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Battle for the Abyss

The Horus Heresy, Book 8
Written by: Ben Counter
Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Now that news of Horus' treachery is in the open, a time of testing has come. Some Legions have already declared their allegiance to the Warmaster while the loyalty of others lies firmly with the Emperor. As Horus deploys his forces, loyalist Astartes learn that a massive Wordbearers fleet is heading to Ultramar, home of the Ultramarines.

Unless they can intercept the fleet and destroy the mighty battleship that has been sent to reinforce it, the Ultramarines may suffer a blow from which they will never recover.

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

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jaclyn Rae Adams
  • 20-09-19

Just Okay, cant recommend

Took me forever to finish, long periods of uneventful spacey stuff, then ship battle, long period of spacey stuff, warpy stuff, long period of spacey stuff, spacemarine fighting proto heretics. it was just okay.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ted B.
  • 12-09-19

Disappointing. You can skip this one.

I was disappointed in this book in the series. Disposable characters, grandiose language, little advancement of the overall Heresy storyline. One could skip this book and lose nothing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher Laginja
  • 25-06-18

the consensus is true

I charged into this book thinking that most of the reviews were overly critical, not really warranted.

I was wrong. I found it to be boring. there was never a strong sense of tension, most of the characters were unlikable, apparently Ultramarines mostly speak in one liners. there was a lot present that could have made for an interesting story but being unable to connect with any of the characters kept me from appreciating the book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Robert Lindner
  • 14-11-17

Overall

The accents were nice. But often times there was no inflection change from narrative next to character spoken text. So I wasn’t sure when it was that a character was speaking compared to narration.

I felt the second half of the books writing and voice acting were different than the first half. It would have been a greater experience if the whole book was written like the second half and voice acted in a similar fashion.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Harper Micko
  • 24-11-19

What a slog

After completing legion I was really excited to see where a title called "Battle for the Abyss" may lead, but was sorely dissapointed by the lack of interesting characters or substantial content. Oftentimes, I found myself rooting for Motep, the Thousand Son representative in this loathesome mob of various armies to defect to the side of chaos just to spice up the story, but unfortunately, he decided to side with the people who chastised him for HELPING THEM. The world eater representative (whos name is as memorable as he is) has few emotions or thoughts beside "Me angry! But will be angrier later!". The space wolf character was closer to being fleshed out, but was dogged (ha) incessantly by memories of fenris, often the same memory of him standing on an icy glacial beach that has no real meaning or any metaphorical weight. The ultramaries- all of them- in this story are boring and their dogmatic adherence to duty makes them even duller to listen to. The word bearers are all essentially Saturday morning cartoon villains and that subtracts a great deal from the meaningfulness of their betrayal, as they twist their moustaches and cackle into the ether and make some of the most questionable military decisions tactically and functionally; since they essentially throw their brothers into the enemy (WHOM THEY GREATLY OUTNUMBER) squad by squad to be defeated by the oh so righteous and super cool loyalists. it was tiring, and the ending sucked as much as the accents.

3 people found this helpful

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  • sergio cavazos jr
  • 09-10-19

Another one

Only seventy audios books and dramas to go. Black library never disappoints.
I recommend it undoubtedly.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Peter M.
  • 17-07-19

Least Favorite so far

I felt something lacking in this book. I can't put my finger on it but so far this is my least favorite book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • be as iaw rare
  • 20-12-18

frustrating and tedious

brilliant performance with excellent voices can't save this plodding military procedural from being entirely forgotten

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • 22-05-20

Seriously skip this book it adds nothing.

This is a complete side story and is completely contained in this one book. Make a guess how it ends ... and you'd be correct with your first guess.

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  • Knut
  • 28-04-20

Straightforward and dull.

This one was hard for me to get through. Overall it was fairly uninteresting, with bland characters, and with little impact on the overarching narrative. It does pick up by the end, which is the only reason I gave it a 2.
The voices are very over the top, and feels like they belong in a Saturday morning cartoon.
Feel free to skip this one.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jordon Myers
  • 27-10-19

Okay.

couldn't really finish it. It was more boring than the rest of the series. not the worst book though.

4 people found this helpful

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  • JGS
  • 28-11-19

An interesting background story, but not the best

A bit slow, but interesting as a background story regarding the Word Bearers and their plan to wipe out the Ultramarines.

