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Battle for the Abyss

The Horus Heresy, Book 8
Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
Series: The Horus Heresy, Book 8
Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (132 ratings)

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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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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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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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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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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.

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Profile Image for Robert Lindner
  • Robert Lindner
  • 14-11-2017

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
  • 24-11-2019

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
  • 09-10-2019

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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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jaclyn Rae Adams
  • 20-09-2019

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.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ted B.
  • 12-09-2019

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Peter M.
  • 17-07-2019

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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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • be as iaw rare
  • 20-12-2018

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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  • Christopher Laginja
  • 25-06-2018

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jordan Desilets
  • 09-01-2020

It is a side arch

People complained because you could skip this book and not miss anything but it’s still an interesting story.

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Profile Image for Ron Karroll
  • Ron Karroll
  • 07-01-2020

Not as bad as other reviews would make you think.

Not quite sure what others were expecting but I found this to be at the quality of the other novels in this series. Lots of action and very engaging.

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  • JGS
  • 28-11-2019

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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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jordon Myers
  • 27-10-2019

Okay.

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

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for R Fletcher
  • R Fletcher
  • 10-07-2018

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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  • Victoria Eacott
  • 17-05-2019

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-04-2019

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
  • 02-03-2018

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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  • Lenso
  • 25-02-2020

Great story from the horus heresy

Love it. Great book. Would recommend if you like the ultramarines. Great narrator too. I recommend.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • AB
  • 06-02-2020

It's fine.

The whole book is OK, not terrible but nor was it amazing like some others in the series. I didn't really connect with the characters and found myself not really caring if they lived or died or how they died. It also suffers a bit from the way the series starts jumping around in time with it being a little unclear when in time it sits compared to other events and I'm still confused about (minor spoiler) how the ship got built in secret in the first place before the Heresy kicks off... I'd only suggest it for completeness, or for Gareth Armstrong's Scottish sounding ship's crew.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-02-2020

Disappointing

Would have been better as a movie.
There are many action scenes but not enough introspection from the characters. Would have loved to hear the thoughts of all the main characters. I wanted to know what else made them tick, rather than their current surroundings. Some flash backs to some character-forming times would have helped. I understand that most Space-marines have their minds wiped before joining, but they must have some marking events during their training.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-02-2020

Very predictable and generic

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad book but it suffers from being very generic and one dimensional.

Gareth does his best to bring the characters alive but the constant use of "unique" names left me lost trying to figure out who was saying what. It gets better nearer the end, only for the fact that there are less characters to narrate.

This book seems more like a 40k novel rather than a 30k one.