Making relatively good progress on Baneblade by Guy Haley
By the blessing of the Omnissiah was the Mars Triumphant born – from the forges of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the mighty Baneblade super-heavy battle tank comes to bring death and destruction to the foes of the Imperium. As part of the Paragonian 7th Company, Honoured Lieutenant Marken Cortein Lo Bannick commands the venerable war machine in a bitter war against the orks in the Kalidar system. As the campaign grinds on it begins to take its toll upon his crew, and old clan prejudices from the regiment’s home world arise once more. In a war which cannot be won by force of arms alone, such division may prove to be their undoing.
Really damn solid tank action so far, about 25% through the novel. Heck, even the Orks are fielding Super-Heavy Walkers and a Gargant. Damn good representation of the scale of the war, and the main characters, Bannick and Cortein, who start out as the commanders of a Leman Russ battletank and a motherfuckin' Baneblade respectively, are pretty interesting, and especially Bannick is shaking things up through his past, the way he got to join the Imperial Guard, and his inner struggles.
The planet chosen here is also interesting in and of itself. It is pretty much all desert, dried-out oceans and the sun is spewing solar flares all over it, and the only reason people can avoid cancerous growths is because of all the sand in the atmosphere, which comes back to bite people's arses as it will shred your lungs if not filtered. That alone makes for a very curious plot point and device.
The tank battles, command and thrill are all nicely done, so that pleases me greatly. It is something one usually doesn't get at this scale, and if at all, it is usually an afterthought or for some supporting character's sake, not the focus of a whole novel.