Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby Duke_Leto » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:58 am

Finished Armour of Contempt last week and already into Only In Death.

It's weird as I really could not remember AoC. I definitely read it and sort of remembered the planetary assault. I also remembered McVenner but didn't remember Dalin or Caffran at all!? Was actually a very bleak story. Very grim dark actually.
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby Major Rawne » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:04 pm

Duke_Leto wrote:Finished Armour of Contempt last week and already into Only In Death.

It's weird as I really could not remember AoC. I definitely read it and sort of remembered the planetary assault. I also remembered McVenner but didn't remember Dalin or Caffran at all!? Was actually a very bleak story. Very grim dark actually.

I too had forgotten what happened in Armour of Contempt. Now you've reminded me how heartbreaking it was :cry:.

Only in Death from what I remember made a nice change in style to what had come before, and was really bloody good.
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby Duke_Leto » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:27 pm

Only In Death finished and...awesome. Reading the books so close together is a great immersive experience. I have always stated that Traitor General was my favourite GG book but now OID is right up there. An amazing spooky ghost story (as in ghosts...nice intentional pun by Abnett).

A heart breaking story too, such loses and such an amazing blood thirst battle. One word... Agun Soric (oh that's two words lol). Oh and where the story took Gaunt (being careful due to spoilers).

About to start The Iron Star and then it is Titanicus (set in Sabbat Crusade and chronologically correct) before going back to GG and Blood Pact.
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby Duke_Leto » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:59 am

Read Iron Star. Man that is one of the most heartbreaking GG stories ever! Very clever metaphorical piece by Abnett. I would go so far as to say the best short story he has ever written. Reading it right after Only In Death just added immense impact. Just love the reveal at the end about what the Iron Star actually is! Terrifying actually!

Today I start Titanicus. A break from the Ghosts but not a break from the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. Actually it works nice and logically with Only In Death set in 778 and Titanicus in 779 then Blood Pact in 780... Meaning that the Ghosts get a break from the front line just as I get a break from reading about them!
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby MalkyDel » Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:23 pm

Between Warmaster finally coming and your thread, I almost feel like going the length and rereading it all myself
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby Duke_Leto » Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:39 pm

MalkyDel wrote:Between Warmaster finally coming and your thread, I almost feel like going the length and rereading it all myself


Do it, seriously! It is like a box set binge. Reading them all in succession is proving totally immersive and highly enjoyable.

I also have a nice backlog pile of new releases to go back to after.
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby Xisor » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:34 am

I started dipping into Ghostmaker the other week, I'd forgotten how much I enjoy these. Lots of new(er) stuff that I'm super keen to read, but I think Dan's writing is easy-going enough I might be able to race through them. That they're good is a nice little bonus! :lol:
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby Duke_Leto » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:48 pm

Xisor wrote:I started dipping into Ghostmaker the other week, I'd forgotten how much I enjoy these. Lots of new(er) stuff that I'm super keen to read, but I think Dan's writing is easy-going enough I might be able to race through them. That they're good is a nice little bonus! :lol:


Actually having an Abnett Sabbat Worlds binge (and reading nothing else at all) means you can see (or rather feel) the evolution of Abnett's writing and how he gets better. I cannot put my finger on what it is but it just feels like the books are better written (which will in part be attached to the ongoing characters and how you increasingly care about them as a reader).

Actually (for me) the only downside is going to be that after Warmaster it could be bloody ages until we get Anarch!
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby ribbons69 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:06 am

Duke_Leto wrote:Traitor General finished. Wow wow wow! Still my favourite book. Amazing and frightening. Wonderful read and so full of surprises (mostly for what Abnett did NOT do rather than what was expected).

I'm rereading GG as well,just finished Sabbat Martyr and that ending
Having a break and reading Crossfire at the moment,the nice hardback Hatchette edition then I'll be moving on to Traitor General. And the Wirewolves.
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby Duke_Leto » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:17 pm

ribbons69 wrote:
Duke_Leto wrote:Traitor General finished. Wow wow wow! Still my favourite book. Amazing and frightening. Wonderful read and so full of surprises (mostly for what Abnett did NOT do rather than what was expected).

