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Battle for the Abyss (The Horus Heresy #8)

3.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,312 Ratings  ·  86 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 3,000)
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Raistlin Online
Sep 25, 2013 Raistlin Online rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 27, 2015 Neil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK HH novel. Ultramarines are so dull though.
Jul 29, 2011 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 04, 2011 Andrew Ziegler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 02, 2011 Sean Seger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Christopher Napier
By-the-numbers Black Library outing and fundamentally one of the least interesting of the Horus Heresy books I've read so far, lacking any real insight into the legions at play or adding to the broad-scope canon most 40K fans are aware of.

The most interesting characters Skrall & Mhotep are underused and the potential to tell an interesting story is largely overlooked in favour of a series of banal set plays culminating in the least impressive appearance of a greater daemon I can ever recall.
May 21, 2014 Jim rated it liked it  ·  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
Jun 03, 2014 Shane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Feb 14, 2014 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must read in the Horus Heresy series, especially if you are a Battlefleet Gothic fan.
Jessie B.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Another Horus Heresy audiobook. This one is about Word Bearers versus Ultramarines. It was a good book. Plenty of battles, both in space and hand-to-hand, good characters from various chapters (it was intriguing to see World Eaters and Thousand Sons who "didn't get the memo" helping the Ultramarines). And the voice-actor was very good. Had quite a variety of voices for all the characters. Damn good audiobook, though the story didn't have that high stakes and didn't quite continued the mythos. Al ...more
Feb 25, 2016 Ethan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: warhammer-40k
Better than the last few that proceeded it but again this is a story that takes place more on the fringes of the main story. It's essentially a book long chase scene with a small outnumbered group trying desperately to stop this enormous warship before it reaches its destination and can release the destruction it aims to. The action is good and it adds a bit to the history of the Word Bearers. The one odd thing is that the knowledge of the "warp" by characters seems to be a blend of 40k and 30k ...more
Michael T Bradley
After what feels like nearly a year ostensibly "reading" this sucker (mostly just forcing myself through a chapter here & there, then sighing heavily), I finally finished it out recently. I think here was the big problem for me through the first half of the book: Since I was listening to it on audio, I somehow was mixing up the whole time the World Eaters and the Word Bearers, who are both represented here. So I kept getting confused as to why this one legion seemed to keep fighting for diff ...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
Nov 15, 2012 Marko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 13, 2013 Theigel69 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Jan 23, 2016 Garry rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ben-counter
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
Lee Herridge
Battle For The Abyss is primarily hampered by its very uninspiring plot and kind of dull characters - Ultramarines are stiff and noble, Space Wolves are impetuous vikings, World Eaters are crazy, Word Bearers are fanatics. There is really no reason to care about any of these characters and none of it feels consequential.

The best bits are when the World Eater captain gets trapped on the ship and we get to see something beyond 'Imma get really mad-d-d-d-d!!!!', and seeing the Thousand Sons guy jus
Dec 17, 2013 Andy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 09, 2012 Anthony rated it liked it
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
Sep 06, 2014 Vince Tirri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 07, 2012 Fabian Scherschel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, warhammer40k
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
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  • Tales of Heresy
  • Mechanicum
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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 113 books)
  • Horus Rising (The Horus Heresy, #1)
  • False Gods
  • Galaxy in Flames
  • The Flight of the Eisenstein
  • Fulgrim
  • Descent of Angels
  • Legion
  • Mechanicum
  • Tales of Heresy
  • Fallen Angels

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