These are just brief thoughts on the general quality of the book / author and whether I enjoyed and recommend it, as always I'd be happy to hear your thoughts.
"Choose an author as you choose a friend." Arthur Helps
This is an outstanding book; I couldn't put it down and ripped through it in two days. Dan Abnett conjures up a vivid future and places you smack bang in the middle of it; with all its brutal conflict and dark intrigue. This was my first Black Library book and the 2nd coming of 40k for me, it's what brought me back to the fold and as a result you may always see a bit of Abnett bias in my reviews, for that I make no apology, the man is a legend to me.
It was great to see the Guard getting a more human face, something that I would continue to discover in the Ghost's series; showing future humanity not just to be a bunch zealots hell bent on fanatical death dealing. The brilliant take on the Alpha Legion, paves the way for a much more versatile slant on the Space Marines and introduces a tragic twist to their choice of allegiance. Also the setting of the Heresy in the wider context of it's relation to the rest of the Universe's inhabitants and their own motives is both fascinating and refreshing.
I particularly like Dan's non explanatory vocabulary, when he coins a word for something, he leaves it to the reader to figure out what he's talking about, you must enter the world the story lives in, not the other way around. I know some readers have a problem with this, but I find it immerses you all the more into his particular take on the 40k 'Verse.
A massive and resounding thumbs up from me, a must read.