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Halo: Glasslands Hardcover – October 25, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Halo: Glasslands is a fantastic addition to the Halo universe, and is a stand-out military science fiction novel in and of itself. (SF Signal)

Karen Traviss does an excellent job writing for the Halo universe, she creates believable human and alien characters. (Jay Cormier Examiner.com)

About the Author

#1 New York Times best-selling novelist, screenwriter and comics author KAREN TRAVISS has received critical acclaim for her award-nominated Wess'har series, as well as regularly hitting the bestseller lists with her Star Wars, Gears of War, and Halo work. She was also lead writer on the 2011 blockbuster game Gears of War 3. A former defense correspondent and TV and newspaper journalist, she lives in Wiltshire, England.

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Product Details

  • Series: Halo
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765323931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765323934
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (283 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #303,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

#1 New York Times best-selling novelist, scriptwriter and comics author Karen Traviss has received critical acclaim for her award-nominated Wess'har series, and her work on Halo, Gears of War, Batman, and other major franchises has earned her a broad range of fans. She's best known for military science fiction, but GOING GREY, the first of her new techno-thriller series, is set in the real world of today. A former defence correspondent and TV and newspaper journalist, she lives in Wiltshire, England. She's currently writing the new G.I. Joe flagship comic series, and working on BLACK RUN, the sequel to GOING GREY.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

418 of 454 people found the following review helpful By N. Stallman on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Karen Traviss has a rather interesting history writing tie-in novels for a number of well-respected science fiction properties, from the wildly popular like Star Wars, to testosterone-laden splatterfests like Gears of War. She is known for ignoring important details from the canon and basically creating things from whole cloth to fill the gaps, out of fear of becoming too fond of and familiar with the universe she's writing books for and proceeding to coddle it lovingly or something dreadful like that.

I almost don't know where to begin. Some fans - me among them - say that Eric Nylund set the bar high with his neutral, technical-sounding tone and jargon-laden narrative and dialogue. In contrast, Karen Traviss's writing style is typical liberal arts major stuff, and hardly belongs anywhere near a work of military science fiction. Writers of her caliber have a tendency to turn grizzled soldiers into the Brady Bunch, making them seem like less of an actual military force and more of a family. You go from Nylund's books to Traviss's, and suddenly, all the characters have forgotten military hand signals, the NATO phonetic alphabet, call signs and the chain of command.

The early parts of the book deal with the formation of an ONI team to disrupt Elite society (or Sangheili, if you prefer; they're the big alien dudes with the four mandibles we all know and love from the games) by supplying arms to separatists and religious fundamentalists. That's interesting in and of itself, but there's more. The team is being led by an incredibly imposing woman named Serin Osman who could very well have ended up being a SPARTAN-II, but washed out of the program at the augmentation stage due to her body rejecting the surgery.
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80 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Half-Jaw on December 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
I had not known much about Karen Traviss prior to reading this book. In fact, the first I heard of her was from a Twitter update, whilst on vacation, from San Diego Comic-Con 2009 when it was first announced that she would write a post war trilogy. So I went into this with no previous bias' for or against the author which, now that I have read up a quite a bit on her after concluding this novel, seems to be quite polarized in various fan bases, Star Wars being the first example that pops to mind. The reasons I think will become apparent by the end of this article.

The novel is broken into 3 plot threads, which all eventually intersect near the end of the novel. The main one could be said to follow the gang trapped in the Dyson sphere at the core of what was once Onyx. The second follows a team of ONI handpicked personnel called Kilo-5 whose purpose is to destabilize the Elite's delicate power balance. The final one follows an Elite by the name of Jul `Mdama who believes that Humans are vermin and must be exterminated, and who's goal in this novel is to kill the Arbiter to make that possible.

The first two in my opinion were okay, but nothing incredible. In the Onyx parts, much of the mystery of the Forerunners and the Dyson sphere is completely sidelined by the Halsey-Mendez arguments that take place. (Mendez apparently has had this deep seated resentment towards Halsey and her actions in the Spartan-II Program that is just coming out now) The Spartans - both the IIs and the IIIs - are relegated to barely being supporting characters. They are sort of there-sort of not, especially the Spartan-IIIs. The only one who gets any sort of development is Lucy, the traumatized survivor of Operation: Torpedo. I found her development more annoying than anything else to be honest.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I didn't like this book.

It wasn't bad, not like Cole Protocol and it wasn't poorly written, but it just seemed that the book went out of its way to paint Halsey as a monster and painting what was done to the Spartan's as just terrible. All the while, there is no serious discussion about the fact that Halsey did not act in a bubble and her actions were condoned, encouraged and sponsored by ONI which gets a free pass.

Granted , what Halsey did or became was terrible, but the series has never focused on that. In Fall of Reach, Eric Nylund wasn't trying to paint what ONI had done as monstrous, he was simply mirroring what was done to Ender and his pals in Ender's game. There was also a whole end's justifies the means thing thrown in there. In Glasslands, Halsey never even offers this defense of herself, that in the end, what she did saved humanity, and the ends did justify the means in some sense. In short, it is just is lazy to not even bring up that argument and let the readers sort it out. Instead in Glasslands, what we are presented with various degrees of, yeah I'm bad and what I did was bad, but you are just as bad because of X. It was lazy.
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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful By James Lehman on October 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To start, I was really excited to get my hands on another piece of Halo lore. This story did not live up to any of the other books in the series. Karen Traviss made some assumptions about the character relationships in the series that were completely contradictory to every other storyline available. Pale comparison to the rest.
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68 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Jake on October 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a post Halo 3 fix, you're going to be disappointed. While it's not clear within the opening chapters, the novel actually finishes around the same time as the memorial service at the end of Halo 3.

A lot of plot lines are opened, and because of this the book struggles to focus on one, often at key moments. Upon my first reading I just couldn't shake off the feeling that as soon as I got involved with one character, the storyline shot off to something completely unrelated.

Traviss tries to cram her view down your throat during certain moments, and it really is annoying - especially considering she doesn't care to get all the facts before doing so. An example of this would be during the book *MINOR SPOILER* it is expressed that Halsey is bad... if by expressed I mean every piece of dialogue paints her to be the successor of Hitler for what she has done *END MINOR SPOILER*. Really gets old. Fast.

In the end, it's worth a buy. The ending is very open minded, and a lot of questions have been asked without any real answers given. All the book seems to achieve is set up a background for a sequel. Disappointing? Perhaps. Bad? No.
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