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Gaunt's Ghosts: The Founding

(Gaunt's Ghosts #1-3)

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  3,894 ratings  ·  120 reviews
This omnibus edition of the first three Gaunt's Ghosts novels follows the story of the Tanith First-and-Only regiment (nicknamed the Ghosts) and their charismatic commissar, Ibram Gaunt. As they travel from warzone to warzone in the Chaos-infested Sabbat Worlds system, the Ghosts must not only carry out the most dangerous of missions but also survive the deady politics of ...more
Paperback, 768 pages
Published December 12th 2008 by Games Workshop (first published 2007)
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Average rating 4.44  · 
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 ·  3,894 ratings  ·  120 reviews

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Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Warmaster Slaydo is dead. The man wrangled as many different bureaucracies, and herded as many cats as he could, in order to raise a crusade to take back the Sabbat Worlds from the forces of Chaos. He slew the Archenemy @ Balhaut, but was mortally wounded in the process. As he lay dying, Slaydo promoted one of his favorite subordinates, Ibram Gaunt, and ordered him to raise an Imperial Guard unit of his own. What should've been a mopping up action @ Balhaut was bungled by the new warmaster, Maca ...more
I read this book not as a warhammer fan, but as a spouse to one. Keep that in mind as you read this review.[return][return]Gaunt's Ghosts, for those unfamiliar is about a regiment of Imperial Guard, led by a colonel commissar. What makes this band special is that the night they were commissioned, their commander saved them from the destruction of their homeworld. Viewed as homeless, barbaric and useless, this band is the underdog, striving through each war to win a new planet for themselves, usu ...more
Juho Pohjalainen
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Abnett is still grasping for his style and talent in the first two stories of this omnibus, but the third is already among his best.
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
06/04/10: Finished "First and Only" number 1 of the 3 books in this Omnibus.

Dan Abnett writes some good action scenes; although some of the actual warfare, weapons and tactics seem a bit out of place in a SF setting (it opens with a set piece that's more or less out of WW I trench warfare, complete with poison gas...)

Very little about the Warhammer 40K background, setting and tech level is explained - which mostly doesn't matter to the story, but is a bit frustrating as a Warhammer uninitiated r
John Scott
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First & Only was the book that got me interested in writing in general and sci-fi particularly. It was an amazing (and brilliantly graphic) portrayal of war in a sci-fi setting. I absolutely loved Colm Corbec, and the fight through the tunnels underneath Menazoid Epsilon was incredibly harrowing and nerve-wracking, even now after having read it twenty times! Ghostmaker was just as superb, collecting the original awesome short stories together; my personal favourite is the original "pilot" story ...more
David McGrogan
3 1/2 stars. I very much enjoyed the ride, but this definitely has the feel of a first novel. The breakneck speed of the plot generally works but it is all tied together a little too neatly and with slightly too many telegraphed twists and deus ex machina moments. I found the generic chaos baddies a little bit too generic. And some of the set pieces fall rather flat due to the somewhat breathless tone of the writing (the confrontation with the Absalom's captain and the scene with Gaunt and the w ...more
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, here I am back to the world of Warhammer 40K. This time, my victims were the Imperial Guard sweethearts: Gaunts' Ghosts.

In an overall, Dan Abnett is a great amazing writer. I'm not a fan of eternal battles but Dan puts into his writing humanity. And that, I confess, saves the day. He doesn't describe a battle to the boring detail of how many soldiers go to the front, how many bullets are lost, how many tanks go meeting their creator. No. Dan writes about people, for people. You feel what the
Mary Catelli
An omnibus of military SF.

These works are military SF. Bad things happen in them. Good characters get killed. But they have very dramatic plots, and many vividly drawn characters. Filled with honor and friendship and valor. Ibram Gaunt is a deeply developed character, and at any time, a dozen or so Ghosts are major characters. He does a massively multi-POV that lets in him get in a large scope of the battles they are in.

