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(Space Marine Battles #2)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,380 ratings  ·  88 reviews
When the world of Armageddon is attacked by orks, the Black Templars Space Marine Chapter are amongst those sent to liberate it. Chaplain Grimaldus and a band of Black Templars are charged with the defence of Hive Helsreach from the xenos invaders in one of the many battlezones. But as the orks numbers grow and the Space Marines dwindle, Grimaldus faces a desperate last st ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Games Workshop (first published April 2010)
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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,380 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Write a book about andrej
Ebster Davis
May 05, 2010 rated it liked it
This is the first Warhammer book I read that regular people (not just Asartes) actually fight. It also introduced me to the Salamanders (aka the loves of my life).

The author was able to make most of the characters likable (even the Limbless Lady in a Giant Jar...oddly enough). Even though there is a central character, the story is mostly ensamble (I'm glad because if the fate of the planet depended on a guy who really ambivalent about his life, it would have been lame).

I liked the interaction
Alexander Draganov
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, but I decided to be genereous in the end. Imagine if Darth Vader leads the defense of Minas Tirith in a world, which is far darker than either "Star Wars" or "The Lord of the Rings", and you'll get an idea about what this book is about. Grimaldus, the Reclusiarch of the Black Templars must lead the defence of Helsreach against an endless hordes of orks. As bonus, you have also clashes between giant robots, which are meaner than both transformers or gundams. All in all, a nerdheaven. W ...more
Elyssa Larsen
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great first foray into the Warhammer 40k universe, and a must if you’re a fan of the Black Templars. It struck a nice balance between fast paced action and character development.
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Single handed one of the best 40k books available. This book follows Grimaldus, the high chaplain of the black Templars. If your new to 40k a high chaplain is not just a religious leader, this chaplain gets his hands dirty purging xenos from the Galaxy in the emperors name.

Needless to say this book is teaming with action. It's doesn't give you much in the life of an average imperial citizen, but it will make you aware of what it's like defending a city that the rest of the empire has written off
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Helsreach, an industrial planet at the edge of the empire, is invaded by a horde of blood thirsty space orcs.
What follows is a battle of immense proportions.

This is written in a very easy style making it an absolute pleasure to read.
The language is fairly plain meaning you are never confused about where you are or who just got their face smashed in.
The story is quite loose and isn't afraid to glaze over a big battle if things are getting stale.

I have a rough knowledge of the lore but I don't th
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dang this was a really really good read. Probably the best ADB book I have read so far. The characters and the action are both top notch. And Andrej is the best boy.
May 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Helsreach by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
Black Library Publishing
414 Pages
*This is an advance copy review.

When the world of Armageddon is attacked by orks, the Black Templars Space Marine Chapter are amongst those sent to liberate it. Chaplain Grimaldus and a band of Black Templars are charged with the defence of Hive Helsreach from the xenos invaders in one of the many battlezones. But as the orks numbers grow and the Space Marines dwindle, Grimaldus faces a desperate last stand in
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was extremely skeptical about reading Helsreach since the vast majority of licensed IP tie-in novels that crop up around successful game/movie/tv franchises are terrible, but this is one of those rare cases when the author absolutely gets it right. "The Grimdark" comes to life from the perspectives of a diverse cross-section of characters that are thrown together in the defense of Hive Helsreach against an overwhelming ork invasion while struggling to understand each other and find ways to coo ...more
Laurence Roberts
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Currently finishing off this rather charming read . I say that as while I'm a fan of the 40K game , i've often found the books to be rather dry , dull and lacking in anything other then 1 dimensional space marines .

The only other exception I found was the Brothers of the Snake , which shares the excellent character development that makes this book so enjoyable .

Space Marines have characters and personalities that are not human , that's it , such a simple thing . They're not 1D killing machines
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: warhammer
"We are judged in life for the evil we destroy."

Helsreach is possibly the most brutal 40k novel I've read yet. At what cost is victory worth it?

ADB is arguably the best of the Black Library authors. He excels at character depth and in humanizing the Astartes. The difference in the creeds of the Black Templars and the Salamanders was interesting to behold - how those of differing chapters may not understand one another's beliefs - it's very humanizing. Gemmell-esque, in a way. Courage in the fac
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the better "Warhammer 40K" books that I've read - Dembski-Bowden is great at giving heroic genre archtypes like the Space Marines of the 40K universe layers and shading, so that they never become the simplistic, invunerable comic book bad-asses that they might otherwise be depicted as.

The scale of this book is impressive, as is the sense of impending doom which permeates - there's no other way that the novel could have ended but the reader frequently finds themself hoping against hope for
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I started to read this book, I did not think I would get real far. The book starts in the 41st millennium in space, near a planet that is to be invaded by Orks. The Black Templar are called out to help protect the planet from the invaders. Grimaldues a newly founded chaplain is in charge of the garrison left to help the planet on the ground. He later learns that they were there to raise the morale of the guardsmen and to die on the planet. I read this book because it is one of the armies th ...more
Rowan Lock
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Aaron Dembski-Bowden is really umatched by other Black Libeary authors - expect perhaps Abnett. Unlike Soul Hunter or The First Heretic, this isn't a planet spanning fluff quest revealing secrets about the Traitor Legions, it's just the one siege in a fairly well-known and conventional 40k conflict and a cast of Loyalists. Even then, he manages to make a hopeless siege interesting and even though you know how it will end, you don't know. The characters really come to life - and the Black Templar ...more
Everey Bonifacio
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
ADB never fails to impress. A nail biting tale of urban street by street warfare with a tale of self discovery thrown in. The pacing of the story is quick and none of the characters seem two dimensional. Grimaldus is an intersting character. Distant one moment and the next giving a rousing speech at Helsreach's walls. ADB weaves the tale so well that you can't help but feel for all the characters in the book since their personalities just jumps from the pages. Can't wait to read Blood and Fire n ...more
Mark Balsdon
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Black Templars are my favourite second founding chapter. If you know anything about the Black Templars you will know they like to fight. Kind of like knights off old.

