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The human Imperium stands at its height of glory - thousands of worlds have been brought to heel by the conquering armies of mankind. At the peak of his powers, Warmaster Horus wields absolute control - but can even he resist the corrupting whispers of Chaos?


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The human Imperium stands at its height of glory - thousands of worlds have been brought to heel by the conquering armies of mankind. At the peak of his powers, Warmaster Horus wields absolute control - but can even he resist the corrupting whispers of Chaos?

30 review for False Gods

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ivan

    Edit: Someone pointed out to me that there are readers start this series without knowing what Warhammer 40k is and that for such reader this review might contain spoilers. So if you are completely unfamiliar with Warhammer 40k avoid this and reviews for this series in general. /edit Still not sure if this book is better or worse than first one but it's still a bloody good fun. Writing in this book is notch bellow first one. So far I got the impression that Abnett is better writer than McNeil, his Edit: Someone pointed out to me that there are readers start this series without knowing what Warhammer 40k is and that for such reader this review might contain spoilers. So if you are completely unfamiliar with Warhammer 40k avoid this and reviews for this series in general. /edit Still not sure if this book is better or worse than first one but it's still a bloody good fun. Writing in this book is notch bellow first one. So far I got the impression that Abnett is better writer than McNeil, his dialogs and characters where more enjoyable. On the other hand story in this book is at much more interesting place. Horus rising was more of prolog while this book deals with events that lead to Horus becoming aligned with Chaos and starts setting the stage for the main events and great civil war to follow. We finally get to learn more about gods of chaos, emperor and see how deep corruption has spread through Imperium. Again there are some well written fights and I especially liked how adequately disgusting are descriptions of Nurgle's (God of death, decay and disease) forces. Warning don't read that part before meal.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Markus

    Interestingly, I think the best quote to sum up the qualities of the second book of the Horus Heresy is this: "What lies beyond that door?" asked Horus, backing away from the silver portal. "Truths you will not want to see," replied Sejanus, "and answers you will not want to hear." This book was absolutely spectacular. False Gods is in my mind even better than its predecessor Horus Rising, mostly because of its absolutely artistic description of the corruption and subversion of Horus and some of hi Interestingly, I think the best quote to sum up the qualities of the second book of the Horus Heresy is this: "What lies beyond that door?" asked Horus, backing away from the silver portal. "Truths you will not want to see," replied Sejanus, "and answers you will not want to hear." This book was absolutely spectacular. False Gods is in my mind even better than its predecessor Horus Rising, mostly because of its absolutely artistic description of the corruption and subversion of Horus and some of his main lieutenants. Graham McNeill does an impressive job as the architect of the fall of such a central character, using equal doses of truth, manipulation and prophecy. I confess to be left in doubt as to how strongly Horus' initial motivation as portrayed in this book is actually quite justified, and I believe leaving that up to the reader to figure out (at least those of us who are relative novices to the Warhammer 40K universe), was part of the authors' intention. One might say these developments could have been expanded some more, but then again, I went into this series with relatively low expectations, and they have regularly been exceeded. These Warhammer 40K books get an undeservedly bad reputation. So far the Horus Heresy series is a delightful wonder containing deep themes, excellently crafted character development, and an enticing overarching story. Excuse me while I'm off to read more. Horus Heresy reviews: #1 Horus Rising #2 False Gods #3 Galaxy in Flames #4 The Flight of the Eisenstein #5 Fulgrim #6 Descent of Angels #7 Legion

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    I was there the day that Horus fell... The opening trilogy of the Horus Heresy is still one of the best parts of the saga, and re-reading it after ten years is still a blast. My knowledge of Warhammer 40000 lore grown a lot in this time, and knowing now what is going to happen to characters in their future adds a lot of pleasure and entertainment to the reading. Kharn, Magnus, Fabius, Angron, Lucius and so on. I'm so happy this is not just a list of names for me. (view spoiler)[And if you read I was there the day that Horus fell... The opening trilogy of the Horus Heresy is still one of the best parts of the saga, and re-reading it after ten years is still a blast. My knowledge of Warhammer 40000 lore grown a lot in this time, and knowing now what is going to happen to characters in their future adds a lot of pleasure and entertainment to the reading. Kharn, Magnus, Fabius, Angron, Lucius and so on. I'm so happy this is not just a list of names for me. (view spoiler)[And if you read Graham McNeill's "Storm of Iron" you know that the mighty Dies Irae is going to became a Chaos Titan and breach open the gates of the Emperor's palace in the Siege of Terra! The battle against the plague zombies and Nurgleth/Nurgle plaguebearers was great and together with the gruesome ritual used by Erebus to appeal the four Chaos Gods introduced a lot of horror to the story and other trademark elements so much beloved by W40k fans . Just the same for the Pink Horror of Tzeentch summoned on the Vengeful Spirit by Sindermann's misreading. And the likeness of Horus standing in front of the traitorous Temba with the dead Verulam Moy at their feet was just a touch of genius, a dark reflection or an omen of things to come... (hide spoiler)] A great book and the Heresy takes roots for real.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bookhode

