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Battle for the Abyss (The Horus Heresy #8)

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  1,875 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Now that news of Horus's treachery is in the open, a time of testing has come. Some Legions have already declared their allegiance to the Warmaster, while the loyalty of others lies firmly with the Emperor. As Horus deploys his forces, loyalist Astartes learn that a massive Wordbearers fleet is heading to Ultramar, home of the Ultramarines. Unless they can intercept the fl ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 2008 by Black Library (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,707)
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OK HH novel. Ultramarines are so dull though.
For a book which charts a chase across space and dimensions, this is a distinctly pedestrian affair and dumps us right back onto the downward spiral which had briefly been interrupted by the 7th book.
One can't help but feel that the critical success of 'Flight Of The Eisenstein' made the dark lords of The Black Library decide that another space-race was in order. Sadly, unlike that book, 'Battle For The Abyss' is low on interesting characters and sky-high on cliche and stereotypes.
Plotwise, the
Richard Stuart
This book was TOO NEAT. All the loose ends were tied... with knots and bows. Everyone had their opposite number, and vanquished them. Silly, really.

And another thing:
A ship like the Furious Abyss captained by a nincompoop who is worried more by an ambitious upstart(Ultis) than by sabotaging Astartes... weak. Sure, a zealot's blind faith can be the same as towering arrogance, but when you are put in command of a super-ship with ONE VITAL MISSION, how do you get so distracted??? Was it necessary
Andrew Ziegler
I have been waiting for this novel patiently. Finally the story would veer back to the time line of the heresy set forth from book 1 into the Fulgrim. Although Descent and Legion were cool books, Legion much better than Descent, they were not in the time line of the heresy. Battle for the Abyss was a cool tale finally introducing Ultramarine characters and Space Wolves. Although it is as the title implies the Battle for the Abyss, the Battle for Maccrage and Ultramar are not decided in this book ...more
Sean Seger
This is the 8th book in the Horus Heresy Series, so my thoughts assume you have read the previous books or are familiar with the overall Warhammer 40,000 mythological arc and most of the events of the Heresy. Battle for the Abyss follows the desperate attempts of a small brotherhood of Astartes and other Imperials to avert the destruction of the Ultramarine Chapter by the traitorous Word Bearers.

I have never really had much interest in the Ultramarine chapter of the Space Marines, until I read t
May 21, 2014 Jim rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Warhammer 40K
Taking place around the time of Isstvan III (and Galaxy in Flames, The Flight of the Eisenstein and the last 3rd of Fulgrim) "Battle for the Abyss" moves the action to the Galactic East and the opening battle between the Traitors of the Word Bearers aboard the Furious Abyss, a vessel that could spell doom for the realm of Ultramar, and a mixed force of loyalists from the Ultramarines, Space Wolves, World Eaters and Thousand Sons alongside the outmatched vessels of the Saturnine Fleet.

Battle for
This book kept me up late at night turning pages. Ben Counter is very good at leaving scenes on a cliff-hanger, which all good writers should learn to do. One thing I'll say about the Horus Heresy series in general is that I really don't like not having some familiar characters show back up in the series. Maybe they do later, but I'd like to see what certain characters from the first books are doing right now...but it looks like we're seeing scenes from all over the galaxy that are pretty much h ...more
Robert Mccarroll
This is the first of the Horus Heresey Books that I can say I actually liked. The premise is laid out in the title "Battled for the Abyss". What is the Abyss? The first chapter covers that with the launch of the extra-big ship "Furious Abyss" with the mission of killing Ultramarines. With the premise out of the way, the story can get on with introducing the characters, making them distinctive and fleshed out, then weave their personality conflicts into the action proper. Unlike previous installm ...more
Dylan Murphy
Battle for the Abyss. Well, for starters, I really want to see how big the Furious Abyss really is! It sounds beautiful!
I have heard too many times to count that this is the worst novel in the Horus Heresy series, and that it is pointless, and etc. etc.
I honestly can't see why people think that. I mean, this novel had some amazing characters, even if some of those fell into their stereotypes, they were still very fun to read. I mean, Space Vikings? Fucking awesome. The real star of this novel f
A little bit boring, but otherwise ok...

‘He sees beauty where we see function and form,’ the fabricator general continued. ‘Strength, Magos Epsolon, strength made through fire and steel, that is what we have wrought.’

