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Battle for the Abyss: Not the greatest book ever...


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#1
brother Hastatus

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Despite the release date being the 8th August, I found a copy sitting on a shelf in my local independent retailers yesterday (12th July) and bought it along with the 5th edition rulebook. Since then I've read about a quarter of the book (theres 411 pages in total), and am not finding it the best read ever. This being Ben Counter, I didn't expect an Abnett-class novel when I bought it, but since starting to read I've found it is worse than Galaxy in Flames. A lot worse. First off, I'll give a basic plot outline so far.

Spoiler


Spoiler


Spoiler


Thats all I've read so far, but heres a few thoughts I've had on it and things I've noticed.

1. The 1K son on the front cover is introduced quickly enough, which probably means the front cover scene will actually take place at some point. I'm guessing the marine behind the UM is a Space Wolf, and the one with the power fist the Word Bearer they are fighting.

2. The Word Bearers seem to have a fairly straightforward organization. The Legion is broken up into chapter, each made of 1000 marines, led by a captain. However, the Ultramarines are also organized in this way, so it may just be a lack of imagination on Ben Counters part.

3. Counter describes the UM upside-down Omega as a U. I'm not sure if its described as this normally, but I'd have thought the upside-down Omega description was obvious enough to actually be used.

4. Counter appears to not know a certain amount of fluff about the Legions. At one point (page 61 for anyone interested), Cestus is thanking the marines from the other legions for helping and says 'You have the gratitude of Guilliman and the eighth Legion for your attendance here this day.' The UMs aren't the eighth legion! They're the 13th! The 8th Legion is the Night Lords!

5. The title now has a double meaning. As well as a battle for any abyss they happen to find on Calth, it could also mean a battle for the Word Bearers' ship, the Furious Abyss.

6. The writing quality. I'm just hoping the battle I described in the Spoiler doesn't result in the destruction of the Furious Abyss. That would be a really lame end to something that is made out to be so powerful and important to the storyline. And even if it just loses the battle it would be wierd. A spaceship larger and more powerful than any in existance, designed to withstand the orbital defences of Macragge, losing to a ragtag fleet which includes only two larger ship, the largest of which is only less than a third of its' size? It would, as I said, be rather lame. The quality itself isn't good either. I found a sentence in which 'was' should have been used, but he used 'were'. An author shouldn't be making simple mistakes like that.

Has anyone else managed to buy it, and if so, what do you think of it?

Edited by brother Hastatus, 01 August 2008 - 07:42 AM.

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#2
son of the forest

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Yea I read it last weekend, it's my least favourite out of all the Horus Heresy novels, all the characters are either bland or stereotypical, i've read all the others twice throught but probably won't read this one again, the only positive is that it does leave you waiting for the battle of Calth

#3
Leethal

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That doesn't bode well.

Worse than Fulgrim? That had some good parts though...

Worse than Descent of Angels? That's just crazy.

Maybe this is GW's way of intrepreting the Horus Heresy by Rembrancers....before they got shot for fun and stuff? :(

#4
son of the forest

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I liked Fulgrim quite a lot and Descent of Angels (except for the end which felt tacked on). Battle for the Abyss at times is very similar to Flight of the Eisentsein which i also enjoyed. There's pretty much just one character that is interesting and that is the Thousand Son Mhotep whose quite a bad ass

#5
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Picked it up yesterday, flicked through and found Gulliman (or any primarchs for that matter) missing, dissapointed really as its the one chance they get to write for them, chucked it on shelf to gather moss...:D
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#6
Mr.(Space)Marine

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Its a shame this book sounds so terrible. And now I find out it dousn't actually include the battle for calth? :D

To be honest, I have liked all the HH books so far (except for the DoA ending which was crap) and although most didn't like it that much, my favourite is actually Galaxy in Flames (IMO it was the best in terms of impact and "what is gonna happen next???")

Hopefully Mechanicum will be good (so far Graham Mcneill has done a good job in HH in my opinion)

#7
evolved23

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I've only just started but the first chapter is quite good so I'll have to wait and see on how it goes from there also this is the first HH book I decided to read because of the Ultras and now I hear Guilliman is lacking it makes me weep ^_^

#8
brother Hastatus

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I've read more of it now, and have found it does not get any better. Mhotep isn't bad as characters go, he is quite unique. Cestus is rather stereotypical to, along with the other UMs. And despite being good friends with Antiges, they seem to be very formal and, erm... unfriendly, really, all the time. Which doesn't make much sense.

