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Summary

A Great War is coming, and it will engulf the Imperium of Man. The Space Marines of the Alpha Legion, the last and most secretive of all the Astartes brotherhoods, arrive on a heathen world to support the Imperial Army in a pacification campaign against strange and uncanny forces. But what drives the Alpha Legion? Can they be trusted, and what side will they choose when the Great War begins? Loyalties are put to the test, and the cunning schemes of an alien intelligence revealed, as the fate of mankind hangs in the balance.

©2008 Games Workshop Limited (P)2014 Games Workshop Limited

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic novel - whimsical narrator

Reading Dan Abnett is often like going abroad with a minimum understanding of the language. If you're willing to throw yourself in at the deeper ends, decipher a few words for yourself and wait for things to unfold, you savour the immersion that much more.

A shame then that one of the outstanding Heresy novels is read in a tone more suited to a whimsical fantasy: indeed at times I was convinced it was Simon Prebble reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. While Abnett's novel is more complex and more subtle than some of the Heresy novels (Battle for the Abyss, Mechanicum) it's still pure space opera and deserves someone more adept at the voices of war. While the Legion themselves are given good enough voices, some of the Imperials veer between Carry On and Only Fools, always threatening to drop the listener out of the experience. Indeed at times one of the early characters is only moments away from tugging at his forelock and declaring "Gawd bless the Queen Mum". David Timson is a very good narrator and for the right material he's unbeatable - after listening to Fulgrim you can't imagine anyone else doing it justice. For Legion, he's just wrong.

Luckily, as a good narrator can carry a lesser novel the reverse is true. Legion is for the most part a thriller, very much in the vein of early Frederick Forsyth. It's well structured, deftly written and filled with interesting and compelling characters. If Abnett has a weakness, its his fondness for deus ex machina (most of the early Gaunt's Ghosts novels) but here it truly plays to the novel's strength.

As a standalone in the 40k universe it works extremely well, and as part of the Heresy its up there with Fulgrim or Flight of the Eisenstein. Buy with a little caution

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Action packed

First heresy book to contain non-hostile xenos interaction and gives a much more human perspective on the heresy than we've had so far. Awesome book

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • N A
  • UK
  • 05-05-18

Pay attention at all costs.

You will go back to this book again and again. THe writing is tight, if you switch off for a moment you will miss a key character action or plot point. The prelude hooked me in and wanted to find out what happened throughout. It has great pacing, twists and turns and kept me engaged.
On the characters, these are great - John Grammaticus is one of my favourite in the Heresy. He has to make some key decisions about how he will achieve his goals - namely who he will use. The Alpha Legion are depicted really well and make for an interesting legion - "I am Alpharius" being a repeating theme which throws up hilarity and intrigue.
The dialogue is excellent and has an element of conflict that make the characters sound interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great book, great reading.

I love thw alpha legion this book gives a great view of them from the side of the common soldier. It also gives a great view of differences between the Primarch's.

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Best one so far

All the heresy novels have been pretty good but this one has a compelling, grown up story about three factions that don't understand and cannot trust each other. it actually had me guessing at the outcome all through and my loyalties shifted throughout.
the voice acting was also very good. Although the story appeared to hint at possible Asian or African characters, they are all variants of British English...but I think that's how 40k is set up, so I didn't mind.

not worth reading in isolation though, it has too many oblique references to the earlier books.

enjoy

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One of the best Horus Heresy books

Okay let's be clear this is not essential to the Virus Heresy Timeline it informs more in the Alpha Legion and the Cabal making their choices and involvement clearer and richer but it indent an vital part of the story think of it as a side quest.. That said what a side quest Dan Abnett introduces a new group of Imperial Army very different to his better known Ghost series but more fun than that group also there's the mysterious Alpha Legion and their core secret revealed and the explanation of why thecXX legion sided with Horus in arguably the ultimate act of loyalty You could read this alone without the wider context of the Heresy it could even be an introduction before Horus rising but personally I feel any point after Flight of the Eisenstein works for this fun intriguing stiry

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A thriller in the Dark Millennium.

When I first read this book a couple of years ago it was my first dive into Warhammer. And and as I went on with with other books I held them up to the standard of this Legion.

I love legion. It has grim action and a story that twists and turns. Characters that are memorable and relatable.

It's pacing is a little different from most other HH novels, then again this book is about spies and conspiracies.

Take a listen. It's well worth the money.

John did nothing wrong.

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Really good!

Very good narrator with superb immersion and a gripping story all the way through! Highly recimmended

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Dull

The least HH story so far, Alpha legion obscureness secured in a book that drags on without interesting action.

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Enjoyed

Having not enjoyed this narrators previous efforts in Fulgrim, I was really surprised to find I thoroughly enjoyed his prortrayal of the characters this time around, especially the men from the joker and clown regiments!
I did find the first hour or so a struggle though and took me a while to work out which character was which (but this could well have been my frame of mind at the time!), but in the end I thought it was a really good story, very well done, taking a side approach at the heresy and keeping you guessing all the way!

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  • Kinomed_Knyght
  • 10-08-18

Great story

If you love the Alpha Legion and the mysterious ways they operate check this amazing audiobook out. It ties in before the great betrayal still but it is another well written book. Great choice using David Timson the narrator for this book.

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  • Albert Li
  • 06-08-18

Pretty good audiobook

Good book in the horus heresy series. Narration was good but some of the voices were borderline grating.

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  • Josiah Moore
  • 06-08-18

I am Alpharius

Great rare look into the mindset of the Alpha Legion and what caused them to go "rogue".

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  • dave
  • 27-07-18

Best so far

I've listened to all of these in order. As of this point, this is certainly the best of them. Both the story and the narration are exceptional.

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  • Ian Orovich
  • 13-07-18

Excellent story

i am alpharius.

the choices of the 20th legion astartes are a brutal reminder of the inevitable march towards the heresy.

march with fortune

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  • Chase
  • 07-07-18

Best of Horus Heresy So Far

Off the bat this book was good yet it ended even better. I've read all the books so far of the Heresy and this one held my attention the entire time. It wasn't to say the first 4 were mediocre... it was to say this one was just that good. If there's more by this writer or the Alpha Legion I seriously look forward to them with great anticipation!

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  • Meganerdman
  • 08-06-18

WOW

The best in the series so far! The dialogue especially was well written. Narration was on point!

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  • Stoyan
  • 30-05-18

The Hydra!

The amazing journey of the Alfa starts here!
A must for every 40k fan, an a true pleasure to listen to!

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  • Benjamin Tooley
  • 29-05-18

Thoroughly Enjoyable...and Hygienic

David Timson completely exudes the creativity set forth by Dan Abnett. A most excellent listen.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-05-18

Simply awesome

I have now read 10 Horus Heresy books and several in the 40k timeline. This has been the very best by far. As good as stories of the other Legions and Primarchs have been, as amazing as some of the performances and writers are, this is unique. Dan Abnett and David Timson have brought this story to life. I am Alpharius.