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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Triumphant foray into the Adeptus Astartes from BL's master storyteller
OK- Dan Abnett has written about the Space Marines before...in the opening salvo of the Horus Heresy series, which I absolutely love. But, this is his first real creation; "False Gods" is a formulaic tale, as the events are already written. So, the story and the Iron Snakes chapter is Abnett's, and he puts his indelible stamp on it right away.

I have to admit,...
Published on July 28, 2007 by Kirk L.

versus
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is the Imperium! Tonight you dine in Hell!
Eh, I wasn't crazy about this book, even though I am a big fan of Dan Abnett. It felt like he wrote this right after watching "300", there was just way too much of a classical Greek/Spartan vibe going on. I think the other problem is that Space Marines are kind of dull as people.

Sure, they are genetically engineered super men, but they tend to be either stoic...
Published on February 11, 2008 by Amazon Customer


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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Triumphant foray into the Adeptus Astartes from BL's master storyteller, July 28, 2007
By 
Kirk L. (Maryland, USA) - See all my reviews
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OK- Dan Abnett has written about the Space Marines before...in the opening salvo of the Horus Heresy series, which I absolutely love. But, this is his first real creation; "False Gods" is a formulaic tale, as the events are already written. So, the story and the Iron Snakes chapter is Abnett's, and he puts his indelible stamp on it right away.

I have to admit, the first few pages of "Brothers of the Snake" did not grab me. I found myself a little distracted and wondering where it was all going, but once Brother-Sergeant Priad emerges in combat with the Dark Eldar, the book really takes off!

There is so much to say here- but I don't want to give it away. I like the way Abnett sections the adventures, bringing the story along methodically, but well-paced. There is so much more than the normal fare of Space Marines in action followed by long periods of introspection and automaton-like devotion to the Emperor. Here, Abnett lets you see a different side...as other reviewers have noted...a more human side.

I like the characters as well. Priad is as worthy a protagonist as you will find, but it is the supporting cast: Apothecaries Memnes and Khiron, Librarian Petrok, and the rest of Damocles Squad give the book a richness and depth that other offerings by different authors lack.

It is well-paced, and has the Abnett signature action that fans like myself have learned to adore. Reading this in the heart of a combat zone should be repulsive I suppose, but instead I am drawn to the greater power of the book: the courage, the high standards Priad has for his Marines, and the leadership by example he provides. This is the essence of soldiering, and Abnett captures it beautifully.

Finally, as the story comes full circle, I love the relationship that Priad has built with Princeps the War Dog. You have to read the book to know what I'm talking about, but its a subtle, human touch that is one more aspect of this tale which sets it apart from others of the genre.

Superb- and I eagerly await the next installment of Brother-Sergeant Priad and Squad Damocles in what is hopefully not the too distant future.

Baghdad
7-28-07
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's official: there's nothing 40k that Abnett can't write., July 23, 2007
I'm a big fan of Dan Abnett's writing: I absolutely love the Gaunt's Ghosts series, I hope daily that someone makes Eisenhorn into a movie, and the Ravenor trilogy (three books to date, anyway) is very good as well. Since a huge, huge reason that Abnett's books are better than your average 40k work is how character-driven they are, I was very interested to see how things would work out when Abnett tried his hand at writing Space Marines. I confess myself not a big fan of the Horus Heresy books in general, so this was the first time I'd read an Abnett Space Marines book.

Once again, Abnett delivers with this book. One of the key reasons that Space Marines can be an unappealing read sometimes is their lack of humanity; they are superhuman, and yet, emotionally, less than human. Despite this, Abnett manages to inject a good amount of personality into Sergeant Priad and his Iron Snake brothers. It wouldn't do to make these superhuman warriors "too human," but Abnett finds a way to make you recognize the marines in the squad as individuals without making them unrealistically vulnerable in personality or physicality.

No, these guys are definitely superhuman; you'll be reminded of that as Sergeant Priad's squad goes from world to world, fighting in the name of the Emperor. I suppose one of the reasons I give this four stars instead of five is because of the lack of a 300-page storyline as this book is the story of many seperate engagements, with the last, climactic one taking up about a quarter of the book. The imagery is great, the battle scenes are--as typical of Dan Abnett--vivid and vicious. The Abnett mean streak appears as several of the marines suffer awful wounds or deaths. You do have to like an author not afraid to kill good guys. I think my favorite part of the book actually takes place on Ithaka, the Iron Snakes' home world, where they fight the massive wyrms that inhabit their sea while trying to rescue one of their kin from a small island. Once again, another Abnett scene that would be awesome to see on the big screen someday.

