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False Gods

(The Horus Heresy #2)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  9,405 ratings  ·  388 reviews
The human Imperium stands at its height of glory - thousands of worlds have been brought to heel by the conquering armies of mankind. At the peak of his powers, Warmaster Horus wields absolute control - but can even he resist the corrupting whispers of Chaos?
Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 11th 2006 by Black Library (first published 2006)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  9,405 ratings  ·  388 reviews

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Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Still not sure if this book is better or worse than first one but it's still a bloody good fun.

Writing in this book is notch bellow first one. So far I got the impression that Abnett is better writer than McNeil, his dialogs and characters where more enjoyable. On the other hand story in this book is at much more interesting place. Horus rising was more of prolog while this book deals with events that lead to Horus becoming aligned with Chaos and starts setting the stage for the main events and
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interestingly, I think the best quote to sum up the qualities of the second book of the Horus Heresy is this:

"What lies beyond that door?" asked Horus, backing away from the silver portal.
"Truths you will not want to see," replied Sejanus, "and answers you will not want to hear."

This book was absolutely spectacular. False Gods is in my mind even better than its predecessor Horus Rising, mostly because of its absolutely artistic description of the corruption and subversion of Horus and some of
Gianfranco Mancini

I was there the day that Horus fell...

The opening trilogy of the Horus Heresy is still one of the best parts of the saga, and re-reading it after ten years is still a blast. My knowledge of Warhammer 40000 lore grown a lot in this time, and knowing now what is going to happen to characters in their future adds a lot of pleasure and entertainment to the reading.
Kharn, Magnus, Fabius, Angron, Lucius and so on. I'm so happy this is not just a list of names for me.
(view spoiler)
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, favorites
Of all the books on the Warhammer 40K universe, the Horus Heresy series ranks among the best out there. Book Two follows in the tour de force style of the first volume.

The infamous events of the fall of the Warmaster continues. After the events of the first book and the corrupted evil sword was stolen, by Erebus, and caused a war between the Interrex and the Imperium. The events surrounding Jubal (the Space Marine that was possessed) are causing people to begin to view the Emperor as a God. The
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Science and religion collide - breaking friendships and brotherhoods alike"

This is a reread of the Horus Heresy series. I've been slowly buying the Premium edition hardback books. So given this, I wanted to mention how beautiful the embossed cover is under the dust jack. It portrays the image you can see on the cover picture. Rather neat. Black Library has also added four images per novel, that pertain to a particular scene in the novel. The thing is, there very cartoonish - I'm not a fan of
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Well shit, that escalated fast. I knew it was coming, but Horus went from a likable hero to a first rate douche bag in a couple hundred pages. All I have to say is Torgaddon better not die in the next book - he's my favorite.
Mar 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Lots of filler 'n shit in this one, but there was some fun action and it's hard to not have fun in a universe as motherfucking over the top as 40k's. More to come if and when I feel like writing about 40k stuff, which will probably be never because I already have an obscene backlog.
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Well this was a major step down from the first book in the Horus Heresy series. In "Horus Rising", Dan Abnett did his best to set up the psychology of the main characters in the saga, making me think that Horus' monumental decision to take down the Emperor would be based on some kind of internal conflict, and drama, and shades of grey issues of morality. It also made me very curious to see how will he get to that point. Unfortunately, all my high hopes were quickly dispersed when Graham McNeill ...more
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing

I was there the day that Horus fell

The Great Crusade continues. Warmaster Horus and his newly renamed Legion, the Sons of Horus and the other member of 63rd expedition continues to lead the war to ensure the destiny of mankind to be the ruler of the galaxy. The primarch is alone and without the guidance of the emperor the forces unknown to them is watching.


False Gods is a personal story about Horus and the Astartes of the Sons of Horus(Luna Wolves). To the doubting Horus and slow buildup on
David Guymer
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Two books into the Horus Heresy and two great stories down.