(One trick he has is to develop a character in a short scene. Sometimes this
Bradley Olson
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This series of which I have read 17 novels regards the exploits of a military officer in the far future. He attempts to hold together the last remains of the population of a ravaged world, honing them as a military force and forwarding the constant fight against the enemies of man kind. The setting of this series deviates from both reality and other fiction novels so much that its full description could take an hour or more. Needless to say I found the complexity of the world to be delightful an ...more
Ethan Mckenzie
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

If you are a Warhammer 40k fan, then basically anythig Dan Abnett writes should be automatically added to your library. Gaunt's Ghosts, in particular, is an excellent series, better than any other in Warhammer, from my point of view. When it comes to fiction, I have come to be in the habbit of judging extended series based on how many characters from it I remember the names and personalities of-in short, how many the author makes me give a damn about. For this.....the list is enormous. By the
Apr 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of action, Military Sci-fi
Not much on extended charcter descriptions, most development is done through the action and the way the characters act throughout action sequences.

Can be somewhat confusing if you aren't familiar with the Warhammer 40k universe.
Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intense, vivid, detailed, pure-play, big on story structure. Characters, ensemble, three books together, great map. Dense words, not one wasted. Memorable. Mozart effect. I got smarter, and out of breath. I had the best time! Next!
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. You really empathise with the characters. They're all friends - even the bad guys :) The humour is just right alongside the 'trench' warfare. Will definitely read again. Dan is a charismatic writer - will keep an eye out for his books on other subjects to see if he retains it. ...more
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm gonna review this one as whole, so I don't have to go and click for all the 3 books from the founding. First and Third books are masterpiece. Necropolis is my second favorite book in the series, second only to Traitor General - which is from The Lost series. ...more
Lemuel CyroN Salubo
The achievements, the losses, the relationships gained and lost. Abnett has this series on lockdown! A fantastic read through the challenges and triumphs of an imperial guard regiment and its commissar. Patiently waiting for my orders for the other omnibus books to arrive!
Kenneth Bjerhof
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the best Warhammer 40k novel series in existence!
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
*copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review*

Gaunt’s Ghosts is one of the flagship series of the Warhammer 40,000 novel-verse. There’s fifteen or so of them now, chronicling the adventures of the titular Ghosts, a regiment of guardsmen, regular humans, trying to make their way in a universe filled with demons, super-human cyborg warriors, psychotic orcs, condescending, murderous space-elves and all sorts of other creatures with attitudes that range from grudging tolerance to apocalyptic hostili
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read this series since high school, and so I went into it fully expecting it to not be nearly as good as I remembered.

I was pleasantly surprised when I found not only do they hold up, they are actually really good! Abnett manages to give us concepts and things we can understand, such as loss, comradeship, and classism; while surrounding these familiar traits with the alien world of Warhammer 40k.

Gaunt serves as the perfect introduction to the Ghosts, as he learns about what they can
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This omnibus includes the first three novels and three short stories from the Warhammer 40k series called Gaunt's Ghosts. It's my first foray into the Warhammer 40k series, and I found it to be quite inspiring. I tale of courage and bravery in the midst of endless war. The novels are all quite different form one another, but they all are quite well done. It's the story of an Imperial Regiment of men whose homeworld was destroyed and they seek to find meaning and purpose in fighting for the God-E ...more
Adam Johnston
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Setting aside the obviously inherantly slightly-cheesy nature of the WH40K setting (don't get me wrong - i'm a fan), the Gaunt's Ghosts series, and indeed much of the wider output of its author, Dan Abnett, are a gem of solid military-scifi; painting a grim picture of the lives of a regiment of regular human soldiers left without a home, following the destruction of their planet by the armies of Chaos.

Having first read these novels on their original release in the early 2000s, I enjoyed returni
Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed books 1 and 3 in the omnibus! I found the stories compelling and extremely vivid. Book 2 felt disjointed to me but largely because it was a completely different style than 1 and not what I was expected. Overall, a very dark series (because Warhammer isn't a happy place) but very well crafted by Abnett. The ending of book 3 made me so sad and really empathize with any person who has had their home destroyed by war.

