Malleus by Dan Abnett – An Audio Book Review:



A century after his recovery of the alien Necroteuch, Gregor Eisenhorn is one of the Imperial Inquisition’s most celebrated agents. But when a face from his past returns to haunt him, and he is implicated in a great tragedy that devastates the world of Thracian Primaris, Eisenhorn’s universe crumbles around him. The daemon Cherubael is back, and seeks to bring the inquisitor to ruin – either by his death, or by turning him to the service of the Dark Gods.

Author: Dan Abnett
Narrator: Toby Longworth
Publisher: The Black Library
Audio Release Date: 27/09/2017
Running Time: 10 hrs 13 mins
Series: Eisenhorn #2
Genre: Science Fiction/Warhammer 40k
My Rating of ‘Malleus’: 4 out of 5
Purchase: Audible UK, Audible US, Amazon UK, Amazon US


For me, ‘Malleus’ was a heck of a lot better than the first in the series ‘Xenos’. I originally gave Xenos a 4 out of 5 and, whilst I wouldn’t change it, it feels less than that after reading Malleus.

Malleus takes place a century after Xenos (don’t worry, it features the same characters. 40k universe features rejuvination technology that can make people last for centuries). The Daemon, Cherubael, has been the focus of Eisenhorn’s hunting for that time and, in this book, he finds himself within spitting distance of his quarry.

I like Cherubael as a character as, unlike the other daemons in the 40k universe he has a layer of mystery to him. His daemonic kin seem to exist simply to kill, but he has ulterior motives that keep his ongoing existence within this series interesting.

Where Cherubael seems to have layers, our hero does not. Everything about Gregor Eisenhorn is fairly … bland. Even his narrative style (for these books are written in first person from his perspective) is fairly straight arrow and as devoid of personality as you can get. But, despite his lack of human-feeling personality, he’s an intriguing man who tells an interesting story.

This book was far more expansive with its plot than the previous book. In ‘Xenos’ everything felt a bit too linear and nothing really leapt out and made the reader think ‘wow, didn’t see anything like that coming’. All in all, it just felt like it was on a pre-determined line whereas Malleus felt far more free-roaming. Events of massive import happened in such a way that you couldn’t tell they would do so. The characters were led to places that didn’t feel in any way railroaded. It just felt like a breath of fresh air compared to the first book.

As good as this was compared to book one, the lack of personality in Eisenhorn and his storytelling, not to mention how so many secondary characters are introduced yet not fleshed out a great deal, keep this from ever reaching a 5 star rating as far as my money us concerned.

That being said, I’d still say that the Esienhorn books should be required reading for anyone looking to get into the 40k setting as the Inquisition is so often mentioned and seldom explained as it is in these books.

The narration, as with the first book, was wonderful. Toby Longworth really brings the character of Gregor Eisenhorn to life and does his lack of anything regarding enthusiasm proud. That’s meant as a compliment, not an insult. His voicing of the daemons are wonderful as are his voices for the other characters.


20 thoughts on “Malleus by Dan Abnett – An Audio Book Review:

  1. “Malleus takes place a century after Xenos.” Wait what? How does that work.

    ” (don’t worry, it features the same characters. 40k universe features rejuvination technology that can make people last for centuries)” Oh thanks for clearing that up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea, it adds that ‘well, Gregor has totally been after this daemon for a long time’ feeling, but still feels kind of annoying at the same time. I’m not a huge fan of huge time jumps unless it’s to start a storyline set in the future of said universe … which this isn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Did you hear that an Eisenhorn tv series is in the works? I have never read the Eisenhorn books myself, but I know how popular they are. (First have to get through my huge backlog of Horus Heresy novels 😊). As for numerous characters, that seems to be a trademark in Warhammer 40k fiction. Graham mcNeill seems especially fond of introducing 100’s of characters witht the most difficult names in his books πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yea … not read a Mcneill book in a while but I remember one of his Ultramarine novels having so many characters.

      I did, and I’m really looking forward to it eventually coming out. The Inquisition is the sort of faction that can really get the grim darkness of the far future across to the masses

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Honesly mcNeill is one of my favorite 40K writers, but he really does need to stop adding so many characters to the mixπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
        I really hope it will come out. It was announced quite a while back, and so was a Judge Dredd tv series…but both seem to be in limbo right now πŸ˜”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review as always man. I struggled with the series as a first read, but playd the mobile game that did a semi good job of helping through some of the story plots. I remember Ravenor as being one of his characters that got it’s own spin off that I read way back before I even knew how big Dan was in 40K. Ravenor was a way better introduction into 40K than Eisenhorn was. Still a good series and it read fairly easy. I disagree a little bit with Old Cherubeal, but then again, Dan wrote him in such a way that you had to dislike him. I love how Eisenhorn gets some sort of vengeance in book 3 though, that was sweet. I am also stil waiting on the follow up for Paraih to see what havoc the guy makes there…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. You are too kind, as always πŸ™‚

      Yea, I saw your review on goodreads and how Cherubael wasn’t your favourite aspect of this book.

      Have you tried Magos yet? Looking forward to eventually getting to it as it’s an Eisenhorn novel I’ve not read before. I really enjoyed Ravenor so totally agree there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yea, I’ve two NG audio books to get through so I’ll not be getting to my audible ones for a while. On a side note, Netgalley Shelf, the app NG forces you to use for audio books is awful. Avoid audio books on there if you can

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Even if they do, be aware that my phone has to be awake to play the vids. Can’t close the screen off otherwise it stops playing after ten seconds. Even with the screen left on it regularly just stops and forces you to reload. Disgusting considering publishers pay to have their titles on that waste of space thing

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ill avoid it at all costs then. Its a bit like the previous app i used for reading comics that you cant use now,but they still have only that and pocket book that is kinda redundant…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yea … the only reason I’m using it is because a friend of mine works for a big audio book publisher in the UK and auto-approved me πŸ˜‚ hopefully they make the god-awful thing useful. You can access comics/books you have had accepted on there too by the looks of it. Could be decent for those. Just terrible for audio.

        Liked by 1 person

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