Titanicus by Dan Abnett

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 refit and repair, responds, committing its own force of war engines to the battle. As the god-machines stride to war, the world trembles, for the devastation they unleash could destroy the very world they have pledged to save.
titanicusWhen I first saw some information on this novel I thought it sounded good – a full scale action novel set in universe that has so much history I wouldn’t know where to begin. 40,000 years in the future humanity has spread from Earth and is locked in bitter wars to defend its outposts as well as trying to expand into new territory. The human race is now a war race, always fighting a battle on one front or another. These battles are fought with technology that is built to destroy, built to last and built for war. The Titans are such examples, varying in design but all heavy hitters when it comes to battle.

With Orestes under attack and Legio Invicta called in for back up the stage is set for a pretty amazing story. Dan Abnett does not disappoint with his story telling skills. Not only does he write some believable characters, but he can get a battle pictured in your mind with astonishing ease. Some of the better aspects of this were his character building stuff, like Cally , a civilian who moved to Orestes with her husband from another world and as part of the bargain had to sign on for the civilian reserves equivalent. She goes through some nice development and is enjoyable to read. Many of the other characters are given a nice depth and are believable in the situations they find themselves in.

The one thing about Titanicus that I struggled with is the fact that it is Warhammer and as such the universe has been going for a considerable time with many different contributors. I found myself going on the internet at times to find out a little more of the history as I found myself lost with different details emerging throughout. Dan Abnett clearly has no problem with all this vast history and does a masterful job in relaying it with bits of information scattered throughout the narrative.

Despite all this I found I couldn’t get into the book as much as I hoped – all that history and detail that a newcomer doesn’t know does disorientate in a way that is hard to push past. Although, on the other hand I may not see any glaring problems that die-hard fans of Warhammer might. I doubt this is the best place to start with this rich universe, but it sure has whetted my appetite for more. Now I just need to find an easier jumping on point…

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