I'm rereading GG as well,just finished Sabbat Martyr and that ending
Having a break and reading Crossfire at the moment,the nice hardback Hatchette edition then I'll be moving on to Traitor General. And the Wirewolves.


Just for effect I will say it too ... WIREWOLVES :twisted:
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby Duke_Leto » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:08 pm

And Titanicus is finished! What an awesomely brilliant read. Truly loved it first time and now again. Master stroke by Abnett by having multiple POV characters to show the huge scale and terrifying destructive power of the God Machines.

It also once again showed how good Abnett is at world building...even down to showing some of the life of a toy shop owner. You get a great sense of what it is like LIVING on a Forgeworld as well as fighting battles.

Interesting to see that Abnett's take on the Skitarii is now somewhat at odds with the Codex version. I found Abnett's far more interesting and frightening actually!

The book was also great at comparing and contrasting the differences between the Mechanicus and the Imperium.

Loved it.

Only criticism is that this is one of the first books (well in terms of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade books) where the bad habit of rushed endings creeps in. It is clear that Abnett is almost drowning in a wealth of creative ideas but that as he got busier with multiple commissions from different companies, that the looming deadline causes him to try and wrap up the novels when he really needed another 30-50 pages.

Right, back to the Ghosts as centre stage and Blood Pact.
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby Duke_Leto » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:00 pm

Blood Pact finished... Wow, just wow. I think this is now my favoutie GG book. Seriously. For years I have thought it was Traitor General (weirdly Blood Pact being the opposite story) but this binge read has kept everything fresh in mind and this story just rocked.

I know a lot of people tend to say the best GG book is Necropolis but I simply do not agree. Necropolis is certainly top 5 but generally speaking I think Abnett and the GG series gets better as it progresses (with some exceptions).

While I have one to go, at this point In think MY top 5 GG books are:

Blood Pact
Traitor General
Only In Death
Necropolis
Sabbat Martyr

If you include the other Sabbat World Crusade related books then MY top 5 is probably:

Blood Pact
Traitor General
Only In Death
Double Eagle
Titanicus

Interestingly (to me) the story that had the MOST emotional power was Iron Star (which would be up there in the top 3). Reading it right after Only In Death was quite an emotional experience (despite knowing the outcome). I felt stupid but actually had a lump in my throat and tear in my eye! Over a Warhammer 40k story for Gods sake!

Back to Blood Pact - reading it made me realise what it is that I love about most of Abnett's writing and the GG series specifically. The lovely world building he includes. These books are not bolter porn despite being specifically about warfare and the Imperial Guard! I love all the little details that Abnett weaves into what is ostensibly a war story that the publisher expects to have battles and action in. You get civilian characters such as a doctor and a photographer. You get to understand more about what it is actually like to live in the Imperium though this series.

You get to see the variety of ways in which people practice the Imperial Creed across different planets. You get descriptions of the food and the architecture. The traditions and festivals on each planet. The naming conventions.

Basically what Abnett does better than anyone else (perhaps Matt Farrer is the one exception but he has only written four novels) is make the W40k setting a more detailed and three dimensional place elevating it into a better (and arguably more sophisticated) science fiction setting beyond the usual tie in fiction levels you expect.

The other thing Abnett has done well across the GG series is give minor characters a chance to shine or get centre focus on another book. In Blood Pact Criid is nicely fleshed out for instance.

My preference for knowing more about society in the Imperium and my longing for a more fleshed out setting (and domestic balance to the combat) has clearly influenced my top 5 books above. In fact the only one on the list that is an out and out war story (albeit also a horror/haunted house story) is Only In Death. The others all have a lot of pages dedicated to sub plots and side stories that give you details about the world and the people.

That also explains (in part) my love of the Eisenhorn, Ravenor and Bequin stories and Farrer's Calpurnia books.

Right Salvation's Reach beckons and then the Abnett shorts from the last anthology that bridge the gap to Warmaster and then... A few months to wait!
Last edited by Duke_Leto on Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby Duke_Leto » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:03 pm

Finished Salvation's Reach on Friday but was in Cornwall and travelling back on Saturday so no time to write up.

