Horus Rising - Dan Abnett

Goodreads Summary: After thousands of years of expansion and conquest, the imperium of man is at its height. His dream for humanity nearly accomplished, the emperor hands over the reins of power to his warmaster, Horus, and heads back to Terra. But is Horus strong enough to control his fellow commanders and continue the emperor's grand design?


I hate to say something like this, but you know that messed up fan made story with Gordon Freeman, in which there is mostly no punctuation and it’s really absurd?

That’s what I felt when I read the intro of the book. And that feeling stuck with me for the whole book.

This book came from a Humble Bundle pack and that’s why I didn’t have any previous experience with the Warhammer 40,000 universe. But jumping into this book (which is part of a larger series, as far as I know) is not a great way to get into it. The fact that the intro is really into the absurd (even if the book universe is absurd) just makes it a worse experience all over. Whoever came with this decision was not someone smart.

The story is more about Loken, a captain that raises from the lower castes into a well known captain (or so I get by the excerpts we get from the past) and more much about Horus himself. It feels so weird that it seems more like someone calling “Shadow of the Giant”, which is a book focused on Bean, “Ender’s Game”. Although there is some overlap between the stories, in which Bean finds and fights along Ender, the book is in no way about Ender. The same thing goes here. More focus on the titular character would be better, or call this book “Loken’s Vision” or whatever. It not “Horus Rising” when it is just a sideline character.

Also, the long descriptions of Horus, pointing how beautiful and with a great body and some mystical aura around it, doesn't help liking the character. How can you like someone that everybody thinks is the perfect example of humanity?

It also feels like too many ideas where cobbled together for the book. There isn’t an spinal story that keeps the book together, they are simply different moments in Loken’s life — which, again, gives me the feeling that using “Horus Rising” as a name was a bad choice.

So you have a book about a character that should be the main character but it’s a secondary one, in a universe poorly presented and with some bad pacing. I wouldn’t blame any fellow Humble Bundle purchasers if they decided to drop the series altogether after this.