Book Review 203 // Gaunt's Ghosts: Necropolis

Back at the Dan Abnett stories, people! Dan Abnett, for me, has been creating some of the best lore books for Black Library. No other author has managed to take a short story from a magazine and grow it into such a collection of books that are now official lore within the setting. With much excitement, we dive into book 3 - Necropolis.

Title: Gaunt's Ghosts: Necropolis (Book 3)

Author: Dan Abnett

Buy on - first three novels collected.

Blurb: On the shattered world of Verghast, Gaunt and his Ghosts find themselves embroiled in an ancient and deadly civil war as a mighty hive city is besieged by an unrelenting foe.

On the world of Verghast, a grinding war between two hive cities - one loyal to the Imperium, the other fallen to the worship of the Dark Gods - is bolstered by the forces of the Astra Militarum, spearheaded by the Colonel-Commissar Gaunt and the Tanith First and Only. But bitter rivalries and treachery threaten to derail the defence of Vervunhive, and it falls to Gaunt to take command of the Imperial forces and forge victory from an almost certain defeat.

Format: Out of Print Hardback Omnibus:320 pages.


This book holds a particular spot in my heart. I remember when I first read it being blown away by the scale of the city and the war itself, and every time since, I have been taken back to that feeling of awe and wonder. This is possibly the 7th or 8th time reading this, and I am still absorbed into the setting like I was then. I love this book. But it does have its faults.

The setting of Necropolis is a hive world, a city the size of a mountain. Meaning we have such a prominent location to cover. It is full of life; it is rough, poor, rich, and everything else. We have miners, guilders and merchants, dock workers, gangers, nobles and everything between. This setting alone could be a series of stories. You then throw into this the military, and the off-world forces and the environment gets bogged down. Abnett does a good job narrowing the information and focusing on the main aspects. This allows the reader to not get lost in the chaos but does lead to less focus on the heroes of Tanith.

The combat is fear-inducing as the build-up to an attack has the tension set to 1001%, then it hits like a battering ram and is a brutal and close quarter. Leaving you reeling from the intensity, for it all to start building again. At times it feels like the city is lost, and Abnett does a great job at keeping you hanging on for that next page.

Overall an excellent sci-fi war action book. Lots of action, politics, backstabbing and good honest Ghost action. This, for me, will also be a standout novel and one of the best alongside Horus Rising in the entire Black Library collection.

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