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Battle for the Abyss

The Horus Heresy, Book 8
Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
Series: The Horus Heresy, Book 8
Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (964 ratings)

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Summary

Now that news of Horus' treachery is in the open, a time of testing has come. Some Legions have already declared their allegiance to the Warmaster while the loyalty of others lies firmly with the Emperor. As Horus deploys his forces, loyalist Astartes learn that a massive Wordbearers fleet is heading to Ultramar, home of the Ultramarines.

Unless they can intercept the fleet and destroy the mighty battleship that has been sent to reinforce it, the Ultramarines may suffer a blow from which they will never recover.

©2008 Games Workshop Limited (P)2014 Games Workshop Limited
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Okay.

couldn't really finish it. It was more boring than the rest of the series. not the worst book though.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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An interesting background story, but not the best

A bit slow, but interesting as a background story regarding the Word Bearers and their plan to wipe out the Ultramarines.

I have to say, the Word Bearers are intensely annoying and pompous, my least favourite legion so far, proper get on your nerves...

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Weak HH story

A rather weak story, unnecessarily protracted and rather dull. After introducing all the various characters, the conclusion ends with little if any closure for the main characters. This was chore to listen to.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

One only for die-hard Ultramarine fans

This story is a peculiar entry into the Horus Heresy series dealing with a bit of a non-event in the epic storyline which means it must work harder than the main timeline plots to become something distinct, which as I outline below it didn't for me.

This is the novel's first problem and the second is that the cast of characters are entirely contained within the tale, and disposable (I draw a parallel with the Star Wars film Rogue One).

The third is that unlike the proceeding books the protagonists and antagonists seem some what cardboard cut out good guys and villains, with the possible exception of Skral of the World Eaters.

These factors combined for a lack emotional investment in the characters which conspired to sap my enjoyment as I listened to the linear, predictable story. The other detraction here was the ponderous narrative style which continually over-explained details and went into gratuitous detail where not required... making action scenes slow and distracting from the plot and character engagement elsewhere.

The one strong positive in this story was the audio performance of the narrator which was well delivered and of excellent quality. I would normally of rated it 5 stars but necessity to make the Word Bearers overly villainous as written took away from my enjoyment.

In conclusion I can't recommend this book and don't see any reason to invest time and money in it - as a stand alone adventure it can be left without missing anything relevant to the main plot threads. Only a die-hard Ultramarine fan might find any enjoyment in this book and fans of the Word Bearers will be disappointed by the cartoonish portrayal of the legion.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Kind of meh

People suggest avoiding this one. Having just gone through it I can kinda see why. Previous volumes manage to keep you invested but it's hard to care about anything that happens in this particular story. Its far less grandiose. The space combat aspect of it is ok but limiting. If this was a movie it would mainly shift between the bridge of ship A vs the bridge of ship B. I felt like there were a lot of opportunities to mix it up but the most traditional road was taken to tell a classic story of good, evil and personal sacrifice . Great performance from the narrator though. Pick it up if you want some more insight on ultramarines and word bearers chapters.

1 person found this helpful

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not for me

brilliant performance but just a bit too much loyalist super men for me. a handful loyalist vs a whole word bearer chapter.... but if you love is ultramarines then this is the book for you

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A must for Ultramarines/Space Wolves/Thousand Sons

It took me a while to listen to this upto completition on multiple sessions and did find it a little hard to keep motivated with the story as I found it lacking some of the things that kept me hooked on previous titles in the series. The main plot was enough to keep me interested though, with apparences from Ultramarines, Space Wolves & Thousand Sons against the Word Bearers which gave a nice variety in characters.

Definitely not the best entry in the HH series that I've read yet, but definitely not the worst. Its a fun book to read that I'd say is essential for setting up further Ultramarine & Word Bearer clashes down the line.

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Far better than reviews give it credit for!

Fantastic narration, interesting characters and nice story climax.

The narration was brilliant, multiple voices used were clearly identifiable and added to the intensity of some of the scenes.

