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Helsreach (Space Marine Battles #2)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  682 ratings  ·  47 reviews
When the world of Armageddon is attacked by orks, the Black Templars Space Marine Chapter are amongst those sent to liberate it. Chaplain Grimaldus and a band of Black Templars are charged with the defence of Hive Helsreach from the xenos invaders in one of the many battlezones. But as the orks numbers grow and the Space Marines dwindle, Grimaldus faces a desperate last st ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Games Workshop (first published April 2010)
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"We are judged in life for the evil we destroy."

Helsreach is possibly the most brutal 40k novel I've read yet. At what cost is victory worth it?

ADB is arguably the best of the Black Library authors. He excels at character depth and in humanizing the Astartes. The difference in the creeds of the Black Templars and the Salamanders was interesting to behold - how those of differing chapters may not understand one another's beliefs - it's very humanizing. Gemmell-esque, in a way. Courage in the fac
Ebster Davis
This is the first Warhammer book I read that regular people (not just Asartes) actually fight. It also introduced me to the Salamanders (aka the loves of my life).

The author was able to make most of the characters likable (even the Limbless Lady in a Giant Jar...oddly enough). Even though there is a central character, the story is mostly ensamble (I'm glad because if the fate of the planet depended on a guy who really ambivalent about his life, it would have been lame).

I liked the interaction
Helsreach by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
Black Library Publishing
414 Pages
*This is an advance copy review.

When the world of Armageddon is attacked by orks, the Black Templars Space Marine Chapter are amongst those sent to liberate it. Chaplain Grimaldus and a band of Black Templars are charged with the defence of Hive Helsreach from the xenos invaders in one of the many battlezones. But as the orks numbers grow and the Space Marines dwindle, Grimaldus faces a desperate last stand in
Like most of the SPACE MARINES BATTLES series, this book is basically a novel-length, ummm, space marine battle. That's not a bad thing - the best ones, which include this book, have enough character development to give the reader someone to root for before they spend 300 pages hitting Orks in the face with a crozius. This particular book lands firmly in the good-not-great pile, although I have to say it's towards the top of that particular heap; the author manages to pull off the often-attempte ...more
Brian Turner
Dark, gothic sci fi in the world of Warhammer 40,000.
Grimaldus becomes the Reclusiarch of the Black Templars, only to be left with a token force in Hive Helsreach as it undergoes a massive Ork invasion.

The author does a good job of using the inhumanity of both the Orks and Space Marines to bring out the natural qualities of the supporting characters who inhabit the world.

Lots of battles, good characterization.

The only thing that detracts through the story is that it sometimes tells the story in
Derek Weese
There's already a lot having been said about this, so I don't feel the need to say too much. But ADB is easily one of the best of the Black Library's writers. And it's not because he can write an epic, awesome battle scene...though he can. Or that he spices his work up with subtle and sometimes not so subtle humor...though he does. Nor is it that he seems to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the lore and of the universe in which he works in...though he just might.
No, actually it's because he und
Write a book about andrej
Laurence Roberts
Currently finishing off this rather charming read . I say that as while I'm a fan of the 40K game , i've often found the books to be rather dry , dull and lacking in anything other then 1 dimensional space marines .

The only other exception I found was the Brothers of the Snake , which shares the excellent character development that makes this book so enjoyable .

Space Marines have characters and personalities that are not human , that's it , such a simple thing . They're not 1D killing machines
I've read a couple of the space marine battle books now and Helsreach is easily one of the best. So far it's the only book to bring about a feeling of courage, desperation, and hope. The characters are believable, the space marines behave as space marines, even in regards to each other. (Black Templars and Salamandars and their ways of waging war) You really felt the sheer weariness of the battle for Helsreach as you read through this book. The dirt, the noise, the exhaustion.
It's all there.
Student Teacher
So I think Black Library has a new king and his name is Aaron Dembski-Bowden. I thought he did a excellent job in his first book Cadian Blood which I have already reviewed. I have just finished reading two of his most recent books Helsreach and Soul Hunter.

I fell both books are do a very good job of bringing me what i want in a BL book. A good friggin story and nothing else.

Now I consider myself a big Dan Abnett fanboy, but he seems to be getting into the Tom Clancy habit of having a mission sub

The synopsis of Helsreach is one of brutal simplicity: Merely the gruff, unyielding demeanour of the Black Templars pitted against the millions of Orkish-Xenos assaulting the Hive of Helsreach, within Armageddon Secundris, until the end. Perhaps it is this comment that sets about Grimaldus and the Second Founding Chapter as unbreakable, pious knights, who will stand upon mountains of rotting corpses in their duty, that sends momentary shivers down our spines, and sets us drooli
Sep 21, 2013 Ben rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
The one thing this book is really lacking is ORKS. I purchased the book because Helsreach is a battle against the Orks. There is not one line of Ork dialog, or a single named Ork character. If you are coming in as an Ork fan, you'll be disappointed.

This book has some human great characters - like Zahra the operator melded with a giant Titan and Trooper Andrej an imperial guardsman who leads a group of dockworkers. The Black Templars themselves were hard to connect with. Their general pig-headed
I was extremely skeptical about reading Helsreach since the vast majority of licensed IP tie-in novels that crop up around successful game/movie/tv franchises are terrible, but this is one of those rare cases when the author absolutely gets it right. "The Grimdark" comes to life from the perspectives of a diverse cross-section of characters that are thrown together in the defense of Hive Helsreach against an overwhelming ork invasion while struggling to understand each other and find ways to coo ...more
One of the better "Warhammer 40K" books that I've read - Dembski-Bowden is great at giving heroic genre archtypes like the Space Marines of the 40K universe layers and shading, so that they never become the simplistic, invunerable comic book bad-asses that they might otherwise be depicted as.

