~KINDLE ♁ Glasslands (Halo, #8) ☽ PDF or E-pub free
~KINDLE ☼ Glasslands (Halo, #8) ☩ The Covenant Has Collapsed After A Long, Brutal War That Saw Billions Slaughtered On Earth And Her Colonies For The First Time In Decades, However, Peace Finally Seems Possible But Though The Fighting S Stopped, The War Is Far From Over It S Just Gone Underground The UNSC S Feared And Secretive Office Of Naval Intelligence Recruits Kilo Five, A Team Of ODSTs, A Spartan, And A Diabolical AI To Accelerate The Sangheili Insurrection Meanwhile, The Arbiter, The Defector Turned Leader Of A Broken Covenant, Struggles To Stave Off Civil War Among His Divided PeopleAcross The Galaxy, A Woman Thought To Have Died On Reach Is Actually Very Much Alive Chief Scientist Dr Catherine Halsey Broke Every Law In The Book To Create The Spartans, And Now She S Broken Some To Save Them Marooned With Chief Mendez And A Spartan Team In A Forerunner Slipspace Bubble Hidden In The Destroyed Planet Onyx, She Finds That The Shield World Has Been Guarding An Ancient Secret A Treasure Trove Of Forerunner Technology That Will Change Everything For The UNSC And MankindAs Kilo Five Joins The Hunt For Halsey, Humanity S Violent Past Begins To Catch Up With All Of Them As Disgruntled Colony Venezia Has Been Biding Its Time To Strike At Earth, And Its Most Dangerous Terrorist Has An Old, Painful Link With Both Halsey And Kilo Five That Will Test Everyone S Loyalty To The Limit Halo Glasslands By Karen Traviss Is Thrilling, Action Packed Science Fiction That Longtime Halo Fans And Newcomers Alike Will Enjoy
4 stars for the stuff with Kilo five, 2 stars for the stuff with Halsey 3 stars.Halo Glasslands is billed, or was when I first came across it, as a bridge between Halo 3 and the upcoming Halo 4 It is also a sequel Eric Nylund s Ghosts of Onyx a fact I didn t know As a result there are some pretty steep prerequisites for Glasslands name you have played Halo 3 not unlikely if you are reading a Halo novel and have read Ghosts of Onyx A working knowledge of Halo Reach might also be beneficial All that being said if you don t have a strong working knowledge of the Halo universe, past and present, Glasslands is going to be an impenetrable night mare I barely match these requirements so this novel was close to a stretch for me.Penned by Karen Traviss, best known for her work over in the Star Wars Universe, Glasslands follows several apparently disparate plot threads that seem to have little to no connection Opening after the majority of the events of Halo 3 the novel actually overlaps with the end cutscene at one point the novel follows the aftermath of the Covenant war and the battle against the Flood The Covenant government is in shambles with hardline traditionalists balking against the control of the Arbiter As things move towards peace it is these traditionalists and the Office of Naval Intelligence ONI that seek to keep things off balance To that end ONI has set up Kilo Five, a team of ODST troops, a Spartan, and a crafty AI to keep the Covenant government off balance Meanwhile Catherine Halsey and another team of Spartans are trapped in a slipspace bubble bigger on the inside crammed with Forerunner technology.Unfortunately none of these plots really gel together in a meaningful way While the interruption of one perspective often stymies interest generated by another In terms of action and excitement the sections featuring Kilo five are the best ONI, not the most honorable of institutions, plays some mean tricks to so discord amongst the Covenant while stumbling across the growing disloyalty of the colony world Venezia In truth this section, when combined with the sections taking place on the Covenent homeworld could, and likely, should have formed an entire novel on its own The counter perspectives of the ONI team and the Covenent makes for tense reading and some twisty plotting that, at its best, head me on the edge of my seat Unfortunately the impact, and forward progress, of these sections is torpedoed by the sections featuring Halsey and company trapped on Onyx.If you had told me that the exploration of a new world full of ancient and mysterious technology could be boring I d have probably laughed at you Not so much any This section of the novel drags Nothing happens for pages and pages while the to leading character bicker over past mistakes The exploration of the shield world doesn t intersect with the other part of the novel until late and, in what I think is a boneheaded move, completely derails everything that was happening in those sections of the novel What could have been an interesting and exciting novel of politics and espionage is instead rendered impotent by what feels like an editorial fiat.That being said this is the first novel of trilogy that from my understanding will lead into Halo 4 Assuming I m correct Halo 4 will supposedly be released sometime this year I ll likely be back for the remainder I grew quite attached to Kilo five and I still hold out that we will see a return to to their actions early in the novel This really feels like two novels or a novel and a short story jammed together for no apparent reason Hardcore Halo fans are the only people I can really recommend this novel this novel Here s hoping for a consistent quality improves in future novels. Honestly painful for me to read The whole book seems completely forced, from the interactions between the characters, to the aside comments from their thoughts, to their ensuing actions Towards the end, I just skipped the small parts comments which I knew were going to be generic or repetitive that had