Yes, the actual story itself might not appear to be that important and is rather tame being different perspectives from two ships, but the action and intensity of the scenes really is exciting when you can understand what is going on and who is who.

There are a few twists and turns and a good ending. I definitely think this book deserves at least 4 stars!

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actually really good

despite all the bad reviews I still.listened to the book and really enjoyed it. It had lots of different chapters and styles of fighting in it plus is the beginning to a bigger story

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Struggled with narration

Story was ok but found this a rather dull listen. Narration really didn't capture the action well and felt rather laborious. found the narration good from this actor in decent of angels but no where near as good narrating this one.

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Profile Image for Ted B.
  • Ted B.
  • 12-09-19

Disappointing. You can skip this one.

I was disappointed in this book in the series. Disposable characters, grandiose language, little advancement of the overall Heresy storyline. One could skip this book and lose nothing.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jaclyn Rae Adams
  • 20-09-19

Just Okay, cant recommend

Took me forever to finish, long periods of uneventful spacey stuff, then ship battle, long period of spacey stuff, warpy stuff, long period of spacey stuff, spacemarine fighting proto heretics. it was just okay.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher Laginja
  • 25-06-18

the consensus is true

I charged into this book thinking that most of the reviews were overly critical, not really warranted.

I was wrong. I found it to be boring. there was never a strong sense of tension, most of the characters were unlikable, apparently Ultramarines mostly speak in one liners. there was a lot present that could have made for an interesting story but being unable to connect with any of the characters kept me from appreciating the book.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert Lindner
  • 14-11-17

Overall

The accents were nice. But often times there was no inflection change from narrative next to character spoken text. So I wasn’t sure when it was that a character was speaking compared to narration.

I felt the second half of the books writing and voice acting were different than the first half. It would have been a greater experience if the whole book was written like the second half and voice acted in a similar fashion.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Harper Micko
  • 24-11-19

What a slog

After completing legion I was really excited to see where a title called "Battle for the Abyss" may lead, but was sorely dissapointed by the lack of interesting characters or substantial content. Oftentimes, I found myself rooting for Motep, the Thousand Son representative in this loathesome mob of various armies to defect to the side of chaos just to spice up the story, but unfortunately, he decided to side with the people who chastised him for HELPING THEM. The world eater representative (whos name is as memorable as he is) has few emotions or thoughts beside "Me angry! But will be angrier later!". The space wolf character was closer to being fleshed out, but was dogged (ha) incessantly by memories of fenris, often the same memory of him standing on an icy glacial beach that has no real meaning or any metaphorical weight. The ultramaries- all of them- in this story are boring and their dogmatic adherence to duty makes them even duller to listen to. The word bearers are all essentially Saturday morning cartoon villains and that subtracts a great deal from the meaningfulness of their betrayal, as they twist their moustaches and cackle into the ether and make some of the most questionable military decisions tactically and functionally; since they essentially throw their brothers into the enemy (WHOM THEY GREATLY OUTNUMBER) squad by squad to be defeated by the oh so righteous and super cool loyalists. it was tiring, and the ending sucked as much as the accents.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • sergio cavazos jr
  • 09-10-19

Another one

Only seventy audios books and dramas to go. Black library never disappoints.
I recommend it undoubtedly.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter M.
  • 17-07-19

Least Favorite so far

I felt something lacking in this book. I can't put my finger on it but so far this is my least favorite book.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • be as iaw rare
  • 20-12-18

frustrating and tedious

brilliant performance with excellent voices can't save this plodding military procedural from being entirely forgotten

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Buck
  • 07-07-20

Amazing characters brought to life

Gareth Armstrong does such an amazing job at giving each character life. This book is very well written and I didn't find any boring or slow parts.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher Schafer
  • 01-07-20

I am starting to seea trend

the first few books had plots that went somewhere. unfortunately, the last few books just feel like a bunch of very short and uninspired stories stuck together.