• The Damnation of Pythos

  • The Horus Heresy, Book 30
  • By: David Annandale
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (752 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the aftermath of the Dropsite Massacre at Isstvan V, a battered and bloodied force of Iron Hands, Raven Guard and Salamanders regroups on a seemingly insignificant death world.

Fending off attacks from all manner of monstrous creatures, the fractious allies find hope in the form of human refugees fleeing from the growing war and cast adrift upon the tides of the warp. But even as the Space Marines carve out a sanctuary for them in the jungles of Pythos, a darkness gathers that threatens to consume them all.

©2014 Games Workshop Limited (P)2014 Games Workshop Limited

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What listeners say about The Damnation of Pythos

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A pointless waste

This is a pointless side story that ignores the rules of the universe and speeds along to pointless ending that renders then entire story pointless. This is made worse by the fact that the story starts off well with an exception into the mindset of the Iron hands after the Drop Site Massacre of Isstvan 5, with them moving closer to the machine and a simple logic that reject interpretation of orders. After all interpretation is the realm of the Emperors children. After the point where the civilians show up however it loses all of that in favor of a story about daemons and how they mess with everyone and everything on the planet.

Plot lines and threads just start and stop with no real pay off to any of them, even the main plot thread of the book feels under cooked and could have done with several re-drafts. the end takes the cake though as it's not really clear how their 'plan', if you could even call it that could work as daemons require constant warp energy to survive and they can't get that if they leave the planet. the ending also ruins any sense of progression as it's unclear if this mentality that was so fascinating in the early book in bound to a single chapter or the legion at large.

TLDR: all in a shit book that goes nowhere that's undermined by inconsistency in the writing. You miss nothing if you skip it

6 people found this helpful

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I don't get it

I don't understand why this book gets so much hate.
I would say this one doesn't fit in the Horus Heresy story arc very well, but it definitely adds to the the overall 40k universe. The story is interesting and in line with chaos horror themes. The author outlines the differences among legions and their beliefs, and how they may conflict which each other when trying to work as one unit. The author also adds an interesting perspective to those who survived the drop site massacre. Finally I would say that David Annandale, using this story as a whole, really adds to the 40k theme of the futility and insignificance of even a whole planet when compared to the entirety of the universe.
And of course, Jonathan Keeble is the best.
I enjoyed the book and regret nothing.

3 people found this helpful

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A decent Lovecraftian horror in the 40k universe

This is a pretty poor Horus Heresy book, because its entirely a setup for The Pilgrim and some backstory on Pandorax and focuses almost nothing on the main plot at large. What Damnation of Pythos does do well though is offer a very pessimistic and hardlined eldritch horror story. Characters are flat but serve their purpose, the actual planet is the best character in the book as Chaos influences warp this death world into something far worse. The authors angles of description for the creatures and daemons is very well done and vivid. The ending was particularly satisfying in its grimdark setup.

Good book if your looking for a horror novel, if you want more Horus Heresy intrigues you will be found wanting despite some of the bigger connections to the future and Ruinstorm.

3 people found this helpful

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It was alright.

I'm not a big fan of the Iron Hands but the book is enjoyable. I felt like there is a massive tone shift however given the events of the previous book. It feels almost irrelevant and self contained in the grand scheme of the narrative.

1 person found this helpful

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Iron hands represent!

Really great story! Really loved Atticus's character development throughout and it ended in an unexpected way

1 person found this helpful

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Just skip this one

You could take every GW license out of this story and you have a horror/thriller set during wartime. It has no bearing on the overall narrative, the characters are gullible and bland seemingly just to advance the story to it obvious conclusion. Sry. Just skip it, I wish I did.

4 people found this helpful

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A Solid Story

It's a good story that shows the power of chaos. I don't know why some people are upset that it's not exactly the same as every previous book.

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Skipable book in the heresy series

Another book where the plot is not advanced and Iron Hands separated from the imperium do nothing important.

The narrator was good but it took a lot of effort to pay attention and the exposition was way too drawn out making it tedious. The authors must be paid by the word at Black Library.

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Rubbish

A pretty uninspired storyline that reads like kids playing a game, then this happens, and then this happens etc. Got to within an hour or so of the end when I realised I just didn't care and couldn't be bothered to finish it

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Least favorite so far

The story never really caught me. Unlike the others in the series, this seemed quite boring. I zones out for much of the book. Too bad as others have been much better.

Main characters are also a bit boring with few exceptions.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-09-19

Irrelevant and uniteresting

A complete sideshow, uninspiring. However beautifully read by Keeble. I Wish i had Skipped this book

7 people found this helpful

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  • Aðalsteinn
  • 06-12-19

My least favorite so far!