So who better to write a Space Marine Battle Novel about the Black Templar at Armageddon than Aaron Dembski-Bowden. Another book that contains a great story with lots of action.

This book leaves you wondering to the very end if they will survive the battle for Helsreah or will they die facing the overwhelming numbers of Orks.
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When I started reading this book I really struggled for a little to get into the flow but I soon became enamoured with the characters and the seemingly doomed struggle for survival told within the pages of this novel.

The author had an annoying habit of slipping from third to first person, something I really do not like in any novel and find ruins the immersion for me, but I still loved the novel and highly recommend it.
Nov 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This one is another Space Marine Battles book. In this novel the Black Templars Chapter are covered and the setting is the abomination planet called Armageddon. The characters here are rich and as the last novel in this series I reviewed the common thread of the connection with normal humans comes through very strong here. Well written and awesome combat scenes ensue in this thrilling tale. Great Book!

Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
An impressive tale of the Black Templars, led by Grimauldus, in their defense of the hive city Helsreach from a massive ork invasion. Aaron Dembski-Bowden writes these characters expertly, presenting them as a prominent Space Marine killing force against the orks, yet making them seem conflicted and caring at the same easy feat. As usual, the death and destruction are off the charts on both sides, but there is plenty of heroics to go around.....a definite must for Warhammer fans.
Aug 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book. Grimaldus' bitterness makes him seem almost human, and yet the actions which display said bitterness make him blatantly inhuman. It's impossible not to support his every decision. Hero of Helsreach, indeed.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
prob a 4.5 , made me wonder why it took me so long to pick up the Warhammer 40K world again- what an adventure with the orks- the devastation they embarked on Armageddon was massive!
Dino Calandra
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Goes great with the audiobook! Really enjoyed the first person narrative of the Black Templar's.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a excellent book set during the 3rd War for Armageddon. The book focuses on Merek Grimaldus who is a total badass.
May 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: warhammer-40-000

The synopsis of Helsreach is one of brutal simplicity: Merely the gruff, unyielding demeanour of the Black Templars pitted against the millions of Orkish-Xenos assaulting the Hive of Helsreach, within Armageddon Secundris, until the end. Perhaps it is this comment that sets about Grimaldus and the Second Founding Chapter as unbreakable, pious knights, who will stand upon mountains of rotting corpses in their duty, that sends momentary shivers down our spines, and sets us drool
Brett Bricker
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Despite finishing this book several weeks ago, I have been procrastinating at writing its review. This is mainly because I am unsure on how to rate this book. This is one of the few books that I have read where I intensely was bored at times and richly engaged at others. Helsreach is a grand tale of planetary battle on an unimaginable scale and filled with immense conflict and the potential for powerful narrative. Perhaps this is where it falls flat. There is so much going on and so much being c ...more
Michael H (Mouse UK)
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-book
I read a warhammer book a few years ago about the Eldar and enjoyed its story and plot. The action packed story still sits well in my mind.

This story was full of action and fighting (days and weeks and....) you get the point, but because of this is jumped from story being told from first person, to narrator talking about what was happening to time jumps with list of "day 7" x happens and x people died then back to the story.
It just felt a bit all over the place and in a few spots it then jumped
Niklas Elmqvist
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
On the one hand, the constant warring got a little tedious. Also, there are a lot "big moments" in this book, almost to the point that it becomes hard for the author to bring about a sufficiently big moment to end the book. Instead, the book kind of peters out in a pretty anticlimactic way.

On the other hand, I loved the book in many ways. This may stem from my affinity to Warhammer 40k from adolescence (I even painted the miniatures!), but damn, there's something downright cool about Space Marin
Alexander Blakeley
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm giving this 2 stars instead of one, thanks to the supplementary characters. This is more of a disaster book in that there is no clear antagonist and the orks have about as much personality as a particularly poorly described volcano. The main protagonist isn't just wooden, he's downright painful to put up with (because the only time he gets personality is when he's being a colossal douche). Get past these roadblocks to the cast of humans, however, and you've got a fantastic coterie of interes ...more
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Seemed like a war documentary in parts. Following the exploits of people that fight heroically against impossible odds and then are killed offscreen half the time. Some of them you can just see the black background with white text in your head it is so formulaic. But the thing that really got me was a big deal was made over geneseed collection and then at the end it detailed none. Was some percentage recovered or was it all lost?
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: warhammer-40k
Character development, wrapped in bolter porn. Grimaldus finding his own style as a newly-minted Reclusiarch (Black Templar Chaplain) is what keeps this novel from being dull. ADB gave all the characters enough personality to make you care, even when you know they are going to likely be killed by orks. A good read for a long airline flight.
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