    Well this was a major step down from the first book in the Horus Heresy series. In "Horus Rising", Dan Abnett did his best to set up the psychology of the main characters in the saga, making me think that Horus' monumental decision to take down the Emperor would be based on some kind of internal conflict, and drama, and shades of grey issues of morality. It also made me very curious to see how will he get to that point. Unfortunately, all my high hopes were quickly dispersed when Graham McNeill Well this was a major step down from the first book in the Horus Heresy series. In "Horus Rising", Dan Abnett did his best to set up the psychology of the main characters in the saga, making me think that Horus' monumental decision to take down the Emperor would be based on some kind of internal conflict, and drama, and shades of grey issues of morality. It also made me very curious to see how will he get to that point. Unfortunately, all my high hopes were quickly dispersed when Graham McNeill took over, and delivered a book that is straight up pulp space action, without any pretenses at serious work of writing, with extremely simplified plot, and characters that are thinner than their own cardboard cutouts. Now this is not very surprising when we talk about Warhammer 40k novels, which are meant to be super light weight futuristic military fiestas, focused on action, machismo, and hooking up readers to buy other WH40k products. But since this IS arguably the most important series in the entire WH40k universe, and since the first book obviously showed that it IS possible to take an extra step, and make a more serious, deeper engaging novel, I really cannot see why there was no effort to pick a better writer, and to tell a more complex story about these crucial events. Anyway, in this book, we quickly learn that there is bit of Chaos infestation among some of the senior members of the Astartes, as one of those guys (Erebus) comes up with a kindergarten level of a master plan on how to corrupt Horus and turn him to the dark side. His brilliant idea is to basically tell Horus that some random local governor on some random irrelevant planet has rebelled, and called the Warmaster a chicken. Channeling his inner Marty McFly, Horus (previously presented as thoughtful, considerate and patient when it comes to assaulting people) immediately turns on his rage mode, and decides to take an entire spearhead of his army, with Titans, and legions of Space Marines, and all sorts of accompanying hardware, and to lead them himself, head on, into a ground assault. In the ensuing combat on a Chaos infested moon, (view spoiler)[ Horus is wounded by a Morgul blade... I mean, a magical anathame weapon, which poisons him and leaves him on his death bed. In this dire situation, the only person who has any suggestion on how to help the Warmaster is Erebus, who easily convinces all of Horus' friends and officers to take their dying leader into some kind of pagan temple, and lock him in there for a ritual of purification. Of course, when Horus comes out of there he will be alive, cured but changed. Chaos corruption has taken another victim. (hide spoiler)] The most disappointing part of this whole story was how quickly and how easily Horus has turned. He was shown a few visions of very dubious authenticity, by people who were obviously lying to him, and yet he took them all for granted, and immediately forsake his beloved father, the Emperor, and decided to take him down. Just like that. Compared to this shit, the Anakin Skywalker's turn in the utterly inept SW prequel trilogy, is fucking Fyodor Dostoevsky level of psychology and complexity. So bottom line, while this book has some pretty good action scenes, and a number of cool supporting characters, and it does plant some interesting seeds about the future religion based around the Emperor, the momentum it had inherited from the book 1 was completely wasted, and the main story about Horus was a massive let down, leading to my current score of only 49/100. Current ranking: 410th on my all time list of novels, 7th (out of 9) on my list of Warhammer 40k novels.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sud666

    Of all the books on the Warhammer 40K universe, the Horus Heresy series ranks among the best out there. Book Two follows in the tour de force style of the first volume. The infamous events of the fall of the Warmaster continues. After the events of the first book and the corrupted evil sword was stolen, by Erebus, and caused a war between the Interrex and the Imperium. The events surrounding Jubal (the Space Marine that was possessed) are causing people to begin to view the Emperor as a God. The Of all the books on the Warhammer 40K universe, the Horus Heresy series ranks among the best out there. Book Two follows in the tour de force style of the first volume. The infamous events of the fall of the Warmaster continues. After the events of the first book and the corrupted evil sword was stolen, by Erebus, and caused a war between the Interrex and the Imperium. The events surrounding Jubal (the Space Marine that was possessed) are causing people to begin to view the Emperor as a God. The Divine Cult of the Emperor begins to form. This story has Horus and his Legion going back to Davin. This is the world where the Sons of Horus established Imperial control. But now the Imperial Commander Temba has rebelled. The Sons of Horus are sent to deal with this unheard of treachery. During the events of the battle Horus is wounded and his Astartes start to see creatures that are not xenos but actually daemons. The rest of the story shows the level of the corruption spread throughout the Legions in the manner of the Lodges. This series also shows just how instrumental Lorgar and the Word Bearers were in causing the fall of Horus. I am curious as to how exactly Lorgar and Erebus fell to the Ruinous Powers. But this tale shows how his corruption leads to Horus' downfall. A dark and amazing tale. There are some great foreshadowing scenes here. I won't spo9il them and they are subtle, but if you have a good background with what happens-then the future seems to be obvious. This is a great story and just as good as the first volume in the series. The world that could have been before the Heresy is obvious. The Emperor's reaction to Magnus and some others who made the case for dealing with the Warp is puzzling. In a way it is the Emperor's absence and possible hubris that sets into motion the events that lead to his Legions starting to doubt. This allows the transfer of power, at least in terms of adulation, from the Emperor to the Warmaster. Exciting, well written and covering a very interesting period of this 40K history. If you are a fan or are just curious about the events of the Horus Heresy then you will love this book. I did.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chris Berko

    I am again impressed by the depth and complexity of these novels and the themes being explored. The first Horus Heresy novel dealt with irony and brotherhood while this one tackled deceit and secrets and most of all, change. Still a huge cast of characters, still the sense of wonder technology and action sequences, but this one left me with a knot in my stomach. The knot is because in the course of just one book some characters that embodied and personified the best there was to offer in this un I am again impressed by the depth and complexity of these novels and the themes being explored. The first Horus Heresy novel dealt with irony and brotherhood while this one tackled deceit and secrets and most of all, change. Still a huge cast of characters, still the sense of wonder technology and action sequences, but this one left me with a knot in my stomach. The knot is because in the course of just one book some characters that embodied and personified the best there was to offer in this universe become so hateful and hate-able I cringe thinking about what will happen to the "good" guys, of which few are left. Not much else I can say without spoiling the plot other than these are fantastic books by talented authors.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    Lots of filler 'n shit in this one, but there was some fun action and it's hard to not have fun in a universe as motherfucking over the top as 40k's. More to come if and when I feel like writing about 40k stuff, which will probably be never because I already have an obscene backlog. Lots of filler 'n shit in this one, but there was some fun action and it's hard to not have fun in a universe as motherfucking over the top as 40k's. More to come if and when I feel like writing about 40k stuff, which will probably be never because I already have an obscene backlog.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stuart

