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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2012
Hi, I'm reviewing "Word Bearers: The Omnibus" by discussing the different elements in the three separate novels that it contains:

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Dark Apostle
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Like the most unforgettable of epic tales, Dark Apostle unfolds around a most curious prophecy. A prophecy that determines the fate of the Word Bearers Space Marines, the most fanatical enemy of Humanity, bent on vengeance and wholesale destruction. As the leaders of the Word Bearers unravels the secrets of their destiny, they lay waste to an Imperial world, slaughtering and enslaving millions of lives to build a tower of worship, the Gehemahnet. As the imperial army clashes with the traitor space marines in a frantic rush to stop the completion of the daemonic tower, ground battles of the most colossal scale ensues. And amongst the din of war and cries of death, a secret agenda unfolds.

Dark Apostle is without a doubt, a master-crafted tale that brings intriguing characters and captivating scenarios to life, with the promise of abundant action and interweaving story arcs.

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Dark Disciple
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The most consequential events spawn from the actions of a few.

Following up from the closure of the first novel, Dark Disciple focuses on a relatively small band of the Word Bearers led by their First Acolyte, as they embark on an impossible relic hunt. The Word Bearers are caught in bloody battle between three other factions:
* the Emperor's mighty and courageous imperial guard,
* a mysterious piratical race that embodies the term sadistic,
* and a most unforgiving alien foe with a hunger that compels them to consume all that stands in their path

Instead of the massive land battles depicted in the first novel, this adventure changes its style to concentrate more on squad level skirmishes - adding even more personal touch to the quest and further development to the already interesting characters built earlier on. Don't be fool by the focus on the small warband though. For the story does not loses its feel for the grand scheme of things as depictions of massive space naval combats are also included, vividly illustrating the epic scale of the struggle between the different forces vying for supremacy and survival. And at the center of it all? ...the mission of one hero as evil as he is faithful. Loathsome as he is, you'll find that you cannot resist the turning of each page as he cooly and bloodilly inches closer to his destiny.

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Dark Creed
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Dark Creed builds up to the trilogy's crescendo, with a full-scale dark crusade. And it's only fitting that the most insane clash of them all is set up with the traitor marines against loyalist marines. It's chaos versus order, between the greatest armies the universe has ever witness.

Here is an teeth-gritting tale of a grand crusade of vengeance: despite the Word Bearers committing to one of the most immense force ever amassed, they are still outnumbered. And the Word Bearers place all their faith in the dark gods AND a prophesized relic now in their hands. Can fate overcome all odds?

+++Summary+++

Strange as it may seem, the Omnibus about these murderous traitors drums into me the fact that faith is everything - for without faith, we are nothing. :-D The concept of faith is heavilly emphasized in these novels.

In summary, the whole trilogy is well-planned - while you can read the individual novels separately, the whole epic is best read as presented in the Omnibus. I'm sure the author planned the stories as a trilogy, so the stories meld together seamlessly. Also, the various aspects of 40000 warfare are very well covered, from squad-level skirmishes to massive land battles to space-fleet engagements, all depicted with convincing details and strategies. My only harp is the minor inconsistencies and typo-errors scattered thinly throughout the three novels.

And oh yes, the trilogy comes to closure with the new short story "Torment", perhaps best described as a glimpse of the most frightening and depressing thing that can happen to a person.

But all in all, this Omnibus is highly recommended for all WH40K fans, and a DEFINITE MUST for fans of Chaos, but surely NOT for those with a weak gut.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2013
This book is brutal. Hands down.

The omnibus starts a little slow so heads up there. However it kicks into gear and you want to just burn through it. I devoured about 200 pages in one day. I think the book is scared to even look at me now.

Anyways, the story is awesome. It makes you feel like a terrible person when you read it because the main characters are so evil. This sin;t really a spoiler, more common sense but the Word Bearers kill citizens of the Imperium. Thing is though, the book really humanizes their victims. It will tell the story from both sides and the result is that when reading, you get this constant feeling of unease at the atrocities the Word Bearers commit. You're just like "Oh my god, are they really going to get away with this? Are they seriously gonna succeed?" and it causes this huge feeling of tense anticipation that just makes you want to read page after page. It's just so cool you read it anyway even though the WB's are complete A-holes.

It gives a GREAT insight into chaos. I don't really play the tabletop so the only Warhammer exposure I have is via novels and the space marine video game. I knew about chaos before going into this book but it really scratches that itch in the sense that the book expands on chaos quite a bit. (A significant Chaos figure even makes a quick appearance)

I'd place this omnibus in my top five easily. I really hope they make a second one.

This Omnibus also has one of the coolest characters I've ever read. Burias Drak'shall is a character who we the reader have the pleasure of experiencing. In a weird kind of way, the book is more about Burias in a style of almost a classical Greek Epic tale. I can't spoil anything here but hopefully people who have read it know what I mean.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2012
I'd been meaning to read the Wordbearers trilogy by Anthony Reynolds for a while but could not find the first volume of the series at the store, so I was pleased when the Omnibus was released. The Omnibus includes the whole trilogy (Dark Apostle, Dark Disciple, Dark Creed), along with a (very) short story (Torment). I am a fan of the back story around Warhammer 40,000 and I had read some of the short stories Anthony Reynolds had written for the Horus Heresy series, so I was interested to read his novels.

