• Priests of Mars

  • Forge of Mars: Warhammer 40,000, Book 1
  • By: Graham McNeill
  • Narrated by: Joe Jameson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (462 ratings)

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Priests of Mars

By: Graham McNeill
Narrated by: Joe Jameson
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Publisher's Summary

Book one in the Forges of Mars series.

An Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator fleet ventures beyond the borders of the Imperium in pursuit of arcane technology. Who knows what perils may lie outside the dominion of mankind?

Listen to it because: it's a novel like nothing else from Black Library. Graham McNeill crafts a tale that only he could tell, beginning a mind-bending saga of the Adeptus Mechanicus, Chaos and more besides.

The story: legend tells of a foolhardy expedition, led by the radical Magos Telok, that ventured out into the unknown space beyond the Halo Worlds in search of the 'Breath of the Gods' - an arcane device with the power to unmake and reshape the very stars themselves. Thousands of years later, the ambitious Lexell Kotov musters his Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator fleet and sets out to follow in mad old Telok's footsteps. With the might of the Imperial Guard and the Space Marines to augment his own forces, he searches for the hidden clues that will lead him to greatest power that the galaxy has ever known. But who knows what ancient perils may yet lie outside the Imperium and the dominion of mankind?

Written by Graham McNeill. Narrated by Joe Jameson.

©2021 Games Workshop Limited (P)2021 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about Priests of Mars

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

It ain’t Eisenhorn

Alright so let’s get one thing straight. This audiobook is for established 40k fans. It doesn’t really hand hold and assumes a lot of knowledge on your part…and that’s not a bad thing!

But there is a bad thing. There are a few formatting errors, and the narrator commits the ultimate crime of not being Jonathan Keeble. No really, he did great. I liked his voice. Performance was great!

Story… not so much. There is a lot of narrative heresy. Looking at YOU Reclusiarch “in formal wear” (I’m honestly surprised an author with this pedigree allowed a Black Templar Reclusiarch to be described as wearing “formal wear” or a “body glove” or anything that implies he allows himself to be seen outside of his armor). I’d say a third of the book is preparing to do the thing, then a third is okay we are doing the thing, then a third is okay the thing is hard to do, then it’s over. The story introduces and balances a lot of parallel stories with characters doing cameos in other stories and all together it just mashes into itself weirdly. By the end I was left saying okay…what?

That said, if you’re looking for what is essentially the fanfic variety hour from the hands of a VERY established 40k writer, pick it up! There is very little combat. But you get: oily tech priests everywhere, cool rogue trader dude, noosphere gore, AdMek nuance, hey there’s some space marines, and a bunch of cadians okay, alright a Titan legio okay….AND WTF ARE THE ELDAR DOING HERE COME ON!!!!

Good book. Fun listen. Go into it with the interest of it being a “Day in the Life” almost Tarantino-like found footage book.

13 people found this helpful

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meh

The voices of the space marines are horrible. makes it hard to listen too.

7 people found this helpful

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Graham knows better

I've read other content from this author. Not only was the book inaccurate or flew against established lore at every opportunity, but the story made no sense. It ended when it started.

Not impressed.

5 people found this helpful

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Tekboys!

My only real problem is that there are multiple repeat lines, at least 4 times. Other than that, this is grimdark 40K at its grimdarkest. While the narrator may not be to everyone's cup of tea, I still liked him. I recommend this.

5 people found this helpful

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Not Good

I did not enjoy this much at all. The ending is awful which makes wasting all the time prior looking forward to it very painful. There are several audio errors, repeats and etc. Not well done.

Skip this one.

4 people found this helpful

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Skip

Choose another audiobook, the reader is poor choice for this book. I cannot stress enough that you should not take this one.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Alot thrown at you with not much pay off.

Don't get me wrong the story is interesting, and I'm curious as to what happens in the next book, if there is any, because...it doesn't really go anywhere. Imagine Lord of the Rings, this book is basically the contents BEFORE they get to Rivendell. By the time they actually physically start moving for the objective, 2/3s of book is already over. Then things keep happening, while interesting, really just feel like spinning the wheels of the story without making progress. Other's have pointed out flaws in the cannon lore, like the Reclusiark (sorry for the misspelling) being seen in casual attire. I'm not sure where they were going with the Eldar plot line but I didn't care much for them, at least in this story. I'll admit I'm not the biggest Eldar fan, and this made me like them even less, but perhaps is lore accurate since they've always been fond of playing into the "Pot calling the kettle, names" cliche. Also the fact that they apparently only targeted the "civilians" in the ship and not the on board fighting compliment, doesn't really show them in an honorable light, just straight up cowards.

As for the Performance, the Narrator, I think, did "ok" not fantastic but not terrible. I was horribly lost when it came to recognizing voices as characters, especially Space Marines and Mechanicus characters, as all the Space Marines blurred together and instead of sounding intimidating, just sounded out of breath or in need of a cough. The Mechanicus sounded like they were talking while pinching their noses. They did just fine with "mortal" voices however.

Overall, and even despite my negative sounding review, its an "ok" audiobook, though if you want recommendations for "better" books, for Mechanicus, listen to "Adeptus Mechanicus: Skitarii, and Adeptus Mechanicus: Tech Priest" by Rob Sanders. For Black Templars, the obvious choice is "Helsreach" by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. And finally for guard, I recommend, "Ciaphas Cain (series)" by Sandy Mitchell.

1 person found this helpful

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This book is lacking

the poor characters and the fact that the main character is not even part of the adeptud mechanus. It just some guys.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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It seemed a little off.