    "Science and religion collide - breaking friendships and brotherhoods alike" This is a reread of the Horus Heresy series. I've been slowly buying the Premium edition hardback books. So given this, I wanted to mention how beautiful the embossed cover is under the dust jack. It portrays the image you can see on the cover picture. Rather neat. Black Library has also added four images per novel, that pertain to a particular scene in the novel. The thing is, there very cartoonish - I'm not a fan o "Science and religion collide - breaking friendships and brotherhoods alike" This is a reread of the Horus Heresy series. I've been slowly buying the Premium edition hardback books. So given this, I wanted to mention how beautiful the embossed cover is under the dust jack. It portrays the image you can see on the cover picture. Rather neat. Black Library has also added four images per novel, that pertain to a particular scene in the novel. The thing is, there very cartoonish - I'm not a fan of Karl Richardson's art style. Personally I think given the Gothic setting, they need to bring in H R Giger - much more suited to my own tastes. Failing that the brilliant Alan Merrett - but he has moved on to better things. The style just loses tone and connection to the words. Now I'm done with the Yogi Bear "It's because I'm smarter than the average bear" images, let's move on to the meat... False Gods must have been a daunting novel for Graham McNeill to write, given just how mangasm-rific Horus Rising was. He even states in his foreword that this was something of a challenge. The good news is that book two in the Horus Heresy is good, the bad news, well there isn't much bad news. Don't trust serpents, especially if you see a motif of a snake eating itself. It's never a good idea to go wondering into such places. Some of the ancient beliefs of such things believes that 'you will be born renewed, but changed'. I say this as a super-human such as Horus is meant to be enamoured with knowledge beyond anyone's understanding or perception. How would you corrupt someone who is seen as the pinnacle of mankind? You'd offer them power, POWER! Why not. The Primarch Horus is no man I hear you cry - ah but yes he is, a man's heart with a man's brain. Tell me, what would you be willing to give up for power? In Horus's case it's his brotherhood, his bonds to his father the Emperor of Mankind and his jealously of his power. And why not. For generations humanity has fought over dirt, ideas and love. One of the first stories ever written was fought for love, power and dirt - Troy, Paris, Helen, Agamemnon, Achilles and Hector. As per usual I ramble. Flase Gods lead straight off from the happenings of Horus Rising this time a darker tale is told. Horus is forced to make decisions that will change the shape of the galaxy for years, but more sooner his legion The Luna Wolves, who he renames The Sons Of Horus. Ego! Loken and Torgaddon are forced to pick sides and so are the human Remembrancers, who record the happenings of The Great Crusade for porosity. In a secular society where religion is dead, science and the strength of the Imperium are what the people look to - belief in deities begin to take root abroad Horus's flagship The Vengeful Spirit. That deity is The Emperor, a living god. A Remembrancer Euraphti Keeler is viewed as a living saint, embodying the power of The Emperor - there are moments in the prose where I was blown away by how easily Graham transferred from the believable too the unbelievable. Great stuff. The physical and metaphysical become blurred, especially during Horus's 'trial' - just what is divine power, what is diabolical, who is good and who is evil? It's posed for the read too make their own mind up - which decision is right and which is wrong. Is life more important than Horus's own death? Is he willing to make a pact with forces within the warp? I could tell you, but I won't. There are flaws, for me. I had a hard time believing Horus didn't know of Erebus's attempts to engineer events, even before later issues arise with Horus. I found him too easily influenced by Erebus's theatrics - this super-human stands aloft upon a colonnade beyond such individuals as The Word Bearer Chaplain. He shouldn't be so easily swayed (in my opinion) by such petty emotions as anger - well not to the extent where a human can see how Horus has been played and the Primarch himself cannot. Even Captain Loken knew the extent of Erebus's poor acting and how he manipulated Horus into the situations they were found in later. What did I enjoy? Well everything I've mentioned so far. Kyril Sinnderman reminds me of a 'older' professor I work with at university. That one person who knows 'things' can be explained away using books, books from the past - why did we believe in fanes/thanes(?), is there a pattern to the wars we fought? Etc etc. The wise sage, that one person who seems to always have a answer. Kyril is that person. A strong orator and a even stronger believer of the secular truth (that being of science and of the Imperium). It isn't until he is faced with his own dabbling in the powers of the arcane that he starts to question his own 'naivety'. Onto Captain Loken and Toragaddon. Two characters I can relate to in the sense of brotherhood and shared banter. It's rife, it's great... but also sad in equal measures. One man Loken, who is a thinker and a 'starch arse' see's what is happening to Horus and the Legion. The other, Toragaddon, the joker and light-hearted Space Marine. Such brilliant balance between the two characters. They just flow off the page and I could easily envision them in real life - well as much as you can imagine super-human warriors. So here we are - mankind and the Imperium are on a knife-edge. Will you turn left or right? Which way is the right direction? Only Horus seems to know (and Magnus Primarch of The Thousand Sons). There is no road map to destiny, just a series of decisions that lead you there. What one man decides will affect trillions. Is it betrayal, has Horus been mislead? Who decides what is good and evil? Make your own mind up! A great read, intelligently written and progresses the plot really well (unlike a good half of the Horus Heresy novels).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Well shit, that escalated fast. I knew it was coming, but Horus went from a likable hero to a first rate douche bag in a couple hundred pages. All I have to say is Torgaddon better not die in the next book - he's my favorite. Well shit, that escalated fast. I knew it was coming, but Horus went from a likable hero to a first rate douche bag in a couple hundred pages. All I have to say is Torgaddon better not die in the next book - he's my favorite.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marc

