It’s… another book about Space Marines!
Vulkan, who you might remember from Vulkan Lives/Dies A Lot, crashes into the Ultramarines’ planet, Ultramar, and dies. And then comes back to life again.
The Ultramarines, who as a joke from 1987 are Space Marines dressed in blue, are a bit concerned. They’re also concerned because they’re trapped in a part of the galaxy far from Earth, and although they’ve just discovered a teleportation device which solves some of their faster than light transport needs, it was invented by aliens so they don’t trust it.
The first part of the novel is about this, and about two other unkillable assassins (literally, it’s impossible for them to die) and of course about the Ultramarines trying to reestablish the Imperium.
Then the Dark Angels turn up. These are a seriously boring chapter of Space Marines who have Dark Secrets and spend a lot of time marching. Seriously. I think to take the piss there’s half a chapter in this book where they just march about. They’ve come to Ultramar with Konrad Curze, who is a Bad Space Marine (it’s unclear how they’ve got him, because last thing we knew he was busy torturing Vulkan) but Curze escapes and wreaks havoc.
This is where things got silly, as Curze is so much better than anyone else at fighting that even his superhuman brothers can’t do anything. Then Vulkan, now bonkers from reading all the torture porn in Vulkan Lives, turns up, there’s a big fight and the Dark Angels, Ultramarines and Blood Angels decide to be a big happy team. And wait to see if they can all go to Earth for another big fight.
Unresolved: Curze is still wandering around, being awful. Vulkan is dead… Or is he??? And all in all, this felt very much like a book where stuff happens so other stuff can happen. There’s not much more to it than that.