• Avenging Son

  • Dawn of Fire: Warhammer 40,000, Book 1
  • By: Guy Haley
  • Narrated by: John Banks
  • Length: 13 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (715 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

As the Indomitus Crusade spreads out across the galaxy, one battlefleet must face a dread Slaughter Host of Chaos. Their success or failure may define the very future of the crusade - and the Imperium.

Listen to it because: the brand-new Warhammer 40,000 saga begins here. Experience the Indomitus Crusade and a battle that will be a tipping point for the future in an all-action tale by Guy Haley.

The story: a great darkness has befallen the galaxy, and the armies of Chaos are rampant. To survive, humanity must retaliate and take back what they have lost. By the will of the reborn primarch, Roboute Guilliman, is the Indomitus Crusade launched - a military undertaking that eclipses all others in known history. From the Throneworld of Terra does the Avenging Son hurl his fleets, their mission the very salvation of mankind.

As vessels in their thousands burn through the cold void, the attention of Fleetmistress VanLeskus turns to the Machorta Sound - a region under attack by a dreaded Slaughter Host of the Dark Gods. The success of the Indomitus Crusade will be determined by this conflict, and the desperate mission of Battlegroup Saint Aster, led by Space Marine Lieutenant Messinius. Even then it is but a prelude to the forthcoming bloodshed.

©2020 Games Workshop Limited (P)2020 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about Avenging Son

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Better than the original version

For those of you who didn’t buy it the first time around, Black Library put out another version of this months ago narrated by a different reader. Though Mark Elstob is a fine narrator when he’s in his element, the man simply couldn’t do Space Marines, and his rendition of Roboute Guilliman, who is described as having a ‘beautiful’ voice, falls flat on its face. My guess is that the backlash from the first version was so bad that BL conceded and brought in John Banks for an emergency re-reading, and are probably going to have him reading the rest of the series too. I won’t say that this new version is completely worth having to buy a second time, but it is a marked improvement over the original, somehow even managing to cut the reading time down a couple hours. Definitely worth reconsideration.

16 people found this helpful

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Now it's fixed, it's amazing!

I listened to the first variation of the book and wrote a terrible review, based on the voice acting, it completely ruined in. I believe I quoted "has the potential to be amazing, but the voice acting killed it". Guilliman legit had the worst impression of any character I've ever heard. I imagined him wearing a top hat and monocle. Terrible.

Flash forward to this iteration! The Black Library remade this audio book after all the complaints. The legendary John Banks voiced it this time, and it's absolutely amazing. I highly recommend it, it's a home run this time around!

10 people found this helpful

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Best introduction to Era Indomitus

After reading the Dark Imperium and Watcher of the Throne, among others. I found that this book stands as the best introduction of Guilliman's return, the great rift, the Primarus marines, and the beginning of the Indomitus Crusade. it does a good job of setting the stage. if you're looking for a good introduction to the most current events in W40k events, this is a good place to start.

3 people found this helpful

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Great start to the Indomitus Crusade

If you're looking for a place on where to get started with the current lore of Warhammer 40000 this book is the place to begin. For newcomers, this book is going to have everything from where primaris space marines came from, the inner workings of the imperium ands logistical nightmares and religious zealotry, introduction to the inquisition and finally how the world interacts with the Primarchs.

The narration by John Banks is superb and I found myself not wanting to stop listening.

If you're looking for a place to get started in the Warhammer 40000 universe but the Horus Heresy seems too daunting, this is where you should start.

2 people found this helpful

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30 minutes left, couldn't bring myself to finish

This is the first time a book by Guy Haley has made me bored. He's one of my favorite authors, yet this was a slog to the point that I gave up when the finish line was in sight. Do yourself a favor and read the Plague War trilogy instead.

2 people found this helpful

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The Era Indomitus begins with a bang

After the less than stellar story of Gathering Storm I feared that Avenging Som would be a let down. Fortunately I was very wrong. In this story we follow multiple characters who’s stories mostly connect by tales end with one notable exception. Guy Haley once again impressed me with spectacular writing, world building and a fantastic understanding of the grim dark future. My only complaint would be the story at times seemed a tad to hopeful for Warhammer. It still has some great grim dark moments and the situation is as dire as ever but also with the introduction of the Primaris marines, The Primarch himself making grand plans and the crusades beginning it felt closer to the great crusade in tone than 40k. That said it still makes sense considering the context and really does nothing to take away from the book. The characters are well written, the story scale is perfect and John Banks performance is masterclass. Overall I recommend this to any 40k fan who is looking to understand the developments to the story that have taken place in the last few years.

1 person found this helpful

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There's an alien on the loose!

I don't know why, but Chilche as a character was just...strange? I don't get it, but oh well. Grimderp

1 person found this helpful

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Some good Universe Building, Good enough Story

Mostly worth it for the 40k universe-building. Guilliman, Primaris, Admiral Van Leskus & some well detailed bits & pieces.

The story is nothing special. Not bad, just standard 40k fair. A lil back-ended, not much action at the start, in the middle. Could have done without 90% of the Scribum's story but otherwise an entertaining listen.

As the intro to 9th edition's time/storyline, going back to the start of the Indomitus Crusade, it sets the table well.

1 person found this helpful

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Great read!

Guy Haley is amazing and John Banks narration is always fantastic. Great insight into the start of the Indomitus Crusade.

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40k with some much needed humanity/personality

Follows a lot of different threads, some more deeply than others. Still, I couldn't put it down. Awesome void warfare early on. Interesting characters at every turn; human, post-human, modified human and xenos. Really nice insight into the Primaris Revelation (honestly some great perspective transitions from First Born to newly awakening Primaris) and the beginning of the Indomitus era. No real "bad guy" characters revealed throughout (with a possible exception at the end). It would have been kinda nice to have a named antagonist to balance at least one of the many protagonists... but it wasn't necessary to this story so I get it.

