By Andrew Charlton
False Gods (By Graham McNeil) and I have a strange relationship. The second book in Games’ Workshops Horus Heresy series, it completely and utterly failed to grab me in the way the first did. In fact, I disliked it so much, I stopped reading about one hundred pages in.
But I think this was my fault, not the books. I wasn’t in the mindset for this book, I wasn’t ready for it. I went and read some Forgotten Realms, then I came back to the book, in a fresh light and in the mood for political Sci-Fi
It was like coming from the dark to the light! Suddenly I loved this book, and I could see why others did too. This book is at the point where things really start taking a turn for the worse in the Horus Heresy.
It’s in the name itself, it’s when Horus commits his first heresy.
There was so much imagery leading up to it that I simply adored, and so much painful bitter irony as the warp showed Horus things he didn’t want to come about, only to set him on the path to cause them.
Loken remains our lead character, the loyal and taciturn captain, but other players in the great game grow in importance in this book. We gain our first imperial saint, and throughout the books to come, the humans of the story clamour to her.
Protecting her as she protects them, as they try and hide from Horus and the marines increasing disregard for their mortal wards.
Horus’ slow descent into distrust and hatred of those around him is a painful thing to read. Especially from the point of view of one of his own captains, who loves him like a father and is given no choice but to turn from him,
It really is a very sad story, and once I read it for what it was, rather than what I wanted it to be, it was a startlingly well written one too. In the first book, Horus is almost unreal in what a genuinely kind and virtuous man he was, by the end of this one, there’s very little of that left.
False Gods Header from Graham McNeil.com