‘Do you hear it, lads?’ he roared above the din, utterly at ease. His Blood Claws, even Rujveld, looked back perplexed. ‘It is the call to combat,’ he told them proudly. ‘Those are the arms of Mother Fenris! That’s the embrace of war!’

‘True sons of Mars know that the fire of the for
"Battle for the Abyss" ist der 8. Band der Horus Heresy Reihe. Er handelt vom öffentlichen Outing der Word Bearers als Ketzer. Wie alle anderen dem Chaos zugewandten Space Marines wollen auch diese die imperatortreuen Brüder bekehren oder zur Strecke bringen. Für Toleranz ist kein Platz im 31. Jahrtausend. Um sie von einem Massaker an ihresgleichen zu hindern, stellen sich ihnen der Ultramarine Cestus und etwa 40 seiner Ordensbrüder entgegen. Zu seiner Unterstützung hat er seinen alten Battle-Br ...more
Oh no! Dear god no! Pass the mind bleach now and make the horror of it all go away.

Ok rant over, now to talk about the book. After the glorious story that was Galaxy in Flames I was looking forward to this book, but sadly I was let down.

First let me say I read this book some years ago when it first came out, so my view has been tainted by the rise in quality of the writing since the series has developed.

Secondly this story is just down right BAD! It is full of the worst two-dimensional character
Callum Shephard
A forewarning to all about to read this review: The book i’m about to cover is widely despised throughout the fanbase. As such this won’t be a traditional look at the title so much as an answer to many criticisms. Before reading this I would suggest looking for a few negative reviews to understand how people see this novel.

The Book’s Plot

It starts when the Heresy has just been put into motion. Not everyone is aware of Horus’ betrayal due to problems with communications and the Warp, isolating ma
John Back
What a bizarre book. The prose for the most part was some of the worst I have ever forced myself through - this author seems to revel in statements that contradict each other, often within the same paragraph. It was really quite strange. The last part of the book was a prolonged and desperate series of close-quarters engagements and this actually seems to work for the most part (though still peppered with some of the strange contradictory statements). It's as though the author was nearing his wo ...more
"Battle for the Abyss is concerned with the lead-up to the rebels' invasion of Ultramar, the in-universe remote home star system of the unshakably Loyalist 13th Legion, the Ultramarines. Early in the Heresy, the Traitor Word Bearers Legion is tasked with organising and leading the invasion; they plan to use an immense, secretly commissioned warship, the Furious Abyss, to spearhead the surprise attack. The vessel, commanded by Fleet Captain Zadkiel, launches from shipyards near Jupiter around the ...more
I'll approach this from a good/bad points view. The good: good story that somewhat advances the overall saga; good ending which really saved the book for me; good look at how different Legions view each other in light of the Heresy. The bad: Counter has now shown me to be the weakest of the Horus Heresy authors thus far by focusing not enough on character depth and development and too much on excessive and strangely timed descriptions of anything from the detail of the sub-engineering decks to t ...more
In the last 15 pages, and I am happy to say that it wasn't as bad as some reviews have made out. The major criticism being the obvious matching of characters with their nemesis' never really came about in the blatant fashion as I was told to expect.

This book is very much a filler story that expressed well the build up to the Battle of Maccragge. It is a introduction to the Legions of the Ultramarines, Word Bearers and especially the Thousand Sons whilst also filling out the attitude of loyalist
Joe Moley
After the last two lackluster books in the Horus Heresy (“Descent of Angels” and “Legion”). I was very pleased to see the series get back to basics with some good old fashioned space marine whoop ass. This one covered the complete gamut from deep space naval combat to full on hand-to-hand combat with of course a touch of Chaos on top.

I also loved the intermingling of space marines chapters. It was cool as hell to see the Ultramarines fight side to side with the Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and e
Vince Tirri
This one was faster paced, action packed, and made me hate the Word Bearers even more than I already did. We meet five great characters in this novel from five very different legions. Additionally, the human characters aren't worthless and annoying as they were in Fulgrim, and we get to meet the Mechanicum in a little more detail, though they do come off a bit like creepy uncles. Lots of bolter porn, with a couple great battle sequences, and a conclusion that kind of reminded me of Return of the ...more
Emil Söderman
This one was a dud for me. Not a fan. It's not that it's a bad book per se, featuring as it does a small ship chasing a much bigger ship to stop them from doing Terrible Things (TM).

