The Warmaster by Dan Abnett

I’ve just finished The Warmaster by Dan Abnett and wow! What a book! I loved how Abnett put this together and how it was tied into Salvations Reach (of which I’m glad I listened to immediately before embarking on The Warmaster). I’d guess there’s a lot more connections in the books that have lead up to The Warmaster, but it’s been a few years since I’ve read them. (I’m really hoping they come up on Audible because I really want to read them again, and listening is quicker for me as I can listen while at work).

The Warmaster picks up for Gaunt and his Ghosts right after their mission to Salvations Reach, but all is not right with their return.

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Such a beautiful edition.

Now, I am a huge fan of this series of books, this being the fourteenth, and I’ve been eagerly anticipating this one since I first heard about it a little while ago. There was a gap of time between Salvations Reach and The Warmaster, but it was worth the wait. Dan Abnett really turns things up to eleven in this book. He pushes characters into places that I wasn’t expecting, but that said I wasn’t really sure what to expect. With the Gaunt’s Ghosts books it feels like each book goes in somewhat of a different direction. This one is no different. A lot of the events in this book I didn’t see coming or where they were going to go.  A lot of the characters had their lives turned upside down and Abnett wasn’t scared to kill any of his characters. That is something I learnt a long time ago about Abnett with this series. He is not afraid to kill the most beloved of characters, often in brutal and unfair ways. Even in war where people die for what can be the most silly of reasons, some of the deaths in these books have been a huge kick in the gut. Even when a character doesn’t die, but they are pushed into something harsh and tough to stomach it feels the same as when a loved character dies.

That is one of Abnett’s biggest strengths I think. He can write these stories with a huge cast of characters and you either love or hate them, with the odd middle of the road character in between. You get their motivations, you get their mentalities. It all works very well.

This book really opened up a whole can of hell yeah! And it puts so much out on the table for future novels that has left me bouncing and determined to re-read the previous books again in the new year.

There are many reasons why Dan Abnett is one of my favourite writers, the Gaunt’s Ghosts series is one of them. Beautifully written, to the point where you’re almost there when the las-bolts are flying.

***Very Minor Spoilers Below image***

***(Very Minor) Spoilers***

If you’ve read these books you’ll know there have been three characters that have left over the years that had nothing to do with dying, although one did eventually die if I remember right, but the two that always sits in my mind when I’m reading these books are Brin Milo and a scout called Mkvenner (I can’t for the life of me remember his first name). Both these characters went off for different reasons. For Milo, he went with Saint Sabbat, and I’ve heard rumours that Abnett has always intended Milo and the Ghosts to get back to each other at some point. With The Warmaster, the Saint is on the same planet as Gaunt and his Ghosts. When I found this out I was waiting for them to come together, but it didn’t happen. I really hope Abnett does so in the next book, because aside from the return of Mkvenner, that is one of the moments in this series of novels that I am eagerly waiting for.

I think Dan Abnett is setting up to bring this series to a close, to a point where the Sabbat Worlds Crusade is either won or lost.

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State Of Play

This week has been very random with what I’ve been working on; after getting my vampire collection off to Beta readers I found I felt a little lost but I got some bits on Project Apollo done and I’ve spent a little bit of time working out the key plot points for The Residents, this wasn’t actual planning but just listing down the key plot points that take place in the story. I’ve spent a little time doing a bit of research but that was mainly looking at pictures of abandoned theme parks but I need to actually do some reading research on a number of topics that will be needed for The Residents.

Owen and I spent a fair bit of time talking last night about Project Apollo and the universe it’s based in. Although we have a lot of data about this universe we do need to work out a lot more of the details within the universe to make things work better. We’ve got a lot of different elements here and working them all in-together is going to be challenging and interesting.

So what’s next? well I’m working on a few little bits for Project Apollo, just mainly trying to find the right voice and feel for it. I’ve got two short stories that need a quick little edit pass to just tidy them up, I’ve got another short story that I want to look at and all but re-write it but I’ll see if I can make the changes I want without the re-write if I can. But I think it’ll be The Residents that is the next big one. Both Chrystalyn and I are keen to get cracking with this and we’ll be spending time working out timelines and detailing the plot more. Most of the characters are already pretty well fleshed out so until we start writing I don’t think we’ll learn a huge amount more about them. It’ll be great to get actually writing with this. It’s a very exciting story we’re creating.

 

Something I did find out last week which almost made me wet myself with excitement is the news that there is a NEW Gaunt’s Ghosts novel out next year by Dan Abnett!!!!! I was dancing around the house and I was almost overwhelmed by that excitement. So I went over to the Black Library (the publisher) website and discovered there is a number of short stories involving these characters there! I couldn’t find them on Amazon but I found them on iTunes so I downloaded them all to my iBooks. I am rather annoyed at myself that I did not know these existed but I’ve got them now and once I’ve finished Old Man’s War and read a short story and a novel by Terry Mixon I’m going to dive into them 🙂