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Halo: Glasslands | [Karen Traviss]

Halo: Glasslands

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 people.

Across 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 more 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 mankind.

As 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.

Listen to more stories of Halo.

©2011 Microsoft Corporation (P)2011 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

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4.3 (490 )
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4.3 (471 )
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  •  
    L. Shapiro baltimore md. 04-25-12
    L. Shapiro baltimore md. 04-25-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just wish the saga were longer"
    If you could sum up Halo: Glasslands in three words, what would they be?

    flowing,enjoyable, satisfying minimum 15 words??????? and they only ask for three words!


    What other book might you compare Halo: Glasslands to and why?

    the other HALO books


    What about Euan Morton???s performance did you like?

    it was OK


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    sure


    Any additional comments?

    no

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Merinstein NYC 12-15-11
    G. Merinstein NYC 12-15-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Traviss should leave Halo to other authors"

    This should be called "Crucify Halsey" rather than Glasslands as almost the entire story seems to be a vehicle for Traviss to replay time-worn cliches about govt abuses of power instead of the continuation of the Ghosts of Onyx. It seems as though she wrote this without reading any of the earlier stories. This reminds me of all the Atlantis myths and legends that grew out of Plato's mentioning of Atlantis, while only retaining a superficial relationship to the few lines mentioned by Plato. I found Traviss' version of Halo to be boring and uninteresting. In addition to being a waste of time and money, it's actually insulting to any fan of the game and the stories.

    10 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick sarasota, FL, United States 04-16-12
    Rick sarasota, FL, United States 04-16-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I was expecting ‘HALO’ in this Halo novel."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The lack of any action in this novel made it a very hard novel to like. While it had the making of a very good sci fi yarn, the author missed the mark by such a large margin, it made this book painful at times. If there had actually been any Halo type action, then I would rate it higher.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I have read or listened to all of the Halo series of books. After this novel, I am going to read the novels on the Forerunners.


    What about Euan Morton’s performance did you like?

    I thought the performance was very good, top marks to Euan for his performance.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The few times that an actual trigger was pulled or one of the characters did more than sit and complain about past issues, then those are the redeeming qualities of this book.


    Any additional comments?

    In my opinion, the whole Halo series is built around the Spartans, the game and all of the novels. Granted the series has evolved with the additional Spartan program and the OSDT characters, but let’s be honest, we all play the game and read the books because we all want to be Spartan 117, the Master Chief. We want all want to go down range with him and see him blow the kaka out of things, that is what makes this series so much fun and so very good.

    We, at least I, read these because they are at the core, very good science fiction. To spend the vast majority of this book on the ethical issues involved with the Spartan program, is in my opinion, not a good use of ink. This is after all, Science Fiction, not a social commentary on man’s inhumanity toward man.

    I would hope that the next book in this line, will remember its roots and give us all what we are looking for, a good story that is true to the original story line, not a 10 hour trial of the mother of the Spartans.

    4 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHRISTOPHER Bellaire, TX, United States 10-18-12
    CHRISTOPHER Bellaire, TX, United States 10-18-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "This is a very different kind of Halo book"

    This was a surprisingly different experience from the other Halo novels. Much like the games, most of the previous installments have been fairly action-packed and event oriented. Large sections of this book (and I do mean LARGE) consist solely of conversations and internal monologue. If you ever thought Star Trek The Next Generation was kind of boring given that it was a show about staff meetings, this book will be even more difficult. Since the book primarily follows the activities of intelligence agents, the lack of action shouldn't be a total shock. That's not to say that nothing happens, it's just that it's about as far from the novelization of a first person shooter as you could possibly get.

    The book is also a lot more linear than many previous novels. Those early books have to go back and establish a lot of backstory. By this point a lot of that has more or less been established in the author was able to focus on a specific store in a fairly condensed period of time.

    The author also explores some areas I honestly didn't consider before. A lot of the mundane detail about life in the Spartan armor is discussed for the benefit of the reader. The content also has a much more distinct psychological overtone which adds depth to both existing and new characters. I found that to be a plus, though it was difficult at times because of the positions taken. A lot of angst is expressed over the actions which led to the creation of the Spartan program. You certainly could make a war crimes argument over most of that. But I did get a little tired of worrying about 70 children when billions or trillions of humans were killed along the way. No one in this book has clean hands, it just seemed a little bit overbearing for some of the characters to pass judgment on others.

    I was also a little bothered by the physics of the book. Early in the Halo universe (just a few years ago according to the book's own chronology), humans were crawling across the vastness of space in cryo tubes. Getting anywhere seemed like a real hassle. Likewise, communication between different planets functioned more like an intergalactic pony express.

