I've been having some bad luck with the Black Library lately. I haven't really liked the last two books I've read. Unfortunately The Outcast Dead is one of those books.
So this is the story of an astropath named Kai Zulane. he has had a bad year due to the fact that the last ship he was on had a Geller field failure and everyone on board died except him and the navigator. Due to the trauma of this, he can't seem to send messages anymore. So he is being sent back to (not yet holy) Terra to see if he can be salvaged as an astropath. If not, hes gonna be tossed into the astronomican.
One of the things I really didn't like about this story was that the main character seemed like a bit of a d-bag. I really just didn't like him. Ever. I have read books where the "protagonist" was kind of unlikable but usually there is some redeeming end to the story. I'm sure the author tried to do that, but I was really just fed up with Kai by the end of the story.
Another thing I did not like about the book was how some characters were introduced in the beginning of the story, talked about for 50 or so pages, and then completely ignored almost 200 pages. By the time we came back to those characters I had forgotten what their names where.
Now about 200+ pages into the story we meet some Astartes that have been incarcerated in the imperial palace. Once we meet these guys, the story starts to pick up. Maybe its just because I'm a space marine fanboy, but I found these seven characters vastly more interesting than anything else in the book. The last 100 pages of this book were awesome!
Another thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the feel of the imperial city while the Emperor was still kicking around. It was really fluffy and showed us that even back then, the Imperium was not all it was cracked up to be.
All-in-all, if you can get through the first 200 pages, the book has a cracking ending. It is worth it for the last 100 pages. I give this book two sacrificed psykers out of five.