*SPOILER*

In the end the Furious Abyss won the battle, but chose to leave two remaining ships to save time. Mhotep's ship died, but he escaped. Stereotypical, rather dum baddies. About a half hour/hour more, and get rid of all enemies that could send warnings, attack, annoy you, help anyone else you attack, or have half an hour less before you get to Macragge? And the people following know you're going there? I think most people would kill them. Anyway, the Furious Abyss uses a wierd weapon to close one of the warp path things that makes travel quicker and safer. It also breaches the void shield on one of the two remaining ships, resulting in a lot of deamons possessing the crew, which then trick the other ship into letting them dock. SMs have a big fight against deamons, which results in Mhotep using sorcery to banish the deamons away and save the ship. Other SMs are rather worried that hes just used sorcery.


I think thats all thats happened so far, but I may have forgotten something.

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#9
Levett

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With regards to the comment about saying "the eigth legion" i think this actually says the "eight chapter", as i remember noticing something about this when I was reading it.

All in all, it was an OK book, but had a lot of aspects that felt like they were repeated in parts.
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#10
Grevious29

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Hold on this book isnt ment to be out yet. Where did you get it?

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#11
brother Hastatus

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I found it in my local independent retailers. I was quite surprised as well, so I bought it, and checked the release date when I got home. There were two on the shelf, so I don't think it had been put there by accident. I was pretty pleased though!

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#12
Gorlak

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I am very keen to get my hands on this book asap and having tomorrow off, I can go on a bit of a hunt! I'm in the south of England (Dorset) - any tips on where to look/ call? I was gonna hit the book shops and maybe some independant gaming/toy shops? All help appreciated!

#13
Weiss

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It's available in Games Workshop - it was released early to coincide with 5th edition coming out...

#14
Arthus

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Ok, so far im 200 pages into the book, which is roughly half, and compared to legion or any other book in the series i feel like i just began reading it, only semi interesting stuff has started now!! JUST NOW!! after Legion, which had enough secrets, plot twists, incredibly lovable and deep characters and probably some of the most in depth legion analasys BFA is sooo odissapointing.
here is why, and im just saying this to vent my ben counter induced frustration:

1. It ruined the word bearers for me. Theyre supposed to be incredibly dogmatic, crazzy zealot lunatics that still manage to be incredibly efficient, deamagogue and sly. Almost reserved and judgemental. Ben counter makes them seem like ego centric nut jobs who enjoy flaunting the size of their Word pe**s more than being tacticaly sound!!

2. It destroyed the Ultramarines for me. Before i just disliked them because they are standard Noob army and because there is so God damn many of them but now i have a real reason to hate them. They all come across completley bland, impossible to conect with, formal to the point of stupidity and have no depth, all the UMs in that book speak and act like they have an aquila shaped rod in their neather-regions!!

3. Ben Counter's "durr im a riter" writing skills are embarassing. He has basic grammar mistakes, he has basic fluf mistakes. His fluf mistakes are mainly that he doesnt know the legion number of the UMs legion (its 13...not 8...), and he seems to be ignorant to the fact that the Emperor isnt in the throne yet...quouth Bryngar "For the emperor, for the Throne" WHAT THRONE? THERE IS NO THRONE!!
More inteligently speaking Ben Counter makes very basic literaturical mistakes, im a writer, not a great one, and one that typos like crazzy but one that atleast understands the nececsity for character depth and detail. All his characters talk like theyre all the same. He constantly breaks flow of conversation with needles, badly done descriptions of the characters and he seems to enjoy to punctuate every word the world eaters or space wolves say with "the sons of (russ or angron depending on the legion)" Why does he do that?
Why does he insist on making the usual Ben counter mistake of "were Ultra marines, were awosme, wer ULTRA!! if we look at you you explode cause were not normal marines, were ULTRAmarines...all other legions suck cause they dont ULTRA enough..."

Im not finished yet...but i swear...if in any of the fire fights later on in the book, he describes "overlapping fields of fire" i will honestly shoot someone...its his trade mark, lack of imagination fight scene descriptive...Overlapping fields of fire...its in all his books, and he better not soil the HH with it...

Edited by Arthus, 16 July 2008 - 10:07 PM.

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#15
Goththing

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not started reading it yet, but must continue with the series.

But from the 1st spoiler

. It is the largest ship ever built

I'm pretty sure, the big E's Flag ship even The Vengefull Spirit would dwarf it in size. I don't care how secert you are, you aint going to build a ship bigger than the master of the galaxy's, or his favour son

#16
Pyriel

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Not to mention the Fists "Phalanx", being the size of a small moon, would also dwarf it.