This next bit is superfluous to the review but I want to say it anyway. Hearing Roboute talk about how Space Marines need to rediscover or just plain not forget their own humanity is flat out one of the biggest steps forward in 40k writing ever. SMs removed aloofness, while based, is one of the biggest issues in the 40k universe and is so clearly there but always ignored. So finally hearing about this issue from none other than the big blue hero man himself is refreshing. ok. glad I got that off my chest. read this book...IN THE NAME OF THE EMPEROR! (FLILTHY HERETICS DON'T READ THIS BOOK! ARE YOU A FILTHY HERETIC!?!)

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  • James Cooper
  • 03-23-21

A Barely Memorable Slog

This genuinely feels like a slog to get through. Too much time is spent on logistics or world-building, & one entire narrative thread fizzles out into nothing - all for the sake of setting up a future conflict - which takes up far too much time in the overall narrative to be worth the 'payoff'. There are few memorable moments, some interesting characters, but overall the cast is dull, with only a few stand-out individuals whose names you will quickly forget.

As an initial outing for a new series, this does not bode well for future instalments. This needed to be the foundation for the series to build on, but it feels unfocused & weak, the narrative is not compelling enough to be memorable. Overall, it feels like a false start.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-13-21

The beginning of something great (hopefully)

This feels like a beginning, lots of characters set up for a sprawling epic to come. But I'm a fan of Guy Hayley's Dark Imperium books so this was very enjoyable. Keen to see where it goes next.

2 people found this helpful

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  • paul sparks
  • 02-10-21

Great opening line

Which you would hope for as the opening line to Horus Rising was also quality and since series this is meant to be the new Heresy saga .... I listened to the Mark Elstob narrated version first and aside from a misjudgement with Roboute I thought he did an excellent job so I was surprised when the book disappeared from my library and I had to contact Audible to get a credit to download the new version which I thought was poor service by BL as to this version I am a huge fan of John Banks will listen to him read the menu at my favourite restaurant 😉 in summary gripes aside it’s a good book with great narration

2 people found this helpful

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  • Chris kelly
  • 05-22-22

Good way to get into the new Lore

After the retcons of the Dark imperium books I found myself wallowing in confusion at where and what is going on with the current lore, I can say, this book rectified that completely, great introduction to what’s going on and where the lore is going. It covers several branches of the imperium and introduces enough new characters that most should be able to find a foothold with.

I enjoyed comparing the Primaris to Jason Bourne, when they are fighting and their instincts and conditioning take over and they themselves are surprised at what they can do and what they know!.

I would choose this book as a starting point over dark imperium.

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  • Miss L Jones
  • 05-17-22

slow to start but necessary for primaris lore

Performance and story are great. Good start to series. As I said, bit slow to start but necessary for the primaris lore.

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  • A young man
  • 12-19-21

Bits and pieces.

It's the beginning of a new crusade told by many peoples different point of view. It gives you a good feel for who Gilliman is as a character(not told by his point of view btw), as well as the working of the world.
The downsides being that the book is not that well self contained, and I found the side plot around a fresh space marine a bit meandering at times. Not adding that much to the whole.

One of the better 40k books, and will read the next.

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  • Andrew
  • 12-07-21

A novella stretched out to a novel

There are some good parts to this book, but the need to keep shifting focus to different stories breaks up the flow, and once it became obvious that one of these stories was going to be a dead end(about half way through), I found myself skipping through the chapters about it.
Overall, this book is let down by the need to breadcrumb references and tie-ins to other stories + books, along with the usual long explanations of how amazed each person is upon seeing a space marine (or Robute), and how terrible daemons and the warp are.
It starts to feel like a cyclical joke where every time a Daemon is referenced, we have to repeat our telling of how scary it is. (As a contrast to this, you better remember what each of the primaris units are, as they're referenced by name without any explanation)

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  • Sam Lord
  • 09-17-21

Enjoyable

A bit slow in places, feels like it's building to something big in the next few books

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  • thomas robert reed
  • 07-05-21

Great listen

really well read and a decent story, was interesting to listen to the start of the indomitus crusade

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  • Michael donnell
  • 06-10-21

Awesome,enticing

This was by far the best audio book I’ve listened to in a while it had me hooked properly it was the only thing I’d find myself doing in my free time!

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  • P J Gibens
  • 01-02-22

A promising effort

I'm not a fan of the Primaris story as it feels like it has been created with a kind of desperation to make a business move intended to sell more models into a believable in universe event. There's something just too convenient about the whole thing and it jars quite hard against what came before especially for long term fans of the world. However that being said, Guy Hayley does a great job of putting some meat on the bones and especially, generating some doubt, menace, hubris and potential for future internecine conflict within the imperium. Who knows if that will go anywhere - my guess is not - however it is still a pleasing effort and interesting story. Battle scenes are great, and the cast of oddball minor characters wonderful too. There's a definite relaxing of some of the old grimdark and an accompanying flexibility in the narrative opportunities because of this, and Guilliman as a warm father figure wanting to make sense of the awful universe he's woken into provides some weight behind that push. Overall this is a good effort and an enjoyably foray into a new 40k that I have to admit I haven't been very enthusiastic or welcoming of.

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  • S W
  • 10-22-21

I do love a good 40k story

very happy to have discovered this series and have got the second book and looking forward to listening to it.

I hope that they do a good Wolves series as well.

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  • Luke Hoskings
  • 01-11-21

a great series of stories

All culminating to set the scene for the adventure to reclaim the galaxy! good stuff