What a fantastic idea for a team up. Putting Professor X as the lead of an X-book would have once turned me away, but pairing him up with Gambit and having the two of them wander through X-Men history? That's a great idea.
Mike Carey is meticulous in his exploration of the Professor's past, this trade lays out mistake after mistake and shown all together, we see how shady the Professor has been in dealing with his students over the years. The Black Womb portion of the trade has some fairly generic fighting, as Amanda Mueller's flunkies deal with Gambit, Prof X, and Sebastian Shaw. Carey jazzes it up a big by making Prof X an unknown since he is fighting for control of his body with Mr. Sinister. The Cronus device (built to overwrite certain mutant's DNA with Sinister's own) is a great idea, and I'm actually ok with the creation of Miss Sinister based on this background. Mueller and Sinister are a lethal combination.
The rest of the trade deals with Emma Frost forcing Prof X to re-examine himself even further. Like the Prof, much of what he did can be rationalized away, but it was upsetting to see him dealing with all of his actions at once. I really like the new "strong" Cyclops. Him bringing Emma along to turn the tables on the Prof was a great move and forced the story continue to focus on Prof X's redemption. I'm looking forward to the next chapter and seeing Rogue move on from her current exile in the Australian outback. The most impressive thing about this series is how seriously Carey takes his research. His bibliography at the close of the book was wonderful and showed just how much he loves the X-franchise. You don't think about this that much without a genuine affection for the characters and their world.
Scot Eaton has been a fave of mine for years, and he does a fantastic job in this collection. He apes many artists' styles throughout these pages, and handles them well. I'm used to seeing Eaton's style on bulked up dudes, but he does a surprisingly good job with the cerebral aspects of the story too.