to do with what the characters were feeling or thinking, because it was all under the same basic idea Either How can I face what I have done What is left to humanity What will they think of me How can I go on living this way Or anything else along those lines.Even though sometimes those inside their heads comments might have been appropriate, she used them relentlessly and mostly unnecessarily, to awkwardly force what she wanted into the book Although this book is almost completely built on the concept of morality, Karen apparently has only one perspective of the term and assigns the same outlook of what is humane, ethical, and moral to ALL of the characters It would be nice if any of the characters had some kind of depth to them at all, or even if they had differed from each other, other than on the most basic level but the forced storytelling only allows for one set of mind only slightly varied for most of the characters.Only a few parts of this book were enjoyable for me to read and, what a surprise, those were the parts where Karen left her dramatic writing style of self righteous inner conflict and actually started to creatively write, starting to SHOW what the characters were feeling, and thinking, and leading us to extrapolate from that, instead of her just weirdly inserting it wherever she felt like The moments where she started to explore new territory, like with Lucy, or Phillips, and stopped harping on old grudges and moral justification, were the only times this book was actually readable. Now THIS is how you start a trilogy Heck, than that THIS is how you write a Halo novel.I won t spend that much time bagging on Greg Bear s Forerunner Saga, since a I ve already spent 3 reviews doing my fair share of that, and b life s too short That being said man, what a refreshing change of pace Glasslands is from the stilted, emotionally disengaged nature of Bear s novels I can t begin to emphasize how nice it is to read a book that has a clear plot, characters that are easy to relate to and care about, and actual narrative momentum or, as they re also known as, the basic tenants of good storytelling It s also just a real kick being able to dig into the Halo universe, post Halo 3, and see what this world and mythology looks like through a non Covenant War lens Karen Traviss does a great job of telling a singular story that s satisfying on its own, picking up threads from past novels and expanding them in ways that feel like natural continuations, while also ably setting things up for Books 2 and 3 without ever feeling like she s dipping too far into the MCU playbook If the goal of the first book in a trilogy is to make you eager to pick up the second, then by those standards, Glasslands is a resounding success. For reasons that are beyond me, I cannot understand why the people at Microsoft and 343i would sign a contract with an author who had gained notoriety after her work on Star Wars I ll give credit where credit is due, and that is her work in Halo Evolutions and Republic Commandos Hard Contact have their strong points but there s nothing special about them.Glasslands was effectively the shattering of established Halo lore, created by Nylund, Staten and Buckell Further, the sound concept was poorly executed Keeping an enemy destabilised is one thing, but to do it to a newfound ally is another thing True that said ally played a huge roll in wiping out a number of Earth s colonies, but that ally still retains ample amounts of power So that is something that is considered as a sound concept in my eyes.This could ve been turned into a brilliant and enthralling story had it been in capable hands Instead it is overshadowed by the crucifixion of Doctor Halsey and the destruction of well known characters.The espionage plot is poorly executed and poorly thought out as it has shocktroopers, one washed out Spartan, a Spartan II, an AI and a linguist to be sent on a mission to destabilise the Elites and keep them splintered so that they do not become a sizeable enemy for the UNSC did that just sound as stupid as it was being read Yes, yes it is.We don t need to be in the military or the intelligence community to know that, that is a very dumb thing to do Sending conventional soldiers to do the dirty work of an infiltrator genius For those who need an analogy, it s like sending a team of 75th Rangers to do the job of a CIA Special Operations Group team.Further the writing style does not bode well with a military sci fi novel Nylund set the right tone with the neutral and near impartial prose as well as military jargon laced dialogue Instead, Traviss uses a liberal arts tone, and commits the ultimate sin of a professional writer, telling not showing I think the fourth wall was broken a few times, but by that point I was droning.There s a lot wrong with this novel, and I could write an anthology about it all, but I think that s just about everything in a nutshell Don t get me started on the other books because I don t plan on reading them any time soon I d rather read Twilight to be honest. Better That s the word I have for this novel It s better than its predecessors forerunners hahaha and also better than Traviss Star Wars novels Her writing is tighter and her characters have depth Her stories were always addictive, don t get me wrong, but this one was closer to well done as opposed to entertaining Her pacing was spot on, actually There wasn t a lot of action in this novel, but I didn t mind that I really enjoyed the small cast of characters and the background into Sangheili culture That being said, she tended to repeat herself QUITE often