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.
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©2011 Microsoft Corporation (P)2011 Macmillan Audio
Yes, this is a great continuation of the story started in Ghosts of Onyx.
Glasslands is written quite similarly to Ghosts of Onyx, continuing the story and expanding to include a great new cast of characters.
Characters are well defined by the distinct voices he uses for each one.
None stand out as the whole book was great.
Euen is great at purtraying the various characters of the Halo universe. The story does well the bridge the events happening along side the game events. A must for fans of the series!
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.
Yes and because it is a great way to pass the time and also I love the story.
Vaz was my favorite he was tough as nails with just enough compassion to make him really dangerous.
the accents made the story it made it very easy to fallow along with who was saying what.
Great, intense, suspenseful
*SPOILER* I have to say that when they brought Halsey away. Or maybe the scene when the Sanghilei (can't remember his name) got decked by Naomy... Naomi... Whatever.
This book is an Amazing addition to the Halo Univeres and a major gap filler for Halo 3-Halo 4.
If you are a person that enjoys the lore of Halo as much as I do, you will like this book. It is a well written, if sometimes hard to follow addition to the cult history to the Halo universe. There are many moments that a much greater understanding to characters that we know and love from the games and other books. We are also introduced to several new and interesting characters that greatly expand the universe.
There is actually very little Halo style combat in this book. It is much more focused on the spy-craft inherent in the functioning of ONI (The Office of Naval Intelligence) made famous in Halo: ODST. Much of the best of this book revolves around the intrigue of this world of interstellar political destabilization. Further, this book greatly expands the understanding of the Sanghelli (Elites) culture and history.
The narrator has an incredible talent for creating so many individual characters accents that easily allow the listener to know who is speaking. This does still pose a problem in the beginning as you may struggle to remember who sounds like whom. This is confounded by many conversations not being preceded by "he said" or "she said."
Overall, I was happy with my purchase and I am eager to see where the story goes.
"Perfection in a nut"
Perfect narration of all the characters the story draws you in making you want more overall a brilliant book.
brilliantly read didn't want to stop listening was devastated when the book ended can't wait to read the next
this book was amazing left you wanting more and when it finishes your going to need the next one Thursday war to complete the story 😀
Amazing story would definetly read a leaves you whanting more overall such a great story
Great story! Enjoyed every second of it. Great finish to ghost of onyx story arc and great introduction to kilo 5
Great story set in the Halo universe, thoroughly enjoyed. Can't wait for the next part.
"worth checking out"
really enjoyed this book!! Picks up again with the Spartan II and catherine halsey with the capture of one of the sangehelli shipmasters Jul Tdama. if you have listened to any previous books some may have lacked a little bit this is great read, highly recommend.
"Fast paced, and engaging."
Glasslands is set after the events of the third Halo game and follows a newly formed team of ONI agents called KIlo 5. The charcters of Vas, Mal, Phillips (or Phillys as the hinge heads call him) alongside Osman Naomi and the wonderfully wicked Black Box A.I. angage you immediately and your join them on their first mission. Alongside this is a parallel trhead of plot tying up the loose ends of Ghosts of Onyx in an intrigueing way. Game tie-ins get bad press in the main thanks to some truly woeful films, but Karen Traviss show how it should be done.
"Excellent continuation of the story"
Theres not much more to say other than this is brilliant. I was waiting for the next installment for my commute to and from work and I was not disappointing. Certainly as the previous reviewer noted, this is not the book to start the series on, but if you are already knee deep in the story its spot on. In fact, it is certainly setting up some of the story to tie in with Halo 4 game.
A must read if you are a fan of the series.
"Superb book and a must read for any Halo Fan!"
After reading/listening to all the previous titles i really looked forward to Glasslands as it followed on from the brilliant Ghosts of Onyx and it certainly didn't disappoint me. All aspects of the story flowed along at a steady pace and didn't come across as boring at any point. So if you are a Halo Fan then this book is a MUST Read or Listen (I had audio book version) and will not disappoint.
However if you are new to the Halo Series of books then avoid this title and you need to start from Harvest or Fall of Reach, either of those books has a more natural progression into Glasslands as this book will be difficult to understand if you have no prior knowledge of the Halo Series.
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