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sweetdaddyg

Black Library, anyone a fan?

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I realise there is an argument for putting this in arts & literature, but I figured it would be more relevant here.

I am currently reading the Horus Heresy series and I love the Eisenhorn books. Would it be bad to jump a few books ahead in the heresy to A thousand Sons and Prospero Burns or do I really need to read them all in order?

Sometimes I find the Eisenhorn short stories are very effective. Would work well as a telly series.

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I think the first four or five books are in chronological order up to the drop site massacre. After that the books jump around in the timeline. So provided you have a basic understanding of the heresy story you should be okay with TS and PB. In fact I think you can pick and choose which books to read depending on which legions and aspect of the setting you are interested in. Outside of the heresy I've not read much apart from of ADB's stuff.

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Thanks Cocky. I have just finished Eisenstein. Read an Eisenhorn short in between (Perihelion, its great btw) and am now deciding to read one of the space wolf stories or just move onto thousand sons as I want to read about the burning of Prospero.

I was always big into the fluff side of things and love the books. When I play I don't care if I win or lose, as long as I am playing with someone else with a passion for fluff who likes a fluffy game.

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I've only read the Ravenor trilogy (plus associated short stories) but it was excellent stuff. Might want to read Eisenhorn too as Abnett's next Inquisitor trilogy features both characters (and associated minions).

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I'm up to date with the Heresy I think - so many of the later books are just revisiting stuff again and again, it can get extremely frustrating - 24 books in or whatever it is, it seems like it could still be 20 books from the actual invasion of Terra.

A rough rule of thumb was if it was principally a traitor primarch it was often good, loyalist often dull. A Thousand Sons and Prospero Burns are both brilliant.

I started the Gaunt's Ghosts books but they haven't really grabbed me yet.

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After the original trilogy, I think my favourite of all (though I haven't read all the books) might be Mechanicum, which has hardly any space marines in it at all, but does have lots of titan action and some actual intrigue.

The one's I've read in sort of decsending order how good I though they were:

Horus Rising

False Gods

Galaxy In Flames

Mechanicum

A Thousand Sons

Prospero Burns

Flight of the Eisenstein

Fulgrim

Legion

The Outcast Dead

Nemesis

Battle for the abyss

Fallen Angels

.

.

.

.

Descent of Angels (which might as well be called "tales of the knights of caliban, but the emperor shows up at the end").

The problem with the Heresy novels is, they make so much money that they'd be daft to actually move to the seige of Terra. the original plan was supposedly just for 6 books, but the first 3 sold so well that it was changed to just a line of novels in no particular order. which would be fine, but the "looking at the same time from different angles" thing invites continuity errors which are really irritating (the Outcast dead has a terrible one)

Away from the Heresy, I've read Battle for the Fang (a straight action battle novel with the thousand sons beseiging Fenris. Dumb as a box of rocks, but fun.) and Gav Thorpe's "Path of the Eldar" Trilogy, which I thought was very good indeed - 3 interwoven books on the fate of 3 eldar friends, and it gives a really good sense of the relationship between the various strands of eldar (Craftworld, Exodite, Dark, Outcast).

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I would recommend The First Heretic. ADB is one of the better black library writers and the story covers the origins of the heresy.

I find it frustrating how gw are milking the series with lots of different formats. This may sound silly but I'd like to have all of my books as the same size paperback for my collection.

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I would recommend The First Heretic. ADB is one of the better black library writers and the story covers the origins of the heresy.

I find it frustrating how gw are milking the series with lots of different formats. This may sound silly but I'd like to have all of my books as the same size paperback for my collection.

that isnt silly in the slightest

GW just being GW I guess

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Weirdly, Black Library books are all I've read for a while now.

As mentioned the Eisenhorn and Ravenor serieses are great. Big fan of both the Got Rex and Felux series and Gaunts Ghosts. I've recently started the Ciphas Cain books, which I'm enjoying so far. Treacheries of the Space Marines was really good as well.

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I would recommend The First Heretic. ADB is one of the better black library writers and the story covers the origins of the heresy.

I find it frustrating how gw are milking the series with lots of different formats. This may sound silly but I'd like to have all of my books as the same size paperback for my collection.

Thanks for that. I'd avoided it because i hadn't thiught the story would be that interesting, but I just finished reading it and enjoyed it a great deal. Definitely one of the best ones.

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I'm reading the HH slowly, one book every so often. I'm fairly snobbish about novels, but I do love me some 40K.

The problem with the series, and all IP fiction in honesty, is how patchy the quality is. It varies from the dire to the sublime, and unless you're familiar wit the writers you don't know what you're going to get.

I finished a Thousand Sons, whcih I eblieve is book 12-ish, by Graham McNeil. Overall I think it was a 500 page book which was in dire need of having 250 pages cut. It takes 150 pages for something interesting to happen. Which is a shame as the bits which are good are quite good.

I wasn't inpressed by McNeil, but his output has improved over the series' course. I was especially surpsied by his short story in the Tales of Heresy collection.

