Some may remember my review of the first Carcharodon book. On the strength of that one good experience, when this caught my eye, I stuck my hand in my pocket.
If you've spent long, lonely hours, sat in your cell, pondering the ins and outs of how any of multiple types of Space Marine chapters might work as you illuminate letters in your hand written Libram Imperialis by the light of a tallow candle, then this might be for you.
It's been out a while (I picked this up at the beginning of February), so hopefully there are no spoilers here for anyone who might have been hanging on out there for it to be published.
As with the previous book, what Robbie MacNiven has done here is explore the functioning of a fleet based chapter through the medium of an operational deployment. This is done in a considered, engagingly paced way in a manner which makes logical sense within the context of the fluff.
As with the previous book, there is a cast of 'normal people' as contrast and to compare to the genengineered super soldiers. In this case, an inquisitor and his retinue straight out of the Daniverse - exactly the type of writing BL should be peddling, IMHO. And a useful conduit to introduce common characters (and hence plot points hinting at a greater story arc) from the previous book.
As with the previous book, the Carcharodons themselves are carefully presented as both a Space Marine chapter and also the scary bogey men from the FW Badab War books. Tyberios the Red Wake is there in character, which can't have easy to write and might or might not have been rewritten more than once to get right. There are hints and tit bits, about them as shadowy outsiders and as a fleet based chapter, in there to inform and entertain.
If you want to know what a blackshield chapter might look like after ten thousand years, one permutation is presented here. They are certainly interesting and hopefully someone in BL who enjoys the FW insights into the 40K universe will ask for them to make a re-appearance at some point. Perhaps even Mr MacNiven has a plan for them; through the course of the book, I certainly saw more than one future for them.
It makes perfect sense as a stand alone book, you don't need to have read Red Tithe first, you could read it afterwards and it just make even more sense. The story is nicely paced and the action is consistent with the game mechanics and fluff; It's also a set up for a third book...