This was the first full divergence from the narrative thread of the previous books. It is an origin story, and it is not certain what role the characters will play in the Heresy. Quality-wise, Scanlon does a competent job of taking the reader along on the journey from human to Astartes. The “big battle scene” that has been a staple of the books so far is weak by the standards set in the preceding titles, but Scanlon makes up for it with lore development.
I am glad that these books are secondary reads—audiobooks played while I work out at the gym—otherwise I might consider myself disappointed by this one. Sidenote: I have since started the next novel in the series, Dan Abnett’s Legion, and the quality of Abnett’s writing is as clear as an air raid siren on Christmas morning. There is a reason that many readers consider him a master.