Obviously Dan Abnett is a master and anything he touches is gold, but I was also glad I discovered James Swallow along the way. Flight of the Eisenstein has to be the best Non-Abnett novel to this point.

Ben Counter though.... the less said the better. Galaxy in Flames was so bad I think it gave me cancer. I skipped his second attempt and won't be touching anymore of his books. Life's too short.

I'm looking forward to reading Dembski Bowden. There's such adoration for him on the interwebs for him not to be good. I think his first book may be next.

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For me what makes ADB stand out is that he writes believable space marine characters. In a lot of books they come across as big muscley dudes that do awesome things, chuckle at bad jokes and constantly seek the approval of their primarch. Whereas ADB conveys this sense of them being something very different to normal humans. His Grimaldus in Helsreach is one of my favourite 40k characters which I never expected what with him being a black templar chaplain.

I've been reading some old school black library. I picked up the inquisitor trilogy for $9 and Beasts in Velvet which was the first warhammer book I ever read. Ian Watson is pretty out there but i 'd say they still hold up well regardless of how well they fit with current fluff.

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In a lot of books they come across as big muscley dudes that do awesome things, chuckle at bad jokes and constantly seek the approval of their primarch. Whereas ADB conveys this sense of them being something very different to normal humans.

Cool. That was something which I think Abnett caught really well in Horus Rising, the unhumanity of the astartes. I think you nailed how the other authors used them. Swallow came close in Flight of the Eisenstein, but just missed out.

I went out and got The First Heretic based on your recommendation. I need to read something like this for a project, so I think I should OK skipping ahead a book in the HH series. I'm looking forward to it.

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And just about finished First Heretic... :blink: Wow. It's like a shot of adrenaline in the arm of a dying man. This book was so good I missed my stop on the train home one day. Thanks for the recommendatin, Cocky.

Bowden really did hammer the nail on the head as far as drive for the traitor legions went. I'm going to have to get more of his books. The place I get my BL books from has a really nice hardback duoble header with Helsreach in it. I may just have to invest.

Quick question regarding the goings on in A Thousand Sons for those who were paying attention..

SPOILERS....

In ATS when Magnus appeared before the Emperor - what experiment did he ruin? I obviously wasn't paying enough attention at the time, and I left the passage with a feeling that he'd done something bad without whatever it was sinking in.

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It's been a while since I read ATS but isn't it something to do with controlling the Warp? I think the Emperor's final plan is to create the Golden Throne which he can use to enhance his psychic powers to make inter-galactic space travel safe. Obviously the Chaos gods caught wind of the plan that would inevitably banish them to the Warp forever which is why they go about turning Horus.

There was also something about Magnus being on the Golden Throne but I've forgotten what that was about (was it the Emperor's plan to stick Magnus on it instead?)

That was my understanding of it but I've not read a lot of the recent Heresy novels so it's a bit sketchy.

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In ATS when Magnus appeared before the Emperor - what experiment did he ruin? I obviously wasn't paying enough attention at the time, and I left the passage with a feeling that he'd done something bad without whatever it was sinking in.

It's been a while since I read ATS but isn't it something to do with controlling the Warp? I think the Emperor's final plan is to create the Golden Throne which he can use to enhance his psychic powers to make inter-galactic space travel safe. Obviously the Chaos gods caught wind of the plan that would inevitably banish them to the Warp forever which is why they go about turning Horus.

There was also something about Magnus being on the Golden Throne but I've forgotten what that was about (was it the Emperor's plan to stick Magnus on it instead?)

That was my understanding of it but I've not read a lot of the recent Heresy novels so it's a bit sketchy.

My take, based on various sources over the last 20 years or so...

The "great work" that the Emperor left the Great Grusade (after Ullanor) to work on, and that Magnus screwed up, was either creating a portal into the Eldar Webway or creating his own version for humanity. this would have allowed humanity safe warp travel and, most likely, the ability to crush the remnants of the Eldar.

The throne/astronomican was part of the system, and able to be used by any psyker of suffiicient power. (emperor, Magnus, Malcador the Sigillite)

Between magnus's warning, and Horus breaking the emperor, all that remained was the partially-completed throne.

if you liked The FIrst Heretic, I'd recommend moving straight on to Betrayer - it picks up a few of the Word Bearers characters (Argel Tal), and puts them alongside World Eaters. It shows, really well, the differences between the traitor legions and the various forms of falling to Chaos.

I'm currently reading Fear to Tread. I'm not a huge fan of Swallow, (Nemesis was pretty dire), but this is rather good. It's going for a pretty all-out horror vibe, and features the blood angels, who he's written quite a lot about.

BTW, it bugs me that the newer Heresy books seem to be twice the price and for that you get a few, not that good, illustrations.

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The Outcast Dead has more detail on the effects of Magnus's actions

The impact took down the Geller field protecting the Imperial palace and unleashed a demonic invasion that had been following in Magnus's psychic wake as well as damaging the Emperor's project. The astronomican choir that processed interstellar messages was also destroyed limiting Terra's ability to communicate with the rest of its military forces.