    In this book the universe seems no larger than a modern-day big city. The main characters pop back and forth between planets with relative ease. They also have real-time communication spanning galactic distances, even though sending one-way communications over huge distances was portrayed as slow and prohibitively expensive in the previous novels. Granted, these characters would have the absolute best technology available, and probably access to some wonderful covenant toys. But if all of that was available to the covenant, the war never would've taken 28 days, much less 28 years. Having such a rapid switch in communication and travel limitations is pretty jarring.

    One last criticism is about the type of story. I could probably shoehorn this thing into the traditional three act story format used by 95% of fiction novels. But that would be a real stretch. This book would've comfortably fit within an anthology format comprised of multiple short stories. The only overall story arc (outside of the one provided by the larger Halo universe) is that humanity consists of the bunch of jerks. Over the course of the trilogy I have no doubt a larger story will take place. The author is clearly talented enough to pull that off. But this didn't feel like a self-contained novel to me.

    I did enjoy many of the references to previous books and games. Dr. Halsey's journal for example was mentioned quite heavily (a highly recommended buy on Amazon if you didn't get hold of it with your copy of Halo: Reach). It was also interesting to see the Halo universe from a more "grownup" perspective.

    I think the narration is also something of a mixed bag. He does a pretty good job of many of the characters native accents and he doesn't do that appalling falsetto voice for the women. Given how many female characters this book has, that would've been unbearable. But sometimes the reading is a bit jarring when perspective shifts back and forth between places and characters. And although I like his take on most of the new characters, some of the voices/accents don't really fit with the existing cast.

    Overall, I wouldn't put this in my top three Halo book list. It's slightly above average as far as they go, but not my favorite. I really hope this doesn't become required reading for players of Halo 4. I suspect they will create a standalone story for the game, because I can't see the typical first-person shooter fan sitting through 16 hours of this kind of book. Get it if you feel compelled to consume everything Halo related, there are certainly wonderful gems to be found. But if you are a casual fan of the games, spend your time and money somewhere else.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip 09-25-12
    Philip 09-25-12 Member Since 2010
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    Story
    "Huh?"

    I've listened to the other books in the series and this came out of nowhere. Though it takes place in the Halo universe the entire tone and style of it is very different. The new author changed characters in a ways that are very inconsistent with the previous books. It has interesting elements but is at times annoying as it assigns behaviors and attitudes that don't seem right. The Halo books are pretty standard epic fare. Yet with an underlying optimism and consistent sense of overcoming adversity, comradery, and introspection to the cost of war. This book comes from a different place and is much darker. There are almost no fight scenes and it drags in a number of places. It may in some ways be a better novel, but that's not what any of the Halo books are about. It's not about euradite writing, they're about engagement, fun, and bringing the Halo game universe to life. This book fails all three.

    As if that's not enough the choice of narrator is inexplicable. It's an about face stylistically from the previous audiobooks. A barrage of accented voices, often indistinguishable from each other often making it confusing. I've listened to a lot of audiobooks and know the challenge when the narrator changes in a series. But this is so beyond that.

    The change in author, tone, and narrator combined make this a truly bad continuation in the series. Bad enough, that I've never written a review here and was prompted to write this out of the disappointment I felt for this book and having a fun series changed into something else for no understandable reason. Bummer.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BIG.JAM 04-17-12
    BIG.JAM 04-17-12
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    "great!!"
    Would you listen to Halo: Glasslands again? Why?

    yes. to gain better understanding of whats going on


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    hard to say, they were all great


    What does Euan Morton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    adds voices and accents helps identify characters, giving them faces


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    tagline?


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve 02-11-12
    Steve 02-11-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    70
    3
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    0
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    "is it over yet ?"
    What did you like best about Halo: Glasslands? What did you like least?

    dyson shere


    What was most disappointing about Karen Traviss’s story?

    this is a story of a frist person shooter game from microsoft, not a shot was fired!?


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    add a few gun battles and we will see


    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 12-30-12
    Robin 12-30-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    71
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    421
    68
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    2
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    "I don't get It"

    The narrator is so monotone that I find myself lost and confused and then realize there has been a scene change. Every time I try to listen I get lost in my own thoughts and the book is just noise. What is this Halo series? I see Halo toys in the store and I wonder just how they ever got a kid interested in this stuff. I bought it because it was highly rated and written by a woman. I don't how that happened. Perhaps there is a whole bunch of understood series knowledge I don't have. I don't think I'll give this series another chance.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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