    I had to put this one down and pick it up a few times, the first half really dragged for me. The second half picked up a little bit, but for all tactical brilliance the characters are supposed to have, they sure do just run straight at things and hit it with swords a lot. Every action scene was the same: Look! Things! Run up and chop em!! Aren't we glorious? The characters behaved more like what you'd imagine orks would be when it finally came down to the action bits, which left me wondering why I had to put this one down and pick it up a few times, the first half really dragged for me. The second half picked up a little bit, but for all tactical brilliance the characters are supposed to have, they sure do just run straight at things and hit it with swords a lot. Every action scene was the same: Look! Things! Run up and chop em!! Aren't we glorious? The characters behaved more like what you'd imagine orks would be when it finally came down to the action bits, which left me wondering why these idiots were in charge of anything. Like, not once did they try sneaking around and doing a clever high stakes commando raid or anything, just hold up the plot armour which was incredibly thick. The most interesting characters were the biographers tagging along for the voyage, and they were what saved the book for me, even if they did all kind of melt into one or two characters near the end. I guess if you're really into 40k, like /reaaaaaaaly/ into it, you'll really enjoy this, but for filthy casuals, like me it was a bit of a letdown after all of the hype this series has.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Monsour

    I was there the day that Horus fell The Great Crusade continues. Warmaster Horus and his newly renamed Legion, the Sons of Horus and the other member of 63rd expedition continues to lead the war to ensure the destiny of mankind to be the ruler of the galaxy. The primarch is alone and without the guidance of the emperor the forces unknown to them is watching. False Gods is a personal story about Horus and the Astartes of the Sons of Horus(Luna Wolves). To the doubting Horus and slow buildup on turn I was there the day that Horus fell The Great Crusade continues. Warmaster Horus and his newly renamed Legion, the Sons of Horus and the other member of 63rd expedition continues to lead the war to ensure the destiny of mankind to be the ruler of the galaxy. The primarch is alone and without the guidance of the emperor the forces unknown to them is watching. False Gods is a personal story about Horus and the Astartes of the Sons of Horus(Luna Wolves). To the doubting Horus and slow buildup on turning, the secretly founding of the worship of the emperor in the expedition and the conspiracy to what happen to Horus in the end. This book is really well written and easy to follow even if the reader is not as in dept on the Warhammer franchise.

  12. 4 out of 5

    David Guymer

    Two books into the Horus Heresy and two great stories down. I actually found this one even better than Horus Rising (but there is no sixth star to give it) for the way the novel plays with the concept of truth. There are parts when I'm so twisted around by what the character's are seeing and doing that even I don't know who's good and who's evil, and given that I go into this thinking I know everything about this setting that's a pretty amazing thing. It was a little slower to get going than Horu Two books into the Horus Heresy and two great stories down. I actually found this one even better than Horus Rising (but there is no sixth star to give it) for the way the novel plays with the concept of truth. There are parts when I'm so twisted around by what the character's are seeing and doing that even I don't know who's good and who's evil, and given that I go into this thinking I know everything about this setting that's a pretty amazing thing. It was a little slower to get going than Horus Rising but as soon as 'that thing' happened on Davin's moon I couldn't put it down. Even if I did spend a lot of that time mentally screaming 'No Horus. No. Don't listen to him, Horus. What did you just - arrgghh!' A great book all told and already started Galaxy in Flames - only, what, 37 to go to catch up?

  13. 5 out of 5

    John

    I think, after nine months on my reading list, it might be time to just admit that I couldn’t give less of a crap about Horus. He’s a bit like Ted, from How I Met Your Mother: everyone keeps mentioning how great he is in the text, but nothing he’s actually doing makes me think anyone under his command would even respect him, let alone adore him. Such a fundamental mischaracterisation makes the Horus Heresy nearly impossible to get into for me (which is sad, because I have fond memories of 40K).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Oh boy. The writing is pretty bad in this one. They don't seem to be able to figure out how to get around modern English colloquialisms, so the mood is constantly being broken. The first book seemed to try to develop the characters a bit more and give them nuance, but book two descends into melodrama and its only the lack of facial hair that prevents the villains from twirling their mustachios. Oh boy. The writing is pretty bad in this one. They don't seem to be able to figure out how to get around modern English colloquialisms, so the mood is constantly being broken. The first book seemed to try to develop the characters a bit more and give them nuance, but book two descends into melodrama and its only the lack of facial hair that prevents the villains from twirling their mustachios.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    False Gods it the second novel in The Horus Heresy series, which is arguably one of the biggest events to hit the universe of Warhammer 40,000. It’s also an extremely long event, occurring over dozens of books. It may be a bit of an intimidating read, but trust me, it’s well worth the effort and experience. Written by Graham McNeill, False Gods is the epic continuation to Horus Rising. We’re still steadily building towards the main conflict, with faith and loyalties being cast into doubt all ov False Gods it the second novel in The Horus Heresy series, which is arguably one of the biggest events to hit the universe of Warhammer 40,000. It’s also an extremely long event, occurring over dozens of books. It may be a bit of an intimidating read, but trust me, it’s well worth the effort and experience. Written by Graham McNeill, False Gods is the epic continuation to Horus Rising. We’re still steadily building towards the main conflict, with faith and loyalties being cast into doubt all over the place. “We will be called heretics, but we are right, he is wrong.” False Gods is an epic read, one that is brilliantly intense and fascinating. This is a series perfect for fans of the game, as well as new fans that are merely curious about the lore (and trust me, there’s plenty of that to go around). This novel is so full of characters, events, and plots that it’s almost difficult to believe that it was all one book. The fall of Horus into corruption is not quick, but it is steady. And the implications of his actions become more terrifying as time goes on. Honestly, there was a lot to love about this novel. It explains how Horus came to his change of opinion, for example. It also shows off many of the other Primarks (while shining a light on how Horus felt about each and every one of them). It’s also full to the brim of politics, battles, gore, and so much more. The Horus Heresy may not be officially out in the open here, but you can clearly see it brewing. As it turns out, there are many elements required in making it all begin – and it was a fascinating experience watching (reading) it all fall into place. I haven’t even mentioned one of my favorite parts about the series thus far – Loken. He’s one of the leading perspectives for this novel. His story continues here, and it has quickly become a highlight* worth looking forward to (in my opinion). His viewpoint is grounding, an essential point in a plot full of monsters and giants. “’What lies beyond that door?’ Asked Horus, backing away from the silver portal. ‘Truths you will not want to see,’ replied Sejanus, ‘and answers you will not want to hear.’” I went into False Gods with several assumptions and expectations. Those were all blasted apart and replaced with something just as interesting – if not more so. This was an epic tale, worthy of the Space Marines and the dramatic confrontation we all know is brewing. I know I am very behind on the times, with only sitting down to read The Horus Heresy now. But honestly, I have no regrets. I’m really enjoying every minute of the series thus far, and I am actively looking forward to seeing what will happen next. *Before anybody feels the need to comment about Loken, I already know. I read False Gods and Galaxy in Flames back to back. So I know what is going to happen. Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