BTW, it bugs me that the newer Heresy books seem to be twice the price and for that you get a few, not that good, illustrations.

I think the HH series was originally published in mass market paperback format. This has changed from last year to hardback first, then large size trade paperback and mmp after a delay of several months (Angel Exterminatus had about eight months between hb to mmp). It's very frustrating as I want all of my books to be in the same format so will have to wait a while to read Betrayer and any future releases.

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Cool, thanks for the info guys.

It looks like there's no clear consensus on what happened, so perhaps it was purposfully vague. After some of the 'revevlations' in The First Heretic another thought of mine was perhaps...

... the Emperor was looking to lock the demons in the warp after he backsied out of the deal with them when creating the Primarchs. Which I suppose is the same thing as what some of you have already said.

I think I'll go back to reading them in order again now, which I think means a quick step back to Nemesis by James Swallow. There does seem to be quite a few people who don't like Swallow's work, but (before I read Bowden) IMO Swallow has been the best BL writer after Abnett. Admittedly that was based purely on Flight of the Eisenstein, but I did think that was excellent.

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For anyone who's interested the Garagehammer podcast have started doing spoiler-filled book reviews of the HH series. They're up to Galaxy in Flames at the moment and tend to get the episodes out monthly.

The show is called After Ullanor and the feed can be found here: http://garagehammer.net/feed/horusheresy/

Cool, thanks for that. I'me finishing up listening to the False Gods episode and I'm really enjoying it. It's not the Guardian literary podcast, but it's too guys who really love the subject just talking about the books, and they're really fun to listen to. Plus I learned some tsuff I didn't know. Anyone else not know the first three books were meant to be just a trilogy? That actually makes sense now I look back.

Next episode is Galaxy in Flames, and while I've enjoyed it so far, I don't know how much I'm going to enjoy it. I really disliked Galaxy in Flames. I said above how I don't rate Counter as a writer, but we'll see what they have to say about it.

Yesterday I couldn't find the book I'm currently reading (Sharpe's Rifles by Bernard Cornwell, in case you were wondering) and the first book to hand was Brotherhood of the Snake by Dan Abnett. So I started reading that again.

My god, Abnett is good.

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I've finished all the After Ullanor episodes now. Thanks for the recommendation, Charlie! I can't wait for the next one about Flight of the Eisenstein. That should be coming out soon I think.

I also picked up a copy of Death of Integrity by Guy Hayley, which just came out. It's a Blood Drinkers and Novemarines take on a genestealer hulk story. So far so good. I'm a big admirer of Hayley's, and given I may be in a collection with him soon I thought I should have a better understanding of his work.

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I also picked up a copy of Death of Integrity by Guy Hayley

Finished this now. In short; well worth it. He hits the mental attitude of space marines just right, and keeps the action ticking over, with ever increasing stakes nicely. I'd really like to see a sequel to this.

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For anyone who's interested the Garagehammer podcast have started doing spoiler-filled book reviews of the HH series. They're up to Galaxy in Flames at the moment and tend to get the episodes out monthly.

The show is called After Ullanor and the feed can be found here: http://garagehammer.net/feed/horusheresy/

The most recent episode is up for Flight of the Eisenstein. I'm midway through it now. I love this series, thanks for bringing this up,Charlie. I just wish they'd do them faster.

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Just finished Nemesis by James Swallow.

I'm a bit on the fence on this one. It was a good story told by a competent writer, but there were barely any space marines in it. The books could be skipped and it's absence in the series would not be missed.

They got the right person to do it, though. Any of the less capable BL writers (they know who they are) would have made it an exercise in tedium, and they didn't waste Abnett or Dembski-Bowden on it.

Overall, I enjoyed it, but wanted to get it over with to carry on with the series. Speaking of which, I believe the next one is Prospero Burns, and I'm salivating thinking about. Space Wolves, Dan Abnett... what's not to love? First I have the House of Small Shadows by Adam Nevill to read though.

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Just finished Nemesis by James Swallow.

I'm a bit on the fence on this one. It was a good story told by a competent writer, but there were barely any space marines in it. The books could be skipped and it's absence in the series would not be missed.

They got the right person to do it, though. Any of the less capable BL writers (they know who they are) would have made it an exercise in tedium, and they didn't waste Abnett or Dembski-Bowden on it.

Overall, I enjoyed it, but wanted to get it over with to carry on with the series. Speaking of which, I believe the next one is Prospero Burns, and I'm salivating thinking about. Space Wolves, Dan Abnett... what's not to love? First I have the House of Small Shadows by Adam Nevill to read though.

I liked that Nemesis wasn't about marines- the Heresy, as a setting, wasn't solely about marines and it's nice to have the occasional book that looks at it from another angle (Mechanicum is another of these). However, it's telling that, a year after reading it, I can;t really remember much of what happened - you're right that you could skip over it and not miss anything signifcant.

I downloaded Deliverance Lost a while ago and haven;t got round to reading it. should get back to that.

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