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Helsreach: Warhammer 40,000

Space Marine Battles, Book 2
Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
5 out of 5 stars (847 ratings)

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Summary

When the world of Armageddon is attacked by orks, the Black Templars Space Marine Chapter are amongst those sent to liberate it. Chaplain Grimaldus and a band of Black Templars are charged with the defence of Hive Helsreach from the xenos invaders in one of the many battle zones.

But as the orks' numbers grow and the Space Marines' numbers dwindle, Grimaldus faces a desperate last stand in an Imperial temple. Determined to sell their lives dearly, will the Black Templars hold on long enough to be reinforced, or will their sacrifice ultimately be in vain?

©2010 Games Workshop Limited (P)2013 Games Workshop Limited
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New to Warhammer books, but I enjoyed it a lot.

I bought this Audible title when it was the Daily Deal, and I'm glad I did. I was apprehensive buying it as I've not read any Warhammer books before had know knowledge of the universe and themes across the series. There were a lot of terms and references used that I didn't know, but they didn't make the book any less enjoyable.

I enjoyed the story a lot more than I was expecting, and it certainly doesn't follow a typical or predictable plot line you'd expect with a small outnumbered army defending a city against a huge invading army.

The performance from Jonathan Keeble is superb- I would probably say one of the best I've heard so far. He is perfectly suited to the story that he reads and does a fantastic job of it.

I would recommend this book.

9 people found this helpful

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Wow. Just wow.

Aaron Dembski-Bowden is an amazing author. His writing carries the perfect balance of action, suspense, character building and humour. The characters feel real, and are brought to life brilliantly by Jonathan Keeble, who performs each of them as the unique individuals they are. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

4 people found this helpful

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  • AM
  • 30-10-17

Excellent Listen

loved it! Narrator was excellent showing a diverse range of characters. looking forward to the next space marine battles!

2 people found this helpful

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The War For Armageddon

Warhammer 40,000: Helsreach by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Hello again to you all in 2020! I hope you had a good night on Hogmanay and now it is time for me to begin my first review of the new decade! I really wasn’t sure where to begin until it dawned on me. For most of the post-Christmas period up until New Year I was on a rather extensive Black Library/Warhammer listening kick. For heaven’s sake I got through three quite large audiobooks in the space of a week. And so I shall review my favourite of the three stories in question.

Helsreach by Aaron Dembski-Bowden (ADB for short when discussed by many) is a very engaging read and listen. The story can be considered something of 40K in microcosm. The general plot is as follows: The world of Armageddon is under assault. An uncountable army of alien ork (That is how they spell it in this setting) creatures have began to lay siege to the entire sector. The Black Templars chapter of Space Marines are among those sent to defend the world. Part of the largest fleet of ships, soldiers and everything else gathered in hundreds of years. The Black Templars under their group commander - Grimaldus - have been tasked with defending one particular battlefield. Hive Helsreach and the civilians who live in the Hive. However as the numbers of the invaders grow, will Grimaldus and his defenders be able to hold out until reinforcements arrive? Or will this defence be in vain?

The story of Helsreach has very quickly become a personal favourite. In simple terms you could think of it as the closest thing Warhammer has to a Battle Of Helm’s Deep or The Siege Of Antioch. You are stuck in Hive Helsreach with all the characters and it allows you to see just how everyone interacts while trying to defend all the strongholds they can create.

This is truly almost every aspect of 40K in microcosm. You have the Black Templars who are among the most battle hungry of all Space Marines as well as mentions of other chapters and their different customs and personalities. You have Grimaldus a Space Marine who is convinced of his inevitable death and his rather entertaining inner thoughts. Not to forget the citizens who live here and how they deal with the defending forces. Or the Imperial Guard who are essentially a conscript army of the general public who are forced to battle against the orks and all their insanity. You have the Martian Mechanicus who are a Martian religious order who prize machines above flesh and who worship the Omnissiah - a specific aspect of The Emperor of the Imperium. And lastly there are Titans which are in essence giant - and I MEAN giant - sentient battle tanks with super powerful weaponry created by The Mechanicus. And Aaron Dembski-Bowden successfully manages to balance all of it.

His writing is absolutely superlative. You truly feel the emotions of the characters and you understand their viewpoints even if you think they are wrong. You feel yourself drawn into the battles. You want the defenders and their friends and allies to survive. Even when things are at their lowest you desperately hope for reinforcements. Will they come? And if so...will they be the right kind? There’s plenty more about the story that I haven’t yet mentioned or alluded to and ADB - the writer of many great Warhammer stories from The First Heretic to Spear Of The Emperor and numerous short stories in anthologies - utterly envelops the reader and listener in this setting. This story actually makes a very good starting point for those interested in Warhammer. If you find yourself drawn to any particular group while listening to Helsreach? You can find plenty of stories on them! Not to mention the audio!

The narration for this particular Warhammer audiobook is done by the always wonderful Jonathan Keeble who has done narration work for several different Warhammer releases over the years including some of my previous reviews like both Realmslayer instalments and The First Prince. Keeble is excellent at doing different accents and voices to distinguish the MULTIPLE (emphasis for a reason) different characters as well as to allow something of their personalities to bleed through into their voices. A few personal favourites being a noted stormtrooper character with a rather entertainingly casual personality, the leader of the local Mechanicus group and her rather abrasive personality, a Black Templar Apothecary who is notably unafraid to disagree with Grimaldus and a few others. His narration was incredibly enjoyable to listen to and I could hardly bring myself to put the story down. If that isn’t an endorsement of how talented both writer and narrator are I don’t know what is!