Dark Apostle is basically the story of how a group of Wordbearer Chaos Space Marines conquer an Imperial planet - and the nefarious purpose they have in mind for it. Honestly, this was my least favorite part of the Omnibus because a lot of the prose seemed fairly repetitive. I also thought many of the scenes told from the perspective of the planet's inhabitants did little to enhance the story and often slowed it down. Reynolds does do a great job with the battle scenes, although I found myself wanting more of them.

Dark Disciple is a better written story than Dark Apostle. The narrative and the characters' objectives were more clear from the outset and the pacing is much better as well. Without spoiling the story line, Dark Disciple continues the story arc of Dark Apostle and several different groups end up in conflict throughout the story.

Dark Creed was a very quick read and it's clear from reading through the cycle how Reynolds' style improves over the course of the series. Dark Creed resolves the conflicts between different characters and and brings the story line to an exciting conclusion.

All in all, I enjoyed the Omnibus, although the first part was a little slow and perhaps heavy-handed. I would recommend it to anyone who likes the 40k narrative setting and is interested in the forces of Chaos. Reynolds does a good job developing characters who exemplify the traits that caused the Word Bearers to break their oaths to the Imperium and worship the dark gods: ambition, fanaticism, bloodlust, pride and hatred. All of the characters are flawed and how they interact is one of the more interesting aspects of the story. Reynolds' characters are completely different than McNeill's cynical, detached Iron Warriors in Storm of Iron (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Chaos Space Marines). Storm of Iron is a tighter narrative but the Word Bearer cycle gives great insight into one of the most infamous factions in the fictional 41st millenium.
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on July 17, 2013
Long time Warhammer fantasy and 40K fan...

This is one of the best Warhammer books I have ever read.

There is everything in this omnibus...Titans, huge land battles, Tech Magos, Spaceship battles, Loyalist vs. Traitor marines, Eldar, Deamons, Tyranids, Necron, Imperial soldiers....you get the idea.

If you want an all encompassing look into the Warhammer 40k world, this is a great book!

Not to mention it was VERY interesting reading from the Chaos Marine viewpoint (my favorite Chaos book before this was Storm of Iron).

I am partial to the Empire of mankind so even though I enjoyed the stories, I could not root for the traitors and was torn reading the book as literally millions of loyal citizens and dozens of venerable heroes are wiped out in the face of Chaos cruelty.

I read some reviews where there was some detailed criticsm.
There are very few fantasy or modern SciFi novels that are literary masterpieces and this is not one of them. But I am pretty critical and I thought all the stories were extremely well written. The battles and events took me in my mind to those places so I consider that to be a key success when reading.

For the Warhammer enthusiast, I can't imagine that this omnibus would not be loved for the content of the stories alone.

This book will stay on my shelves as a loved collector's piece and loved read. I highly recommend it.
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on January 21, 2014
If you're looking at reading the Word Bearers' Omnibus, you are probably a die-hard 40K fan. Honestly, the book was a mixed bag. This specific book was a combination of Anthony Reynolds' three "Word Bearers" novels. I found that the books had some interesting parts and some parts that just kind of dragged on. The parts that I enjoyed best were the descriptions of the Word Bearers themselves (and Sicarus), along with the battles against the White Consuls. However, I also found large segments of the story to be uninteresting. I guess I am less interested in the actual story in 40k novels and more interested in the background and setting (just a personal preference!), so this omnibus hit in some regards and missed in others. Anyhow, if you are interested in the Word Bearers and looking for something fun to read, this is certainly worth checking out.
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on January 4, 2014
This omnibus had to happen, this story is so grand it couldn't be held in one book.

The beginning was a little slow, there were a lot of details, didn't seem too important, but as the story continued, the true scale defied the senses. This book has put others to shame, it definitely sets a standard for The Horus Heresy and is one of the biggest reasons why many books from that series seems mediocre: the story arc rivals that and comes out winning. With stories like this, I think a lot more is expected from the Horus line and they just don't deliver. This book develops a legion like no other. When is the next Word Bearer tale out?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I thought this book was a nice twist on the perception of things. I purchased it because I wanted to experience what it would be like to witness a chaos incursion from the other side and this book did not disappoint. The only complaint I would make is the lack of variety of things, it was mostly assault a world and slaughter all while looking for something, while still very interesting it would have been nice to see other situations/interactions develop. Overall I would have to say this a good solid book but it does not have a lot of variation.
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on July 6, 2013
If you want some hardcore action and the grim and dark setting that all 40k books promise you, then this trilogy is for you!
Where as Aaron Dembski-Bowden tries to reason why his Space Marines decided to rebel against the Emperor, Reynolds' Space Marines seem uncertain why anyone wouldn't... but why bother wasting time pondering their ignorance, it'd be better to just annihilate their entire existence instead!
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on March 3, 2013
Not for the faint of heart, this omnibus contains the adventures of the cruel first acolyte Marduk and his comrades of the Word Bearers legion. It consists of three novels and a short story.

It has great action scenes, and the other Warhammer factions (tyranids, imperial guard, etc.) are accurately written (very important for 40k fans!).

Highly recommended for anybody interested in Chaos.
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... one of the best I have read on CHAOS.
Highly recommended for any Warhammer 40K fan.
Really gives an interesting perspective on CHAOS and the Word Bearers.
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