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Summary

The planet of Caliban exists much as it has for thousands of years - the knightly orders protect the common people, fighting back the beasts that lurk in the depths of the seemingly endless forests.

Young Zahariel and Nemiel aspire to join the greatest of the orders, led by the example of mighty Lion El'Jonson and his vision of a peaceful and unified world. But the coming of the Imperium brings new concerns and a new destiny for the Lion as part of the Great Crusade, and the sons of Caliban must decide if they will follow him to glory among the stars.

©2007 Games Workshop Limited (P)2013 Games Workshop Limited

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

disappointed

Voice acting was good but the story was terrible. ..i have been listening to the horus heresy in order and this book has been the only one that i wont listen to again. Perhaps I am being harsh but the story seems to pick and choose when details are relavent, for instance it goes into great detail to explain the particulars of Calaban and the great beasts and the Orders endevoures, and then just says oh ye and they found a guy in the woods who is taller and stronger and faster and more capable than any other man who has ever lived on this planet. The book dosent explore any back story of THE LION. Instead it chooses to focus on some boy who turns out later to be a psycher and is literally incapable of failing anything. I mean this kid is so good at everything that its boring and i bet he has zero friends. Later the book goes on to just say here are the white scars the only other space marine chapter. We done here anythibg of the Emporers talks with his 1st son to be rediscovered or the second and nothing about any of the training it takes to be Astartes. The book ends pathetically by saying 1st war of the great crusade is over in i think 6 hours and The Lion get rid of some of battle brothers and this needs no further explanation. The only part that really got me interested was the shadow people in the woods. Maybe they were eldar although i think that is unlikley and of course there is zero explanation. I fully intend to listen to the heresy books again and when i do i will be skipping this one. The books leading up to this one have been amazing i just really hope the actual book is far better than this adaptation.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

A tale of knights and monsters?

This Horus Heresy novel takes a different angle to the preceding books of the series and heavily focuses on the origins of the Dark Angels on Caliban and features a relatively small amount of story set around the Great Crusade.

The story is interesting and paints a picture of the Lion and The Order on their home world. It does lack the high stakes events of the prior stories in the series and is noticeably less well written, particularly the scenes involving combat where the prose is ponderous to say the least.

Overall an average novel that will probably appeal to Dark Angels fans but it sadly falls short of the standard set by the earlier novels.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Quite good but...

if you're expecting this book to focus on the Legion during or before the heresy you will be disappointed. About 80% takes place on Calibre before the discovery of the Imperium. That being said it was a nice change of pace and our only real look at a Primarch before he is reunited with his Legion.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Much better then some reviews give it credit for.

Shot through the book quicker then all the previous titles in this series bar books 1 and 2.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

it has everything

the character development for luther is, of course simple but the way its done is excellent, the brotherhood and companionship shown between thr brothers as a clear paralle to luther and thr lion

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    5 out of 5 stars
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interesting aspect

characters were compelling, interesting aspect on the crusade from the outside.

voice acting superb, especially for the Lion

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So far my favourite of the series

Really enjoyed this book, not the longest but the story kept me enthralled and it shows a lot about the world of Caliban before compliance.
Really good read

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

Enjoyed a great read, perfect start

A well told start to one of the most mysterious of chapters a+++ Well done

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

decent is all

A reasonable intro into the Dark Angels but is all. The characters leave a lot to be desired and the lion is shown to infrequently for any good to come off it. Luther is shown kindly but only in comparison

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great narrator and great story!

The narrator is perfect in my opinion and the story has you in a iron grip in no time. A fresh wind in the HH books as this is set in an much earlier time in the storyline. Love it!

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  • Michael S. Labrow
  • 01-01-18

Great if you like Dark Angels

What did you love best about Descent of Angels?

I loved getting additional lore and backstory about the Dark Angels.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The story was about the coming of the Emperor and the creation of the First Legion. It has almost no tie in to the actual Horus Heresy. So as a tale about HOW the Dark Angels end up the Dark Angels of the 41st Millennium it's not bad. As a story of the Hersey it fails utterly.

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

I have listened to Gareth Armstrong on several other Black Library books, and he does a very good job telling this story. You always have a feel for who is talking due to the inflection of the character's 'voice' and he is very clear and brings a lot to the tale.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really. The story felt kind of disjointed and at times it was hard to tell the passage of time. Some events were told as if they took mere hours or days but took weeks. Other events happened concurrently or behind other events in the book. The story itself could be tighter and better told.

Any additional comments?

I am glad I have listened to it. I'm not necessarily thrilled with the story itself. But then I'm not the biggest fan of the Dark Angels, so there is that.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Saija
  • 27-06-18

its aight

lackluster ending but the beginning was interesting at least. hopefully there is a second book that follows the story

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sidney A. Drye
  • 19-06-18

bad

aside from is skipping chapters randomly, it was just not well written And all in all a bad book in my opinion......to put it bluntly I will be asking for my credit back on the this one it was so bad to me

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Christian Ross
  • 12-06-18

Overall, Only Ok

The story is not bad, it's just not really a Warhammer 40k book. It has nothing to do with the events of the Horus Heresy, a series it was included in. This is an interesting book about the history of Caliban and would have worked well as a standalone. The story was told with a seemingly lighter tone than is usual for a WH40k book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Forrest Haynes
  • 11-06-18

Wonderfully Personal

After reading the previous 5 books of the Horus Heresy series, while I missed having the connection back to the Heresy, it felt amazing being on Callaban and seeing a Primarch up close and personal before the Dark Angels. Instead of godlike beings, you get a sense that they truly are people, Astartes yes, but people.
The narrator did a fantastic job, though I felt some voices weren't strong enough to convey their character, such as Nemiel. Nonetheless, very well read.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lambert
  • 06-04-18

Enjoyable read, even better with context

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Of course. If you're interested in the Horus Heresy or the Dark Angels at all, this is a must read

What other book might you compare Descent of Angels to and why?

Not sure I really could, though I imagine that it would compare to the other pre-emperor primarch books, when I get around to reading them.

Which scene was your favorite?

The interrogation of Zahariel

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I wouldn't say extreme, but knowing the futures of certain characters, and understanding the reasons they follow the paths they do in the future, is really eye opening and adds some much needed depth to them

Any additional comments?

If you're tight on money and need to skip some books in the Horus Heresy, this one is skippable as it doesn't add a whole lot to the overall narrative, but it is still a great book in its own right and is most certainly worth a read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Simon Tonkin
  • 30-03-18

Great book, but not Horus Heresy.

Amazing writing, characters and story. love the dark angels, my only criticism is that this title is included in the Horus Heresy series when it clearly isn't related at all, not even mentioned. these events happen long before the launching of 63rd Expedition, before Ullanor, before there was even a Warmaster.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Julie U
  • 25-03-18

Great back story for a chapter.

Story seems out of place for the series. Gives great back story for the Dark Angels chapter.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Charolotte Tassin
  • 12-03-18

Great book

Pretty good Book. My first black library book and I plan on getting the rest.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Keith Wideman
  • 28-02-18

Gareth Armstrong is excellent.

Gareth Armstrong gives what is, in my opinion, the best performance in the series thus far.