Most helpful positive review
Inspiring examples of the resiliency of the human spirit ...
on April 25, 2004
This book tells the collective story of how humanity can rise up from the deepest depths of despair to grab victory from the closing jaws of defeat, rallying the besieged to acts of heroism, self-sacrifice, and glory.
Reading this book reminded me of WWII accounts of cities holding fast against invading armies. The individual tales of courage and devotion to duty in the face of overwhelming odds, were uplifting and awe-inspiring. It strengthened the respect and gratitude felt towards those realworld veterans of our countries past wars. For those of you familiar with WH40K, you will thoroughly enjoy the battle sequences and the "fluff" included regarding the overall Crusade and the seemingly small part played by the Tanith First-and-Only. The descriptions of the Hive city and its vastness are wondrous, making me wish some ambitious director (Peter *cough* Jackson *cough*) would take this series to their hearts and bring it to the big screen. I would thoroughly enjoy watching this on film. It would be like taking HBO's "Band of Brothers", George Lucas's "Star Wars", and Ridley Scott's "Gladiator" and melding them into a 7-8 part mini-series or a series of movies 2 1/2 to 3 hours long! The way Dan Abnett brings us into the individual experiences of front line soldiers, helps bring to us both the horrible carnage and waste of war, as well as the tremendous courage, fortitude, and devotion of duty and faith that are the heart and soul of every trooper of the Imperial Guard (and PDF of Verghast)! The beginning of the book is wonderfully written, first bringing us into the local politics and what appears like a simple conflict between two rival Hive cities, then accelerating the story along as war breaks out and the stalwart, but horribly outclassed defenders are forced to call for aid from off planet. This whole segment of the book is more like a prologue, as the actual story begins with the arrival of the Imperial Forces. To give us perspective, it is immediately made apparent that the Tanith First-and-Only are perceived as a mere specialist regiment of stealth troops, given low status among the other higher profile regiments of the task force assigned to Verghast. As you might expect, their significance changes dramatically, paralleling the prominence of their commander. Now, if I could just find a way for them to work better on the game table! (But that's for another forum) Whether you enjoy war stories, Sci-Fi, WH40K, or simply a well-written story with well-developed characters and an engaging plot - you WILL enjoy this book.