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Titanicus (Warhammer 40,000 Novel) Hardcover – September 30, 2008
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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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The storyline fatlers slightly by trying to branch together two separate plotlines, involving a stray squad of auxillary PDF with the Titan Legion engagements. While I'm a fan of ground pounders, and Abnett can write that incredibly well, it was hard to hold the squad members in mind, and I kept losing track of who was doing what why, and who was augmeted and who wasn't. The Titan battles are incredibly well written, and the technology at the disposal of the Mechanicus was both impressive and disheartening, in that its knowledge lost that can't be regained.
The other sideplot, which ties nicely to the recently released HH novels was also a good side tag, that helped to round out the ending, and allowed the Mechanicus characters to display more than their normal level of humanity, although it came dangerously close to tossing GW's holy status quo out the window.
All told, the book is great, and only suffered from one very weak thread. I'd happily heard another installment of Titan warfare, but it would probably start to bleed to Mechwarrior at that point. The God Machines don't work well with others, either. Heres hoping the manage to work it into future HH novels as they did here.
'Titanicus' falls on the mythic end of this spectrum. It is both grand and surprisingly intimate of scale, showing us a planetary war from many perspectives. Most surprising and pleasing of all, Abnett does a tremendous job of humanizing the Mechanicus, which are too often painted in broad red strokes as robotic, emotionless, and inhuman. In 'Titanicus', the Mechanicus characters are very clearly all too human despite their modifications. The best example of this is Lord Gearhart, who could very easily have been one of those over-the-top caricatures of Imperial awesomeness, but who is instead central to some of the book's most touching and human moments.
There are a large number of parallel and converging stories being told in this book, and I can see how someone new to (or not deeply familiar with) the 40K universe could get confused. For my own part, I very much enjoy the arcane technical terms and almost complete lack of exposition in this book: it draws you deeper into the story and the setting, and if you're paying attention you'll understand what everything means by the end.
I only had a couple of minor issues with 'Titanicus'. One is that some of the stories (Tarses/Prinzhorn and Tendant Zink for example) don't get much in the way of resolution by the end. In particular I would have liked to see the ultimate outcome of the conflict between Tarses and Prinzhorn. I also thought that the conclusion of Cally's tale was unsatisfying; I'd be more specific, but I don't want to spoil anything. Lastly, I felt that the Chaos forces seemed a bit too vague and elemental as a threat. The complete facelessness of the Archenemy in 'Titanicus' made their presence in the story feel more like a Tyranid invasion than a conflict with Mankind's most bitterly despised enemies. Given the nature of events later in the story, 'elemental' might have been exactly what was intended here, but it seems like a battle against the Traitors should feel more visceral and intimate.
This is the first book by Dan Abnett I've read, but it won't be the last. 'Titanicus' is as epic as its name. Strongly recommended!
I bought Titanicus.
Amazing read. The book stays true to the established lore while being something other than a regurgitation of material. Abnett weaves multiple individual stories throughout the book cutting back and forth to keep you turning the pages eagerly following their journeys. The battle scenes both Titan vs. Titan and Man vs. Man are excellently done. It's just a well crafted story that doesn't have flaws to pull you out of your immersion. To me that makes a great book.
Regarding the Titans, though, I ordered and read this work due to an online BOLO versus TITAN blog. For BOLO books look up that word in AMAZON.com. Afraid a BOLO would take out a full Titan chapter without a lot of trouble. Won't get any 40k fans to agree but when you read the books compare the operational capabilities of both.
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by Dan Abnett
Acquired: Half-Price Books
Series: Sabbat Worlds Series, Book...Read more