• False Gods

  • The Horus Heresy, Book 2
  • By: Graham McNeill
  • Narrated by: Toby Longworth
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (8,183 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Great Crusade that has taken humanity into the stars continues. The Emperor of Mankind has handed the reins of command to his favoured son, the Warmaster Horus. Yet all is not well in the armies of the Imperium.

Horus is still battling against the jealousy and resentment of his brother primarchs, and when he is injured in combat on the planet Davin, he must also battle his inner daemon. With all the temptations that Chaos has to offer, can the weakened Horus resist?

©2006 Games Workshop Limited (P)2014 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about False Gods

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Audio Issues

Audio levels for the reader need to be adjusted. Multiple instances when narrator will drop to a whisper and his words will be inaudible for lengthy periods of time.

13 people found this helpful

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epic gamer moment

now this is a certified hood classic. pop ya homies up and strap in, this will blow your mind.

6 people found this helpful

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Great Series Decent Book

This book moves a little slow in the beginning but man does it pick up. I am reading this series for a second time AMAZING even still knowing what happens. The detail these authors put into their work is just top notch.

6 people found this helpful

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Fans of Warhammer won't be disappointed

Toby Longworth does an excellent job of taking you into the action as the Warmaster Horus begins his ascent.

5 people found this helpful

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I was there, the day Horus became a cuck.

++ Solid Performance, Toby does no character shame.

However:
-Characters from the previous book have been butchered beyond recognition.
-Every woman in the book is written like the author never met a woman except for his mother. Every one reduced to sterotypes, and most drooling over the Astartes and the Primarchs like dogs in heat. The author also spends why to much time describing what the girls wear, and how much skin they are showing etc.

'Why is that a problem, Astartes are supposed to be beautiful and magnificent?' I'll tell you why, it's a problem because they did NOT act like that when they met said male characters in the first book!

You think I exaggerate? I wish, and I wished this was the only bad things.

-Horus, a primach, is also reduced from a sharp master of charisma och leadership, to a prideful tempramental teenager who's way to obsessed with his honour and whether or not he's appreciated by people(and history) enough. He falls for school yard-level manipulation and despite ensuring everyone that He is the one making the decisions, still gets manipulated like a trough and trough cuck.
Why is this a problem? Because he was a brilliant character in the first book! Now he's like a totally different primarch.

If this book didn't cover such an important part of the story, I'd recommend you too skip it. But if you want to know how Hours fell, this is what you need to read. Or just save your money and red the page on Lexicanum.

3 people found this helpful

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Superb performace!!!

I read "Horus Rising" and loved every bit of it. Unfortunately, life has been busy and I haven't had much time to read. I purchased "False Gods" on Audible, so I could continue with the series. Toby Longworth has given an amazing performance. His narration is one of the best I have ever listened to. I was glad to see that Longworth is the narrator throughout the series. I am looking forward to listening to the rest of the series.

2 people found this helpful

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Disappointing follow-up to Horus Rising

You pretty much have to read this because Horus Heresy, right? But that’s just the thing: False Gods pales by comparison to Horus Rising but, being the middle of the Heresy… it doesn’t matter.

What makes this book good: rich, detailed characters, dialog, and interactions; well-described landscapes with enough detail to imagine but not so much to bore the reader; and interpersonal dynamics which are mostly credible.

What sucks: way too rushed at the end. That Horus would turn on his father is understandable considering his near-death experience. What defies belief is how anyone one else, including the AdMech, would go from mass genocide of entire planets and cultures “for the Emperor!” to “Kill the Emperor and all (including Astartes) who follow him!” without batting an eye.

An expert delivery may have made it somewhat plausible, but Graham McNeill is clearly not there. At least in this book. All that said, you still have to read it. Because Horus Heresy.

1 person found this helpful

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good stuff

I'm getting the audio issues people are talking about, aximand is overpowering for some reason, but other than that its fantastic

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confusing

it was a little hard to follow in places if you weren't paying attention, jumping forward and backwards in time as well as between characters. either hard to follow or didn't hold my attention.

1 person found this helpful

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intrigue adventure and war

great continuation on the story from the first book. great variety of characters in the expansive Warhammer universe.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jack Blackmore
  • 01-08-18

Entertaining but fell short of what I hoped for

A great performance but unfortunately the story was lacking and clumsy. Horus Uprising did an amazing job at setting the scene of the Horus Heresy with amazing character development that really emersed you into the world however while the story of False God's is a good one, it's a little ham-fisted in its delivery with actions and story lines being dropped in just to fulfil the ultimate arc rather than seeming logical and consistent with the characters developed in the first book

16 people found this helpful

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  • Rob Merry
  • 01-24-18

Excellent

Toby Longworth brings this story to life! This a really enjoyable series, even for for those like me who have only a passing acquaintance with the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Nephrite
  • 02-20-20

The Beginning Of The Fall

False Gods by Graham McNeil – Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Book 2

Nephrite’s Month Of Heresies

And here we are. The second domino in the chain. So much has happened already. Horus and his men are beginning to doubt...they have received that first push. How much further do they have to go? Let’s find out on Davin.