I actually found this one even better than Horus Rising (but there is no sixth star to give it) for the way the novel plays with the concept of truth. There are parts when I'm so twisted around by what the character's are seeing and doing that even I don't know who's good and who's evil, and given that I go into this thinking I know everything about this setting that's a pretty amazing thing. It was a little slower to get going than
Jul 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the second in the Horus Heresy series from Black Library. The blurb from the back is as follows: The Great Crusade that has taken humanity into the stars continues. The Emperor of Mankind has handed the reins of command to his favoured son, the Warmaster Horus. Yet all is not well in the armies of the Imperium. Horus is still battling against the jealousy and resentment of his brother primarchs and, when he is injured in combat on the planet Davin, he must also battle his inner daemons. ...more
Jan 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I faltered a few times reading this book, due, not to the fault of the author, but rather to my own trepidation that the story unfolding ahead might fail to be convincing under the weight of import this stage in the series has for the whole WH40K universe.

My fears were not realised, however, as the subtle shifts unveiled in characters between book 1 (Horus Rising) and this book were well implemented (between two different authors, I might add), and helped spread the gravity of events more
Thomas Edmund
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
False Gods is the second installment in the Warhammer 40K novels. It is in essence very much a '2nd' book in that while very enjoyment the action essentially connects the 1st book to the next and doesn't really contain much of a standalone story.

In prose and plot however I felt that False Gods was more precise and efficient than Horus Rising, the pacing was steady and the action fairly rip-roaring. In terms of the basic experience of reading it I enjoyed False Gods more, however Horus Rising I
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you had any doubt of whether it was worth taking up this second book in the series, let me tell you False Gods is an absolutely amazing follow up to Horus Rising that in my opinion manages to outdo its predecessor. Many questions have been answered and storylines magnificently expanded upon. If you even remotely enjoyed Horus Rising you will undoubtedly enjoy this next fantasical entry in the Horus Heresy saga. False Gods is simply one of the best books I've ever read.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A satisfyingly good read

I feel that I've been entranced into this particular universe. The door out has closed behind me with a deafening slam.

I couldn't be happier.
Craig M
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another great instalment of this fantastic series. I loved the transformation of the Warmaster in this book, it was a great example of how to do something that you know is coming, but still make it a compelling read.

I didn’t think the writing in this one was quite as good as Dan Abnett’s first instalment. This however didn’t prevent me from giving this a five star review. I think it was more a testament to just how good that first book was, rather than a slight against this one.

There’s some
Linton Newton
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a good book. There's no turning back now for Horus.
Alain DeWitt
May 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
This is the second in the Horus Heresy series (a series numbering 12 or 15 volumes) in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. (Warhammer 40,000 is a popular tabletop miniature war game published by Gamers Workshop.)

The main selling point of these books are the military sci-fi setting. The writing chores are handled by different authors but in the prologue of 'Horus Rising' Dan Abnett wrote of how they worked as a team. This is necessary in a tale as sprawling as this one and it explains the consistency
Alexander Draganov
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Heresy takes roots indeed!
Impressive novel by Graham McNeil /Defenders of Ulthuan/ which really ignites the Horus Heresy saga. Masterful symbolism is fundamental for the sorcerous system of the setting, which is great, always nice to see that the author did his homework when creating magic. Plot is of a slow downfall - of a single man and of the whole Imperium - and reminds me of my favorite "Deathstalker Return" by Simon R. Green - although it is even darker and with smaller hope.
Tazio Bettin
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a rather quick read, which considering the page count suggests how quick paced and engaging the narration was. It did leave me, however, with some mixed feelings. It's well written, though sometimes I feel like there's an abundance of adjectives and unnecessary specifications or descriptions just to make the book long enough. It's not as bad as it sounds, it didn't make the read heavy or boring and there definitely is a lot of meat in this book. But it wasn't there in the previous ...more
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Second in the 45 book series, but fantastic. I've loved the mythos of the Game's Workshop's Warhammer 40k universe, and this detailed rendering of the Horus Heresy is exciting, shocking, and filled with intrigue.
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent follow-up to Horus Rising. Given the overall context of the "Horus Heresy," I knew what had to come, and McNeill executed it well.
Jeremy Gonzales
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The tone set in place by Dan Abnett in this book’s predecessor is exemplified and perfected with a grace unlike any I have ever experienced in writing. Despite my initial apprehension at a series in which each entry has a different author, I was captivated by the tonal and narrative cohesion this book kept from the first entry. Threads left by Abnett at the end of Horus Rising are expanded upon as if Abnett himself held the pen. Fantastical fiction is a stranger to classical tragedy, but McNiell ...more
Dylan Murphy
First and Second Review 11/20/2013
False Gods by Graham McNeill was a fantastic follow up to Dan Abnett's "Horus Rising". It takes the tale of introduction Horus and his legion(and some of their brothers), and making him fall.

