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Mechanicum

(The Horus Heresy #9)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  3,709 ratings  ·  129 reviews
As the flames of treachery spread throughout the Imperium, Horus plots to subvert or destroy all those who would stand against him. On Mars, home world of the Mechanicum priesthood, the great manufactory-cities have long produced much of the weaponry required for the expeditionary fleets across the galaxy - making the world invaluable to whoever controls it in the coming w ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 25th 2008 by Games Workshop
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,709 ratings  ·  129 reviews


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Robert
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
Of every Horus Heresy novel to date, I think I was looking forward to this more than any. Boy was I setting myself up for a huge disappointment! Rather than the rise of the Dark Mechanicum and a massively draw-out high-tech war (which is after all McNeill's raisen d'etre), we get a plodding story which weaves several seperate strands together to knit an underwhelming whole.

Once again, we get one side told from the perspective of 'normal' humans, something which is overdone by this point in the s
...more
Sud666
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Books set in the Horus Heresy are consistently superbly written and full of pertinent "historical" background. Mechanicum stays true to this formula.

This book is enlightening in that it shows us the events of the Heresy of Mars. It shows the close ties between the Fabricator-General of Mars and Horus, the Warmaster. It explains how the Chaos corruption spread and we witness the birth of the Dark Mechanicum (and even found out the origin of that name). Also the famed (infamous?) Titan Legion Legi
...more
Jeff
Sep 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is Book Nine of the Black Library Horus Heresy series, the second novel of the series by Graham McNeill.

Thus far I have read the entire series. The series is overall exceptional; easily the best work but out by Black Library to date. There have been a few small “bumps” along the road. I point to Descent of Angels as the low point of the series as far as catching and holding my attention as well as staying true to the feel of the other books.

My favorites of the series so far are Flight of th
...more
David
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Lots of mindless Horus Heresy fun.
Mihai Dan
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second best Warhammer book I read and a solid 5 stars for a Warhammer novel. Unfortunately, there are a lot of background information that are assumed to be known by the reader from the Warhammer universe, that I couldn't recommend the book to someone unfamiliar at least with some 40k elements.
Kym Jackson
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Another mildly enjoyable addition to the Horus Heresy series, which - though I think Pulp-Sci-Fi fiction (including Games Workshop, Star Wars, &c.) has a place - makes too many missteps which can't just be excused by the fact that these books are not meant to be fine literature. I also wonder what the non-initiated would make of this book - I think it would be incomprehensible.

Once again, there was no need to tell this story from the point of view of some lowly humans, it would have been be
...more
PsypherPunk
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
We've met several 'alien' planets in the course of the series thus far but they've never been more than peripheral. That's never been an issue as those brief impressions served their purpose. Now, however, we're closer to home: Mars. Tens of millennia of history, second jewel in the crown of the Imperium an' all that. It's a shame that the book never quite captures the scale of the whole thing. Functionally, this is a whole world at war and yet we see only minute snippets as we're given an endle ...more
Keamy Loken
Apr 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Good read, likable characters. (Possibly the first time I liked the normal humans in a story.)
Up to this point what I have read about adepts etc. Makes them all out as terrible not interesting characters. This showed their true colors :P
I'd recommend it to any heresy fan. The ending left me smacking my head, and added some interesting ideas for my fan fiction :D
Michael Dodd
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Young scribe Dalia Cythera is whisked off to Mars by Adept Koriel Zeth, who puts her innate understanding of technology to use working on a ground-breaking project. Meanwhile tensions are mounting between rival factions on Mars, even bringing the Titan Legions into conflict. It's the beginning of the civil war on Mars, and the ‘death of innocence’ – the loss of knowledge and the start of the journey towards stagnation – that ensues. It’s also an exploration of Mars and the inner workings of the ...more
Adam O'Grady
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting look into the fate of the Mechanicum during the Horus Heresy in the Warhammer 40k universe. It looks at the split between those that followed the Emperor and those that fell to Chaos. Good to fill in the gaps if you're into WH40k lore but I wouldn't recommend it to newcomers to the genre.
Adam Bell
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read, more character driven then most of the series. I enjoyed the lack of legions also as a stand alone story.
Steve
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was a bit surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. I was unexcited about this entry initially, because it takes such a big step away from the main storyline, but it won me over. Mechanicum has a surprising heart to it. While it still uses the "Grim darkness of the far future" tagline as its balance point (just like all Horus Heresy books do), it has more humanity to it, more to relate to - characters that balk at unnecessary loss of life rather than casually dismissing it, for example. Additi ...more
Periklis
I really expected so much more from this volume of the Horus Heresy. Way too many characters to really enjoy the action and a "quest" story that almost got lost inside the overall plot. McNeill is usually great and his descriptions are truly evocative, yet, this tale didn't connectwith me. Or I had higher expectations than I should. The Cybernetica novella which covers the same ground, at the same interior chronology, was much more enjoyable (and much shorter).