Trying to get through the massive collection that is the Horus Heresy, I find that this is one of those books that would have not mattered if I read/listened to it at all.

5 people found this helpful

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  • c tucker
  • 12-24-19

never listening to it again

JK is always a great narrator, this was just a bad book, worst in HH series, adds nothing, skip it and enjoy not wasting hours on it

4 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen Wood
  • 10-26-19

What a disposable book

I’m at a lose to where this book actually fits into the HH. It doesn’t further the plot, or bring any new ideas.

Pacing was sloppy and i finished this book because I paid for it, certainly not to enjoy it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-18-18

Get brilliantly lost in this

Jonathan Keeble is the best narrator of the series. everyone else pales in comparison.

stupidwordlimit

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Cerus
  • 08-06-18

An OK book but wouldn't be recommending it

As the title says this book was OK and had some interesting ideas that it ultimately didn't deliver on for me. I felt that no worthwhile conclusions were reached and that the characters and their motivations could have been further explored.

Overall the book didn't add anything to the Heresy storyline and left no interesting reveals or hooks to be picked up by later books. The characters were a bit too cliche for my liking although think elements could have been further explored like two Iron Hands having very different outlooks and opinions instead of the sergeant just giving up and deciding his captain must be right.

I was left feeling that there was no suitable conclusion to the story, as the struggle the characters went through and challenges they faced ultimately resulted in no notable change or worthwhile outcome. If your a fan of the Iron Hands you may still like this closer look at them and the action scenes are decent.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • craig Stirling
  • 06-16-22

A pointless book

This book was a bit pointless in my opinion. Don’t know why it was written other than to bloat the HH series.

Johnathan is an amazing narrator but this book is just a bad book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-15-22

A filler novel in the series.

The writing is a bit too exaggerated and overly descriptive. There's only so many times you can describe the trans-human might of the legionnes astartes in one minute until it gets boring.

Nice twist towards the end but overall this felt like lots of filler and little killer in the novel.

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  • Katherine
  • 06-12-22

The first HH book I couldn't bear to finish

I got six hours through this book, somehow, and regretted every minute of it. It's unending metaphor soup. I have no idea where the plot is going or why. Is there, indeed, a plot?

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-13-22

Awful writing, a poor attempt at lovecraft

This book an a perfectly serviceable plot, but was badly executed and the prose were terrible.

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  • Joe
  • 08-23-20

Emo Space arines vs Dinosaurs

There's a big gap between interpersonal drama and conflict between well-formed characters, and emo-poetry grade teen angst. This novel falls far too much towards the latter. Several chapters in, I found myself just not caring about what happens to any character. The continued reference to self-loathing and shame and closing regrets in pits of despair... you get the idea... had me disengaged from the story.
By the time dinosaurs started showing up, I was rooting for the lizards. I actually took a little glee in that scene, but after, lost interest.
This is far from Keeble at his finest. Given his writing on an average day is spectacular, the book still stands up against some of what passes for sci-fi action-adventure on Amazon. But it is a miss for me.
The performance is up to the regular Black Library stanard; world-class.
Fans of the HH will still a kick from the book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-15-22

damnation

I'm starting an iron hands army after this one.
there is no weakness when there is no flesh.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • wayne kerr
  • 05-02-21

They go to Australia

Iron hands just keep getting hit, read if you want to get a bit of info on ruinstorm otherwise theres not much point but it's still a decent book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-22-21

Not one of the best

I love WH40K and the Horus Heresy series, but I must admit, to my lasting shame, that I couldn't finish this one. Conflict or enmity between characters seemed pretty flimsy, and there's a lot of drawn out combat sequences in a story that ultimately doesn't seem to go anywhere fast. Fortunately it doesn't comprise part of the overarching Heresy story and so can be safely skipped over. Disappointing overall.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-23-21

An optional listen

Whilst I enjoyed this audiobook it left me feeling perplexed. Other than having some survivors from Istvan 5 it has little to do with the Heresy series so far. Without an ending spoiler of what happens I feel a book written in this way was not needed. A short story would've sufficed. In any case it is fairly well written and narrated though it all felt pointless. I feel that some important parts were glazed over whilst other mundane parts given too much time. I wanted to like this book and feel its value; but I just didn't. I'm listening to the entire series in chronological order and this is one of my least favorite to date unfortunately. Even the amazing Jonathan Keeble couldn't save this one.
Maybe I'm being over critical as some of the other books are just so good.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-07-18

read the summary save your time.

well enough written if your into Iron Hands go for it. otherwise really does not add to the series... skip to another of the +50 books of the series

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-03-18

Could be better

One of the weaker books in the series. Keeble does a great job as always.