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Titanicus [Paperback]

Dan Abnett
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Nov. 26 2009 Warhammer 40,000 Novel
Originally published: Nottingham: Black Library, 2008.

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Product Description

About the Author

Dan Abnett is a novelist and award-winning comic book writer. He has twenty-five novels for Black Library including the acclaimed Gaunt's Ghosts series and the Eisenhorn and Ravenor trilogies, and with Mike Lee, the  Hours 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.

 

Dan's website can be found at www. DanAbnett.com

 

  --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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5.0 out of 5 stars That's a book! May 7 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book describes fully and in details the world around the Titans. A world really unknown to us mere mortals. The end is especially great... I will say no more! A typical Dan Abnett special for you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  52 reviews
42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, with just a few reservations Oct. 24 2008
By Joseph J. Mclaughlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I never played the tabletop Warhammer 40k Game. I got turned on to it when my brother-in-law gave me the "Dawn of War" video game back in 2006. I enjoyed the game and then saw "Brothers of the Snake" in the new Sci-Fi section of the bookstore a few years ago. I purchased it and got hooked. Since then, I've consumed the Ultramarine Omnibus, all of the Horus heresey novels and all of the Gaunts Ghosts novels.

I have three reservations about this novel that prevent me from giving it five stars. I've listed the reservations as least concerning to most concerning.

First, Dan Abnett's books always tend to get the action going pretty quickly (within first 30 or 40 pages) and the action stays at a high pace until literally the last page of the book. Unfortunately, this sometimes makes the end of his books feel rushed. I had that feeling in Titanicus as well. During the book there were many good and detailed descriptions of Titan versus Titan combat. However, near the end of the book, there is an epic battle against an enemy force of over sixty titans. This "historic" battle is described almost at a high summary level over the course of just two or three pages. I would have liked some more "blow by blow" coverages of this battle.

Second, Dan Abnett likes to juggle alot of characters in his books. This has worked well in the Gaunts Ghosts novels mainly because there were a few characters in the initial books and characters were slowly added over the series. The reader to a new Gaunts Ghosts novel is already familiar with most of the characters. In Titanicus, there are alot of characters, all of whom are new to the reader. It was alot of characters to try to keep track of in 400 pages and I sometimes found myself asking "Now who's this guy again???"

Third, and most annoying point: Dan Abnett will often use terms or phrases that he doens't define. He did this in "Legion" as well, but would often embed the definition later in the book. In many cases, he used terms that were never defined anywhere in the book. I found myself wondering "What is a noosphere?" "What is the manifold?" "Which one is bigger, a warhound or a warlord titan?" "What is a skitarri?" "What's the MRU?" Since Titanicus deals with the Mechanicum, there are alot of technical terms and processes, none of which are really described. I found this to be very distracting. Maybe someone with experience with the tabletop game or the background material might have a better understanding of these terms and this might not be such of an issue to them.

If someone were to ask me about this book, I would say to read Dan Abnett's other books first. I would not recommend this book as a first read for someone new to the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pub Fare March 8 2010
By Richard Staats - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
[Disclaimer: I am prepared to receive an Eye of Terror's worth of spam and malign threats from the BL "true believers," but I want to be honest in my review in spite of the inherent danger that comes with that honesty.]

Titanicus was a robust and filling read with some interesting twists that ultimately satisfied, but it was not Mr. Abnett's most engaging or clever book.

It is not a bad book; it just is not the "must read" kind of book that I have come to expect from Mr. Abnett.

One of the things that has brought me back to the Black Library time and time again are the snippets of insights into the universe of Warhammer 40,000.

Titanicus reads more like a juvenille than most of Mr. Abnett's books. The plot is straight-forward, and the characters are largely flat compared to most of his books.

It might be a timing issue. Titanicus comes on the tail of the Horus heresy books in which many secrets of the WH 40K universe were revealed.

There is nothing new in Titanicus. It is about Titans, but Mechanicus covered that angle a few years back. It is about some interesting bits of mis-direction and plots within plots, but Eisenhorn covered that niche up nicely a few years back. And so on ...

I read the book from cover to cover, but it is not a book that I read in one sitting, nor would I read it again as I often have with other tomes from the BL.

In the end Titanicus is satisfying, but unspectacular.

In service,

Rich
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great storyline, though too complex Nov. 5 2008
By Brian Long - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Titanicus takes a break from the normal lines of battle that make up the wealth of 40k fiction. This story follows Legio Invictus, a Titan Legion thats deployed to Orestus, a vital forge world supporting the Sabbat Crusade (which is pretty much Abnetts Dark Tower at this point) to help defend the planet from a sudden incursion of Chaos Titans and skitarii. This helps to illustrate the dichotomy between Imperial nd Mechanicus, as one seems to have all the power in the universe, and the other is essentially at the mercy of that power.

