Just finished reading the first in the new Beast Arises series from the Black Library. 1 book a month for 12 months set 1500 years after the Siege of Terror and detailing the rise of a new Ork Waagh that threatens Terra and the Imperium.
This latest effort by Dan Abnett is pretty good the story is well paced, you get a good feel for all of the characters (and there are a number of important ones) albeit briefly in most cases, and the overall sense of anticipation as you wait to see how things pan out is good. The writing is also up to Dan's usual standards and you get an ok feel as to how Space Marines fight, although no where near as well as in standard HH books. My usual reading fare is anything by Aaron Dembski-Bowden and I have a very strong Word Bearers bias but after reading this the Imperial Fists seem like an intriguing bunch.
I have two key criticisms of the book though. The first is that is very short only 237 pages so I managed to finish it in a single day in between looking after 3 kids and housework etc. An enjoyable read but still far too short. You also realised about 1/2 way through the book wasn't leading to a conclusion but - as many movies do nowadays - simply setting you up for the sequel. In that respect the novel read like 1/2 or even 1/3 of a decent book. Given that this new series has 12 books in it I would suspect they will all be of similar length but would together constitute no more than 3 or 4 decent sized novels. Its a pity as I think releasing larger books every 2 months would have worked and I would rather see good authors like Dan Abnett be given more opportunity to write a full novel.
Despite these reservations and being somewhat desperate for good reading material - If I read the Night Lords Trilogy or First Heretic anymore my copies will fall apart - I have pre-ordered the next book in the series.