I've read several other books featuring the Admech. The ones in this book were far more "human" than in the other ones I've read.
Bah, maybe it's just me, but a novice space marine shouldn't be easily defeating a combat magos in single combat. And maybe I misunderstood it, but a Black Templar Ecclesiarch feeling doubt and a loss of purpose (if even for a moment) while fighting aliens seems off.
But what do I know? This guy writes for Black Library and I'm just some dude that paints minis!

1 person found this helpful

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author got board with this book.

just when things get interesting the story ends. 10 hours of build up with interesting characters and story elements. then it just ends with almost no conclusions to any of the plot threads it sets up.one of the worst (payoff wise) warhammer books I have listened to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • paul sparks
  • 11-03-21

Great story awful narration

As much I enjoyed the story it was ruined for me by the awful narrator, I am sure there is an audience for his talents but I am not it and it made me want to stop but I had been told what a great story this is (and it is) so I continued but I am going to have to but the ebook because the only thing I retain is that annoying narration. BL. Please don’t use him for any other books

12 people found this helpful

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  • Vittorio Vallesi
  • 01-20-22

AWFUL narrator

Imagine waiting for a long time for the first book of this trilogy to be put on audiobook, waiting and waiting...
Finally it get on sale on Audible, you buy it (for a hefty price) and then realise that instead of a good narrator like Keeble or Longwoth, they had put this one, who cannot (or wouldn't) make a different voice even on death threat and make all the characters of the book sound like they have some sort of mental retardation.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthewas123
  • 11-11-21

wasn't the best narration but story was ok

wasn't the best narration but story was ok the space marines where underwhelmingly voiced

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Stuart Hobbs
  • 11-10-21

Great book, unsuitable narrator

Black Library books have been blessed with some incredible narrators, that truly elevate the stories being told. Sadly, this is not the case here.

The narrator is certainly not bad at his craft, just wholly inappropriate for this book and unconvincing. I found it difficult to enjoy as a result, particularly having recently listened to the Ciaphas Cain and Gaunt’s Ghosts stories, where the narration was superb and really added to the story.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-09-22

Good story, and a somewhat good narritor

The story is great, tho it does lack some explanation for the ending. Not going in to deep in the story its a solid one that senters around alt of well writhen people. The one thing holding the book back is the narrator. He does a good job on some of the people, but everything melts tougher as one big blob of voices. Until the names of the people that spoke I often had to guess who was talking. Not saying he did a bad job, but more a semi good one.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-07-21

book of setup

a lot of setup in this book, will see what they do with it.

no real arks completed as a lot of things just happen to characters.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • bob
  • 01-26-22

shocking

very dull story
factually incorrect
appalling voice acting
don't waste your time on it please

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-20-21

A good start.

A good start to this story that seemed to stop as is got where it was going. Interesting characters that I want to know more about.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pricy
  • 11-22-21

Brilliant 40k Adventure

I really enjoyed this. Up there as one of my favourite 40k books, great from start to finish. Can't wait for the next one!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ben
  • 11-11-21

Great story!

Read this years ago, forgot what a good story it was! Looking forward to the next installment.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tom Francis
  • 11-26-22

Interesting story but slow pacing

Having come over from the action and pace of the gaunts ghosts novels, this book felt slow and ponderous. Once it got going I was intrigued and found myself genuinely interested in the various character plot lines which was good. However a lot of time is giving over to describing, over and over again, how wonderous machine code looks or the detail of some muscle movements or someone's mind. like several minutes of detail. I really just wanted to tell the author to get on with it.

The narration I didn't enjoy that much. Joe is a fine orator but I don't think he fits into the 40k setting. His delivery was too melodic and pleasant and it would take me out of the setting. That being said, some of his voices really added to the characters.

Overall it was worth listening to but won't make my favourites list.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-24-22

Disappointing

While I really enjoyed the story, it was quite disappointing how many errors and re-recordings were present throughout and I found it quite jarring. Good book tarnished by poor editing, below the usual standard for black library audiobooks.

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  • Kal
  • 04-10-22

Brilliant!

I’ve read over 50 w40k works now and several 30k. This far exceeds almost all of them, in scope, style and execution.
The Spacemarines although present and typically momentous, take a backseat and a true space opera emerges.
A few minor editing issues and confused voices do not mar an excellent narration as well.
If you want to understand just how different in every way the cult mechanicus is to the rest of the Imperium, read this one.
I can’t wait to see the main protagonists develop and new (ancient) mysteries be revealed.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Glen Bruton
  • 04-07-22

good work

lovely work. voice acting is quite good given the vast number of characters the poor man had to voice

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-16-21

stories decent

stories decent and the narrator does really well with female voices but just isn't believable when it comes to anyone else. the base male humans sound labotomised as do the space marines and mechanicus characters just sound like regular humans

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Kael
  • Kael
  • 11-22-21

One of the better 40k books

If you liked the books Mechanicum and Eisenhorn then I would say you will like this book. The story has a good mixture of Mechanicus and non-Mecanicus characters and factions who all have a good back story and interact well. The narrator does a great job, but there are occasional editing errors. I've listened to a lot of 40k books and this is the first book I've been hooked on in a long time. The story is clearly building to be a series of books so this book doesn't feel like it goes far, but where it takes you - You WILL enjoy it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave
  • 11-14-21

Disney's 'Atlantis' meets 40k

The plot is fantastic. Lots of humorous moments, action is great. The first story I've "read" that has a decent amount of lore about the Golden Age of Technology (or Dark age if you're feeling edgy).
Joe's done a good job narrating, the first one who does a good impression of women in the universe. Space marines, however, I'm sure don't sound like they've been lobotomised.