Ghostmaker (Warhammer 40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #2) ★★★☆½

ghostmaker (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Ghostmaker
Series: Warhammer 40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #2
Author: Dan Abnett
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 416
Format: Digital Edition



The Imperials are on the world of Mothraxx trying to prevent the forces of Chaos from taking it. On the morning of the final assault Gaunt walks among his troops and talks to various ones. Each time he talks with a trooper we get a story flashback from that soldier about a previous battle. We get 5-10 of these and then move on to the battle.

Mothraxx was home to a Lord of Nature (I don’t know the proper term in WH40K vernacular) and there is a gateway to a Homeworld that Chaos wants to invade. Humanity has been drawn there by the will of the Nature Lord even while thinking they’re doing it for themselves. A huge battle ensues, the Nature Lord gives his life to hold off the Chaos Forces and one of the Psykers, an Inquisitor goes to the Homeworld to close the gate.

Humanity destroys the forces of Chaos and everyone is less sad.


My Thoughts:

Having a bunch of short stories to fill in past battles worked really well. Considering how many troopers die, getting some backstory before they die feels more satisfying. At the same time, you don’t get invested enough in somebody that you’re emotionally scarred when they get their head ripped off by some Chaos warrior or their guts torn out and eaten or something like that.

The psyker who gave her life was introduced with just a hint of possible romance for Gaunt, so I knew she had to disappear. Can’t have attachments in this universe! Outside of Gaunt, his cabin boy and some of the ranking officers, anybody is liable to be killed off. I’ve adjusted my thinking for these books so it doesn’t bother me.

What does bother me though, still, is the very nature of this universe. If Chaos is bad, and the Inquisitors hunt down any human with psychic powers, using psychic powers, how does that work? And the Emperor. I’m going to have problems with him just existing, so get used to me complaining about him. He is as Chaos’y as Chaos so why does Humanity worship him? Grrr, I just don’t understand.

As Ground Pounder SF goes though, this is pretty enjoyable. Gaunt’s Ghosts are scouts and fighters so no spaceship to spaceship battles. I’m all for that!



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13 thoughts on “Ghostmaker (Warhammer 40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #2) ★★★☆½

  1. I’ve never read any Warhammer 40k fiction, although I’ve seen the gaming stuff at game stores and whatnot. It always looked fun. I like the idea of him talking to his troops and the story flashbacks- kinda reminds me of that scene in Gladiator when Maximus greets his soldiers before the opening battle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t handle grimdark very well so I’ve had to be real careful about what parts of WH and WH40K I read. this series was recommended to me by another blogger and so far he’s been on target.

      Honestly, outside of my questions about the Emperor, I have no problems getting into the universe. Franchise Fiction at it’s best 😀


    1. What gets me is that I don’t enough about the universe to know if what doesn’t make sense to me is supposed to not make sense or not.

      I hope you can parse out the meaning there 🙂


    1. The first book explains how the Ghost’s came into being, but as for the whole WH40K universe, nope, you’re just dumped in. Not much to understand, just the questions I have. Which are probably explained in another series or don’t actually need to be. Except I’m curious.

      As for understanding the universe, I think you’d have to play the game for that. I have zero interest in going that far 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First of, reaaaally glad this got such a nice rating from you as well asa nice review. Secondly, as far as I am concerned the emperor doesnt want to be seen as a god yet does godly things. The explanations are all hinted on in the Horus Heresy series, having read up to book 3 now and the Solar War last month,not even I know how to answer you on it. I can not seem to recal the nature lord part, but i am planning on re reading my copies some time for the blog. Was the nature lord choas? If so it might have been Nurgle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I figure the Emperor is just going to be a mystery that I complain about in every review 🙂

      The Nature Lord was a higher being of Order. Or whatever passes for “Order” in WH40K…

      Liked by 1 person

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