Warhammer 40,000 The Horus Heresy: The Outcast Dead by Graham McNeill. Audiobook review

WARHAMMER 40,000 THE HORUS HERESY: THE OUTCAST DEAD by Graham McNeill , The Black Library £7.99

Reviewed by Steve Dean

Here we go again, book 17 of the Horus Heresy thread. I use the word thread because that’s about all that’s left now that the plot has been drawn out like over-stretched chewing gum. As I have said before, the best books in the series have been the one’s with the least amount of the HH guff in them. Unfortunately, this one gets a fair old dose, and suffers for it.

Kai Zulane is an astropath, someone who can send text messages with his head, who receives a warning from the future. A prophesy on who will win the ongoing battle for the galaxy is planted in his head, specifically inside his nightmares. He can’t access the message himself, but must deliver it to the right person, but he doesn’t know who that is. Kai is taken to a facility to have his brain opened, but is rescued by a disparate bunch of space marines from various of the traitor legions, lead by a psyker. This gang escapes into the city and become the group of the title.

To really understand this novel you need to have read at least a high proportion of the others in the serious. Events the reader knows about are spoken of in the future tense, so we know more than the characters often do.

This being Warhammer 40K, and more specifically, Graham McNeill, it’s all very well written, the characters are all believable and the action set pieces well worked out. But the author is so weighed down by the baggage of previous novels, and the rail tracks of future plots, that it all becomes a bit ‘so what?’ (or in teen-speak, ‘it’s like yeah, whateva’).

1 Comment on Warhammer 40,000 The Horus Heresy: The Outcast Dead by Graham McNeill. Audiobook review

  1. TheSGC // 13/03/2012 at 19:53 //

    Not sure if you’re familiar with the 40k universe…but the HH was enormous. It wasn’t just ‘Horus turns, runs to Terra, gets blown up, end of story’ trilogy. The point of the series is to go in-depth with all the different things that were happening at the time to establish a canonical base for the current time in 40k. The HH was huge in scale – an entire galaxy-spanning empire at war, and there are multiple motivations in each case for turning on the Emperor.

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