The Horus Heresy: False Gods (Warhammer 40,000), Graham McNeill

Review by Steve Dean

Warmaster Horus has tromped across the galaxy stomping and stamping and generally bullying every living creature he comes across. Well, him and millions of his troops. Wouldn’t you know it, he’s got to the end and, like Alexander, has no more worlds to conquer. Does he weep? Does he throw his toys out of the pram and have a major strop?

Does he eck as like, he picks himself up, dusts himself off and starts butchering his own people. Those of you who know your Egyptian mythology may be able to guess some of what happens.

As this is the middle one of three books, and I haven’t read the first one, it was always going to be tricky to properly review it. So it’s got all the usual Warhammer trademarks, it’s well written and competently populated, there’s blood and guts and warp spawned carnage aplenty, big men with big weapons and big woman with no weapons but lots of resolve and inner strength.

But as a standalone book it doesn’t work. There’s far too much politics, in-fighting and meaningful glances between the cast of thousands that only makes sense if you know the whole plot. This is unusual for the Black Library, as is the fact that the first one was written by a different author, Dan Abnett.

So, if you liked the first one, and you like Warhammer 40,000, then you should get this, else stand in your local bookshop and read some of it. If you like it feel free to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about.

The Black Library £6.99. This review originally appeared in Prism.

About Stephen Theaker (306 Articles)
Stephen Theaker's reviews, interviews and articles have appeared in Interzone, Black Static, Prism and the BFS Journal. Among other work for the BFS, he has been awards administrator, short story competition administrator, Dark Horizons editor, FantasyCon secretary and treasurer, and (briefly) chair.