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Titanicus : the god-machines go to war by…

Titanicus : the god-machines go to war

by Dan Abnett

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After fantastic "Mechanicum" sets the ground by bringing mysterious Mars society more to life, in this novel (that takes place in post-Heresy period) we follow armies of Mars' Tech-Priests as they are summoned to the Forge-World of Orestes in the wake of Chaos Titan Legion invasion.

Internal squabbles of masters of technology, clash of loyalties, vivid pictures of mechanized warfare of the 40th Millennium (especially impressive are Skitarii - mechanized infantry of Mechanicum) and interesting characters will keep the reader glued to the book until the very end.

Highly recommended. ( )
  Zare | Feb 19, 2010 |
I have been a fan of Dan Abnett for a long time; rather than biasing me towards him, this has allowed me to appreciate his development over those years. Some of his work, like the early Gaunt's Ghosts books, were a lot of fun to read when I was 14, but show themselves to be pretty painful pieces of exposition and stilted dialogue when revisited. While one can certainly see his writing style improve over the course of the Ghosts' books,Titanicus really shows the honing of his pen and ear.

Titanicus is very firmly set in mythology and zeitgeist of the Warhammer 40,000 universe; so much so that the uninitiated may have some trouble following how the world works. Of course, even a 40K fan may have a bit of a time with the countless pseudo-Latin technology terms that Abnett is known to invent, though things do start to flow after a while. Titanicus deals with the battle for the forge planet Orestes, part of the same inter-planetary conflict as the aforementioned Gaunt's Ghosts. Instead of being an infantry war, however, this fight is between the giant Titan war engines of the Adeptus Mechanicus and their Chaos-warped counterparts. Abnett very creatively expands upon this relatively mysterious, but vitally important, part of the 40K mythos which I feel has been shortchanged in the past, as far as background is concerned. He creates a whole new way of communicating and thinking among the part-machine Mechanicus, which adds a great deal of interest and novelty to the story. The narrative primarily follows five main characters though various fronts of the war, with a regular sprinkling of a handful more peripheral players. Rather than detract from the focus of the story, this format prevents any one plot-line from getting too tedious, and allows the reader to view as much of Abnett's constructed world as possible.

Abnett is perhaps most well known in the community for writing particularly exciting action sequences. While this is most certainly true in this novel of hundred foot war-walkers, I feel that he is even stronger at putting a very human face on the Warhammer 40,000 world. As someone very familiar with with the aesthetics and background of the game on which this universe is based, I can say that it sometimes seems as if the people of this distant war-torn future can seem stoic and fanatical to the point of inhumanity. In his books, Abnett makes his human character's really human, with their little ticks and colloquialisms. Even the pseudo-religious cyborg techs of the Mechanicus are given their own form of humor. For the most part, his characters are all normal people just trying to get by in one of the worst possible worlds. Though the story gets a bit stodgy towards the end of the second act, Titanicus is an all-around fun and full read for fans of military sci-fi and the Warhammer 40k universe. ( )
  Magus_Manders | Jan 4, 2010 |
In “Titanicus: The God Machines Go to War” Dan Abnett reaches into the precipitous maw of mega titan combat but comes away a bit strained. Whereas in previous novels Mr. Abnett has been able to juggle multiple plotlines with ease, he seems to lose the depth of character he has achieved in previous works. In order for Mr. Abnett to convey the angst and pathos I’ve come to love, the novel probably should have been a bit longer. Nevertheless, Mr. Abnett is able to bring to the fore the subtle nuances of mechanicus cant I’ve yet to see from other Black Library writers. The mechanicus dialogue and refinement alone are worth the read; that it’s coupled with non-stop action and genuine characterization is a noospheric gratis. ( )
  BruderBane | Jan 12, 2009 |
This is somewhat of a departure for Abnett from his 'normal' 40k fan-lines, kind of an aside similar to Double Eagle and the like. As a one-off it works pretty well. Few writers have tackled the Mechanicus and its own unique war machine and he succeeds here. The descriptions of Mechanicus life are interesting as are the tales of the Titans themselves and their crew. He manages to bring life and emotion to these giant war machines in typical deft Abnett style. A good read. ( )
  NickBlasta | Dec 12, 2008 |
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When the vital forge world of Orestes comes under attack by a legion of Chaos Titans, the planet is forced to appeal for help. Titan Legio Invicta, although fresh from combat and in desperate need of a refit and repair, responds, committing its own force of war engines to the battle.… (more)

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