In conclusion I was utterly gripped by the story. I have heard many apocryphal stories from fellow listeners that Helsreach was their jumping on point and given how well told the story is I hope some of you will give this particular story a chance. But Warhammer isn’t all I talk about. Perhaps I should discuss the Heart Of Gold? Or at the very least a certain Douglas Adams?

Sayonara!

Nephrite

1 person found this helpful

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Gritty from start to Finish.

Jonathan Keeble brought this to life with every character he portrayed, I fully and totally enjoyed the storyline from start to finish. You get to understand what it means to keep your Main Supply Route open and the consequences of it being closed off, completely. You can't help feel for the military and the Templars and what they try to achieve and for the populace for what they must all endure. A cracking good read, audio book I've enjoyed every bolt fired chapter.

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waow.... waow....

waow... my first warhammer book. amazing. i am dumbstruck, dumbfounded, amazed and... yes. just... i don't know what to say. it was amazing. the narrator is beyond my words good, and the writing is amazing, and i FELT sadness, horror, happyness, hope, amazement, throughout the story! i am left with a mind filled with amazement, and i struggle to make this comment coherent. this must be heard by everybody who is interested in action/fantasy/sci-fi/grimdark stuff. in my opinion this is worth AT LEAST 100$, as it has changed my life and myself. i CANNOT PRAISE this highly enough! this is a masterpiece, rivaled by few! ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ stars!! :D

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Mirabile!

Truely an epic listening experience.

The narration brings to life what is an incredible story.

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superb

first warhammer book and I knew very little about the series before buying. easy to follow and very engaging story. listened to this everyday until finished

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Excellent narration brings the book to life

The narrator really couldn't have been better. Made the book very enjoyable. Highly recommended and I'll be looking to see what else he has narrated.

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Brilliantly read.

A great book with a quite sensational performance by the Jonathan Keeble, the best I've heard.

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  • Jason Enderle
  • 30-10-17

First Foray into Warhammer 40k

This book was suggested to me by a friend when I asked which Audible Warhammer book I should begin with.
It did not disappoint. I was vaguely familiar with Warhammer 40k before beginning this story (I had primarily seen pictures of Space Marines etc.) and I was quickly drawn into the Universe with little trouble imagining the different characters, species, and machinery. The backdrop of this Universe is one of War on such an immense scale that it is difficult to understand, however this story takes the big picture and slowly focuses in from a planetary system scale to a single planet, to a continent on said planet and finally focusing on the defense of a single city. In doing that, the reader receives the feeling of both the grand scale of a star systems at war all the way down to individuals in hand to hand combat trying to survive and claim victory over seemingly insurmountable odds. While listening, I as the reader was unsure as to which characters were going to survive and indeed if ANY would survive. The character development was nuanced but well done and with enough humor to release the tension when needed.
The voice acting was well done and added to the war type atmosphere that was ever present throughout the story.
All being said this was a great introduction to Warhammer 40k and I plan on listening to more in the future.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-05-18

Dang Orks Making a Big Ole Mess

We OrkZ Like Smashing dem Puny HOomiez . . .. . been bang smashing dah big onez into bigha onz gon smash em

17 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-01-18

"Until the End"

Bowden's writing brought to life in only the way Keeble can. Road by bloody road the forces of Hellsreach are beaten back. Yet they stand. Until the end.

6 people found this helpful

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  • John M. Borrini
  • 21-01-18

Amazing Book!

This book is one of the greatest 40k books in the series, I highly recommend this book to any fan of Warhammer 40k.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Vincent
  • 22-09-18

Black Templars at their finest.

A story of sacrifice and courage in a universe where there is only war.

Black Templar Space Marine fans will enjoy this read - well worth the time and coin.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-09-18

a 40k must!

I highly recommend this audiobook. the narration is great and the struggle throughout the book makes for a great story

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mike
  • 28-04-18

Fantastic!

If you could sum up Helsreach: Warhammer 40,000 in three words, what would they be?

It is great!

What other book might you compare Helsreach: Warhammer 40,000 to and why?

Betrayer. Because it's the same author and also a great story.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Keeble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I've listened to a lot of Jonathan Keeble stories and this is one of his best.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

"Grimaldus. Die well."

Any additional comments?

Highly recommend.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-09-19

Excellent Book

This book has so much to talk about. Great action, compelling subplots, relatable characters... Awesome read. I won't spoil anything but I think you'll find Jonathan Keeble's rendition of Trooper Andre to be hilarious.

1 person found this helpful

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  • James
  • 13-09-18

Awesome story!

Really loved this. Was my first Audiobook and I have to say I am VERY happy with this one.

The story is epic, and I was VERY engaged from beginning to end. The trials faced by not only Humanity, but the Templar themselves was very interesting to listen to. The Narrator for this book is FANTASTIC! Really nails it.

A true 40k! I recommend it to all 40k fans.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jonathan camacho
  • 31-08-18

instant favorite

probably one of the best 40k stories out there, unlike many others in the wh40k lore there is actual character development, it keeps the very real feeling of war prominent throughout the book, and the ending is actually worth something. worth the read.

1 person found this helpful