(You are aware you left out mention of the
Megarachnids?)

Yes. I know I did. This isn’t supposed to be a meme.

(Ah well it matters not, as the most delicious chapter of our little tale is about to begin.)

First Chaplain Erebus of the Word Bearers, the 17th Legion have specifically requested aid from Horus and the 16th Legion because the unthinkable has happened. A squad of men have turned traitor. Men Horus himself had personally put in command of the newly compliant world. After an encounter with the Interex at the end of Horus Rising they rush to assist. However that isn’t the only thing. The Emperor himself has sent a decree. The Lunar Wolves are to be gifted a new name. One worthy of Horus’s new status. The Sons of Horus! And that’s before you are a third of the way in!

False Gods acts as an excellent continuation and extension of the events in Horus Rising. They flow very well from each other and the characters are well written. Garviel Loken preserves his upstanding characterisation. He works perfectly across the three starting books of the Heresy as an audience point of view character. He is learning and growing, trying to be more than just a warrior sent out to act as the attack dog of Horus. He – without even really knowing it – shows just how much potential the Adeptus Astartes actually have. Both in peace and war.

But he isn’t the only one with character development. Horus is beginning to wonder. Just why did The Emperor – his father – abandon The Great Crusade? Just what is he doing on Terra and why? And why is The Crusade receiving demands from tax collectors!? The purpose of The Crusade was to bring the disparate parts of humanity together back under The Imperium was it not? Not to collect taxes. Perhaps that has something to do with why he doesn’t fight the appointment of his own personal Rememberancer Petronella Vivar? Horus will go through plenty of changes in this story...and there are plenty more to come.

Speaking of Rememberancers? Petronella herself is an interesting addition. She definitely comes from Terran high society. She has her own personal mute manservant. But she clearly has an idealised view of a lot of things. Of the Astartes. Of Warmaster Horus. Of war itself. Just how will her view change? And how will she influence others? The other Rememberancers also continue being important and developing. Euphrati Keeler in particular undergoes considerable changes in False Gods. Her scars from Horus Rising are beginning to show. What form will they take?

One final character I will address is another Horus. ‘Little’ Horus Aximand. Little Horus is an unusual character. Like Loken he is another member of the Mournivale. One of the chosen four. Also like Loken he is a thinker. The intellectual of the group. He will fight to defend himself and his friends. For The Emperor and The Warmaster. But he makes different choices...and those changes? They will have quite the impact later.

Changing topic from characterisation, we must talk about the writing. Graham McNeil the author of False Gods certainly has his own style. It is also very entertaining and very engrossing. His descriptions of battles and locations, be they beautiful and pure or tainted and twisted are wonderfully vivid. One special sequence with Horus at the beginning of Part Three comes to mind in particular. But it is also clear that the various authors of the first three books of the Heresy have made a clear effort to make sure that their stories are synchronised. So that there isn’t too severe a disconnect in writing style from the start to the end of the opening trilogy. For some personal reason I can’t put a finger on I find False Gods a more challenging story to listen to although it’s still very enjoyable and expertly crafted. I think it is simply due to a difference in tone. This book is definitely darker than Horus Rising although I’m sure some listeners would prefer this to Horus Rising as the opening salvo.

The narration is once again performed wonderfully by Toby Longworth, a man who clearly knows how to get the most out of both his voice and a microphone. I must congratulate him on his sheer skill. His narration is expertly done and it is incredibly easy to get caught up in the moment. I’ve heard myself calling out the war cry of the Astartes more than once! When characters are caught up in moments of passion it becomes clear in his tone. Regardless of if there is sadness, joy, nervousness or passion he is very well versed in how to make the audience understand the feeling of the characters in question. I must admit I love False Gods. I may prefer Horus Rising but they are both wonderful books and I recommend them both highly!

One final thing I will mention is something that False Gods makes clear. The Imperium has...issues...with technology and technocracy. I wonder how the new Horus might treat one should he encounter one?

I definitely hope that some of my readers will join me in being readers and listeners of the Horus Heresy. Graham McNeil’s False Gods is an excellent tale by a brilliant writer which sets the stage for that which is to follow. Bravo Mr McNeil. I’ll be keeping an ear out for stuff written by him in the future.

(And so the die is cast, the final domino of damnation is about to fall as all the pieces are in their place on the board. I am aware I used too many gaming analogies there.)

Isn’t all life supposed to be a game to you warp creatures?

(Indeed it is, and right now it is a most succulent one but the final act is before us as our brave champion must make one final move.)

But who will join me and my...companion...in the warp? In the early days of the Heresy? There is one final step before it can truly begin. Before the galaxy can burst into flames!

Sayonara!

Nephrite

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-04-19

A rather quick fall

Horus falls rather quickly. I hoped it to be more complex. A great story anyway.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Hugger Dog
  • 09-27-18

Underwhelming after the superb Horus Rising

After falling in love with the first book 'Horus Rising' the second outing didn't quite have the same impact. The story seemed jumbled and rushed in certain places and Horus himself seemed somewhat different.