  16. 4 out of 5

    General Greysorrow

    This was a marathon read that I could literally not put down, thus I'm going to highly recommend it. Being the second book in the series, we can begin to see where Horus starts down the path to Heresy. However, I don't know if I would necessarily call it pride. Allow me to digress. The story of Horus' betrayal against the Emperor has obvious similarities to the mythical fall of Lucifer. He is the favored son of the Emperor; the champion, the chosen one, the anointed by God himself, etc. Through t This was a marathon read that I could literally not put down, thus I'm going to highly recommend it. Being the second book in the series, we can begin to see where Horus starts down the path to Heresy. However, I don't know if I would necessarily call it pride. Allow me to digress. The story of Horus' betrayal against the Emperor has obvious similarities to the mythical fall of Lucifer. He is the favored son of the Emperor; the champion, the chosen one, the anointed by God himself, etc. Through the course of this story, Horus is mortally wounded, and the Ruinous Powers of Chaos intervene to save his life provided he turns against the Emperor. They show him a future which reveals that, instead of being the champion of secularism, the Emperor is actually destroying all known religions in order to replace them with the worship of the Emperor as a god himself. In that future, there are no statues of Horus, no songs sang to Horus' name, no memory of Horus, etc., and this is what bothers Horus. He cares not about the apparent lie that the Emperor is selling. He only cares that he, Horus, is not remembered. That he, Horus, is not above all others, proclaimed as the true savior of Humanity. Horus also reveals his utter contempt for civilian authority. He sees the bureaucrats as worthless nothings who are only getting in the way of the "glory" that is the Imperium. Horus seems to have the belief that those who do the conquering are also those best suited to administrate, which is, of course, absurd. But, it does speak to Horus' growing sense of superiority over all. Even the Space Marines themselves are displaying more and more their separation from Humanity, as they continue to place themselves above and beyond the common throng, seeing unaugmented Humans as pathetic pawns who are simply in the way and meant to be ruled. And this goes to why I prefer the Imperial Guard. Immortal, near-omnipotent champions who are incapable of relating to those whom they protect invariably become the worst of all tyrants.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This is the second in the Horus Heresy series from Black Library. The blurb from the back is as follows: The Great Crusade that has taken humanity into the stars continues. The Emperor of Mankind has handed the reins of command to his favoured son, the Warmaster Horus. Yet all is not well in the armies of the Imperium. Horus is still battling against the jealousy and resentment of his brother primarchs and, when he is injured in combat on the planet Davin, he must also battle his inner daemons. This is the second in the Horus Heresy series from Black Library. The blurb from the back is as follows: The Great Crusade that has taken humanity into the stars continues. The Emperor of Mankind has handed the reins of command to his favoured son, the Warmaster Horus. Yet all is not well in the armies of the Imperium. Horus is still battling against the jealousy and resentment of his brother primarchs and, when he is injured in combat on the planet Davin, he must also battle his inner daemons. With all the temptations that Chaos has to offer, can the weakened Horus resist? The fate of the galaxy now rests in the simple choice of one man: loyalty or heresy? The Horus Heresy sequence is extremely interesting in that each book is written by a different author - in the first book Dan Abnett laid out the foundation for the tale that Graham McNeill continues. Part of the fun in reading this book came from seeing how McNeill handled the characters introduced by Abnett, and how his writing style differed. I would say that McNeill is definitely more utilitarian in his style - at times Abnett became almost poetic in his descriptions, whereas McNeill eschews that for a more militaristic and straightforward approach. This book is also more introspective. There are less rampant battle scenes (although that is not to say there aren't moments of excitement and tension), and the action moves into a more political arena. Horus reaches the moment of his decision, and we see the actions of all the protagonists as they decide whether to stand with their Warmaster. Of course, anyone who has played the actual game of Warhammer 40K knows the way that this novel has to end, but McNeill does a very good job of keeping me interested on the journey. There are faults though - and one of them is not of McNeill's making. The edition of this book that I read was riddled with errors and needed another scan by human eyes to pick up all those mistakes e.g. 'their' instead of 'there'; "...it was poor a vintage" rather than "it was a poor vintage". This might be considered nit-picking, but enough errors will jar you out of a novel. I didn't appreciate McNeill making up words either - 'spanging', I felt, was unnecessary. Bullets ricochet, they do not spang... I also felt that the period in the latter half of the book when Horus is struggling from his wound caused the pacing to go all awry. Up until that point we had been proceeding forward at a brisk pace, but I became mired in the dream sequences and struggled to get through without skim reading. I suspect that Abnett might have handled these in a better fashion. My favourite characters were Loken and Torgaddon, as in this first book. Their very human reactions - the doubt, the pain, the anger - lend gravity to events. It was an unremittingly dark book, very grim, and even Torgaddon (the joker of the bunch) couldn't come out with much comedy relief to lighten the tone. It almost sounds as though I didn't enjoy it, but I did - very much so. I found it more thought-provoking than the first book, especially with the discussion on the nature of Gods and religion. I especially liked the quote from Karkasy: "No, my dear, ignorance and fear create the gods, enthusiasm and deceit adorn them, and human weakness worships them." All in all, a strong addition to the Horus Heresy books, with a cliff hanger of an ending that guarantees I'll be heading out to get hold of the next!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    I faltered a few times reading this book, due, not to the fault of the author, but rather to my own trepidation that the story unfolding ahead might fail to be convincing under the weight of import this stage in the series has for the whole WH40K universe. My fears were not realised, however, as the subtle shifts unveiled in characters between book 1 (Horus Rising) and this book were well implemented (between two different authors, I might add), and helped spread the gravity of events more thinl I faltered a few times reading this book, due, not to the fault of the author, but rather to my own trepidation that the story unfolding ahead might fail to be convincing under the weight of import this stage in the series has for the whole WH40K universe. My fears were not realised, however, as the subtle shifts unveiled in characters between book 1 (Horus Rising) and this book were well implemented (between two different authors, I might add), and helped spread the gravity of events more thinly (and as it turns out, more realistically). This book ended clearly as a part in a greater story being told (which it is, of course, "The Horus Heresy" series). Now having read books 3, 4, and most of the way through 5, I can see in retrospect how well the story in "False Gods" is complimented by those that follow it. Events are told that directly follow, run in parallel, and came before, adding understanding of why this story happened as much as what the events in the story affect. I found this to be a good example of reading a book and coming out of it satisfied with an interesting perspective on events, only later to have that perspective honed and reshaped. As with all Warhammer 40K science fiction, this book falls strongly under the category of "Guy Books" due to the huge focus on bloody combat by superhuman warriors in the face of an enemy grotesque and insidious beyond human definitions of good or evil.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Edmund

