Today we are starting Hatchet’s Book Club! For the next 7(probably) weeks (try about half a year xp) we will be reading ‘Horus Rising’ the first book in a series based on the Warhammer 40K universe! This post will be a
tad longer than the rest (apparently not) as I will be introducing the book and then talking about the first three chapters all in one!
The Horus Hersey story line is based in the Warhammer 40K universe, a tabletop game where you battle against other players in skirmishes or all out war! ‘Horus Rising: The seeds of heresy are sown’ is the first of (as of 2014 at least) 28 novels (37 as of this month), following Space Marines as they battle their way through the 31st millennium. This particular novel is written by Dan Abnett, a prolific author of both novels and comics. So without giving too much away, onto the novel!
The first thing I would like to do is to point out the cast of characters at the beginning. Not only is this section labeled ‘Dramatis Personae’ it features all the unpronounceable SciFi names we’ve come to love and accept as a symptom of the genre. I’ve included a picture for your entertainment (I hope you can read this).
Part One: The Deceived
ONE: Blood from misunderstanding, Our brethren in ignorance, The Emperor dies
Now first thing’s first, this (and every following chapter) has 3 subtitles to accompany their number. But what gets me most about this one, is that the Emperor doesn’t even die in this chapter! (except he does) Anyhow, we are introduced to our main character Garviel Loken, Captain of the 10th company of the Luna Wolves as he recounts the story of the death of an Emperor. By chance, the 63rd Expedition runs into the Imperium, an empire ruled by an Emperor demanding fealty. So naturally, (after an entire company of our heroes was slaughtered), they lay waste to this Emperor. After three attempts to reason with the Emperor, the commander gives the order to ‘illuminate him’. What follows is a bloody hand-to-hand mech suit battle between veritable giants and normal sized humans. Also turrets. Loken totally schools those automated turrets. Loken’s company breaches the palace first and first Captain Abaddon challenges Loken to see who can find the Emperor first.
So I thought that perhaps Horus (who kills the Emperor) and his army were maybe involved in a power struggle where they over threw their Emperor, but they really just found some rando guy and were like, eh, blow him to shreds. It’s also hinted at that these soldiers aren’t truly human, they’re really tall and their genome’s are collected when they die to go into a database. This has got to be the most pretentious thing I’ve ever read. I’m so excited to finish it. x33
TWO: Meeting the Invisibles, At the foot of a Golden Throne, Lupercal
In chapter two we have a brief break from war stories to introduce a possible love interest (oooh, steamy ;3). Mersadie Oliton, when she’s not too busy ogling Loken, is a rembembrancer who remembers things I guess. These people are like writers and poets and what not who keep the histories. Sadie asks Loken to tell her the story of how Horus killed the emperor, which ruffles Loken’s feathers because it’s Warmaster Horus tiny human! We also get a description of the Astartes which appear to be the ‘breed’ of men used in the battle suits. Despite Loken apparently being hot as balls, Astartes are gigantic, have heads reminiscent of a horse and no ribs. Loken also seems to think Sadie is pretty and goes into great length describing the shape of her shiny bald head as regal. Abnett is truly a wordsmith. Loken completes the tale of how Horus killed the Emperor of a random galaxy for no other reason than he could. There are these invisible warriors that wreck havoc on the companies, considering that they are, ya know, invisible. After suffering losses, the Tenth Company, the Locasta Tactical Squad and the Catulan Reaver Squad rally, breaking into the throne room and confronting an old frail Emperor. Except, it’s a trap! The real Emperor is invisible! And then some BS happens because Horus was there the whole time? Is he a god? I have no idea. There was some huge explosion because Horus I guess. Whatever. So Loken finishes his tale and Sadie accidentally offends him. The end.
Uh, yeah. More fighting and stuff. Loken has a pretty sweet chainsword though. K, next chapter.
THREE: Replevin, Amongst the remembrancers, Raised to the four
This chapter starts off with a description of how the remembrancers came to be. I think remembrancer is a stupid name, I mean, these people should really just be called historians cause that’s all they do. The record stuff for posterity. Also this whole book just causes the red squiggles always. Anyway, these remembrancers are sent off to record the stories of war to make sure that history is correct. They aren’t well received because they’re too excited and ask lots of questions. We are then introduced to two more remembrancers (if you remember, Sadie is one), Ignace (Ig) Karkasy and Euphrati Keeler (a girl!). Ig is a poet and Keeler is an artist I think. Ig complains about the state of the wine and how bad the Astartes sweat smells while Keeler does her best to ignore him. Lunch is called and they are like, nah. He then tries to chat up Keeler who shuts him down, and then he suggests that she ought to like men because she dresses like one. Keeler retorts that Ig must like men too and he stops. She’s my favourite. They then discuss how different the job of remembrancing is than how they imagined it would be when Sadie joins them all distant because she just offended her new boyfriend. She does tell them about the story she got and how Captian Torggadon sent her to Loken instead. Apparently Loken doesn’t smell bad so Ig wants to meet him.
We return to Loken who is sparring with Tarik (Torggadon) and learn that Loken is receiving a promotion. After a while of sparring and jokes Tarik gets bored and leaves. Loken goes to seek guidance from
Slenderman Sindermann, a really smart guy. Sindermann is giving a lecture on faith and the subjectivity of truth which is exactly what Loken wanted to talk to him about. It turns out that Loken, while he will kill anything his commander tells him to, has a shred of humanity and second guesses destroying that culture’s Emperor. Sindermann says this is exactly why Loken is getting the promotion and it’s really important that he accepts.
WHEW. That’s a long one. The first 70 pages of the book to be exact. I’m assuming there will be less fight scenes and more plot later on and hopefully more Euphrati cause she rocks them fatigues. Also, apparently she has experience in combat so the soldiers don’t mind her so much. GIRL POWER.
Tune in next Saturday for chapters 4-6!
This has been According to Hatchet, thanks for being here.
[Sources/Links: Picture Source | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Horus_Heresy_(novels) ]