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Ghosts of Onyx (Halo) Mass Market Paperback – Black & White, April 3, 2007

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Product Details

  • Series: Halo (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (April 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765354705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765354709
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eric Nylund is the author of Halo: The Fall of Reach and Halo: First Strike, as well as the epic mythology series beginning with Mortal Coils and All That Lives Must Die, and The Resisters series for middle grade readers. Born in the Los Angeles area, Nylund grew up in the mountains and pine forests of Truckee, California, and the Joshua trees and rattlesnakes of the Mojave Desert. He earned degrees in chemistry at U.C. Santa Barbara and U.C. San Diego before leaving his Ph.D. program to become a writer. Besides writing his novels, he is the Director of Narrative Design at Microsoft Game Studios. He lives near Seattle on a rain-drenched mountain with his wife, Syne Mitchell, and their son.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

John, SPARTAN-117, despite being encased in a half ton of angular MJOLNIR armor, moved like a shadow through the twilight forest underbrush.
The guard on the perimeter of Base New Hope drew on a cigarette, took a final puff, and tossed the butt.
John lunged, a whisper rustle, and he wrapped his arm around the man's neck, wrenching it up with a pop.
The guard's cigarette hit the ground.
Nearby crickets resumed their night song.
John pinged his status to the rest of Blue Team. Four green LED lights winked on his display, indicating the rest of the extended perimeter guards had been neutralized.
The next objective was a delivery gate, the weakest part of the rebel base's defense system. The guardhouse had two men outside, two on the rooftop, and several inside. Past this, however, the base had impressive security even by Spartan standards: motion and seismic sensors, a triple layering of guards, trained dogs, and overhead MAKO-class drones.
John blinked his status light green: the signal to proceed with the next phase.
The setting sun just touched the edge of the horizon when the guards on the roof of the bunker twitched and crumpled. It happened so fast, John wasn't sure which Linda had targeted first. A heartbeat later the two on the ground were dead as well.
John and Kurt ran for the gatehouse.
Kelly sprinted ahead, covering the three hundred meters from the forest in half the time, and leapt to the roof in a single bound. She opened the roof's vent and dropped flash-bang grenades.
Kurt posted outside the door, and swept the aft side for any targets. John waited on the other side of the steel and bulletproof-glass security door, one hand on its handle, one foot braced against the wall.
Inside three muffled thumps sounded.
John pulled, wrenching the door and frame from the steel reinforcing in the wall.
Kurt entered, his M7 submachine gun burping three-round bursts.
John was in a moment later, and assessed the threats in the blink of an eye. There were three guards already down. Behind them, banks of security monitors showed a hundred views of the base.
Seven other men sat at a card table, shaking off the effects of the flash-bangs. They stood with their sidearms halfway out of their holsters.
John calmly shot each man, once in the head.
Nothing moved.
Kelly dropped outside the door, rolled inside, her weapon leveled.
"Security system," John whispered to her and Kurt.
Fred and Linda appeared a moment later, and together they pulled and wedged the heavy door back into its twisted frame.
"All good outside," Fred told them.
Kelly sat before the bank of monitors and pulled out a touch pad, booting the ONI computer infiltration software package.
Kurt tapped on the keyboard, nodding to the sticky note under one monitor. "Password's posted," he said, shaking his head.
"Okay," Kelly muttered. "We can do it the easy way, too. Running monitor-looping protocol, now. I'll get a clean path to the target."
Kurt meanwhile flipped through various camera angles and subsystems on the displays. "No alarms raised," he reported. He paused and watched a group of guards unloading ammunition canisters off a Warthog. One man fumbled and dropped a can; along its side was stenciled: MUTA-AP-09334.
John hadn't ordered a subsystems sweep, though he hadn't specifically forbidden it, either. Kurt's actions could trigger a red flag at the base's command and control.
John had mixed feelings about using SPARTAN-051, Kurt, as Sam's replacement on Blue Team. On the one hand, he was an extremely capable Spartan. Chief Mendez had routinely given him command of Green Team during training exercises, and Kurt had often won when facing John's Blue Team. But on the other hand, he was, for a Spartan, undisciplined. He took time to talk with every Spartan, and even the non-Spartan personnel that trained and supplied them. As a professional soldier in the middle of two wars--one fighting an entrenched rebellion, the other taking on a technologically superior xenophobic alien race--Kurt spent a considerable amount of time and energy making friends.
"Camera system and detectors looped," Kelly announced and made a tiny circle with her index finger. "We have fifteen minutes while dogs and drones are rotated and refueled. So just guards to deal with."
