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Blood Pact (Gaunt's Ghosts) Hardcover – October 29, 2009


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Hardcover, October 29, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Review

" If Dan Abnett held a military rank in the Warhammer 40,000 he would be the 'Warmaster'... Not only does Abnett portray the Imperial Guard structure beautifully but he also does the same job for those that serve within the regiments...'Blood Pact' was bang on the money as far as I was concerned. I'm going to be catching up with this series as soon as I get the chance..." - Graeme's Fantasy Book Review

About the Author

Dan Abnett is a novelist and award-winning comic book writer. He has written twenty-five novels for the Black Library, including the acclaimed Gaunt's Ghosts series and the Eisenhorn and Ravenor trilogies, and, with Mike Lee, the Darkblade cycle. His Black Library novel Horus Rising and his Torchwood novel Border Princes (for the BBC) were both bestsellers. He lives and works in Maidstone, Kent.
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Product Details

  • Series: Gaunt's Ghosts
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The Black Library; First Edition edition (October 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844166937
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844166930
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 9.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,581,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dan Abnett is a novelsit and award-winnig comic book writer. He has written twenty-five novels for the Black Library, including the acclaimed Gaunt's Ghosts series and the Eisenhorn and Ravenor trilogies, and with Mike Lee, the Darkblade cycle. His Black Library novel Horus Rising and his Torchwood novel Border Princes (for the BBC) were both bestsellers. He lives and works in Maidstone, Kent.

Customer Reviews

It felt like a rushed and hurried mess.
Wook
From the overall plot to the many subplots, everything drives the story of this book and the overarching plot of the Ghosts series itself, never wasting a word.
Doc
Its well paced with just the right balance of action, suspense and tension.
E. Keating

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Doc VINE VOICE on November 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Blood Pact, Abnett seeks to bridge the conclusion to Only in Death while at the same time setting up a new series of Gaunt's Ghosts novels. He succeeds to excellent effect.

Picking up two years after Only in Death, the Ghosts have languished in a rear area of the Crusade in which they had fought for a decade without pause. It is not to their liking. Members of the unit have turned to crime simply to relieve their boredom, while others have found themselves growing too used to creature comforts and are growing fat in their leisure time. Until a special prisoner arrives and disrupts the peace, sending the Ghosts back to what they know best: combat.

Abnett delivers something unique in Blood Pact in terms of the many scenes of the Pact cult members working through their planning stages and their pursuit of the traitor who has arrived on Balhaut. The traitor has requested to speak with Gaunt and him only. The disparate groups converge on the place of the traitor's imprisonment and much carnage ensues. Gaunt leads a tiny group in evading the chaos warriors, who in their scenes demonstrate actual compassion for one another, as well as rational plotting and problem-solving. Hardly what readers of 40k books would associate with agents of Chaos. Like the relationships in the Ghosts, the Pact unit has grown into a sort of family, exhibiting pride at the others' accomplishments (even if of a grotesque nature), concern at the loss of their own number, and drive to accomplish their mission at any cost. Abnett thus shows us why the Pact are such a good foil for the Ghosts: They are opposite sides of the same coin, simply serving different masters with opposing goals.

There is really only character development of Gaunt's character, as he has the most to work through.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Wook on October 13, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Blood Pact was a huge disappointment. This is the first of Dan Abnett's books I have not liked. I've read all of the Ghost's novels, Eisenhorn and the Ravenor Trilogies. I've played tabletop 40k since I was a kid. I love Warhammer, and the tales Abnett is famous for. But his latest addition to the series left me feeling let down and quite frankly - bored.

Character development is fair. We get a chance to see Gaunt's past and how he thinks. There were interesting tidbits about Tona and Ezrah. Rawne certainly had his moments. The actual storyline was dry, with very little combat (and none on the epic scale that we have come to love) and it felt very detatched from the Warhammer universe. It felt like a rushed and hurried mess. Even the cover art is sorely lacking.

I think that it's required reading for any Ghosts fan just for the background. The rest of it felt bloodless and without any soul. I sincerely hope for a better book next time. The story concludes in an abrupt, sudden and jumbled fashion. I can only hope his next novel makes up for this epically boring read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kid Kyoto VINE VOICE on February 22, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gaunt's Ghosts are an elite scout unit fighting the endless wars of the 41st millennium. In this volume after years on the front line the Ghosts are redeployed to Balhaut, a safe world in the rear lines and must face a new foe - boredom.

The book starts slow, establishing that after years on the edge the Ghosts find themselves falling apart. Discipline is lax, some are committing crimes and even Commissar Gaunt is having trouble paying attention to his job. But this quiet time is shattered when the Blood Pact infiltrate Balhaut seeking to kill a Blood Pact prisoner before he can talk.

This book has a lot of promise. It's basically an inversion of an earlier book Traitor General where Gaunt had to execute a captured Imperial general before he talked; now Gaunt has to protect a traitor. Abnett does his usual excellent job of creating and fleshing out a new world. Balhaut is a cemetery world, the site of a Famous Victory where pilgrims and mourners come to remember those who died. Abnett introduces some fascinating characters including an artist who creates portraits of the dead complete with made up uniforms and non-existent medals.

But it really goes nowhere. Once the hero, villain and MacGuffin are introduced the plot goes in circles and no one is in serious danger. A few main characters get the same, tiresome, flesh wounds they've gotten in other books but in the end no matter how many fights they are in, no matter what crimes are committed, everyone is returned to their status quo.

I still enjoy Gaunt's Ghosts but my interest is dropping. Unless Abnett begins to shake up his comfortable collection of characters and put them at real risk I'm not sure I'll stick with it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on November 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Blood Pact follows a newly rebuilt Commisar Gaunt, along with the Ghosts, entering the third year of a down rotation on a fairly nice planet, far away from the front lines of the Sabbat War. When Gaunt is personally called in to interrogate a possible defecting general of the Blood Pact, Gaunt finds himself suddenly plunged into a desperate fight against the Inquisition and the Blood Pact attack group sent to assassinate him. The attentive will notice this is a almost lamely complete reversal of the plot line from Traitor General.

The plot is put together nicely, following several different plot lines that all snake together well for the conclusion of the book. Combat is fast and rather brief, given the overall tone, but this allows for more side story and dialogue than is usually possible in a GG novel.

What makes is a rather downturn in the overall plot is the side stories themselves. While they were rather nice, they weren't built for the mantra of the 40k universe. The Blood Pact seem more human by the book, despite the fact that one of the few nice things about the 40k verse is that good and evil are rather starkly contrasted, whereas the Blood Pact assault team seem more like fanatics of an esoteric religion, complete with a suicide bomber daemon spell partway through the novel. Notice the not-so-subtle parallel?

And while the remainder of the book was well written, its starting to reach for material that it didn't really need. Gaunts character is subtly altering in ways that are annoyingly unnecessary, especially given that the universe has a wealth of backstory and side story that could be used at any time. The Saint? Milo? I doubt that the analogy works well, but its like Abnett walked away from the gold mine to pick some berries.
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