The scale of this book is impressive, as is the sense of impending doom which permeates - there's no other way that the novel could have ended but the reader frequently finds themself hoping against hope for
Rey Mysterioso
This was my first "Space Marine Battles" book.

And I like the focus on the horror in the hero-chaplain as he feels he is being sent to die worthlessly for his devotion to duty.

I really rather liked that. These Space Marines can't know fear, can't feel much of what we would face in their situations, but they DO have aversions. And self-worth. Its a nice exploration of what these stripped-down ubermensch are.
An entertaining read but I'm a fan of the 40K universe so I already understand the background. Not sure how someone who knows nothing about it would like it.
When I started to read this book, I did not think I would get real far. The book starts in the 41st millennium in space, near a planet that is to be invaded by Orks. The Black Templar are called out to help protect the planet from the invaders. Grimaldues a newly founded chaplain is in charge of the garrison left to help the planet on the ground. He later learns that they were there to raise the morale of the guardsmen and to die on the planet. I read this book because it is one of the armies th ...more
Rowan Lock
Aaron Dembski-Bowden is really umatched by other Black Libeary authors - expect perhaps Abnett. Unlike Soul Hunter or The First Heretic, this isn't a planet spanning fluff quest revealing secrets about the Traitor Legions, it's just the one siege in a fairly well-known and conventional 40k conflict and a cast of Loyalists. Even then, he manages to make a hopeless siege interesting and even though you know how it will end, you don't know. The characters really come to life - and the Black Templar ...more
Dembski-Bowden really puts the grim-dark into the grim darkness of the far future.
Have to say, I didn't have high hopes for this novel. Knowing that it's about Space Marines slaughtering up million billion zillion Orks made it feel too much the usual expected workday for an Adeptus Astartes chapter. Oh no, no no, Mr. Aaron Dembski-Bowden did what he always does: a heck of a story. This works perfectly as a start-off novel for someone new to the Warhammer 40K series, and for a fan: not necessary for you to read this, but hey, it's quite a good book :-)
This is the 2nd book in the Space Marines Battles Novels that I have read. The Black Templars chapter, led by the main character, Reclusiarch, Grimaldus lead an effort to save a planet from the Ork onslaught. Imperial soldiers abound as well, with my favorite character being, Andrej. Clash of the Titans (not the movie of the same name), was impressive with many Titans involved in battles, and the great Ork Gargant, Godbreaker, being most memorable. Overall, the action was thrilling, as in the la ...more
I think the "supporting cast" (i.e. the non Black Templars) were the coolest characters in this book. Some random guardsmen, the princeps from the Stormherald titan, Commissar Yarrick, and even the brief bit with the Salamanders were all pretty cool. The Templars themselves came off as whiny spoiled children, bemoaning their fate of being assigned in a defensive roll because they see no glory in it. A few times they get it together and be awesome like the astartes are supposed to be, but these m ...more
Michael T Bradley
The POV-switching was horrible & unwarranted. The touches of humor didn't work very well. Humor in 40K is a very tricky slope to tread, and Dembski-Bowden, who is himself very funny, sadly was not able to make it work here. Some interesting characters, but the main character was not one, and many of the ones who showed promise just disappeared for large swathes of the book. Very unfocused. It felt more like a gazetteer of a battle than anything else. Many good bits, though, so I look forward ...more
Mark Balsdon
The Black Templars are my favourite second founding chapter. If you know anything about the Black Templars you will know they like to fight. Kind of like knights off old.

So who better to write a Space Marine Battle Novel about the Black Templar at Armageddon than Aaron Dembski-Bowden. Another book that contains a great story with lots of action.

This book leaves you wondering to the very end if they will survive the battle for Helsreah or will they die facing the overwhelming numbers of Orks.
John Rhodes
As usual ADB. Is on the top of his game. He not only keeps the story flowing with engaging action sequences and character developing chunks, he also brings in a side of war that we usually don't see in a warhammer book. He goes into great detail describing things that a real army commander would have to worry about. Things such as troop disposition and where people are deployed and how long their supplies would last etc. I highly recommend this book and any that he has written.
Good for what it is.
Stefan Fergus
This series doesn't, in my humble opinion, suit ADB's skills as an author - the preponderance of battle doesn't allow for the attention to characterisation and nuance that elevates his novels above most other BL titles (not to mention a great many non-tie-in novels). If all you want is science-fictional warfare on an epic scale, this will suit. If you want more than that, despite ADB's best efforts, the brief for this series will leave you wanting.
A fun and thoroughly enjoyable Space Marine war novel. While lacking some of the artistry of e.g. the short stories in Let the Galaxy Burn, and while not as viscerally exciting as Brothers of the Snake, it nevertheless proceeds at a good clip, is easy to read and hard to put down.

Moreover, in between ALL THE FIGHTING, of which there is a lot, we get some good characterisation and human(-ish) characters.

A good read.
ADB fucks it once again...
Why would an author write a story of black templars and give Commissar Sebastian Yarrick himself only a few scant pages...
Imagine reading about the Templars joining Yarricks command squad to bolster morale and have immense battles Yarrick showing the astartes what a mere man can do...
I shake my head at the wasted potential of this story...
Waste of a chance to use Yarrick and Ghuzghull...
Keamy Loken
Spoiler warning!
Decent read, needs to be about 100 pages shorter though.
Loved the quote "The Emperor's with us boys and girls"

Also like the quote about there was more then one hero of helsreach..
Helsbrechit or how ever you spell is a fag and should die a slow painful death...or maybe that's all Black Templers.
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