Shane's Reviews > Horus Rising

Horus Rising by Dan Abnett
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Jun 29, 11

Read from June 12 to 29, 2011

I feel almost guilty about giving this book three stars, because it is quite entertaining and I do intend over time to continue with the series, though it is many, many books long.

If you are interested in Warhammer 40k, and in particular if you want to see the very beginning of the Horus Heresy unfold then this book, and I can only assume (having just started it) this series, will be great interest to you.

This is the second book by Dan Abnett I've read (more than that really, because the first was Eisenhorn which is an "omnibus edition" of three books previously published separately) and I can say he never disappoints. His characters, the central ones anyway, are well developed; his ideas keep the pages turning quickly; his imagery is very near to second to none. In short, he's a good writer ideally suited to the world of Warhammer 40k.

So, why three stars? Within the paradigm of the Warhammer universe the Horus Heresy is mythology. As such, the characters we see as space marines and their commanders we know from near-legend 10,000 years later. And yet there is a strong effort to bring a human scale to the books, especially from the perspective of one of the main characters, perhaps the main character, Captain Loken. It's a bit like "Rosencranz and Guildenstern are Dead," a movie where smaller issues are written around the vast, soaring scope that is Hamlet. Here we have Captain Loken, a man breed for war and one of the best of his kind, seeing and interacting with a world with a different tone and feel - Horus, the other Primarchs (especially "The Angel"), and so on, and somehow it doesn't mesh perfectly.

Nonetheless, as I said, I'll keep on reading...
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