I've been reading this Transformers series from IDW, and this volume (volume 4, Devastation) is where everything finally starts to fall apart. In this volume, you really NEED to have read the one-shot Spotlights that are sold separately from this trade paperback, otherwise you'll be missing out on half the story. While "Infiltration" and "Escalation," the previous volumes, tell a nice, fairly self-contained story independent of the Spotlights (the Spotlights add some extra flavor if you choose to read them), this one reads like a bunch of pieces jammed together with no rhyme or reason, and the Spotlights are the reason why.
New characters appear, basically out of nowhere, and the characters we've been following for two volumes through "Infiltration" and "Escalation" are abandoned, sometimes literally (Ironhide is tossed in a junkyard at the beginning and never seen again). Major plotlines start up at the halfway point. For example, Sixshot shows up to rain destruction on Earth, and the Reapers follow him there. This is actually a pretty complex plot in itself that started in the Sixshot Spotlight, but here it just starts right in assuming you know all about it. There's also a zombie Galvatron, and Nemesis Prime and Jhiaxus pop in at the end for some reason.
This wouldn't be that bad if the original story continued, but it doesn't. You know how we've been following Optimus Prime and Megatron in their new battle for control of Earth and its precious new source of energon? Well, all that comes screeching to a halt to show us what happens with Sixshot and the Reapers (and Galvatron, for some reason), and at one point toward the end of the trade paperback, Optimus Prime basically says, "Well, I've got better things to do," and packs up all the Autobots and leaves. What the heck is that all about? What happened to protecting life at all costs and throwing yourself in front of Sixshot, "the living weapon," if you're just going to bail out later on?
The story about the Machination from the other books also falls flat. The group barely gets discovered before they're panicking and running in every direction, too confused to be effective. Just add it to the long list of plotlines that were just abandoned in this volume to make way for a bunch of Spotights that have little to do with the main plot.
And to top it all off, they got some new artists for this volume, and they're nowhere near as good. Some of the full-page robot battles are OK, but almost every image of the humans looks terrible, and just about all the smaller images and closeups look sloppy as well. Hunter in his Headmaster getup never looks right, which doesn't do the ridiculous storyline any favors.
Even if you've been following the Spotlights, I can't really recommend this volume to you. It's obvious that the Spotlights are the real continuing story at this point, so you should probably stick to those and skip this. You'll only be disappointed.