YMMV / Halo: The Flood

  • Idiot Plot: The entire subplot about Ensign Dowski is a ridiculous one. It was established very clearly in Halo: The Fall of Reach that the Covenant never take prisoners, and that all UNSC personnel were aware of this. For whatever reason, Ensign Dowski thinks that the Covenant will make an exception to the bridge crew, and suggests they surrender. Instead of talking her out of her idiotic plan and reminding her of the "take no prisoners" thing, the rest of crew flip out and vote to murder her. Keyes calms them down.... and then leaves Dowski tied to a chair to be killed by the Covenant. Not once does he consider the possibility that they might use her for information, and sure enough, Dowski leaks the whereabouts of her crew to the Covenant for the sole purpose of proving a point. The Covenant bring her to her crew and then execute everyone except Keyes, Dowski included. The whole thing could have been avoided if Dowski hadn't inexplicably forgotten her training, the crew hadn't gotten unreasonably angry at the suggestion of an obviously stressed-out woman, and if Keyes hadn't made the single worst possible decision he could have in response.
  • Misblamed: Dietz is given a lot of stick for writing what most consider to be one of the weaker Halo novels. One of the major complaints is that a majority of the book is just a rather dry retread of the game; however, Dietz had little choice over this matter and the far-better received subplots about the Marines and Covenant were only added at his insistence. He also had a mere ten weeks to write the whole thing. Granted, most of the subplots aren't particularly great either, but it's very easy to manage another author getting their hands on it and crapping out a boring prose version of the game. It's certainly nothing like the Mass Effect: Deception fiasco.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Sgt. Marvin Mobuto appears only briefly (and is already dead when he does), but just him being a normal Marine who managed to fight his way through most of the Flood-infected Library was enough to make him one of the book's more memorable characters.
  • So OK, It's Average: This has remained the general consensus from the very day the book was released, and it is widely considered to be the worst of the Halo novels released during the original game trilogy's run, to the point where it is the only early Halo book that is not universally regarded as a foundational text of Halo's expanded universe. The Flood's reputation also hasn't been helped by the fact that Dietz would go on to write what is generally considered one of the worst video game tie-in novels of all time.