It's just that well, it's not that interesting or well-written, not to mention that it feels much more like a M41 story than a M31: In other words it fails to a large degree to take advantage of the setting (IE: The Horus Heresy) both the Ultramarines and their antagonists largely act as they would ten thousand years
We finally see some forward movement of the story of the Horus Heresy as Ben Counter tells the story of the Word Bearer Space Marine Legion's plot to attack the Ultramarine's homeworld of Macragge at the outset of the open war of the Heresy. Counter plots a somewhat standard tale of the Space Marines and plays his characters to type - the upright, courageous and honorable Ultramarine; the wrathful World Eater; the hard-fighting, hard-drinking Space Wolf; the aristocratic, stiff-necked Naval offi ...more
Fabian Scherschel
I did enjoy this book quite a bit. The story arc fluctuates a somewhat throughout and it has its slow stretches, but the action (especially towards the end) makes up for it. This story shows that the traitor legions are not, as one would expect, completely dedicated to Horus's cause but that they are quite heterogenous. The plight of the loyalist World Eaters and the Thousand Sons made for a really interesting tale.

I also really enjoyed how Kor Phaeron was portrayed. It feels like the series is
Michael Lacy
Loves the warp demons, but the antagonists were ridiculously underdeveloped. The Word Bearer admiralty are a gang of paranoid idiots. How does a crew that is so obvious inept fall into leading to a space marine chapter. Doesn't make sense.
Battle for the Abyss isn't as good as the other books in the Horus Heresy series. I guess I was expecting a bit more legion-based development. As the hero struggles to save the Ultramarines Legion from the destruction it doesn't know is coming I can't help wondering why he isn't with them as his separation from them is not properly explained in the book. It seems, for a reason that has not yet been made apparent in the series, that the Word Bearers are the masterminds behind the rebellion of the ...more
Douglas Allison
To sum up the book in 1 word. "Void". Of all the books so far read this was the emptiest and hardest won read so far for me. I have read it as a labor of love for the series nothing more nothing less. I won't say avoid as there are little glimpses of what it really could have been if it was more character driven. I suppose I didn't like reading it but I am glad I did just to say I manage to get through it.
Raistlin Online
This is my first review, but since this book seems to be getting some negative buzz i just felt i had to speak up. Needless to say i absolutely loved this book. It's the classic tale of David vs. Goliath in which a small imperial ship needs to stop an enormous traitor ship bound for the Ultramarines homeworld.
The cast of characters is wonderfull. What's great about it is that there are two heroes from The Thousand Sons legion and World Eaters. Unique because both these chapters eventually turn
Should have written more about the World Eater fucking shit up while aboard the Furious Abyss..
A must read in the Horus Heresy series, especially if you are a Battlefleet Gothic fan.
Good read that could have been shortened by about a 100 pages. Ben Counter's characterizations continue to improve but he really does better with non-Space Marine characters. Unfortunately, the villains were terribly written; all you needed was the cartoon cackling to make them even less believable. There were quite a few Gemmell moments that were bittersweet as the master, Gemmell, used to write. Don't get attached to anyone in this book. The ending was stylistically a little messed up as it en ...more
This is the 8th book in the Horus Heresy series and another novel in a universe that I've got a lot of history with.

In this novel you get an interesting look at the Word Bearers and Ultramarines. There's not a lot of mystery or plot complexities, the characters are relatively typical of Space Marines in the series. No one character is overly interesting and that makes this a solid 3 star only because of my enjoyment of the setting.

Worth reading as part of the series, but not as a stand alone or
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  • Mechanicum
  • Tales of Heresy
  • Nemesis
  • Fallen Angels
  • Descent of Angels
  • Legion
  • Age of Darkness
  • The First Heretic
  • Deliverance Lost
Ben Counter, as well as making several contributions to Inferno magazine, has written the Soul Drinkers and Grey Knights series and two Horus Heresy novels for the Black Library. He is an ancient history graduate and avid miniature painter with a bronze demon under his belt.
More about Ben Counter...

Other Books in the Series

The Horus Heresy (1 - 10 of 122 books)
  • Horus Rising
  • False Gods
  • Galaxy in Flames
  • The Flight of the Eisenstein
  • Fulgrim
  • Descent of Angels
  • Legion
  • Mechanicum
  • Tales of Heresy
  • Fallen Angels
Galaxy in Flames Grey Knights (Grey Knights, #1) The Soul Drinkers Omnibus (Soul Drinkers, #1-3) Grey Knights: The Omnibus (Grey Knights, #1-3) Dark Adeptus (Grey Knights, #2)

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