I'll throw my name into this should you need people. Review below:
Salvation's Reach by Dan Abnett
The Tanith First-And-Only embark on a desperate mission that could decide the fate of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade in the thirteenth book of this popular Imperial Guard series.
The Ghosts of the Tanith First-and-Only have been away from the front line for too long. Listless, and hungry for action, they are offered a mission that perfectly suits their talents. The objective: the mysterious Salvation’s Reach, a remote and impenetrable stronghold concealing secrets that could change the course of the Sabbat Worlds campaign. But the proposed raid is so hazardous, it’s regarded as a suicide mission, and the Ghosts may have been in reserve for so long they’ve lost their edge. Haunted by spectres from the past and stalked by the Archenemy, Colonel-Commissar Gaunt and his Ghosts embark upon what could be their finest hour… or their final mission.
For me personally this book represents a sort of return to form for Abnett in regards to GG. I thought that Blood Pact kind of lost its way a little and “The Lost” sequence was a little too forgiving for members of the Tanith 1st. Salvations Reach however is a different beast. It combines the best of the more character driven parts of say “The Armor of Contempt” with some of the action sequences of “The Guns of Tanith”. It’s close in tight action for the Tanith First with help from some of the Imperium’s heavy hitters and some Vergast and Belledon new arrivals which while re-enforcing the Tanith also shake several characters to their core.
Words on the page wise its Abnett as usual. Fast paced and laden with description it’s a good read. Nothing really jars in the syntax and he’s still the best action writer than BL has be it infantry firefights or Navy vessels blasting at each over thousands of miles in space. My only gripe with the book in regards to the way Abnett writes is some new slang he’s introduced. “Lasman” (a slang for a standard guardsmen or a soldier’s officer) is hammered home so frequently in the first half of the book it becomes irritating.
Mabbon is still around and his interactions with the IG are a driving force behind the novel but it's still not confirmed whose side he's on which is great. Effectively the book can be broken down into two halves: The transport to Salvation’s Reach and then the battle that takes place there: a litteral smash and grab mission to take enemy artifacts back for study in the hopes it will help the war effort which is faltering because Slaydo's replacement isn't anywhere near as good as the old man was. Again we see more of the behind the scenes workings of Chaos something that Abnett basically single handily introduced BL readers to in Traitor General. How they work, how they think and how they protect themselves. We also see the factions within the Imperiam at work and how they aren't all chummy with each other. Again a very nice touch which reminds me of First and Only.
The grand ending and result of the battle feels a little under developed but there is a personal moment in there for two of the long running characters that pulls on the heart strings a little.
Over all I really enjoyed the book. I ripped through it in about 3 days and it wasn’t a struggle at all unlike some other books I won’t mention. Can’t wait for The Warmaster to see what happens next.