about how the Sangheili were a warrior culture under the command of the Prophets for so long that they can t maintain their own properties any Traviss must have reiterated said point like thirty times Same with her AIs BB was great He was hilarious at times and his own personality actually grew as the story went along, which is something Traviss doesn t usually excel at her characters usually don t have any progression , yet, how many damn times do you need to explain how freaky it is that AIs can be in than one spot at once According to Travis about fifty She also had Halsey and Mendez have the damn argument like fifty times My other point of annoyance the time period wasn t very clear I mean, how much time had passed between scenes It seemed to me that they were on that ship for like a week, but apparently it had been months I didn t get that time span from her writing She also told us how close the crew was getting at the end, but never really showed us Sure, there s something going on between Vaz and Naomi, but we learn nothing about Mal or Deveroux every character should be memorable with a cast this small, but oh well Still, I enjoyed the story itself enough happened to make it interesting but it wasn t too jammed with plot twists Traviss also did a good job keeping the characters similar to what they were like in the previous books then again, cardboard cutouts aren t too hard to mimic and her new characters were pretty well rounded I liked Phillips very much he reminded me of me with his interests in the Sangheili culture Jul was cool too and way better depicted than the bastardized Sangheili in Cole Protocol And of course the Huragok are always sweethearts they remind me of my dog In no way will I say this is an emotion driven novel of stellar writing and depth, but I will say that I enjoyed it, and I look forward to to come I also got a kick out of the Red vs Blue reference in the forward Blarg It wasn t bad, but it was no Fall of Reach I realllllllly enjoyed Karen Traviss work with the Star Wars Republic Commando series, and I m frustrated that George Lucas is such a money grubbing asshole because her work on Mandalorian culture was top notch world building.Halo Glasslands takes place after Halo 3 after Ghosts of Onyx It picks up with Catherine Halsey and Chief Mendez and various leftover Spartan IIs and Spartan IIIs trapped in a Forerunner Dyson sphere Also introduced is a team of ODSTs and their ONI spook commander with a particular pastThe novel attempts to fill in gaps in Spartan history and re create an image of the bureaucracy and human affairs that have gone on during the time from pre first contact to post Covenant War Traviss strength in the Republic Commando series came from the personal interactions of the characters There she was writing about soldiers that were lied to and misused by their governments, following clues and hunting down information around a variety of environments to solve some sort of problem and she tries to recreate that style here To that extent I feel that the ODSTs and the anger at Halsey were created purely for this reason, and I personally felt that it broke up the tough miltary aspect of the original Halo novels Overall it s not a terrible book, but it tries to cover aspects in the Halo universe that, so far, I personally was not too interested in It s not bad, but it s not my slice of the pie. I was really hoping for much from this I had enjoyed all the previous Halo books, but this was lacking I though the overall story was ok and the characters were interesting, but nothing really happened It was introspective and dealt with the aftermath of the war, but I wasn t really interested in psychological evaluation in a book based on a video game Still I d have given it a better score, maybe even up to three stars, but the book the ends with a cliff hanger and seems to set up a action oriented story It felt like I read an entire book just to read what could have been an intro to the next book that will come out. This review contains some spoilers, as well as some venting You ve been forewarned.I have played every single Halo game ever produced.I have been invested in the Halo community and universe for a full decade.I have read and owned over a dozen Halo novels.And out of all that, I have NEVER been completely infuriated at any piece of lore than I was when I read this book.To be fair, I had been skeptical, yet cautiously optimistic going into this I had heard rumors that Traviss had done some tampering with previously established characters and their behavior, but I dismissed them as exaggeration Quite the opposite, I discovered that they were a complete understatement of how much Karen Travesty has completely trashed one of the single greatest characters produced by the Halo universe, Dr Catherine Halsey.In all previous novels, Halsey is shown as cool, often cold, calculating, extremely intelligent and logic driven, but who eventually comes to the revelation that her actions have destroyed the lives of her Spartans, and she devotes her life to saving them and herself from what she believes to be a losing war In every last one, she is depicted as being cold or ruthless to outsiders, but extremely protective of the few friends she has a few AIs and most importantly, her Spartans Chief Mendez, while not buddy buddy with her, is a close ally, and is never seen to go against her or her decisions When Halsey learns of the Spartan IIIs, she is genuinely concerned for them the same way that she was for the IIs, and intends to find out Mendez s part in the program Halsey is depicted as being