2.5 / 5 overall...
Jean-Luc
Jun 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Knights and Titans and Skitarii and Ordinatus, oh my! The many worlds of the Imperium feel similar, because they're all governed by the Administratum. Mars is different: It feels almost as alien as any xenos homeworld. This is the first and last look we get of Mars at its zenith, before everything goes so very, very wrong.

Dalia Cythera was busy at work when she was struck by a strange idea: "Maybe I can improve this?" She is immediately accused of heresy and sentenced to be executed. Adept Korie
...more
Fabian Scherschel
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Definitely one of the best books in the series so far; on par with Dan Abnett's awesome opening. A great story, surprisingly epic, that sheds a long-awaited light on the nature of the Mechanicum. McNeill paints a brilliant picture of Mars and its cults, and while the book has a slow beginning and slow stretches in the middle, it is fascinating all the way. The final battle is nothing short of breathtaking and the characters are very well written. This is one of the books in the series where you ...more
Dylan Murphy
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ah Mechanicum.
This truly glorious story was about the civil war that takes place on Mars at the start of the Horus Heresy, and details the fall of mars and the rise of the Dark Mechanicum.
The novel was really, really good. I read The Kaban Project before it, and the tie-ins were amazing. It provided some really good insight into some of the characters.

Now for the novel itself, there were so many awesome things. The very technological battles that took place were awesome, as well as what the Da
...more
Jaime
Mar 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one
This book continues to tell the story of the Horus Heresy.

Cheap fiction is one of my guilty pleasures, and I like to mix in these books with my more normal reading.

The book is written by one of the better novelists in the Black Library's cycle of writers. However, I feel the book is lacking in a few key areas.

1) It tries to follow 3 story arcs. None of the stories are very good to begin with, and trying to cram them all into 400 pages didn't work.

2) There are too many characters (this is norma
...more
Alexander Draganov
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Frenetic ending made this book look much better than it actually is! That's the annoying part with McNeill, I know that when he is top, he is one of the best, but he takes a long time to set up the story. Here we follow the story of Dalia Cythera, a young woman with a gift for understanding technology. Within her, the secrets for better future of the humanity are hidden. Sadly, the Horus Heresy finally reached Mars and the Mechanicum is torn by a bloody civil war. In the same time Dalia understa ...more
Sven Mysterioso
An odd book.

Good filler for the Horus Heresy. There's got to be a lot of meat in the Mars Schism plotline. This book doesn't deliver it though. Its too caught up in its own micro-plotting and you miss the larger overtures. Just feels like it wants to be a human interest story.

