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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Getting Into A Novel

When I first start reading a new book it can take me about a hundred pages to get into the story, unless it is something like a Gaunts Ghosts novel (a Dan Abnett series set in the Warhammer 40k universe) or some other series I’ve been reading for years.

Even when I’m listening to an audiobook the first hour or so won’t hold my attention as well as the rest of the story. This is something that really annoys me as I normally miss something important because I’ve not committed to the story or the characters yet. One way I’m trying to change that is to binge read the first quarter of a book. With Embedded I’ve not done this though as sleep has been quite demanding this week, and I’m already into the story and characters with this one. I think that’s because it’s a Dan Abnett book, but anyway that is one thing I’m going to try when reading. I want to read more in general but this is one part of reading that I think will help.

If I can get into the story quicker I’ll be pulled through by the story quicker 🙂

That makes sense to me 😊

Exploring Genres

I’ve heard a lot of writers saying that its good to read and try writing in genres which are not your own. Now, I’m not to sure I’m ready to try writing in genres outside of what I do. I tend to write science-fiction and horror, I think if you read the end of Project Phoenix you may add thriller into that.
I’m not going to try writing anything different to what I am but I would like to expand what I am reading. The majority of books I have read have been written by Tom Clancy, Dan Abnett and Kathy Reichs. Three very different genres and three very different authors. The Dan Abnett books have been his Gaunt’s Ghosts books in the Warhammer 40k universe. In addition to Gaunt’s Ghosts Abnett has written other work in the Warhammer universes as well as Doctor Who and Torchwood and a tonne of other works including comics, audio and screen plays. Yes I NEED to read more by this juggernaut of a writer.

I’d like to take a huge jump and try some genres that I don’t know much off though. Steam Punk is one of them. There’s a couple of authors whose blogs I love who write Steam Punk, one of which I’ve brought some of his non Steam Punk works so I know I like his writing so I think that will be a good place to start.
Fantasy is something I think I should like reading, but I don’t think that I will be able to get through it, especially epic fantasy. I’m quite happy to watch fantasy (love A Game Of Thrones) but when I’ve tried to read it I just get slower the further I get into the story, it should be the other way around.
Romance and Erotica does not appeal so I don’t think I’ll venture into those realms. I’d like to read a little more war novels. Every time I see my grandad (a voracious reader) he gives me at least three books. More often then not they are by someone like Andy McNab or Chris Ryan which I think will be of interest to me. I’d like to read some comics too, just to see if I can find a passion for them.
I definitely need to read more horror and science-fiction which is what I am focussing on at the moment.

What would you like to read more of?

Salvation’s Reach by Dan Abnett

I finished reading Salvation’s Reach by Dan Abnett last night and I was very happy with this book 🙂  This is the 13th book in the series if I remember rightly and it’s one of the best.  The opening of the book pulled me along impressively and I had read 150 pages within about 3 days.  I’m a slow reader so this is a very good sign.  It did slow up in the middle of the story but as I came into the last third of the book I found that I could not turn the pages quick enough.  I am a BIG fan of Dan Abnett, in particular his Gaunt’s Ghosts series which this is one of them.  These stories are set in the Warhammer 40, 000 universe in a war that has been raging for many decades.  Colonel-Commisar Ibram Gaunt takes his Tanith 1st regiment on a mission which is one of the most suicidal that they have had, and with the Tanith 1st thats saying something.  It is a hard military Sci-Fi universe which is inspired by the Games Workshop table top game. It would have had to of been a very bad story for me not to have liked this book.  Despite the gloomy universe that it is set in there were times were I literally Laughed Out Loud and others where I felt a little choked up.  Having followed these characters for this many books I’ve become attached to some of them and one of my favourites from book one died at the end of this book.  So Abnett is not afraid to kill off his darlings which I always admire in a writer.

In this book there seemed to be a few loose ends left hanging at the end of the book, a couple of them pretty big so I’m eagerly anticipating the next book in the series. I’d strongly recomend this book to anyone that enjoys military sci-fi, although it is the lastest in a series you dont need to read all of the books before hand but I would recommend doing so because it will make it a much more rewarding experience and you’ll get a few of the little references to the regiments history which are in this book.

Mr. Abnett, you rock and I can’t wait to see where you take Gaunt and his Ghosts in the next book 🙂

Another Book Read

I finished reading Chris Stocking’s ESTRA Corp. last night and I was impressed with the story generally, but the ending really blew me away.  Here’s the link to his blog http://writetoperfect.wordpress.com/ which I’m a big fan of.  This book is a little rough around the edges and Chris has mentioned that he’d like to fix it up a little.  I hope he does cause it has a good story, an interesting universe and some pretty fascinating characters.  There’s a lot of questions left unanswered and looking at it from a writers point of view its a very rich universe that if Chris wanted to he could play with a lot.  As for the ending, I didn’t see it coming which is always a good sign.  Surprising the reader is, in my opinion, good 🙂

It did take me a while to read this one, I had too many outside factors which did not give me time to zip through this as quickly as I normally get books read.  I just never seemed to find the time to actually sit down and get lots of pages read.  Normally I’ll read a couple of pages of a morning before I go to work and a couple of evenings a week I sit down and steam through ten or twenty pages but I havent been doing that lately.  Last night I did though.  In addition to reading the last twenty or so pages of ESTRA Corp. I knocked out over seventy pages of Salvations Reach by the legend that is Dan Abnett.  Here’s his website, http://www.danabnett.com/ Salvations Reach is I think the 13th book in his Gaunt’s Ghosts series of Warhammer 40k novels.  I’ve got them all and have read a few of them multiple times, Necropolis I’ve read more times then I can remember.  For me that’s the book where Abnett got his feel for the characters and universe that he is writing in here and as a general rule the books got stronger.  The Gaunt’s Ghosts books have followed a regiment from their founding and having been there since then I was really excited to get started on this book.  The way that Abnett writes also adds to this, he’s not just giving us a story that we read but I’ve found it’s like I’m there in the trenches with the characters.  Characters have died and I’ve been absolutely gutted that they did.  I need to look into some of his other fiction because he has written in a wide variety of areas, just check out his bibliography on Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Abnett_bibliography and you’ll see what I mean.  Dan Abnett is one of my biggest influences as a writer.  Within the first thirty pages of Salvations Reach I’m already amazed at how much information Abnett gives with so few words.  So I am determined to try to learn as much as I can from Abnett as I read Salvations Reach as well as enjoying the read, which I know I will 🙂

 

 

Something Different

I’m not really a fan of comic books, I’m not against them or look down on them or anything I’m just not that big a fan of them. As a kid I would read The Beano and in my early teens, maybe even just before, I used to read the Commando action comics which I wish I still had. My Granddad got me into these little stories. These are what I would read late at night under my duvet with a torch when I was supposed to be sleeping. Most of the ones that I read were World War Two stories which at the time fascinated me. This was when I wrote my first story, it was a WWII story and it must have been really, really bad. Again I wish that I still had it just to torture myself lol Getting to my point though I am just about to start reading Imperial Gothic by Dan Abnett. It is a collection of Abnett’s Warhammer 40k comics that I have had for a few years but have never gotten around to reading. I think that I may struggle because as I said, I’m not a fan of them but I am a big fan of Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts series and I want to track down more of his work.