I began reading Crooked Little Vein with very high expectations. When Warren Ellis is at the top of his game he's one of the best comic writers today, as well as being one of the few S.F. writers who still instills his books with a true sense of wonder. However, he also has a tendency to write situations that are so over the top that they obscure the story, which is very much the case here.
Overall the story makes for a pretty good novel, but I suspect it would seem better to those who are unfamiliar with Ellis comics work. Too much of the story rehashes themes from his previous books, which were better in many cases.