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(Gaunt's Ghosts #2)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  3,844 ratings  ·  122 reviews
Humanity's front-line defenders, the Imperial Guard, are aware of the risks to their bodies in defending the species, but they did not count on the damage to their souls. Reprint. ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 1st 2002 by Games Workshop(uk) (first published January 1st 2000)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  3,844 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Simon Clark
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
After the great start to the series in First and Only, Abnett makes what feels like a clumsy mis-step in Ghostmaker. The novel is an awkward mis-mash of two things: a collection of short stories and a standalone story that fills out the last section of the novel. Unfortunately it doesn't quite manage to be either of these convincingly. There are some nice character moments - Larkin's chapter in particular is one of my favourite mini-stories in the Black Library - but the short stories would have ...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
Dec 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40K novels certainly deliver. This is the second Gaunt's Ghosts novel, and I enjoyed it even more than the first (First and Only (Warhammer 40,000)). I'm not an expert on the Warhammer 40K universe. I read the books because they come highly recommended by my brother in law. With good cause, I might add. I guess it all comes down to specific taste, but these novels do exactly what they set out to do, and there is no pretension to anything else. What we have here is military ...more
Craig M
Aug 31, 2020 rated it did not like it
Nope not for me. Couldn’t even finish it.
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 40k
This is a bit of a clumsy book. It's basically a short story collection with a plot that ties those stories together. The short stories themselves all tell a story about a major character from Gaunt's Ghosts through their perspective. Most of these are pretty fun, others can be way to wordy for their own good; I quite enjoyed the one about the marksman who has a conversation with an angel.
The plot that ties them together, however, is a bit of a mess. The framing device of Gaunt talking to a sol
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
The second book in the Gaunt's Ghosts series by Dan Abnett carries on in the same vein as the first, in that it is truly excellent. The structure is in the same style as the first book, "First and Only", in that it does not follow a linear narrative, but makes use of flashbacks to fill in the history of the characters. What is really clever is how these flashbacks go right up to the current story line, which gives a better insight into the characters, than if we had just learnt about them in the ...more
Jun 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This short story version worked well to get to know a lot of the characters much more, but I lost interest in going back to it numerous times. It just isn’t as well put together as First and Only. Still a solid read, but it wasn’t a page turner for me. I finished it so that I could move on to Necropolis, which I’ve been told is the best book in the series by several Warhammer/40K super fans. On we go!!
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Changing the review to 5 stars. I really like this book. It's the second book of the Gaunt's Ghosts series, about a regiment in the imperial guard in the warhammer 40k universe. This book has an overarching story about a particular battle, but before it starts, you're given a backstory-short-story for about 6-8 of the main characters, which fleshes it all out a lot. Larkin's story really sticks in my head and it's why I'm changing my review to 5 stars. ...more
Andrew Ziegler
Aug 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Second book in the Gaunt's Ghosts series. And where the first one dropped you in the middle of the campaign with the Ghost's this book does not have a long running narrative. Sure there is a story that we visit on every other chapter, and it is the tale that gets you from point A to point B. However, the real story is every chapter is about one of the main characters in the Tanith 1st Regiment. You get one action packed vignette about all the big names. Gaunt, Brin, Bragg, Corbec, Rawne, Mkoll, ...more
Ren the Unclean
Aug 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sci fi/space warfare fans
Shelves: sci-fi
The second book in the Gaunt's Ghosts series is as good as the first one. More intensely violent military conflict in space against the horrifying forces of chaos, and it is again pulled off as well as any book of this type that I have read.

This story is a series of shorter events that each describe one of the main characters in more detail. This is a very cool way to tackle a complex group of individuals like this and really helps you learn more about their motivations and goals.

If you liked th
Student Teacher
Jun 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is the second Gaunt's Ghosts book by Dan Abnett. This book was formed from a bunch of short stories that appeared in Inferno! magazine and I believe they were actually written before the first book.

