A Horus Heresy re-read, part 1:
Horus Rising - Dan Abnett
This is actually only my second reading of this book, and it was the first 40k book I ever read. It stands up far better now that I could catch all the nods to the future, and the sheer amount it manages to convey about the series it started. Characters that become caricatures of themselves later and shown in a very restrained light here. HR Loken could have just as believably gone for the warmaster as against, Abaddon isn't defined by a single character trait (he's really mad), and you can see why people put their trust in Erebus. Abnett creates a great alternate culture for 30k, full of seeds for what is to come but noticeably distinct in character attitude. All in all, pretty great.
False Gods - Graham Mcneill
This book doesn't exactly have the best reputation, but I'm glad to say I still liked it well enough. Characters have been pared down a bit, Erebus keeps making shifty eyes at everyone and the cast's IQ seems to have lost a few points, but I actually found Horus' revelation more believable this time round. This benefits from hindsight of course, now that we know it wasn't exactly 0 to 100 in his corruption, and I don't actually think that misconception is fairly placed on this book. Graham covers a lot of ground very quickly and never did I go "well, why didn't I get to see that part." His action is always on point and he has a lot of cool ideas. The world building at this point in the series is some of my favorite, while perhaps not the best literary practice, I love the depths to which Mcneill delves into Crusade-era culture and societal attitude.
Galaxy in Flames - Ben Counter
"Local man who can't write attempts to forge satisfying conclusion." This was frustrating. I won't say I hated it, but nothing good about this book comes from Counter himself. Reading about the Isstvan Atrocity is interesting because of the broad strokes events, Counter adds no depth to what you could read out of a codex. Reading about what happens to the cast we fell in love with back in Horus Rising is interesting on momentum alone. Everyone's character has been pared down to their most basic attributes, the introspection that characterized the protagonists in Horus Rising and False Gods has been excised, and characters go where the plot needs them to be with no regard for basic common sense. Horus has mutated from a conflicted soul who killed a few pests to a card-carrying villain who shows his core of remembrances his bombing of a world, just so he can kill them afterwards. A scene will start, characters will say something ill informed, characters will do something ill-informed, scene end. Let's not even get started on the conversation between Garro and Tarvitz.