Occasionally, you come across a fantastic Warhammer 40k novel that puts every other book in the shared universe to shame. Battle for the Abyss isn’t one of those occasions.
What it is, is a spacemarine story through and through. It fills out all the checkboxes: honour, brotherhood, sacrifice (and sacrifice, and some more sacrifice for good measure), internal conflict eventually resolved for the greater good of the Imperium.
I listened to this book for ten hours and can barely remember three character names out of the dozens within. Let’s see — Mhotep (whose name I almost turned to Mahtock, a week after finishing the book; only my notes saved me here); Admiral Lady and evil Zealot Space Marine Admiral from the Word Bearers. I’m not sure if that last name is hyphenated but it correctly corresponds to the character’s role in the book. Mhotep was actually interesting due to the fact that he’s a Son of Magnus (the Thousand Sons Space Legion eventually turns traitor through no fault of their own, which sounds like it has all the makings of a tragedy) and we don’t get anywhere near enough of those in the first ten Horus Heresy novels.
Great narration, as always – Garreth Armstrong knows how to make even a mediocre novel entertaining. And make no mistake, I was entertained – the 2.5 stars But you know, maybe I don’t have to give this novel a three-star review on Goodreads. I think, this time, two stars will do.
What else is there to say about it? The action scenes were alright, I suppose. Standard Warhammer 40k thoroughfare. But ever so derivative. Unfortunately, that’s the second book by Ben Counter that leans towards this particular judgement — one more, and I’m
And what’s up with the zealous zealots, anyway?