The downfall of Horus in this book came across as unbelievable and the end all seemed to come about far to quickly.

I think more time fleshing out certain areas would have been beneficial.

Toby Longworth however has beautifully fleshed out the characters once again with his narration and no fault can be given for his performance.

Still worth a listen so you can get to know the beginnings of the Horus Heresy but definitely not as good as the first book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Jake
  • 01-13-18

All souls cry out for salvation, even a Primarch's

40K is a franchise so beloved by its authors and praised for its depth, breadth, and richness of texture. It's very disappointing then that its lynchpin and dramatic high-water-mark seems rushed, forced, and ultimately unrealistic, especially when this trilogy prides itself on melding modern and classical styles: an interest in ethics within a plot framework evoking epic poetry.

I am of course referring to the turning of Horus. Such care was taken in the first book to build his character into that of a benign despot; conscientious enough to control his psychopathic instincts yet fallibly Human enough, like all of us, to question the impositions of the super-ego, symbolised in the Emperor, 'father' of Horus. It's a stark and painful thing, then, when Horus is suddenly inverted into a villain, albeit within the established paradigm of his character. People do bad things because there is something inside them that is flawed, and though this is signified throughout, we still fall short in believing Horus's reasons for forsaking everything he stood for. It's too much, too soon.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Paul D
  • 05-01-19

Wonderful narration

Not too sure about the book but loved the narration. Lost track of the story few times but really not a problem as it is a pleasure to listen to.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. T. E. Oreilly
  • 03-17-19

downhill from the first one

I loved book 1. having Horus as a hero was really fascinating and I was looking forward to how he started to fall. this book tells that part and I was disappointed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jamie Mckenzie
  • 12-23-18

A must read for space marine fans

a great listen, a tragic story of manipulation and betrayal. 2 down, 48 to go!

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Nathan Brunel
  • 02-13-20

Disappointing

Abondoned the established personalities from the first book. Not awful if it stood alone but bad coming from a clearly better writer.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-20-19

Damn you Erebus

To broadly review this, it felt like a bit of a downgrade, coming from Horus Rising to False Gods. It might be the storyline that the author had to deal with, or it might even just be the difference in authors itself- that’s not to say that this isn’t a great story.
There are moments that made me feel joy, tension, sadness, and anger (most of which had to do with a particular Word Bearer), but the overall shift in Horus as a character after the events of Davin felt a bit rushed, and there were so many moments where his insecurities and decision to betray the Imperium seemed to stem from a real place, before suddenly swapping to “Muh Ambition” which, more often than not, was a bit jarring.
The best scenes in Horus Rising were those of conflict that the characters suffered within themselves. False Gods, while having some really good ones within Horus, does really well in its action scenes, which are visceral and violent, which is to be expected of the setting, and does not disappoint.

Great performance as usual, though I found Torgadden’s new voice a bit... eh. But I got used to it after a while.

TL;DR
Not as good as Book 1, still pretty good, eagerly downloading Book 3, I hate Erebus.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Battis
  • 02-25-19

Excellent

Loved it, couldn’t listen to it fast enough. Recommend to anyone who enjoys Warhammer or sci-fi in general.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fujiwara
  • 05-08-18

GOD DAMN YOU WORD BEARERS

need I say any more than the title of my review? Bloody Word Bearers. hah

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Thomas Hilleary
  • 07-08-19

delicious

once again, stellar performance by the narrator. epic story writing. thrilling cliff hanger to leave you hungry.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-15-19

Great follow up

Listened to the book 1 in two days and had to get straight into this one and it doesn’t disappoint!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-29-22

Good but not great,

I did enjoy this book though at times I found I wanted it to hurry up, I am looking forward to how this heresy plays out

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  • will
  • 05-28-22

great book.

Story started off slow but picked up quite quickly. the narrator is pretty good, though his female voices need work.

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  • Anthony H
  • 03-18-22

second title down

Another awesome title from the Horus Heresy really hooked in after Horus Rising and its only getting better

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jett S Murphy
  • 02-26-22

Best book so Far

Captivating
Beautifully written
Voiced to perfection
A must read for any Sci-Fi and 40k Fan

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-01-21

Horus falls in all ways

Let me say that the performance by Toby Longworth is as good as ever, but no masterfull voicework can make up for this writing.

Horus Rising was an amazing book, the characters were intelligent, mature, and truly seeming to bring "light" to the universe as they put it. False Gods is none of that.

Characters that once possessed intelligence now do nothing but fist bump and stare at boobs (there are 4 pages dedicated to boob staring, which is fine if it amounted to anything). During THE most pivotal part of horuses fall we get logan refusing to do anything despite knowing everything.

The writer obviously got an outline for what needed to be done by the end of the book, unfortunately he lost it until the last 30 pages were everything happens at once.

You cant skip this book for its importance to the overall story and its characters, but you'll find neither story nor characters in it.