    False Gods is the second installment in the Warhammer 40K novels. It is in essence very much a '2nd' book in that while very enjoyment the action essentially connects the 1st book to the next and doesn't really contain much of a standalone story. In prose and plot however I felt that False Gods was more precise and efficient than Horus Rising, the pacing was steady and the action fairly rip-roaring. In terms of the basic experience of reading it I enjoyed False Gods more, however Horus Rising I False Gods is the second installment in the Warhammer 40K novels. It is in essence very much a '2nd' book in that while very enjoyment the action essentially connects the 1st book to the next and doesn't really contain much of a standalone story. In prose and plot however I felt that False Gods was more precise and efficient than Horus Rising, the pacing was steady and the action fairly rip-roaring. In terms of the basic experience of reading it I enjoyed False Gods more, however Horus Rising I felt had more depth to ponder after finishing. My biggest complaint about False Gods is that it leans too heavily on the fandom of 40K, too much of the story felt more like nods to events people would likely already be aware of, especially in regards to Horus' character arc throughout the story. While I felt that a good setup had been prepared for the God-like character it felt more like his actions reflected what needed to happen in the story moreso than a logical character progression. I'm very aware that there are masses of books in this series so wanting more material is a little nuts, but I would have preferred Horus' downfall to be a little more thoroughly fleshed out. On the positive side Loken's character continues to be compelling and relatable, its tense to see the stalwart leader torn between what he believes is right and loyalty to his chapter. There were a couple of other niggles with the book, sometimes the prose got repetitive, and even though one must accept the over the top nature of the 40K universe it's still boring to hear again and again how epic Astartes such as the number of times we're reminded that Astartes have super immune systems throughout the story. Overall I found False Gods a good read. Probably not highly recommended for non-fans of the universe, but a possible good diversion for cheesy sci-fi fans too.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Timbo

    If you had any doubt of whether it was worth taking up this second book in the series, let me tell you False Gods is an absolutely amazing follow up to Horus Rising that in my opinion manages to outdo its predecessor. Many questions have been answered and storylines magnificently expanded upon. If you even remotely enjoyed Horus Rising you will undoubtedly enjoy this next fantasical entry in the Horus Heresy saga. False Gods is simply one of the best books I've ever read. If you had any doubt of whether it was worth taking up this second book in the series, let me tell you False Gods is an absolutely amazing follow up to Horus Rising that in my opinion manages to outdo its predecessor. Many questions have been answered and storylines magnificently expanded upon. If you even remotely enjoyed Horus Rising you will undoubtedly enjoy this next fantasical entry in the Horus Heresy saga. False Gods is simply one of the best books I've ever read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Claudiu

    A satisfyingly good read I feel that I've been entranced into this particular universe. The door out has closed behind me with a deafening slam. I couldn't be happier. A satisfyingly good read I feel that I've been entranced into this particular universe. The door out has closed behind me with a deafening slam. I couldn't be happier.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Craig M