Also, the Mechanicum is always portrayed a certain way with their surrender of humanity and emotion. This novel stands out alone in that it ignores that. I mean, you have to, in order to have good conflict and build up, but
...more
Latrell Zacklane
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well, The Black Library apparently has its own STC on writing Horus Heresy books xD Though, the emotions are vastly varies for me while I've been reading through three recent books of the series, which were "The Legion", "Battle for Abyss" and "Mechanicum". It was like "Wow, that's splendid!" during the "Legion" and "Oh, crap, what a disaster" on the "Battle for Abyss" and I was nearly about to drop wasting my time on the whole cycle. "Mechanicum" has returned me the faith that the wh40k novels ...more
Brian
Jan 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, warhammer-40k
Great story that left me with more questions than answers. Very little in the way of Astartes action and what there was made them seem like total jerks, but there is a civil war going on so I suppose we can forgive them. I now want to know more about the Mechanicum in the present time line.
Gabriel Baciu
Dec 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Starts veeery slow but builds up nicely and gets really good at the end.
Too bad it didn't start the same way.
Taddow
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: warhammer-40-000
I enjoyed the Titan battles in this book and wished that there were more stories about them. The rest of the novel is okay but I thought that the ending could have used a little more.
Miguel Dominguez
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm frustrated that this book didn't make me care about the characters. Lots of Warhammer 40k books have this problem. Oftentimes I couldn't even write one sentence to describe some of the minor characters, which is definitely the case here. Even the major characters were mostly cardboard cutouts that went around moving the plot forward.

This book does the Warhammer 40k thing well. There is gore, there is war, there is technology infused with religion infused with madness. This one focuses on the
...more
Harry Tidby
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderfully written installment to the series, with only around 30 pages of Astartes which was a refreshing change of pace. I am personally very interested in the Mechanicum so this was 400 pages of pure interest for me, the world building (and destroying lmao) was really well done, the characters felt very three dimensional, and the overall writing style was great. My critiques would be that the dialogue felt a bit clunky and melodramatic, and that even in the meme-filled Grimdank future of t ...more
Eric Smith
This very much started out as a 2 star for the first part of the book. I do not know why but I just could not connect with anything that was going on. It did pickup nicely and I managed to get invested and while i wasn't excited or thrilled I did enjoy finding out how the Mechanicum disintegrated and seeing how Mars operated before the Heresy and how the Dark Mechanicum came to form from what should have been a very ordered and logical society. In that I was not disappointed and I am curious to ...more
Owain
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sience-fiction
This must be the easiest book I've read in a while. Consequently it was also really fun. Despite it being probably classed as 'trashy' Sci-fi Graham McNeill is a good author with an able imagination and good writing ability. Occasionally an action scene might be slightly lacking in comprehensibility but that's about it.

In terms of the Horus Heresy series it doesn't quite reach the heady heights of the first five books, but neither does it stoop as low as Fallen Angels.
Jordan Steinhoff
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
An enjoyable look at the expanding Heresy, this time within the Mechanicum of Mars.

It was a nice break from the ever present space marines and the high drama of some of the other books. A ground level view, for the most part, of the events on Mars and the advent of the Dark Mechanicum.

The story focused a lot on some of the Titan and Knight pilots and these chapters definitely make me want to expand my 30k and 40k armies.

Tim Chant
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Exploring a less trodden area of the 40K universe - the Mechanicum at the time of the Horus Heresy - this is an interesting read and explores a vision of Mars as a heavily settled techno-theocratic world. The Titan on Titan fight scenes are excellent and some engaging characters are featured. It did feel a little bit like a bit more closure was needed at the end, but I guess it's setting up other things for later book.
Mikolajczak Corentin
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very entertaing !

I was not so much instructed about the W40k Universe when I started this book, just knew about the basic Lore. As a first novel to read about 40k, It was a big hit for me : Even if i recommend you to start before with the Horus Ascencion.

I liked the scenario and the characters. It is not perfect, but a must-read if you want to know a bit more about the Adeptus Mechanicus.
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  • Nemesis
  • Tales of Heresy
  • Fallen Angels
  • The First Heretic
  • Age of Darkness
  • Battle for the Abyss
  • Prospero Burns
  • Deliverance Lost
  • Descent of Angels
  • The Horus Heresy: Collected Visions
  • Scars
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Hailing from Scotland, Graham McNeill narrowly escaped a career in surveying to work for Games Workshop as a games designer. He has a strong following with his novels Nightbringer, Warriors of Ultramar, Dead Sky, Black Sun and Storm of Iron.

Other books in the series

The Horus Heresy (1 - 10 of 80 books)
  • Horus Rising
  • False Gods
  • Galaxy in Flames
  • The Flight of the Eisenstein
  • Fulgrim
  • Descent of Angels
  • Legion
  • Battle for the Abyss
  • Tales of Heresy
  • Fallen Angels
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