Yesterday I finished reading my first Warhammer novel, Horus Rising by Dan Abnett. I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. I have been aware of Warhammer for quite some time but never really knew much about it. I haven't previously played any of the games or read the comics or novels associated with it. But the last few times I was in my local bookstore I found myself repeatedly drawn to the display featuring several of the novels in this particular story arc which, as a whole, is referred to as The Horus Heresy. Since I am an absolute sucker for spiffy packaging I decided to go ahead and pick up the first novel in the series, the aforementioned Horus Rising. I grew up reading various "franchise" novels, by which I mean books set in worlds that were created in another media (i.e. Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons, Star Trek). I've enjoyed most of those novels I've read but never felt like they really ever challenged me to think as I read them. They were certainly enjoyable and not at all badly written but they, for the most part, weren't very deep. Everything was pretty much on the surface. Not so with Horus Rising. The novel touched on a lot of topics I really wasn't expecting from a "franchise" novel. Questions of faith, superstition and blind loyalty were presented in an interesting and thought provoking manner. Abnett's style of writing is immediately engaging and really draws you in. In fact, I would venture to say that if this book were not a Warhammer book, but instead something Abnett himself had created that it would receive much more praise and attention than it has. Not to say it is not popular but I suspect much of that popularity is derived from Warhammer's legion of fans. I am eager to continue the series (each novel by a different author) and see if the themes presented by Abnett carry throughout. I certainly hope so. Abnett has whetted my appetite for Warhammer in general and his writing in specific.
So long, and thanks for all the books
2 years ago