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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Titanicus Maximus! Jan. 15 2010
By J. Finkel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Background - I played Warhammer and Warhammer 40k for a couple years in my early teens. The games use miniatures, dice, a huge set of rulebooks and were generally very complicated but enough fun to warrant the complexity. When I came across "Titanicus" by Dan Abnett, I felt a littl nostalgia for the rich and detailed world depicted by the Warhammer 40k (or Warhammer Epic) game, so I gave it a shot.

First off, there must have been a lot of new material released since I played the game over a decade ago. A lot of the terms were unfamiliar to me. The familiar space marines I saw pictured on the cover were nowhere to be found in the novel. For the first couple hundred pages, I swam against a strong current of techno-babble trying to get to the point where I could put my feet down and wade my way through the thick plot and dozens of characters (yes dozens). Fighting both the terminology and a narrative that constantly switched between more than half a dozen different related stories was a true challenge. However, I eventually did reach a comfortable familiarity with the ranks, vehicles, weapons, and other descriptions that so frequently pepper "Titanicus." Once I found my sea legs, the story really captivated me and I found the second half of the book infinitely more enjoyable and overall justifying the whole endeavor.

So, if you're somewhat familiar with the Warhammer 40k universe, I can easily recommend "Titanicus." If you are new to WH40k, you might become hopelessly lost in the action...try something more approachable first. My only major criticism of the book is that there were too many divergent stories following way too many characters. I feel Abnett could have shaved at least a hundred pages off of this book and edited it down to something much more powerful. In particular, the Samstags' arch felt weak and disappointing. Though some of the tertiary characters (Zink, Zember, etc.) provided welcome context and flavor.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warhammer Meets Battletech Jan. 10 2010
By Veil_Lord - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This isn't your usual ground troop battle. Sure, there is some of that, but the big focus is the Titans, the gigantic war machines. If you have no idea what a Titan is, think along the lines of MechWarrior; they're gigantic, vaguely human shaped tanks which can deal out unimaginable destruction. Unlike the Battletech mechs, Titans are not controlled by one pilot sitting in a chair, they're so big and complex they have a crew and are piloted by a dedicated "captain" who is permanently encased in liquid filled pod so he can be connected to a machine and experience everything that the machine experiences. This setup improves his performance by making it an extension of himself, however also opens his body to physical manifestations of injuries the machine takes as well as creating a separation between him and his crew.

The story centers around an attack on a forge world. The plant has been pumping out weapons for some crusade that is being waged by the Imperium. However, the general in charge of that war has pushed too far ahead and taken too many of the forge's Titans for his war, leaving the forge world a relatively small defense force, ripe for the forces of Chaos to attack. Fortunately, a battle group of Titans en route to the front lines is able to divert and render assistance. I'd go into more detail, but it would introduce spoilers. I can tell you that this is the only book I've read so far that shows the friction that underlies the relationship between the Mechanus (Mars) and the Imperium (Earth). It was fascinating to get a picture of what actually holds the empire together and how fragile the relationship actually is.

One of the strengths and weaknesses of the story is that it covers multiple fronts of this war. You are dealing with the namesake of the book, the Titans obviously, but you've also got side plots running involving the support forces for the Titans, the Mechanus working to provide intelligence on the enemy Titans, the survivors of a destroyed tank squad, the remnants of essentially a National Guard deployment, and to lesser extents a brain damaged gardener, a toy maker, the husband of one of those National Guard members, and the Imperial Governor's office. It jumps around a fair amount, making it all a lot to keep track of as you're reading.

I wasn't familiar with the author before this book, but looking around Dan Abnett comes extremely well recommended by reviewers on Amazon. I can see why. While the story wasn't the best I've ever read, the writing was just superb. There are details to print a vivid picture, a bit of levity here and there, characters you can actually care about, and enough suspense to keep you reading. I loved the last Warhammer book I read (Cadian Blood), but I'd read maybe 20 minutes, do something else, come back and read some more. With this book, I started reading and when I stopped it was over an hour later. I was so taken with the writing style that before I'd even finished this one, I ordered one of the Warhammer Omnibus books he's written.

The ending is pretty weak, just sort of trailing off like the author ran out of room, but the book is satisfyingly long, weighing in at a little over 600 pages and well worth the price. It's almost required to include this, so here goes. If you don't know at all what Warhammer 40k is, if you've never read any other books, or if you hate everything about the BattleTech style mech fighting with a vengeance, then this book will probably not be what you're looking for. Even if you're like me and you've read a few of the other books and kind of like it, you'll be searching online a lot for what certain terms mean or for more background on things, though you really can figure out just enough of what things are by context to still follow and enjoy the story. I'd strongly suggest giving the Warhammer Dawn Of War real-time strategy game for PC a try. It's probably the best crash course in the story that you can get without getting into playing the miniatures game.
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