Overall, this is a great book with a bit of a jerky storyline. It should appeal to those who just like a good sci-fi or WH40k story more than those who want every story to be utterly faithful to the tabletop game. And that is, in my opinion, how it should be.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Doesn't Like Dan Abnett?, August 5, 2007
By 
C. Long (Garland, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This latest offering from Mr. Abnett is a fine read. Here he explores a Space Marine chapter of his own creation and the exploits of one squad and more specifically one sergeant through a series of vignettes that show the growth of the protagonist marine.

Admittedly, this isn't Mr. Abnett's best work and falls a little shy of Gaunt's Ghost or my personal favorite Double Eagle. Some 40K fans will argue that his Iron Snakes are not portrayed as "real" space marines because they're not emotionless automatons slaved to ritual and routine. I counter that all space marines are not created equal and that the Iron Snakes are not Ultramarines and thus have their own quirks and personality and I'm okay with that.

Despite the criticism, Brothers of the Snake is a fun adventure tale, or more to the point series of tales that I think any fan of Abnett or 40K will enjoy.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is the Imperium! Tonight you dine in Hell!, February 11, 2008
By 
Amazon Customer "bookworm" (Indiana, U and S of the A) - See all my reviews
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Eh, I wasn't crazy about this book, even though I am a big fan of Dan Abnett. It felt like he wrote this right after watching "300", there was just way too much of a classical Greek/Spartan vibe going on. I think the other problem is that Space Marines are kind of dull as people.

Sure, they are genetically engineered super men, but they tend to be either stoic and methodical or arrogant and bloodthirsty. Since they are effectively immune to romantic love and fear it makes it kind of tough to portray them as anything but robotic ubermenschen.

Anyway, if you liked "300" (I didn't) and you like 40k, maybe you'll dig this book,otherwise I would give it a miss and read his Gaunt books or the Eisenhorn series, they are much better examples of Abnett's undeniable talent.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That's right...Space Marines are human!, July 25, 2007
By 
NEO (Arlington Heights, IL) - See all my reviews
Abnett does a superb job of working in enough of the human element to make the space marines interesting. The supposed "cookie cutter" similarity bewtween space marines is part of the overall mythos of the warrior-monks but the author has managed to weave stories through it that are interesting and full of action.

This book is a well written piece of science fiction that starts what will hopefully become an on-going series. As such, it needs to have established characters with distinct personalities in order to cpature the reader's imagination. If these elements weren't present then all the critics would be bashing it for their absence. Another example of this would be the Horus Heresey series. The space marines written about in those books are interesting and full of personality.

The truth is one cannot write in the Warhammer 40K universe with the same stoic, toy-soldier mentality of the tabletop game. I, for one, am glad for authors like Abnett and Graham McNeil for having the guts to add depth to an already fascinating subject. All I can ask of Mr. Abnett is that there will be more Iron Snakes novels in the future that will make me wanting more, just like this one did.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How can you pan Abnett?, November 5, 2007
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I can understand why some people didn't like this book...it doesn't follow a traditional story line, and some people won't buy into that. But, if you actually play the game upon which the setting of this story is based, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Unlike any other story based on the Warhammer 40k universe, this book actually FEELS like the game in its presentation. In the miniature game, you don't really follow one trooper in a linear story from game to game. No way, you pick him up at the end of the battle, put him in a box, and then he gets plopped down in the middle of an entirely different scenario the next time you play.

This book really gives you that sense of surprisingly pleasant disconnect that happens on the table top. And just like the game, there are going to be some toy soldiers you care about more than others - for whatever silly reason - soldiers that you're always eager to see how they're going to perform from game to game. Abnett has brilliantly captured that feeling, that sense of dropping in on a Space Marine at various points of his personal history; and yet he still manages to tie every moment together into a single overarching narrative that is always waiting for you in the wings.

