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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.

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©2011 Microsoft Corporation (P)2011 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Derrick
  • Canmore, Alberta, Canada
  • 08-01-12

One of the best in the Halo saga

Would you listen to Halo: Glasslands again? Why?

Yes, this is a great continuation of the story started in Ghosts of Onyx.

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

Glasslands is written quite similarly to Ghosts of Onyx, continuing the story and expanding to include a great new cast of characters.

What about Euan Morton’s performance did you like?

Characters are well defined by the distinct voices he uses for each one.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

None stand out as the whole book was great.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Ensorcelled

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Exactly what I wanted from Karen Traviss

Would you listen to Halo: Glasslands again? Why?

Yes and because it is a great way to pass the time and also I love the story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Vaz was my favorite he was tough as nails with just enough compassion to make him really dangerous.

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

the accents made the story it made it very easy to fallow along with who was saying what.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Pamela
  • Pottstown, United States Minor Outlying Islands
  • 09-22-12

Excellent Addition to the Halo Universe!

If you could sum up Halo: Glasslands in three words, what would they be?

Great, intense, suspenseful

What was one of the most memorable moments of Halo: Glasslands?

*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.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Halsey's interrogation.

Any additional comments?

This book is an Amazing addition to the Halo Univeres and a major gap filler for Halo 3-Halo 4.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Terrible reader.

Made it so hard to feel engaged with the story. Couldn't tell between characters :(

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Man I loved this Book!

Man I love this book, the Narrator did a great job! Admittedly I am not really good around accents unlike my own so it took a second to get used to. But once I did it was like I was actually there. I am a huge fan of Karen Traviss so I already knew I was in for a treat, but if I keep getting Narrators who do this good a job I know I will be back to have it read to me while I follow along, granted I'm not driving, then I can't read. (obviously) I probably shouldn't even listen, don't want to crash because I was off exploring M'dama Keep.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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No action

Decent as a political Halo book but no action in it. The narrator isn't bad but he lacked a flair I've heard from Scott Brick. Overall not bad but not great.

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great book

it is an amazing filler between halo 3 and 4. overall a great listen. being a halo fan it was worth it

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Tragically Epic

I enjoyed this book as I am a halo fan and this hit me right in the feels

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Darren Watson
  • 07-31-12

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.

Cheers

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kyle phillips
  • 04-03-16

Perfection in a nut

Perfect narration of all the characters the story draws you in making you want more overall a brilliant book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • michael foy
  • 04-01-18

a very good book

loved it I like all halo books and this one is very good and well told

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-12-17

amazing!

Just a great addition to the halo lore and the reader brought the characters to life

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brad girvan
  • 08-23-17

Good but a bit annoying

The narrator said some of the terms wrong like for instance the name of the elites, sangheili

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ben passmore
  • 07-19-17

Just brilliant.

loved it from start to finish! euan morton is amazing, the writing is amazing would recommend

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • dan
  • 02-01-17

fantastic

brilliantly read didn't want to stop listening was devastated when the book ended can't wait to read the next

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • cliff warner
  • 01-10-17

awsome

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 😀

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • james
  • 07-08-16

Greatttt<br />

Amazing story would definetly read a leaves you whanting more overall such a great story

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • dario
  • 08-26-15

Brilliant

Great story! Enjoyed every second of it. Great finish to ghost of onyx story arc and great introduction to kilo 5

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Arcindrus
  • 08-21-16

Good

It was good, really helps to elaborate on the events in the games, and develop the characters.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • James Bradley
  • 12-04-14

Robot narration

The narrator sounded like a robot, and it was hard telling which character was which. He also left no pauses when reading a characters speach, then their monologue.

Story was alright.