The Warmaster (WH40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #14) ★★★☆☆

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Title: The Warmaster
Series: WH40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #14
Author: Dan Abnett
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 287
Words: 103K


From & Me

After the success of their desperate mission to Salvation’s Reach, Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt and the Tanith First-and-Only race to the strategically vital Forge World of Urdesh, besieged by the brutal armies of Anarch Sek.

A bad warp jump takes them away from the universe for 10 years.

However, there may be more at stake than just a planet. The Imperial forces have made an attempt to divide and conquer their enemy, but with Warmaster Macaroth himself commanding the Urdesh campaign, it is possible that the Archenemy assault has a different purpose — to decapitate the Imperial command structure with a single blow. It is also possible that Sek is after the Eagle Stones rescued from Salvation’s Reach.

Has the Warmaster allowed himself to become an unwitting target? And can Gaunt’s Ghosts possibly defend him against the assembled killers and war machines of Chaos?

My Thoughts:

This book exemplified everything about why I don’t read much Warhmmer40k. It was dark, brutal, gory, filled with despair and in the end hopeless.

I probably would have dnf’d this if this series was going to keep on going. However, I’m pretty sure that the next book, Anarch, wraps up the series. So I kept telling myself “Ok, you’ve enjoyed the series to date, so one bad book shouldn’t derail the whole thing”. It was a close thing though!

I did not enjoy this. Many people are plotting against the Warmaster Macaroth because he’s not doing things how they want. Gaunt has to deal with this. The Ghosts are being torn apart by evil scum like Merin and pathetic drugged out losers like Commisar Blenner. Saint Sabat has possessed one of her followers and is leading the charge personally against Anarch Sek.

Which leads me off down another rabbit trail. The whole Human Empire is based on the idea that anything supernatural comes from the warp and is therefore tainted by chaos and therefore evil. And yet they have Saints left and right and mystics and nobody bats an eye when a girl claims to be possessed by a dead saint. The inconsistancy is what annoys me.

The biggest issue that got me down was the fact that it appears that one of the children (the Ghosts have a whole retinue along with them, their families, etc) might be an agent of chaos without even knowing it. I’m really hoping I’m wrong, but WH40K books aren’t known for their deep and intricate plottings. I hate when children are used in stories like this, even potentially.

The story itself was good, the fighting was FANTASTIC and Abnett’s writing was up to snuff. That being said, I am looking forward to this series ending. I am wondering about pushing up my rotation and reading Anarch sooner than I normally would just to get over the goal line.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

26 thoughts on “The Warmaster (WH40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #14) ★★★☆☆

        1. Yep, that whole movie was actually a fictionalized account of my exploits in space. The director, what’s his name, just stole it outright from me. I thought about smashing him with my giant Gaunt mecha but decided it wasn’t worth the paperwork.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the Commissars from WH40K are supposed to evoke that feeling. From what I can gather, they are a real bunch of barstards and drive the soldiers, and Gaunt is the antithetical of that.

      I’ve not seen Brando outside of the Superman movies, so have no idea.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am realizing that I need to start limiting my series to 10 books. If the series is longer than that, I need to split it up and take a year’s break.
      Never been an issue before as it hasn’t been until the last couple of years that I’ve gotten into some of these longer ones 😀

      Learning something new about myself every day!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Whatever you decide Stooge I still take my hat of for you pushing through this series even though it is way past your comfort zone.

    Thing with the warp will and has always been a grey area. I try not to think about it too much. While the Warp is Chaos unquestioned, certain individuals can draw upon it and certain people have trained their minds to not be influenced by the workings of it. Its not an exact science. Certain people are born pariah’s and are completely blanks to the creature of the warp, yet other paraih’s have also been known to be able to be possessed by deamons…

    Great review as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t like the idea of just ‘getting it over with’ because it seems like the series isn’t worth reading; however, I’ve been in those exact shows and understand how it feels to want to complete it. Good luck! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah fudge. Oh well, I guess we can’t win them all. props to you for continuing on though Mr. Bookstooge. I think you said this before, but it looks like your taste in books maybe changing as you age. Not a bad thing all-together. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, figuring out my changing tastes is interesting. Now that I’ve got a long enough viewpoint, it’s not a catastrophe to me like it might have been 10 years ago. Now it’s more of a puzzle to figure out.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. yeah, thankfully it’s only been this one book. It just kind of sucks that this is happening right at the end. I’m definitely going to have to think about longer series and how I handle them.

      Liked by 1 person

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