I highly recommend this book to people that play the game...because frankly, unless you do, I'm not sure you're going to "get it." And because Abnett necessarily has to leave out some readers with this style, I can't give him five stars. That doesn't mean, however, that he still isn't the most compelling writer on a very short list of consistent Black Library authors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, although not quite among his best, March 16, 2012
This review is from: Brothers of the Snake (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Space Marine Battles) (Mass Market Paperback)
Review first posted on Amazon.co.uk on 4 June 2011 (edited on 16 March 2012)

Good W40k stuff just like we have been taught to expect from Abnett. I would probably have wanted a bit more depth to the characters and wanted to learn more about the Snakes of Ithaka. Where do they come from? From what 1st Foundation Legion did they originate? Something about their history and background since the creation of the Chapter...but perhaps I am asking a bit too much for what is, after all, a collection of short stories about the career of Priad the Space Marine.

The were some nice touches which, although not necessarily original, gave this book a more "human" flavour that what you generally find in Space Marine books. So, a collection of short stories on th Snakes of Ithaka but more than what some call "bolter-porn".

Not much more to say about this collection of short stories. Nevertheless, a good read. Very entertaining.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Early Abnett, July 1, 2014
This review is from: Brothers of the Snake (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Space Marine Battles) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is Abnett cutting his teeth. Rather simplistic but not tedious. This is pre woman as combatants Abnett so it wasn't agenda driven, though he tried earnestly and you can see him pushing boundaries. I took the chance and the price was right so.... Otherwise beware his post gaunt stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More than meets the eye, October 23, 2010
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This review is from: Brothers of the Snake (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Space Marine Battles) (Mass Market Paperback)
At the risk of comparing apples to oranges, Dan Abnett does equally as good a job humanizing and elevating the Imperium's Space Marines as in his own Gaunt's Ghost series about ordinary human soldiers. Like many of his books, Dan breaks up his story into smaller, bite size stories with the Marines of the Iron Snakes chapter zipping around the galaxy slaying Dark Eldar, Orks, and the forces of Chaos.

The battles are intense and awe-inspiring, with Space Marines cranked to 11 on the fluff scale. Even gods have limits though. There are still plenty of moments of humanity where the Marines panic, cry out for fallen brothers, and struggle against horrible injury. The final clashes against an Orkish horde shows both the bravery, and futility of attempting to bludgeon an enemy to death by sheer force of arms. I honestly wonder if those who rated BoS as, "just another boring Space Marine story" read the same book I did. It's a deconstruction in many ways of the simple, "kill em all" approach most Space Marines are stuck to.

What struck me though, is that the majority of Dan's Marines are not mindless killers. They care about civilians, each other, and of course their martial oaths to the God-Emperor. The image of a Space Marine, a pretty girl, and a war dog out for a cruise in a forrest hunting the enemy seems almost whimiscal by 40k standards.

Highly reccomended, whether you're new to the 40k universe, or a veteran.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not Abnetts best, but still Abnetts, July 4, 2008
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This review is from: Brothers of the Snake (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Space Marine Battles) (Mass Market Paperback)
Dan Abnett, Black Librarys best resource, returns to writing AStartes fiction after a long stint with Gaunts Ghosts, to give us Brothers of the Snake. Rahter than a single storyline, this is more a collection of short stories that orbit around a central character, Brother, and later Brother-Sergeant Priad, as he encounters Orks, Dark Eldar, and daemons of Chaos.

The character development in this is rather bland. Unless you're good at remembering names, you can almost shuffle them aronud without losing any of the plot or message. A few characters stand out, especially when squad Damocles takes some new initiates into its ranks. There are some good points and some nice turns of phrase, but this really pales when compared to his work on the Horus Heresy and the Ghosts. This is not to say that the work is not good, which it most certainly is, but when an author consistently sets the bar so high for the readers, anything less than perfection seems like a let down.

All told, the novel is well written and technically appealing, as it gives insight into some of the labrinthyan rituals that make of a Chapter of the Astartes, and also help to illustrate how a brotherhood of about 100 soldiers does still manage to police and protect a large region of space.
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Brothers of the Snake (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Space Marine Battles)
Brothers of the Snake (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Space Marine Battles) by Dan Abnett (Mass Market Paperback - April 29, 2008)
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