Salvation’s Reach (WH40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #13) ★★★☆☆

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Title: Salvation’s Reach
Series: WH40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #13
Author: Dan Abnett
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 311
Words: 108K


From Wikipedia

Following the events of Blood Pact, Colonel-Commissar Gaunt and his Ghosts are returned to active duty, and are given one of their most formidable assignments yet; a mysterious space hulk known as Salvation’s Reach. According to the turncoat Mabbon Etogaur, the Sons of Sek, a breakaway faction within the Blood Pact commanded by the warlord Anakwanar Sek, have secretly been using Salvation’s Reach as an R&D installation; concealing their activities there from all factions, even their overlord, Archon Gaur.

If Sek’s covert operations are brought to light, it will shatter the uneasy alliance between Sek and Gaur, sparking an internal feud that will tip the balance of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade in the favour of the Imperium. The Tanith First – reinforced with additional troops drawn from Verghast and Belladon – and a trio of veteran Space Marines are sent to neutralise the facility at Salvation’s Reach and gather as much intelligence as possible before they destroy it. However, Gaunt must also see to the protection of the incarcerated Mabbon, deal with the malcontents within the Tanith First, and cope with personal issues that he never anticipated.

A sub-plot in Salvation’s Reach follows Doc Dorden’s battle against terminal cancer, and his determination to serve the Tanith First until the very end. Another sub-plot explores the relationship between Captain Ban Daur and his new partner, Elodie. Through the latter, readers are granted an insight into the lives of the wives and other civilians that follow Imperial Guard regiments around the galaxy. The novel also features the appearance of Brother Kater Holofurnace of the Iron Snakes, a Chapter of Space Marines that previously appeared in Abnett’s novel, Brotherhood of the Snake.

My Thoughts:

I knocked this down half a star because there were some space battle’y scenes and I just don’t care for spaceships slugging it. It wasn’t bad or anything, I just like groundpounder action.

There’s a lot of “hinted at” threats that I sometimes wonder if anyone is going to survive. The rot within the Ghosts, which is typical for most of the armies of man, is really revealed here. It makes you realize WHY the Commissariat exists in the first place and that the Ghost’s have been a pretty exemplary unit. The bad apples are starting to bob to the top though. With this being Warhmmer40k, I half suspect that the entire unit will die by betrayal and fail in a critical mission. That just seems like WH:40K flavor :-/

Dorden dying was no surprise given his cancer. However, it seemed like it was supposed to be poignant or something, like previous characters dying. The problem is, you know people are going to die because this is war and what’s more, this is an ongoing, intergenerational war.The emotional punch has been removed because it is the ordinary, not the extraordinary.

The inclusion of 3 Space Marines (super beings from another age) didn’t do it for me either. They talk a lot about past glory, blah, blah and then toss in how technology has been lost or something for making more of them? I’m not up on my lore, so I don’t see why the Empire can’t churn them out like candy. Even if “something” has been lost, fething find it or rediscover it again! There are hundreds or more of worlds not being assaulted by Chaos, use them for research and development. I am sure the people directing this franchise have taken care of that issue but it wasn’t adequately explained to me at all in this book and just pissed me off with their defeatist attitude.

The fight scenes were what really saved this book for me. The infiltration of the base, finding and disarming boobytraps, then the retreat, it was all in the great groundpounder format that I like.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

18 thoughts on “Salvation’s Reach (WH40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #13) ★★★☆☆

  1. I’ve been recommended this series a fair few times now.
    I’ll have to go back to the beginning of your review set for them and see how you rate them – they can’t be that bad seeing as you’re now on book 13!
    Good review~

    Liked by 2 people

    1. These have been a stead 3-3.5. There might have been a 4 somewhere, but am not sure. The consistency has been a huge part of why I’ve enjoyed this so much. I know exactly what I’m getting with each book 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I’ve had a fair few Warhammer fans recommend them to me now.

            I do indeed do eBooks – there’s sadly only so much physical shelf room in the house!

            Liked by 1 person

              1. I have both a Kindle and a Kobo, anything goes!
                I’ll drop you a mail if/when I finish the Sharpe series, but, you’re a reader you know what it’s like. The reading pile never gets any smaller!

                Liked by 1 person

                1. We could buddy up on this too at some point Jenn. Books 1 and 2 will be re reads for me, but i have been wanting to get to the later books for a while now. Kinda Jealous that Stoogey boy over here is almost done with a series I recommended only having read the first two🙈.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. I’d like that.
                    I do intend on finishing up some of the other series first though, so it might be some time. It’d be good to do another buddy series though, I’m thoroughly enjoying reading the HH with you.

                    Liked by 2 people

    1. One thing about dealing with a longer series is examining one’s own relationship to it. If I cared more I’d look at all my reviews and see if there was something “meta” I could pull from it. That seems like a lot of work though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually always thought it would an intriguing idea to conclude a series with a “series” review just to sum up what I enjoyed or disliked from the series. Sort like what I do with my manga reviews (I only review them once I’m done with the whole manga series rather than each volume, unless I own the physical edition and it’s big enough to cover more than the tankobon). I think someone who’d do that exercise for your longer series, if not you, would definitely notice some patterns hahaha

        Liked by 1 person

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