This might take Honour Guard's spot as my number one choice so far, since it had me grabbed from the beginning, rather than the off-and-on it took me to get through the earlier novel. Also, there were a lot of neat firsts which took place in this book, which I will allude to in my trademarked pros & cons.
- Story 'cuts to the chase' better than a lot of Abnett's other work. The beginning had a short buildup, which while not super exciting, kept me engaged enough to go to the next page again and again.
- Believable pan. The good guys actually have a sensible attack plan. I suppose this sources to the fact that Abnett wants General Van Voytz to be a more sympathetic superior officer rather than a combative one as the last few have been.
- Interesting first appearances. The Loxatl mercenaries show up for the first time, as well as a great way to combat them in the drum-fed U90 Assault Cannon. My favorite thing about that is that it sounds like the Fallout 3 Combat Shotgun. Also, the Phantine Skyborne show up for the first (and hopefully not the last) time. They are kind of a neat mix of Space Commandos and Airborne paratroopers. Pretty cool, really.
- Not Stand Alone. This book really cannot be made sense of if you have not read the others in the series. This can be said to some extent of all of the books in the series, but is particularly true of The Guns of Tanith, as many of the plot threads start before, or end after this one. Many of the characters fates are unknown until the beginning of the next book, Straight Silver.
- They Come And Go. There are some big name characters who don't walk away from this one. This might not really be a con in some ways, but I know there are people who may not like it.
- Two Books In One. On the flip side of the coin from #1, the first and last halves of this story seem like they should almost be two different books. The tempo and style of them are vastly different, and especially in a multi-title omnibus setting, I had a hard time remembering they were one and the same.