This book deals with the back story of a lot of the main characters, we learn their thoughts and emotions and what makes them human, and what makes them "real" in a sea of billions of Imperial Guardsmen.
Zach Perry
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original Review at Journey to Nowhere:

The second novel in the Gaunt’s Ghosts series by Dan Abnett, Ghostmaker continues the story of the Tanith First and Only – a regiment of Imperial Guard fighting the forces of Chaos in the Warhammer 40K universe. Here we see the regiment stationed on the jungle world Monthax, waiting behind friendly lines for the inevitable enemy assault. As the troopers go about their duties, Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt walks the li
Gilbert Stack
Oct 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Whereas the first book in this series was all Gaunt all the time, this novel focuses almost completely on the Ghosts who make up Gaunt’s regiment. It does this through a series of flashback stories, starting with the “founding” of the regiment and then highlighting specific ghosts so that the reader can get to know each of them better. The least successful of these stories for me was the first one, Ghostmaker, which tells how Gaunt pulled the Tanith First off their home world in the face of an u ...more
Adam Whitehead
Jul 24, 2011 rated it liked it
The Liberation Crusade continues its push into the Sabbat Worlds, pushing the forces of Chaos back on every front. The Tanith First-and-Only are deployed to Monthax, a jungle world which reminds the Tanith forces of their lost homeworld. As the battles there degenerate into a long, drawn-out stalemate the troopers known as Gaunt's Ghosts find themselves recalling the battles of the past even as a mysterious presence in the deep jungles decides to use the human forces for their own ends...

Daniel O'Brien
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly entertaining and quite devourable.

Ghostmaker does a fantastic job of going back and properly introducing us to the bevy of characters that make up the Tanith First. Abnett's writing is significantly improved and much tighter.

The increased characterisation was excellent - though let's be honest we're still dealing with the classic WW2 trope characters here. Don't go into expecting something mind shattering or eye opening. But they're a fun, well-developed set of tropes that have a servicea
John Davies
This is the second book in the Gaunt's Ghosts series, and it's made up of a series of short stories. Each one details an individual Ghost, with an overall linking story tying it all together.

It's good, solid writing. Abnett isn't afraid of killing off his characters, and yet you get the suspicion that there are some that are more vulnerable than others. There's not much to dislike, except perhaps the ease in which a group of soldiers ALWAYS seems to find themselves in exactly the right place at
Dave Kozisek
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ghostmaker takes us back into the Gaunt's Ghosts mythos from the beginning, fleshing out the individual officers and characters that make up the preeminent cadre. Abnett delivers on exactly what he promises: war in a grimdark future. Although we get an excerpt from each of the primary characters of the unit, it ultimately boils down to a frequently repetitive journey of muddy, brutal warfare. If you are familiar with the Warhammer 40k setting, you know what you are in for and likely are looking ...more
Primo S.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 40k
Quite a downgrade compared to the first book, but there's still some good stuff in it.

The book felt... Fragmented. The different chapters felt like many short stories stitched together without any overarching plot of theme that drives it forward.

The style of writing doesn't work quite as well as it did in the first book, and the rapid character switches felt jarring and made me hard to care for most of the character (because most of the book isn't about Gaunt (who I find to be the most interesti
Ghostmaker feels likre the slowest-paced of any of Dan Abnett's 40K books. The Ghosts are on Monthax, a jungle world, and the story of their Monthax campaign is quite good -- lots of plot twists, action, threats to favorite characters, 40K strangeness -- all the things I appreciate with good 40K fiction.

But the Monthax campaign interspersed with flashbacks to earlier military actions, each focused on an important Ghost. These introduce the recurring Ghosts and provide deeper insight into the ch
Michael Dodd
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Book two of the Gaunt’s Ghosts series, Ghostmaker – not to be confused with the short story of the same name – this is essentially a series of short stories framed by a single loose narrative, rather than a full novel. In a lull between actions on the jungle world of Monthax, Colonel-Commissar Gaunt walks the line sharing a few words with his men, each conversation prompting a new story.

It’s arguably a bit strange, in hindsight, for the second book in the series to be a book of short stories, a
phagocyte jr
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy the pulp fiction of the WH40K universe. I know it's not for everybody, but I truly enjoy relaxing with tales of heroic battles against the Chaos filth.