    Another great instalment of this fantastic series. I loved the transformation of the Warmaster in this book, it was a great example of how to do something that you know is coming, but still make it a compelling read. I didn’t think the writing in this one was quite as good as Dan Abnett’s first instalment. This however didn’t prevent me from giving this a five star review. I think it was more a testament to just how good that first book was, rather than a slight against this one. There’s some ex Another great instalment of this fantastic series. I loved the transformation of the Warmaster in this book, it was a great example of how to do something that you know is coming, but still make it a compelling read. I didn’t think the writing in this one was quite as good as Dan Abnett’s first instalment. This however didn’t prevent me from giving this a five star review. I think it was more a testament to just how good that first book was, rather than a slight against this one. There’s some excellent individual story arch’s in this, that all come together with a really satisfying finale. Plenty of political intrigue and scheming, as well as some frantic and brutal battle sequences that are real page turners. This is a series with a hell of a lot of books to read. To be honest that would normally make me think twice about even starting it. However I’m glad I took the plunge with this series, as it’s been absolutely fantastic so far. Another easy five stars from me.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Linton

    Such a good book. There's no turning back now for Horus. Such a good book. There's no turning back now for Horus.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dylan Murphy

    First and Second Review 11/20/2013 False Gods by Graham McNeill was a fantastic follow up to Dan Abnett's "Horus Rising". It takes the tale of introduction Horus and his legion(and some of their brothers), and making him fall. The book begins with the (newly re-named)Sons of Horus leaving the Interex, and making for Davin at the behest of the Word Bearers Legion. Davin, a world brought into compliance some 6 decades ago, seems to have revolted against the Imperium, and Erebus makes sure to make th First and Second Review 11/20/2013 False Gods by Graham McNeill was a fantastic follow up to Dan Abnett's "Horus Rising". It takes the tale of introduction Horus and his legion(and some of their brothers), and making him fall. The book begins with the (newly re-named)Sons of Horus leaving the Interex, and making for Davin at the behest of the Word Bearers Legion. Davin, a world brought into compliance some 6 decades ago, seems to have revolted against the Imperium, and Erebus makes sure to make things nice and personal so Horus leads the attack on the traitors himself. The battle with the "Nurgleth" zombies on Davin was fun to read. It had a bit of a horror element, as the Astartes of the Sons of Horus face an enemy that has no will to break, and is painfully troublesome to put down for a final time. Horus's attack into the "Glory of Terra" to take on the leader of the traitors was both exciting and depressing. Time and time again we heard about how Horus had such a weight of character, that one word of praise would win him followers for the rest of those followers lives. What could possibly make Temba renounce his oaths to one such as Horus? As a Chaos fan, it was exciting to see the Legions deal with this, but on a personal level, I cannot imagine how utterly worthless Horus felt. I have heard that a Space Marine has all the emotions of a man, amplified a hundredfold, and that the emotions of a primarch are a hundredfold more potent than that. Horus was weak and falling to the Kinebrach Anathame, and the depression caused by his failure with Temba must have been heartbreaking for Horus. The lines that follow, I think, will always send shivers down my spin. "I was there the day Horus fell". Those words made this novel. They are the reason it was written, in both a physical and metaphorical sense. I cannot imagine the horror of his astartes when Horus fell, Horus is very much so their father, but he is also much more than that. He is their fearless leader, a warrior that cannot be bested, a genius diplomat and tactician, as well as the man that every single astartes of the Sons of Horus loved dearly. And now, all of that had changed. Horus's fall brought about the fall of the legion, the slight split ends that Horus held together coming undone with his fall. It was truly sad to see the Mournival, the closest of brothers, torn apart by the deception of the Word Bearers, as well as to see the Sons of Horus become a shadow of what they used to be. Horus's journey through the warp while he was on his deathbed was superbly written. The treachery of Erebus also reaching a new level of mustache-twirling. His visions of the fall of Earth to the Terra that he knew was a amazing metaphor at how the galaxy would soon be plunged into hopelessness. As well as Magnus's inclusion and involvement in the whole ordeal. As Horus progressed through this place with Erebus, and as he began to hate the Emprah, it was amazingly sad. Last time I read this, I don't remember being so heartbroken at Horus's decision, or feeling the regret that I felt the same way he did about the Emprah's actions. I was there the day Horus fell, I will be there to see him fall again. Lupercal! Second Review Pretty much most of the same thoughts on False Gods. Amazing story, and Graham McNeill does such an amazing job detailing Horus' Fall. I honestly forgot huge parts of this one, and it was just too easy to get sucked in and keep reading. While I know where our destination is, I can't wait to keep this journey going.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alain DeWitt

    This is the second in the Horus Heresy series (a series numbering 12 or 15 volumes) in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. (Warhammer 40,000 is a popular tabletop miniature war game published by Gamers Workshop.) The main selling point of these books are the military sci-fi setting. The writing chores are handled by different authors but in the prologue of 'Horus Rising' Dan Abnett wrote of how they worked as a team. This is necessary in a tale as sprawling as this one and it explains the consistency This is the second in the Horus Heresy series (a series numbering 12 or 15 volumes) in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. (Warhammer 40,000 is a popular tabletop miniature war game published by Gamers Workshop.) The main selling point of these books are the military sci-fi setting. The writing chores are handled by different authors but in the prologue of 'Horus Rising' Dan Abnett wrote of how they worked as a team. This is necessary in a tale as sprawling as this one and it explains the consistency in style and tone. My main concern - and it holds true in this second volume - is the overuse of superlatives. It seems that every Astartes warrior is braver, stronger and more perfect than the last. It devalues the concept and is tiring to read as a reader. We get that these are superhuman specimens. No need to beat us over the head with the concept.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Draganov

