Inside, Gaunt and Co. perform what amounts to a "Milk Run" as the team's last mission before being disbanded. This of course turns into the proverbial Charlie Foxtrot as it becomes apparent that the only commander in the whole Sabbat Worlds Crusade who knows a Heretic from a Hound-dog is Gaunt himself. That this takes place on Hagria, the homeworld of Saint Sabbat herself, makes the story more central to the success of the Crusade than any of the other missions the Ghosts have seen before.
- A Bad Guy Plot that -gasp- makes some sort of sense. I have said it before, and I am sure it will come up again: a lot of villains in this setting seem to pull the wings off of butterflies just because it's the 'evil' or 'chaos' thing to do.
- Setting. Hagria makes a lot of internal sense as a backdrop for the tale, with a whole religious overtone to everything going on that nevertheless manages to make the planet seem like a place that people live, unlike some other 'holy' worlds depicted in the grim dark future. The Monument World in the Blood Angels Omnibus jumps to mind as being a particularly egregious offender to me. What's the point there?
- Intelligible. This book has a good mix of flavor in the terminology, but was not too hard to keep track of what people were talking about. Whether that's because Abnett slacked off on the feth-ing or because I am four books in now I leave to you to decide.
- Slow Beginnings. Really, a book where I have to put it down at page 50 and walk away, is Slooooow. I read Moby Dick. In Junior High.
- New Faces. Other readers have referenced this to me as well. It's inevitable that combat losses would dictate that new recruits be taken on, and while I don't actively dislike any of the new recruits (in fact I rather like Cuu), learning a whole slew of new names is rough. This series has been hard in general with that.
- Deus Ex Machina. I'm not one for spoilers, so I'll leave that at that.