Mindful that we (thebolthole) have an idea to review all the GG books. Part of me now wishes I had written proper reviews after each one because my brain is getting old and my memory is fading!!! Suspect I will be better off writing an overarching "review" of the series rather than a specific book and folks can decide whether they want to publish it. Also a two/multi way discussion on individual books or the series would be good.

Anyway back to SR... Really enjoyed it but unlike Blood Pact it is not up there in my top five. It is great to see it continue directly on from Blood Pact (Abnett said in the excellent interview with track of words / never born that he intended the Victory arc to be more like one big four part novel) but overall the story didn't quite grip me or interest me in the same way.

As I have said previously, I am most excited and interested when Abentt does world building and we glimpse life away from the battlefield. SR is most definitely on the battlefield. That is not to say there is anything wrong with it. It is a great story and has the added bonus of some excellent void warfare (pretty rare for a Guard novel lol) and some great interaction between Guard and Astartes (really demonstrating how the Space Marines are a breed apart and quite different from normal humans).

There is also heartbreak a plenty and as you read you know with certainty that very few characters have plot armour protection! It therefore keeps you waiting for who is actually going to bite the dust with some deft misdirection to keep you guessing. In the end there is a double whammy when two of my favourite characters do actually die... It was a real lump in the throat moment and hit me harder (I think) than the loss of any other character in the series.

SR has tension a plenty and action by the bucket load. Several interesting sub plots are started or continued (to be concluded or carry on in Warmaster). We also see a big change forced onto Gaunt and it will be interesting to see where Abnett takes him.

So all that is left for me now are the various shorts that bridge the gap to Warmaster.
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby Duke_Leto » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:46 pm

So that is the shorts read and my box set binge on the Sabbat Worlds Crusade complete! Phew. Seriously recommend others do it! Brilliant immersive experience.

I read: Family, You Never Know, Ghosts and Bad Shadows, Forgotten by Dan Abnett.

I also read (because the intros by Abnett made it clear they fitted the continuity): Viduity by Nik Vincent, The Deeper Wounds by David Annandale and Arnogaur by Aaron Dembski-Bowden.

All in all what a lovely set of implications and plots to be continued or resolved in Warmaster. Also glad to know that the Arnogaur will appear in Matt Farrer's Urdesh book (if he ever finishes it).

Got to say it though...massive implications for Gol Kolea... Oh man!

Feel like I need a W40k pause now. Actually feel sad to have come to the end, though full of anticipation for Warmaster. Also find myself worried about some of the characters and where Abnett will take them next!
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby Squiggle » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:01 pm

reading Ben Counter's World Engine...

seriously, some of these space marines battles books are terrible... I hope that it improves in the final two thirds. The opening was excellent but it has faded fast. So far I'm not sure which is the more disappointing of the two - this, or the dreadful Rynn's World

Stark contrast to others in the series, such as the excellent Legion of the Damned[ and the intriguing Gildar Rift. When set against some of the truly excellent fiction that the Black Library produces, I find it hard to understand why some of this stuff slips through the net...

And I have read and enjoyed much of Ben Counter's work (and Steve Parkers while I am at it) and I would say that these space marine battles stories are far below their regular output.

Intriguing. Nearly as intriguing as why I keep reading them...
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby Xisor » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:05 am

I read the World Engine and fair enjoyed it. Not superduper prose, but enjoyable enough.

That said, Battle of the Fang & Legion of the Damned do edge out into preposterously good territory. With "The Gildar Rift", I'm inclined to put it squarely beside "Slaughter at Giant's Coffin" and "Tyrant of the Hollow Worlds" (and the first third I've read of "Flesh Tearers"). Genuinely 'fresh prose, much more human and dimensionally vivid characters, though I still put BotF and LotD as more complete/tight/on-the-mark books.

Im absurdly excited to get to "Urdesh" when it's out. Haven't read any Matt Farrer in a long while. I feel like a traitor!
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Re: Warmaster and Urdesh still coming

Postby Duke_Leto » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:40 pm

Well Warmaster is now on the coming soon section...yippeeeeeee

I know this probably sounds churlish after waiting all these years for it but why oh why have BL changed the cover format/style/design mid way through the arc! I might be a bit OCD but I like my books to match.

The LE looks good though! Might be the first time I ever splash the cash and get one of those babies!

Still no sign of Matt Farrer's Urdesh though :(
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