The book begins with the (newly re-named)Sons of Horus leaving the Interex, and making for Davin at the behest of the Word Bearers Legion. Davin, a world brought into compliance some 6 decades ago, seems to have revolted against the Imperium, and Erebus makes sure to make
Fabian Scherschel
Sep 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi, warhammer40k
This book starts pretty slow but gets better and better throughout, culminating in a somewhat gripping finale. All in all, it's no Dan Abnett but the storyline is well developed and definitely key as this is where we learn how exactly Horus got tainted by Chaos. I had wished to learn more about the war with the interex but the only thing we get is a one-line "they were beaten" explanation in the middle of the book. Seeing how Horus Rising ended with a desperate extraction of the warmaster from ...more
May 30, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think, after nine months on my reading list, it might be time to just admit that I couldn’t give less of a crap about Horus. He’s a bit like Ted, from How I Met Your Mother: everyone keeps mentioning how great he is in the text, but nothing he’s actually doing makes me think anyone under his command would even respect him, let alone adore him. Such a fundamental mischaracterisation makes the Horus Heresy nearly impossible to get into for me (which is sad, because I have fond memories of 40K).
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Whereas Horus Rising was the slow-burn start to this storyline, this book is where things really start to hit the fan. While I liked the first book, and appreciated what it did for the story, this book is certainly the more exciting of the two.

But first, let's call a duck a duck. I feel like it must be stated in all of these reviews: at their heart, these are ridiculous power fantasies - there's hardly a chapter that goes by where the strength and majesty of the Astartes or the Primarchs isn't
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
I had to put this one down and pick it up a few times, the first half really dragged for me. The second half picked up a little bit, but for all tactical brilliance the characters are supposed to have, they sure do just run straight at things and hit it with swords a lot. Every action scene was the same:

Run up and chop em!!
Aren't we glorious?

The characters behaved more like what you'd imagine orks would be when it finally came down to the action bits, which left me wondering why
Milo (BOK)
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Full Review: (Dual Review with fellow Founding Fields member, Lord of the Night)

“A weak second installment in the Horus Heresy series by Graham McNeill and not his finest moment, but is essential reading if you want to learn why Horus fell.” ~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields

The Great Crusade that has taken humanity into the stars continues. The Emperor of mankind has handed the reins of command to his favoured son, the Warmaster Horus. Yet all is not
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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 96 books)
  • Horus Rising (Horus Heresy #1)
  • Galaxy in Flames (The Horus Heresy #3)
  • The Flight of the Eisenstein (The Horus Heresy #4)
  • Fulgrim (The Horus Heresy #5)
  • Descent of Angels (The Horus Heresy #6)
  • Legion (The Horus Heresy #7)
  • Battle for the Abyss (The Horus Heresy #8)
  • Mechanicum (The Horus Heresy #9)
  • Tales of Heresy (The Horus Heresy #10)
  • Fallen Angels (The Horus Heresy #11)
“Ignorance and fear create the gods, enthusiasm and deceit adorn them, and human weakness worships them.” 14 likes
“When you have come to the edge of all that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen,’ the Warmaster had told him.
‘And what are they?’ he had asked.
‘That there will be something solid to stand on or you’ll be taught to fly,’ laughed Horus as he jumped.”
More quotes…