And if not then how do you build a large moon sized ship in secrecy in the solar system that is crawling with activity?
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#17
Ju'kosian

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With regards to the comment about saying "the eigth legion" i think this actually says the "eight chapter", as i remember noticing something about this when I was reading it.

All in all, it was an OK book, but had a lot of aspects that felt like they were repeated in parts.


nope he says the eight legion.. :lol:

#18
Spacefrisian

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So this isn't supposed to be out yet and here i have it already, and not even from a GW store. (i seen it being sold a week earlier in another store, just like Legion)
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#19
Chief Librarian Benarius

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On top of this, he actually states that he Cestus is from the 7th chapter, so that 8th legion was definatly a legion numbering a mistake. Perhaps he wrote XIII and the editor mistranslated it as VIII.

Further more Antiges gets shot in the back with a storm bolter....These did not exists yet in that period. Its ok though, whne I read that he would write this one I knew it would be dissappointing. With his other books I often had to reread a page 2 or 3 times before I was able to properly picture the scenen in my head.

It's a shame my first post is on something so negative but I just had to vent my frustration also.

#20
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So the book sucks and fails to feature one of the most iconic and interesting Primarchs? I'll think I'll give it a miss, just like I skipped Fulgrim (stupid way for Ferrus to kick the bionic-bucket). I'm still left very dissapointed after the Descent of Angels (which would have been fine as a seperate DA book, but did nothing to progress the story of the HH at all, the ending was childish, the characters 2 dimensional and nothing new was revealed). Oh and PS just like GW staff, the DA have no secrets!
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#21
brother Hastatus

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I agree totally with everything that has been said. Strangely though, I have started to enjoy it more, and forget the not so great writing. The story line does become better, definitely. There are less flaws, although one of the biggest flaws is the only reason the story happens at all. Why do the Word Bearers let the Wrathful follow them?? That I'll never understand.

Fight scenes really aren't great either. He can't write them like Dan Abnett can.

And the UM characters are very two dimensional. Bring back Uriel Ventris!! If its him or Cestus, I know who I'd choose, even if he isn't a real Ultra.

And as has been said, he seems to be obsessed with calling Space Wolves and World Eaters the "Sons of Russ", and "Sons of Angron" respectively. Why?????

I'll read the rest of it, as I've found myself strangely enjoying it, but it really isn't a well written book.

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#22
deus lo volt

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It just seems that this series is spinning out of control. The first 3 seemed well thought out and contained tons of sweet HH fan-boy stuff.

Flight of the Eisenstein - Decent story that I thought would transition into a kick-ass IF book - wrong
Fulgrim - Great story that was beat to death like a baby seal
Descent of Angels - Interesting, but had ZERO to do with the HH. 100 less pages on Caliban and 200 more pages of Great Crusade with a real enemy this time and it would have been killer.
Legion - Nice Imperial Guard book with some space marines added for flavor.

Now it seems The Ultramarines are getting the last nail hammered into their coffin, I've had it with these authors............"8th Legion" are you kidding me?

Screw it, they've finally broken my UM spirit <_<

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#23
Jarl Kjaran Coldheart

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wow, i thought the UM were made of sterner stuff.

if you want to see a book series get REALLY destroyed, read the Ragnar books. the books were excellent under King, then King leaves and a moron with a big crayon proceeds to murder any good feelings you had for the series.

i am still ashmaed to have paid for those books.

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#24
Pyriel

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Geez, you guys complain even more then I do sometimes :lol:

As I have all the books so far I´ll go and buy this one too, if not then to have a good read on a long train trip to visit a friend.
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#25
brother Hastatus

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I've finished it now, and I discovered even more terrible grammar along the way. The last 100 pages or so... He forgot several question marks, and the speech just didn't read properly into the paragraghs in some places.

And the ending... He killed it completely.

*Spoilers*

Spoiler


*BIG SPOILER*

Spoiler


Ruined. Completely ruined. Heres my version of what happened. Obviously written to be not quite as serious.

Spoiler


*MORE SPOILERS*

As you can guess, I'm annoyed. The sheer 'Oh, I'm dying' attitude of it is terrible. Written well, I'd be ok with him dying. But he should have survived, and featured in another UM book about the actual Calth battle.

Thoughts?

Edited by brother Hastatus, 01 August 2008 - 07:44 AM.

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