"Move," John told his team.
Kurt hesitated, eyes still fixed on the monitors.
"What?" John asked.
"A funny feeling," Kurt whispered.
This worried John. Everyone had performed flawlessly, and there were no signs the enemy had reacted to their presence. But Kurt had a reputation for sniffing out ambushes. John had been on the receiving end of Kurt's intuition several times during training.
John nodded at the monitor, still devoid of anything but normal activity. "Explain."
"The guards unloading that Warthog," Kurt said. "They look like . . . they're getting ready for something. Security systems and machines can be fooled--or easily rigged to fool," he stated. "People? They're not so easy."
"I understand," John said. "We'll stay sharp, but we have to stick to the schedule. Let's move."
Kurt got up, casting a glance back at the monitor as they exited the gatehouse.
The Spartans melted from shadow to shadow, skirting around a warehouse, under officers' barracks, and finally, at the center of the base, they approached the edge of a warehouse. The building was surrounded by three fences posted with warnings that the gravel yard beyond was mined.
Eight guards patrolled the perimeter. Parked on the side was a modified Warthog; it had been cut in half and a new midsection had been welded in place that looked like it could carry ten men into battle. It would suffice.
John withdrew a tiny rod and pointed it at the building. The radiation counter flickered to a hundred times normal background level for this planet.
That confirmed that their primary target was inside: three FENRIS nuclear warheads.
Recent battles with the Covenant had depleted UNSC stockpiles of fissile materials in this sector to almost nothing. Insurgents had heard of this (which indicated they also had a considerable intelligence capability), and they had contacted the regional CENTCOM to boldly offer a trade. They said they had stolen warheads. They claimed to have people with Borren's Syndrome, and wanted the expertise and medicines only UNSC doctors could provide.
CENTCOM said they'd consider the matter.
They had considered it, and sent in Blue Team to get those warheads, and if presented with the opportunity, they were to target any rebel leaders.
John signaled his team to move out, disperse around the bunker, and take up positions to snipe the guards.
Green acknowledgment lights winked on. Kurt's was last, with a palpable hesitation.
John gave Kurt a short hand wave, and then pointed at the Warthog, indicating that he get the vehicle ready to move.
Kurt nodded.
Kurt's "feeling" that something was wrong was contagious. John didn't like it. He pushed his uncertainties aside. Blue Team was in position.
John unslung his sniper rifle and sighted. He gave the "go" signal and watched as one guard and then another silently fell over. Linda had been quick and efficient as usual.
John gave the go-ahead to move in.
Blue Team eased inside, sweeping the dark corners of the building.
The place was empty, save steel racks cradling three conical warhead casings. John's radiation counter jumped, indicating that they did not hold conventional explosives.
He pointed at Kelly and Fred, to the rack, then to the Warthog outside. They nodded.
Kurt's acknowledgment light winked red.
No Spartan flashed a red light on a mission unless they had a good reason.
"Abort," John said. "Back out. Now."
Dizziness washed over him.
John saw Linda, Fred, and Kelly sink to their knees.
Then blackness swallowed him.
John awoke with a start. Every muscle burned and it felt like someone had hammered his head. This was a good sign: it meant he wasn't dead.
He tensed his muscles against an unyielding pressure.
He blinked to clear his hazy vision and saw he sat propped against a wall, still in the high-security bunker.
The warheads were also still there.
Then John saw a dozen commandos in the warehouse, watching him. They hefted the .30-caliber machine gun, favored by rebel forces. Nicknamed "confetti makers," they were grossly inaccurate, but at point-blank range, it would hardly be a concern.
The rest of Blue Team lay face-first on the concrete floor. Technicians in lab coats crouched over them capturing high-resolution digital video.
John jerked against his inert armor. He had to get to his team. Were they dead?
"No need to struggle," a voice said.
A man with long gray hair stepped in front of John's faceplate. "Or struggle if you want. We've installed neural-inhibitor collars on you and your comrades. UNSC standard issue for dangerous felons." He smiled. "I'd wager without one you could, and would, rip me in half in that miraculous power armor."
John kept his mouth shut.
"Relax," the man said. "I am General Graves."
John recognized the name. Howard Graves was one of the three men believed to be in charge of the united rebel front. It was no coincidenc...

More About the Author

Eric Nylund is a New York Times bestselling and World Fantasy Award nominated author of more than a dozen novels (including HALO: The Fall of Reach and THE RESISTERS series) that have sold over two and a half million copies.

THE ENCHANTED KNOT, his latest novel for YA and adult readers, is out Winter 2014.

Nylund's day job is making video games.

He attended the 1994 Clarion West Writer's Workshop and has a Bachelor's degree in chemistry and a Master's degree in theoretical chemical physics. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his family on a rain-drenched mountain.

