dreary vein as "Battle for the Abyss", with unbelievable characters, poor dialogue and stupid situations (and thats saying something, given this is the 40k universe we're talking about!). I didn't feel the remotest connection to any of the so called characters. In fact, to say they were like 2-D cutouts would be a compliment. Graham Mcneill usually excels at whatever he writes, but not this time. Sorry Graham, but this book was BORI ...more
Lee Tempest
Summed up in a few keywords:
Machine-Spirit Worship
More Destruction
Mars is Burning
Oops, I forgot to pray and appease the Machine Spirits and the Omnissiah. Again. My bad.
Someone fucked up Mars by opening the Moravec Vault. Our bad.
Mars is still fucked a Bajillion years later. Oopsie.
Huitième tome, avec toujours ce même principe : on suit un pan de la guerre d'Horus selon le point de vue de quelques personnages et en se focalisant sur tel ou tel organe de l'Imperium.

Ici, on ne suit pas un chapitre de space marines, mais le clergé de Mars, totalement dédié aux machines. Il y a à boire et à manger dans ce roman, avec des scènes de bataille épiques (comme toujours), mais aussi des scènes plus calmes. On essaye de nous faire voir une super révélation finale, mais l'effet tombe u
Walter Schoen
If you like futuristic sci-fi you'll enjoy Mechanicum. Technically it's well written, but a bit overly descriptive (always a problem with building alternative worlds). The action is set on Mars, a completely polluted planet dotted with industrial "forges," where human beings have been integrated into machines so battle engines controlled by human pilots meld feeling and emotion. The book moves on the age old issue of the need for empire, and almost every major character dies in the ultimate war. ...more
Carl Debeer
Probably my favorite of this series. I loved the look at the Mechanicum. The book details all the units and models I'd love to see on the table top.
This book was a nice break from the Space Marine centric series and provided insight into a relatively little detailed part of the Horus Heresy and the Warhammer 40k universe.

I liked the characters and I enjoyed how the story fit very well into the whole "fall of mankind" and it fit very well with the "Grim Darkness of the Far Future" theme.

There were no winners and no happy ending, but it was an appropriate ending. Don't read this for an uplifting experience, but read it because its an interest
Andrew Ziegler
I have been a fan of this universe for over 15 years now, and never really had the Mechanicum shown to me so plainly.
Although the action of this story is sparse compared to the rest of the Heresy thus far, the final battle was Tolkienesque and I really enjoyed it.
This story continues the Heresy narrative in yet another corner of the soon to crumble Empire, only this corner is on Terra's front porch. I am still excited to see how the Black Library will finish this tale and how many books it wil

At the half way mark this book became difficult to read, it had failed to spark any real interest. The characters were largely boring and the plot didn't seem to go anywhere. This changed 1/3 of the way and it all became worthwhile again in direct reversal of the earlier point. In the case of one character they suddenly stopped being a dull drone and actually started to crack jokes.

A 2 star book which rallied towards the end to bring it up 1 star. Worth reading for the 'secrets' revealed, not t
Alex Kennard
This book has incredible potential but simply cannot make good on it.

It lacks the epic feeling that it is plainly aiming for, failing to make the larger story feel big in itself rather than in relation to other books in the series. It also fails to really invest itself in the smaller character story lines by neglecting to spend some time with them as characters rather than plot points.

Not a bad book, but not near the best of the series.
Bavo Debraekeleer
Awesome book!
Graham McNeill proves yet again he is (together with Dan Abnett) one of the best sf writers out there.
This book gives a great insight in the history of the Mechanicum.
From the union with the Imperium to the creation of the Dark Mechanicum.
Ending with an enormous tragedy like all the best books in the series.

A must read for every Warhammer 40k fan.
Recommended to anyone who likes sience-fiction.
4.5 stars

Great installment in the series. Honestly, I really thought it was going to be super boring. The first 50 pages or so lived up to that, but then the story picked up a lot of pace and I was sucked right in. A very interesting take on the 40k world/History. I kind of wished there was a little more, even. I wanted the "Mars" story to continue. I'll be interested if they ever pick that line up again.
Reg Franklin
The story of the Mechanicum during the Horus Heresy opens with the Emperor's first arrival on Mars, and ends with an explosive conclusion that explains one of the most enduring mysteries about the Noctis Labyrinthus and it's cryptic connection to the Necrontyr. Questions about the Mechanicum and its role in the larger Heresy are answered as only Graham McNeill can.
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  • Nemesis
  • The First Heretic
  • Battle for the Abyss
  • Prospero Burns
  • Tales of Heresy
  • Fallen Angels
  • Age of Darkness
  • Deliverance Lost
  • Descent of Angels
  • Dark Apostle
  • The Horus Heresy: Collected Visions
Hailing from Scotland, Graham McNeill narrowly escaped a career in surveying to work for Games Workshop as a games designer. He has a strong following with his novels Nightbringer, Warriors of Ultramar, Dead Sky, Black Sun and Storm of Iron.
More about Graham McNeill...

Other Books in the Series

The Horus Heresy (1 - 10 of 139 books)
  • Horus Rising
  • False Gods
  • Galaxy in Flames
  • The Flight of the Eisenstein
  • Fulgrim
  • Descent of Angels
  • Legion
  • Battle for the Abyss
  • Tales of Heresy
  • Fallen Angels
False Gods Fulgrim A Thousand Sons The Ultramarines Omnibus The Outcast Dead

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