Throwback Thursday ~ Horus Rising

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books!

Noting that book blogging often focuses on new releases, here’s how Throwback Thursday works:

  1. Updated! Pick any media (or non-media item) released more than 5 years ago. Remember to keep it book-related!
  2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it.
  3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
  4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

Special Announcement from the Throwback team:

NEXT WEEK, we will put up a list of Throwback Book/DVD combo prize packs. No, I’m not telling you what the selection will be yet, but trust me, there will be something for everyone. There will be a Rafflecopter to enter. The giveaway will run for one week, and when it ends, the winner will get to pick the prize pack of their choice.

ALL THROWBACK THURSDAY POSTS AND COMMENTS FROM JANUARY WILL QUALIFY AS ENTRIES. There will be space on the Rafflecopter to let us know how involved you’ve been in Throwback Thursday this month. The more you participated, the better your chances.

So what are you waiting for? Link up, and we can’t wait to unveil our prize packs next week!

Horus Rising by Dan Abnett


I originally reviewed this book on April 20, 2010:

I’m always a little wary of tie-in books. Like many of the trendy 80’s TV series movie remakes, tie-in books are often commissioned to take advantage of a brand. They aren’t necessarily of good quality. I’ve read enough Star Trek and Star Wars novels to know this to be true. There is also some pretty good tie-in fiction out there. Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy probably did more to reinvigorate the Star Wars franchise than he’s given credit for, due in part to the solid nature of his work. But don’t think I encountered a tie-in that could stand alone until now.

I know a bit about the Warhammer 40K universe, but not much. … I’ve previously read a 40k novel. That novel was pretty disappointing. Still in my search for palatable military SF, I figured I’d give 40K a second try with a series recommended by Chris Morgan. The Horus Heresy novels are set 10 millennium before Warhammer 40K (the 40K here referring to the human race in the year 40,000) and sets up some of the conflict that pervades that universe. Abnett does a wonderful job in doing that, even though this novel (the first in the series) only really sets up that setup.

I enjoyed this novel a great deal. It has great writing, solid characters who don’t do stupid things, and lots of ambiguity. Abnett questions the concept of the righteous war against the backdrop of 40K’s nature vs chaos themes. He also presents the value of historians and journalists in such actions; an aspect of the story which I hadn’t expected. In many ways, this is a great war novel, but not such a great sci-fi novel. Much of that is due to the 40K setting. I question some of the lack of technical advancement in such a far-future setting. Only so much of that can be accounted for by technological dark ages. On the whole, I can overlook those things when the narrative is compelling enough.

Writing-wise, Abnett doesn’t go out of his way to explain technology, and I don’t feel that lack. The battle scenes are something to study. They are fluid and clear. He also plays with the chronology of narrative and does so effortlessly. These things can be done. You just have to do them well.

I plan on reading #4 in this series later on this year. As a note: this was a novel I read as part of the very first read-a-thon I took part in.

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2 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday ~ Horus Rising

  1. It is funny how you go through those periods where you don’t notice something at all and then once it comes to your attention you see it everywhere…that is the case with Dan Abnett of late. I saw a glowing review of his Eisenhorn trilogy recently on SF Signal and since then I’ve seen people writing about his books everywhere. If I don’t take this as a sign then I guess it is my loss. I hadn’t paid ANY attention to the Warhammer universe before this but now am very interested.

    I also saw that Abnett wrote a Dr. Who book which is being released, or re-released, with the cool 50th anniversary covers in March and I plan on buying that too.

    1. I’ve read a few Warhammer books and I’d say that Abnett’s are the best. I’ll probably tackle Eisenhorn after I finish the Horus Heresy. And I’m looking to read his Doctor Who book too.

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