Alternative Character Interpretation: Catherine Halsey – is she a benevolent scientist who is trying to give the kids a better life and, by extension, save the human race from extinction, or is she just a cold-hearted and methodical bitch who has a near-complete absence of moral fibre and is simply a Well-Intentioned Extremist?
Cortana herself wonders if Halsey is pure evil or a Well-Intentioned Extremist after learning what the Spartans went through as children. Her conclusion? Perhaps a little of both.
Crowning Moment of Awesome: John and the 12-year-old Spartans taking down a bunch of soldiers guarding a Pelican, in full military gear, with nothing but winter clothes, a fake broken leg and a bunch of rocks.
The prologue, when Blue Team takes down a thousand Grunts, four plasma turrets, and five Banshees using nothing but what they brought to the battle with them.
The Keyes Loop, all done without an AI. That's right, he guessed calculated not only the math needed to pull it off, but correctly predicted just how the enemy would react to his seemingly crazy stunts. Keyes was known as 'The Schoolmaster' but this feat proves just how he can school his foes in space; Easily.
It's worth noting that in the Halo 'verse, Covenant ships regularly destroy superior numbers of UNSC ships. Keyes himself notes that it would normally take seven UNSC destroyers to take on the four Covenant ships. He's in a lone destroyer that is smaller, undergunned, and slower than each of the four Covenant ships, and he still wins.
First Installment Wins: For Halo novels, this one is generally one of the better regarded novels alongside the other parts of Eric Nylund's informal trilogy (Ghosts of Onyx and First Strike). 343 Industries must think so as well, as the book has been rereleased in various formats three times.