I would recommend to military sci-fi readers, especially those wi
Brian Turner
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
The first 3 novels of Gaunt's Ghosts series (plus one special short story) in an omnibus edition. Shows how they were founded and has good interaction between characters.
Has plenty of action, and being an Imperial Guard novel, there's potentially a cast of billions. Abnett focuses on a few key characters, and throws in the occasional "red shirt" who gets name-checked just prior to being killed.
The Ghosts are a rough-and-ready bunch, and tend to be looked down upon by more established/higher clas
Reid Edwards
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It would be hard to over-rate this book - Gaunt and his Ghosts have stared in over 15 novels over two decades, and continue to delight readers time and time again. The protagonists are so lifelike, with passions and desires and motivations all their own, that whenever one dies (yes, Abnett is not afraid to kill popular characters if it makes sense in the story), it feels like you've lost a friend or acquaintance, rather than it being just words on a page. I highly recommend any fan of SF/militar ...more
Dan Cowden
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not 'Judy's another war story

While on the one hand these three books are genre rubbish, a mix of military sci-fi drivel leavened with a dash of Warhammer 40,000`s blend of bloody gothic horror, the vast of characters have a lot of humanity spread among them. Most of the characters act with an internal drive greater than "because the plot required it at the time." This is most obvious in the third book in this omnibus, "Necropolis."
M Munro
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My husband reads a lot of Warhammer and suggested this for me. It was a big undertaking and I am glad I gave it a shot but this is definitely not for me. In saying that the author writes well and gives incredible detail on the characters and the military. He focuses more on the feelings of the characters that come up during a battle which is refreshing. I would definitely suggest this to other Warhammer 40k book fans.
Paul D
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wouldn't recommend. Like a poor man's eisenhorn (since there are some parallels between commissars and inquisitors). 1st book in the omnibus was ok, prob enjoyed 2nd more -- it's a collection of short stories. 3rd didn't hold my attention as it was about a trade war between 2 hive cities in some random planet ...more
Paul Sparks
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a superb anthology of the first 3 Gaunts Ghosts books, there is true horror and despair in these books, they don’t call it the grim, dark future for no reason and there is only war.... nice to leave the Astartes to one side and see what the human imperium has to endure in the name of the God Emperor
Mary Snopl
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series of books strikes more humanity than any 40k books I've read yet

No long winded space marine speeches with fancy words. Just brutal reality at every turn. An amazing book in my opinion
Eric Yam
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very engaging plot with lots of battlefield description. It is a good start into books written by Dan Abnett. You will feel like you are a soldier in a grand war and cannot put the book down until you are done and truly done with it.. At the end, this book will make you wanna play Warhammer 40000!
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh man, this omnibus is such a good read. It's full of them feels, man. Recommended to anyone that likes war stories (knowledge of Warhammer 40K is not required though it makes the reading even more enjoyable). Band of brothers in 40K for sure. ...more
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Gaunt's Ghosts [Sept 2017] 30 32 Sep 28, 2017 10:57AM  
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it! 2 33 Apr 15, 2009 05:15PM  
an ok war story...if you like that sort of thing 1 14 Jan 21, 2008 07:09AM  

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Other books in the series

Gaunt's Ghosts (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • First and Only (Gaunt's Ghosts #1)
  • Ghostmaker (Gaunt's Ghosts #2)
  • Necropolis (Gaunt's Ghosts #3)
  • Honour Guard (Gaunt's Ghosts #4)
  • The Guns of Tanith (Gaunt's Ghosts #5)
  • Straight Silver (Gaunt's Ghosts #6)
  • Sabbat Martyr (Gaunt's Ghosts #7)
  • Traitor General (Gaunt's Ghosts #8)
  • His Last Command (Gaunt's Ghosts #9)
  • The Armour of Contempt (Gaunt's Ghosts #10)

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