I felt it was a bit tedious in its form: each chapter a reminiscence of past events through the pov of a major Ghost. There were flashes of greatness, such as Mkoll's encounter of a Dreadnought and Rawne's escape from a horde of orks, but it was a little slower than the first installment. It's great for the overall series, but had
Jack Webb
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A far more concise affair than the first outing for the Ghosts. The shorter chapters and the 'flashback' segments do well to add to the flavour and flair that constant action sequences cannot do. Using book one as a launchpad 'Ghostmaker' builds on the individuals that make up Gaunt's Ghosts and allows you to see them in a larger light. Clumsy descriptive sections do however dampen the flow in a few places, yet it is not without reason and they do add to the world-building that Abnett has a flou ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I'd class this more a selection of very short stories than a full novel, getting to know each of the main Ghosts through separate battles from their own perspectives, demonstrating their variety of skills as turning points towards victory. It's quite clever in this respect bit it's hard to get into a flow as you feel like you keep having to start again. It's also hard to place how the start and end of the book linked with the middle chapters and it just felt disjointed. ...more
Carl Phillips
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
An interesting set of short stories. However, this type of anthology requires some framing - a series of stories told round the campfire to unify the them, or each chapter clearly having a time and place to provide setting and context. Instead you get nothing. So the chapters bleed into each other if you are not paying careful attention, the timeline blurs and the "central" plotline is weirdly cut up and divided.

Whoever edited this book is a damn fool.
Spencer Tracy
Mar 04, 2021 rated it liked it
I’ll admit this book was unique in style compared to the other two Books in the series I’ve read (First and Only & Honour Guard). It delves into character backstories with flashbacks but each one feels real and gives insight to characters I’ve been wanting to know better, especially Larkin and Corbec. Milo’s story is the final 20 something page segment and it leads right into the present day action fighting chaos which I enjoyed just as much as I did the others.
Anthony O'Connor
Apr 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

More of a short story collection than a proper novel, the Gaunt's Ghosts saga continues but can't help but feel a little fragmented thanks to the book's odd structure. Still, it's very enjoyable and having a deeper connection to the characters is welcome.

Apparently the next book, Necropolis, is where everything shifts into high gear so I suppose I'm gunna have to read that one now, hey.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the book. I like how the author delved a bit deeper in the lives/stories of some of the main Ghosts in the story. It really makes you care about the characters and hope nothing happens to them. The part that wasn't about the Ghost's history didn't appeal to me that much. Looking forward to reading #3 in the series! ...more
Rosalie Morris
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Having read the second omnibus first I found the change in tone a little disconcerting; you can tell Abnett hadn't found the tone he wanted for the Ghosts at this point. However, I enjoyed learning a little more about each character and I was very pleased to not have to read about Lijah Cuu anymore. ...more
Mario Acanda
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun assortment of adventures that the Ghosts go through. The book is less of a novel in the strict sense of the word but it does a few things very well. It explores the beginnings of the regiment forming and shines a spotlight on many prominent individual characters. It also elevates their veterancy seeing the Tanith First fight in so many fronts of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade.
Harrison Holmes
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5, most of the short stories are really really good character work, and actually cement the series as Gaunt's ghosts instead of just Gaunt and Friends. That said, one or two of the stories didn't really hold my attention, and the final battle scene tended to drag, as well as some weird continuity decisions. (Which I'll give a pass, because this is one of the formative books in modern 40k) ...more
David Walker
Apr 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Akin to a bombastic, R-rated popcorn flick peppered with distopian politics & corruption, doing justice to a background conceived in Thatcher's Britain. Lives are cheap & humankind's leaders are as much a threat to an individual's longevity as the physical lovecraftian horrors that drive the narrative forth.
Good bleak fun.
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Gaunt's Ghosts (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • First and Only (Gaunt's Ghosts #1)
  • Necropolis (Gaunt's Ghosts #3)
  • Honour Guard (Gaunt's Ghosts #4)
  • The Guns of Tanith (Gaunt's Ghosts #5)
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