Reviews: Halo The Art Of War

I can't recommend this.

Most of the 'fic is a indulgence of the author's preferences, which is held up by some fairly nice ground combat scenes, good characterization of most characters save Spearhead and Yang (Noble Six in particular is well done), and a few genuinely funny events. Parts of this 'fic are great - the rest is crap.

While the 'fic is readable, the existing feel, tone, and style of the Halo universe was completely ignored. The UNSC in canon Halo was supposed to have suffered a level of Creative Sterility and technological stagnation as a deliberate stylistic choice, as Bungie wanted it relatable to modern day readers, as well as to show a horrific enemy that loomed over humanity. Lines are taken literally verbatim from Nylund's novels, which shows blatantly.

One annoying problem is the author's love of modern day references; there are constant references to modern trivia which is comes off as pure Author Appeal with no real impact on the story.

Spearhead Team, the OC Spartan team, is full of Mary Sueish psychological misfits that would't pass Basic Training in a sane world. They're showboaters, braggarts, and amateurs, and do not fit the highly professional UNSC's desperate fight against an overwhelming enemy.

In addition, the so-called technological improvements are pulled out of nowhere. All of these marvelous toys are created within two years, and completely change the UNSC's entire logistical train, which should create a massive logistical nightmare as factories and shipyards are retooled. If captured Covenant technology was this marvelous, the changes would have started much sooner in the war, rather than waiting for the last two years just so that the entire UNSC military could be revolutionized.

The protagonists are given far too many toys to play with, rather than relying on a limited arsenal and their own training and ingenuity, as Spartans are normally characterized, and said tools are used rarely so that more toys can be shown. Spearhead Team may grate heavily on the professional feel of the UNSC, but they are nowhere near as Mary Sueish as Colonel Yang and his sudden genius.

In canon, Bungie and Eric Nylund showed us how to create and use a genius-level character successfully with Catherine Halsey.

Here, Havoc-legionnaire is showing us how not to do so.