I have to say, the Word Bearers are intensely annoying and pompous, my least favourite legion so far, proper get on your nerves...

3 people found this helpful

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  • Victoria Eacott
  • 17-05-19

Weak HH story

A rather weak story, unnecessarily protracted and rather dull. After introducing all the various characters, the conclusion ends with little if any closure for the main characters. This was chore to listen to.

3 people found this helpful

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  • R Fletcher
  • 10-07-18

One only for die-hard Ultramarine fans

This story is a peculiar entry into the Horus Heresy series dealing with a bit of a non-event in the epic storyline which means it must work harder than the main timeline plots to become something distinct, which as I outline below it didn't for me.

This is the novel's first problem and the second is that the cast of characters are entirely contained within the tale, and disposable (I draw a parallel with the Star Wars film Rogue One).

The third is that unlike the proceeding books the protagonists and antagonists seem some what cardboard cut out good guys and villains, with the possible exception of Skral of the World Eaters.

These factors combined for a lack emotional investment in the characters which conspired to sap my enjoyment as I listened to the linear, predictable story. The other detraction here was the ponderous narrative style which continually over-explained details and went into gratuitous detail where not required... making action scenes slow and distracting from the plot and character engagement elsewhere.

The one strong positive in this story was the audio performance of the narrator which was well delivered and of excellent quality. I would normally of rated it 5 stars but necessity to make the Word Bearers overly villainous as written took away from my enjoyment.

In conclusion I can't recommend this book and don't see any reason to invest time and money in it - as a stand alone adventure it can be left without missing anything relevant to the main plot threads. Only a die-hard Ultramarine fan might find any enjoyment in this book and fans of the Word Bearers will be disappointed by the cartoonish portrayal of the legion.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-04-19

Kind of meh

People suggest avoiding this one. Having just gone through it I can kinda see why. Previous volumes manage to keep you invested but it's hard to care about anything that happens in this particular story. Its far less grandiose. The space combat aspect of it is ok but limiting. If this was a movie it would mainly shift between the bridge of ship A vs the bridge of ship B. I felt like there were a lot of opportunities to mix it up but the most traditional road was taken to tell a classic story of good, evil and personal sacrifice . Great performance from the narrator though. Pick it up if you want some more insight on ultramarines and word bearers chapters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • K F brown
  • 02-03-18

not for me

brilliant performance but just a bit too much loyalist super men for me. a handful loyalist vs a whole word bearer chapter.... but if you love is ultramarines then this is the book for you

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss L Jones
  • 18-05-20

slow in places but the ending makes it worth while

slower than a lot of the other books in the series and a lot less intricate. However, this is a good story about good vs evil and the will to act.

a story line similar to the hunt for the Bismark from ww2, it is a constant battle against impossible odds. Really well performed and the ending is climactic

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  • DTD-HXC
  • 05-05-20

Great Book!

Really did enjoy this one. some great scenes which get brought to life so well by Gareth Armstrong.

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  • Matthew
  • 12-03-20

it's an ok read

took me a while to get into this story, and although well narrated I found the story left me feeling a little disappointed. some what anti-climatic.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-03-20

Battle for the Abyss

There is more depth in this story than one might expect, but at a certain cost. What held this book back a slight, was the overall amount of characters all at once. The narrator creates a fantastic range of voices and characteristics, but there are simply too many in a short span of time to keep all apart.

Part from that, the story is very dark and precise. Determination, betrayal, hope and faith all clash together as one, and i highly recomend it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-07-18

Not bad at all

It's not as bad as some reviewers say it is :)

I enjoyed it but its definitely not one of the greatest.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Stephen McLeod
  • 30-10-19

life is better in the 20K

My life always feels better when I hear the snafu's in 40K awful time to live but great to listen to

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  • SpasticGremlin
  • 01-07-19

Engaging from start to finish

Every character felt unique and each their own real individual, gripping tightly as each intense moment could have been anyone's last.
The reading was outstanding, bringing each character to life, not one moment did I think the tone was off.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-05-18

meh.

it was kinda boring tbh. there were just no good characters. it's not like previous books in the series that had at least 1 or 2 interesting characters.