In this tale, we follow Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt in his travails with the Tanith First and Only, or Gaunt's Ghosts, as they refer to themselves. The Tanith are Guard orphans so to speak after the destruction of their world. I am not going to go too far into the specifics of the story, since many will have already read this book, and for those who have not I do not want to ruin any of a terrific read. What I will do is launch into my trademarked Pros & Cons.
- Well written. Those of you who are fans of Dan Abnett already know what to expect. This was his first, and you can already see some of the hallmarks of his style.
- Main Characters with depth. Whether smart or stupid, conniving or upfront, grim or voluble, each character acts with a purpose, like you would expect them to.
- Good ending. Again, not wanting to spoil anything for those who have not read it. Let me just say that the last chapter of "First and Only" is the best closing to a book that I have encountered recently. It is a terrific exposition of the main character and many of the events of the book, and left me with the chills for many minutes after I finished. I can't say enough about it.
- Too many names. Abnett throws a lot of names at you ina very small space of time. Some of them you need to remember, and some of them are redshirts that die on the page they are introduced. Abnett does not do a good job of distinguishing these, so I ended up thinking to myself 'wait, didn't he die?' and having to flip back through a few pages before I recalled who was who.
- Flash back sequences. Usually this bothers me a lot more. In this book, they were useful to the plot and central to the readers understanding of the character. I am still listing this in the Cons because I know there are a lot of readers out there like me, who dislike this.
Get the subject of this review from Amazon! This is a lot cheaper than I got it for. I paid cover price. Sad Panda.