Customer Reviews

This is a great sci fi fiction book.
I enjoyed the book because there is a great amount of action and because of the suspense in the book.
I don't read many books, but every once in a while I find a good book I just can't put down.
Justin Sanders

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Chris Lee Mullins on November 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
As usual, Eric Nylund delivers.

Lets face it. If you are a huge Halo universe fan, 'Ghosts of Onyx' is a must-read. The games don't give you the full picture of what's going on in the Halo-verse. Without reading the books (of which there are now four), you'll never know the full story behind the genesis of the SPARTAN project, Master Chief's origin, what started the conflict between us and the Convenant or the scope of the Forerunner's domain.

And if you are like me, you were pretty annoyed with the ending of Halo 2 and MC's cryptic statement "I'm finishing this fight, sir."

'Ghosts of Onyx' brings you up to speed with what's been happening to the other SPARTAN warriors whilst MC galavants around the galaxy throwing monkeywrenches in the Covenant's plan for universal suicide. He details the creation of yet another SPARTAN unit (the SPARTAN III) from orphans left behind by our war with the Covenant. He brings back some familiar characters from his previous Halo novels (Dr. Halsey, Col. Ackerman) and continues his penchant for giving these brave SPARTAN warriors overly simplistic names like Tom, Kelly and Kurt.

If yer a Halo fan, you'll be pleased as punch. Maybe its a bad thing that to get the full picture of the Halo-verse, you simply have to read the Halo books. But hey, it'd be kinda hard to cram all of that narrative between every reload of your assault rifle. Me? I'm of the mind that anything that gets you to read is inherently good. Maybe this series will get a few kids to drop their XBox360 controllers and head to a bookstore.

This book whetted my Halo appetite, if only for a little while. Finishing 'Ghosts of Onyx', you feel as if we are one step closer to finishing the fight.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A singh on October 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
EPIC. yes yes that's the word. This book is packed with action, packed so hard that you'll trip! Picked it up yesterday and could not stop reading it. For those of you who have read the first three books, you will not be disappointed. This book will answer some key unanswered questions. Love the way Eric Nylund describes the battle/fight scenes, the intensity of fire fights and the brotherhood of SPARTANS. Stories of courage, valor and heroism from the farthest reaches of space. Rock on!

Other books you should read first or you'll be lost:

Book 1: Fall of Reach

Book 2: The Flood

Book 3: First Strike

Book 4: Ghosts of Onyx
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2 of 0 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 17, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book I read is called Halo the Ghosts of Onyx. Halo the Ghosts of Onyx is about the third generation of Spartans. Kurt, a Spartan 2 leads the program. But after master chief destroys Halo in the book Halo the Flood, an old and advanced technology has reawakened and it has plans of its own.

My favorite part of Halo the Ghosts of Onyx is near the beginning. It had bad language in it but the bad words are said by a 6-7 year old boy which kind of makes it sound funny. There are other parts I liked but I do not want to say them all because it would ruin the book. Halo the Ghosts of Onyx is the fourth in a series of six books. Many times in the book it will jump around from past to present which makes the book very challenging. Overall I thought that Halo the Ghosts of Onyx was a very interesting book. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Sci-Fi and survival novels.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey S. Nikoletich on November 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is great. The action and fight scenes come to life in you mind. Eric's mastery of describing a characters emotions and thought is perfect. This is a must read for all Halo and non-Halo fans. Can not wait for the next one!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Perry on June 4, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Honestly what can I say that already hasn't been said about this book? The writing is superb. Anybody remotely thinking about passing on this one because its major connection to a videogame property should think twice.

This is exactly the type of book that after you read you wish you are alive long enough for there to be a movie on the exact same subject matter you just finished reading or if that is too out of reach you atleast want as many people to read it as possible so they can (like you) understand just how great a piece of work it truly is. This is coming from someone that has never touched any of the Halo Novels, but I'm thoroughly impressed and because of this I plan to go back and read the previous entries into the series by Eric Nylund.

You get a take on the story from so many different perspectives its the complete package. You get to experience the story from the perspective of the Spartans, various UNSC ships and troops, Covenant, the genius that is Dr. Halsey.. just there is an all around variety to this book that I love. Now after becoming so impressed with what was happening with a specific group of characters naturally you'll be a bit disappointed when they go away from that group and start concentrating on another group, but as you read it becomes more clear as to why the author chose to present you with their perspective and you'll come to appreciate their inclusion.

This book will get you to care about the characters and what is going on the universe. this book firmly puts Halo up there with the best of them if there were any doubts before. The Halo universe can be just as popular if not more so than the likes of Star Wars. It really does feel fresh, interesting and new.
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