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.
Yet again Dan Abnett does it in style!! He rights another book that I end up spending all night reading rather than sleeping - my mind loves your work but my body really doesn't Mr Abnett! As followers of the series will know Salvation’s Reach is book number 13 in the Gaunt’s Ghosts series following Gaunt and his now somewhat ragtag regiment.
Blood Pact, book number 12, sets this novel up nicely and suffice it to say that at the end of Blood Pact the regiment of the Tanith First leaves Balhaut for the planet Menazoid Sigma, which as we come to find, is a “dispersal point.” Basically a mustering ground for regiments that will be shipping off to war in the near future. The Tanith First have been volunteered for a covert operation, presented by Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt to the Warmaster’s High Command. Their target as the title suggests is a a place called “Salvation’s Reach”.
Once again Dan Abnett draws on all our old favourites from the previous books (well the survivours anyway); the knife-edge that is Major Rawne, Gol Kolea, Ban Daur, Elodie Dutana (Daur’s significant other), Commissar Viktor Hark, Junior-Commissar Nahum Ludd, and Tona Criid to name a few. Together, along with a fresh influx of Belladon troops, and as such a new slew of characters, our intrepid heroes head out to mount a covert assault on the place known as Salvation’s Reach.
They have with them a person who is key to the operation. A defector of the Archenemy. His head is filled with secret know-how and information that is vital to the mission and it’s success. Naturally, his safety is of the utmost importance, and likewise, challenged at every turn! Rawne, and the self-appointed “Suicide Kings” are charged with the safe-keeping of this person after an attempt on the defector’s life.
After much travel through the warp, and one outstanding void battle later (better in my mind then any of the battles so far written), the Ghosts launch a two-pronged attack on Salvation’s Reach. One; straight through the front door, loud, large, and in charge. The second; two small insertion raids that are carried out behind enemy lines so to speak. Gaunt leads this sneaky attack on key areas of Salvation’s Reach, in order to gather vital intelligence and artifacts that Imperial forces can use to dismantle the Sanguinary Lords and finally win the Sabbat Worlds Crusade!
It’s an action packed story filled with battles, guard, marines and lots of other cool events. My only disappointment with the whole book is that the involvement of the three marines, from three different chapters, was never really explained, but I'm hoping that will be explained in the next and 14th book in the series. Salvation’s Reach has proven, once again that Dan Abnett is at the top of his game. And even though authors like Aaron Dembski-Bowden are giving him a run for his money, this book clearly demonstrates his mastery of literature. A thoroughly engaging read, this book is bloody brilliant! A full 5 out of 5 for me and I cant wait for the subsequent story arc this has just launched.
Salvation's Reach by Dan Abnett
Hardback • ISBN 9781844168200