    The Heresy takes roots indeed! Impressive novel by Graham McNeil /Defenders of Ulthuan/ which really ignites the Horus Heresy saga. Masterful symbolism is fundamental for the sorcerous system of the setting, which is great, always nice to see that the author did his homework when creating magic. Plot is of a slow downfall - of a single man and of the whole Imperium - and reminds me of my favorite "Deathstalker Return" by Simon R. Green - although it is even darker and with smaller hope. Strongly The Heresy takes roots indeed! Impressive novel by Graham McNeil /Defenders of Ulthuan/ which really ignites the Horus Heresy saga. Masterful symbolism is fundamental for the sorcerous system of the setting, which is great, always nice to see that the author did his homework when creating magic. Plot is of a slow downfall - of a single man and of the whole Imperium - and reminds me of my favorite "Deathstalker Return" by Simon R. Green - although it is even darker and with smaller hope. Strongly recommended!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tazio Bettin

    This was a rather quick read, which considering the page count suggests how quick paced and engaging the narration was. It did leave me, however, with some mixed feelings. It's well written, though sometimes I feel like there's an abundance of adjectives and unnecessary specifications or descriptions just to make the book long enough. It's not as bad as it sounds, it didn't make the read heavy or boring and there definitely is a lot of meat in this book. But it wasn't there in the previous volum This was a rather quick read, which considering the page count suggests how quick paced and engaging the narration was. It did leave me, however, with some mixed feelings. It's well written, though sometimes I feel like there's an abundance of adjectives and unnecessary specifications or descriptions just to make the book long enough. It's not as bad as it sounds, it didn't make the read heavy or boring and there definitely is a lot of meat in this book. But it wasn't there in the previous volume and I can't help comparing the two reads. At the same time, some rather important things were left unsaid. Maybe they will be explained in another book, but I still have a feeling like the change in Horus has been a bit too abrupt and remorseless, and we aren't shown enough to make that change very convincing. That's about all I can say that I found negative about the book. The transition from the previous book by Abnett to this one is seamless, and the characters are consistent and further developed, and I love the sense of impending doom that is about to happen. There's a lot of foreshadowing and I enjoyed it. Also, Erebus!!!! You bastard!!!!! Liked this read, not loved as much as I wanted to, but still will probably read the next book in the series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What Dan Abnett started in Horus Rising, Graham McNeill followed up in style with False Gods. If you thought the start of the series was good, you are in for a treat when you read this one. After the events of book 1, Horus and the Lunar Wolves lead a new mission: to reconquer the moon of Davin which has been taken by the traitor Eugan Temba. There was so much content I enjoyed throughout, particularly the battle scenes, which I thought McNeill wrote even better than Abnett, (I have to say I real What Dan Abnett started in Horus Rising, Graham McNeill followed up in style with False Gods. If you thought the start of the series was good, you are in for a treat when you read this one. After the events of book 1, Horus and the Lunar Wolves lead a new mission: to reconquer the moon of Davin which has been taken by the traitor Eugan Temba. There was so much content I enjoyed throughout, particularly the battle scenes, which I thought McNeill wrote even better than Abnett, (I have to say I really liked the titans). There is also a considerable amount of intrigue, especially regarding Horus himself and some of the remembrancers. Regarding characters, Gaviel Loken is still my favourite, but Tarik Torgadden I warmed to considerably, I also thought Petronella Vivar was a nice addition to the cast. My opinion of Horus however fell drastically. I would quite like to get to know some of the other Primarchs better because we were only briefly introduced to Fulgrim and Angron. I’m sure this will be rectified in due course though. Another 5 out 5 stars for this one, and I am pleased I managed to read another Sci-Fi novel this year. I really want to read more of the 40k universe, but I have been advised to read Galaxy in Flames before I do so, which I already have a copy of.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jason Ray Ray Carney

    This is great, as good as the first Horus Heresy novel. It follows Garviel Loken, a captain of "The Sons of Horus" (originally the "Luna Wolves"), a company of space marines in the Great Crusade of the Imperium of Man. It relates the way the Warmaster of the crusade, Horus, is seduced by the forces of Chaos into considering betraying the Emperor of Man. There are some great settings: the Plague Moon of Davin, the cathedral ship of the crusade, and more. And there are intriguing characters: the F This is great, as good as the first Horus Heresy novel. It follows Garviel Loken, a captain of "The Sons of Horus" (originally the "Luna Wolves"), a company of space marines in the Great Crusade of the Imperium of Man. It relates the way the Warmaster of the crusade, Horus, is seduced by the forces of Chaos into considering betraying the Emperor of Man. There are some great settings: the Plague Moon of Davin, the cathedral ship of the crusade, and more. And there are intriguing characters: the First Chaplain Erebus, the plague-ridden Eugen Temba, the Remembrancer Petronella Vivar, and more. One memorable elament is an intriguingly disorienting foray into metaphysical speculation (vagueness is intentional here). There is such a vitality and baroque exuberance to this novel and the epic sci-fi world it reveals, really unparalleled. It almost reads as a Miltonic theological allegory, with the Emperor of Man standing in for God and Warmaster Horus a kind of Satan figure. Can't wait to read more.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Luke Burrage

    Full review on my podcast, SFBRP episode #440 Luke talks to Juliane about the second Warhammer 40k novel he’s read, False Gods by Graham McNeill, book two of the Horus Heresy. https://www.sfbrp.com/archives/1781 Full review on my podcast, SFBRP episode #440 Luke talks to Juliane about the second Warhammer 40k novel he’s read, False Gods by Graham McNeill, book two of the Horus Heresy. https://www.sfbrp.com/archives/1781

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