Let me begin by saying that I am a huge Halo fan. I love all the games and books, and I can find something to like even in the ones most consider mediocre or outright bad. With that out of the way, this book is horrid. It could have been a good book. I mean, it's the first major look we've got into the post-Halo 3 doings of the galaxy. Yet, with all the things Karen Traviss could've talked about, it seemed she had her sights set on one thing: the controversy behind the Spartan program. That, and... nothing else. No, really. Alright, she does pay a bit of attention to the Elites, and it was fairly interesting to see them trying to rebuild (not to mention our first glimpse of what their females are like), but really, I can't tell if it was interesting because it really was interesting, or because I didn't have to read "Halsey's a monster who deserves to die!" and "Poor Spartans, I just wanna hold 'em and tell 'em it'll be okay!" every other line. Worse, oh so much worse, Travis not only basically retcons Halsey's entire attitude and reasons toward doing it, but she makes her an idiot who can't defend herself against those who accuse her. The same people, in fact, that helped her carry the whole thing out. And then did it again. And again. And again. You don't remember the major plot points because it's overshadowed by people angsting over Halsey. The Conflict Ball that drives some of the plot is braindead stupid. The hypocrisy is insufferable. If you want to know what happens next in Halo, then fine, get this book. Or, preferably, check the wiki, because it doesn't have "Halsey sucks!" blazing out at you in big red flashing letters.
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