I've never really played warhammer 40,000, although I've dabbled, I thought it was an interesting enough premise to carry along into a book, a futuristic war with some really cool technology, and looking at other reviews it seemed the Gaunt's Ghosts series was the best place to start.
This book is based upon the trials and tribulations of the Tanith First and only regiment in the Imperial army who fight for the emperor to keep the evil Chaos race at bay. Who, with their legendary leader Gaunt, must prove themselves, not only against evil, but also against those in the guard who look upon the Tanith as an undisciplined expendable rabble.
Now to begin with I must admit I was a little (being an understatement) confused by a LOT of the story. However, I found that eventually, if you can just go with it for a while everything will be explained, and it's WEEEEELL worth it!
I've never been a sci-fi reader, usually keeping to the "tame" (in comparison to this series) fantasy novels of David Eddings and Pratchett etc. however I was gripped by the un-censored action in this book. If someone's shot in the head then damn, Dan is gonna make this as vivid as possible for you, make you feel like your in the book.
First and Only is a great book, and while it'll take you a while to get to grips with all the characters involved (there's so many names!) you'll care for them by the time you finish the book, and be hurrying to order the next one in the series "Ghostmaker".