self dependent, fully capable of handling herself, and a bit eccentric when it comes to grabbing onto interesting leads Her hunches have almost always proven correct, and this serves as a vital point to her character and her extremely logical, rational thinking again excluding her protectiveness of her Spartans Her actions before the novels were morally grey, yes, but it was left to the audience to decide if they were good or evil, and her Spartans never had any resentment toward her over what had been done to them In many cases they refer to her as their mother figure.Then along came Traviss This is the point where I become angry with her, and with 343 for allowing this book to be published under the name of the universe I love Halsey is no longer cool, rational, and self dependent Traviss turns her into a crazy, sociopathic, whiny, uncaring, and wholly irrationally angry character with no concern for any person besides herself She no longer cares about the Spartans, and views the Spartan IIIs as being inferior to her IIs, of whom she no longer seems to be protective of or concerned for Instead of relying on her wits and quick thinking, she is made out to be the outcast of the group, completely reliant on everyone else to keep her alive and safe She now openly hates Mendez, and Mendez openly hates her in return An extremely dramatic scene where Lucy speaks for the first time in eight years is please pardon my language here is completely shit on by the fact that an incoherently irrationally screaming Halsey is what finally gives Lucy the will to cry out What had originally been a touching scene between a Lucy who was struggling to bring words to life and an Engineer who doesn t know what is wrong, but just wants to fix her one of the few good moments of the entire book, I loved this scene until the end , is completely torn apart by a Halsey that is acting completely unlike anything that has ever been written about her Traviss does not see Halsey s actions as being in the grey area, but rather demonizes her, describes her actions as one would describe those of a monster, and tries to beat this view into the readers heads with a sledge hammer throughout THE ENTIRE BOOK Literally, if I had to describe the plot of this book, I would say it s about turning Halsey into Satan, making all current characters in the Halo universe hate Halsey, and then inventing characters to hate Halsey just for good measure Halsey even hates herself, for crying out loud IT DOESN T END EVER THAT S THE ENTIRE PLOT Ghosts of Onyx set this up to be a terrific book, but either Traviss chose not to read a single bit of lore before writing her book, or chose to ignore all of it, because this completely tears the universe a new one, and shoves Halsey hatred down your throat every step of the way.I apologize to those reading the reviews for the length and anger of this post, but it is born out of a love for the Halo universe that I can t stand to see torn down by ignorant authors who would rather tell the reader how to feel about a character as opposed to building a character and letting the audience think of them what they will I am not sorry to 343, or to Karen Traviss I have read hundreds upon hundreds of books of all genres, and never once have I not finished one that I started, it s just not the way I am But this book makes me so mad, I stopped reading it just to write this review I had to skip parts because they were so bad, and I have NEVER done that before I doubt I will be able to finish it I will certainly not be reading her sequels My last hope remains ghat 343 will declare it non canon, and this book will fall to obscurity where it belongs.If all of that was to much to stomach, and you only skipped to the bottom to see when my angry tirade would end, then just know that I am extremely invested in Halo lore, and was completely disappointed by this novel, both as a book and as part of the Halo universe I would not recommend it or its sequels to anyone under any circumstances whatsoever I only wish I hadn t bought them already. The first thing that I should mention is that I will have to re read Ghosts of Onyx I had started reading the book, but had taken a rather long break midway through When I went back to it, I picked up where I left off instead of going back to the beginning That said, I enjoyed how Glasslands was connected to Ghosts of Onyx.I thoroughly enjoyed the different viewpoints of characters, those recognizable than others and even ones introduced in the book or that I simply don t remember reading from the previous six Halo books The continuation of how Ghosts of Onyx ended was very interesting, as was reading portions of the fallout of the end of the Human Covenant war Definitely worth reading, especially if you enjoyed Ghosts of Onyx.At first I found it difficult to feel invested or interested in the Sangheili portions of the chapters, but eventually I came around to it I do have to say, though, that I do prefer how some of the previous Halo books had shorter, but a larger amount of, chapters, as opposed to how Glasslands has 18 total chapters taking up about 456 pages Though the chapters are broken up throughout by cutting to different plots occuring, I do prefer being able to stop reading at the end of a chapter as opposed to in the middle of one.Having read previous books and played the games, it was interesting to see names pop up in the book that I recognized, and it only makes me all the interested in reading The Thursday War next Interesting characters, pretty fantastic plot, and there were moments I felt overjoyed at events occurring.