Sunday, May 27, 2012

Horus Heresy

Greetings Everyone

Hope you all have been doing well and regularly indulging in geeky nerd-dom. Diablo 3 has been out for a week and I must say it has affected my real life unfortunately...the addiction has slowly passed as I've gotten my fill of Sanctuary stomping, I think.

One thing I love about sci-fi and fantasy is reading books. My favorite series is George RR Martin's The Song of Ice and Fire, and one thing bad about it is that the books are slow to come out. A Dance with Dragons was released 6 years after the previous book, and I am itching badly for the next title in the series: The Winds of Winter. Interestingly, you can read a preview chapter from GRRM's website, and the man himself also narrates another preview chapter on Victarion Greyjoy. As usual...don't read it if you haven't caught up with the series yet.

To sate my thirst for sci-fi and fantasy books, I've begun to read Warhammer 40k novels and they're pretty good reads. I'm particularly interested in the Horus Heresy series, as I always have a thing for good guys gone bad and it fascinates me how heroes fall from grace in very human terms (which also means I have a budding interest in Chaos Space Marines).

Right now I'm in the middle of Graham McNeill's False Gods, which covers the time period where Horus the Warmaster is slowly being influenced by the dark powers of Chaos. It's a very interesting read, as the solidarity of the Luna Wolves is tested upon meeting Chaos, and loyalty to the Warmaster is weighed against that to the Emperor of Mankind.

The one thing that makes W40k novels (at least the ones I have read) intriguing reads is that the protagonists are almost always anti-heroes, who are not pure/perfect heroes that possess unparalleled skill. They are very human characters who navigate through challenges from both friends and foes, and not to forget the inner demons they face within themselves. Morality in the 40k universe is a very grim grey, and be prepared to let go of your preconceived perceptions of popular 40k characters.

Cover of Dan Abnett's Legion, a novel of the Horus Heresy series.
If you're looking for a sci-fi novel series to indulge in, the Horus Heresy itself is a good bet. Personally, Dan Abnett is probably the best writer for W40k novels, and I've heard his Eisenhorn series is a worthwhile read too. His writing style is dynamic in terms of plot and character development, there's rarely a dull moment in his books. He also injects some unique angles into his novels, such as describing the process of framing pictures with a camera, and the use of ancient Greek medicine humors (or "elements") to describe emotions of the Luna Wolves space marines.

Do you have other recommendations for sci-fi and fantasy books? I'd love to hear what you have been reading, as I'm always game for a good read :)


  1. I do agree with you Josh on the review of Dan Abnett books. His storytelling is pretty damn good.

    While I am more of a fantasy player than a 40K player. The novels for 40K, especially the Horus Heresy is pretty awesome compared to fantasy novels.

  2. A good read would be the famous Sandman by Neil Gaiman. I think it is something pretty refreshing and a bit different from your Song of Ice and Fire or your Sci-Fiction Battlestar Galactica and 40K. It does delved into a more creative lucid world that is fun and awesome.

    But two thumbs up to Horus Heresy. It is a wonderful story.
    Chaoslurker, I do think that there are some fantasy stories that are pretty awesome. Like the story on the War of Beards, Aenarion and the age of the old. These old history of Warhammer Fantasy are really good sources to come up with great novels.

  3. hawaiiwarhammerfanMay 29, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    Haven't seen Jiaqi lately too. Everyone really is out there in the world of Diablo 3 eh?

    But yes, I agree with you Josh, Horus Heresy is a great story wirtten by Dan Abnett. I would have said for me, Eisenhorn is really a great novel to check out, but I guess you already know it.

  4. I like the cover art of Legion.
    Looks very well done!

  5. Lets face it. The anti hero or imperfect hero is always a better story to read then one so flawless and perfect. Why you think Spiderman and Batman become big valuable commodities and cash cows for Marvel and DC respectiviely. That is cause their power are limited and they are imperfect. That's just my opinion! Peace out!

  6. J.R.R Tolkien novels. Father of all Fantasy Novels!

  7. Yeah JRR Tolkein is the Grandfather of the fantasy genre, can't take that away from him. When I can, I will check out Eisenhorn and Sandman too. Thanks all for the recommendations and comments!

    I'm reading Thousand Sons (Horus Heresy) now, and it is proving to be an intriguing read.