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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2006
Lets start off by saying I'm tired. Major style. That is one negative side effect of this book: Staying up all night to read it.

When I got my copy of GoO early in the USA I was laughing hysterically. My friends in the UK could only dream...

I have to say that I am impressed. Again.

Firstly, the book is larger. Bigger than its predecessors. The cover is slightly different in terms of layout and design but still Uber.

Like many things in the book, the prologue hits you. Suddenly a massive new part of the storyline is opened. This happens throughout.

Like FoR and FS, the storyline is entirely unrelated to the story of its cousin video game. The story is spread over a time long before Halo 2 and Earth coming under attack, and a little after the end of Halo 2 to. If you are familiar with the Halo 2 story, then this will open up much for you, showing parts of the deliciously complex plot that were previously shrouded. If you are unfamiliar with the Halo 2 storyline, it's best you read up, but not crushing if you do not.

For Spartan-117, John fans, you might be disappointed. Apart from the first chapter long in the past, we do not see him. We do however, see other Spartans. Plenty.

There is a much more sober and personal tone to the book. Nylund does a good job of building emotional attachments between characters, and you. Because of this, the end and other parts will have you feeling emotionally drained. Somewhat sad.

The only possible problem is what it takes up. It is stretched to quite a lot. At the end you may feel like it was only half of the action that was in FS, but still about as many words. And sometimes, only sometimes, the book it unclear. In terms of action that is. At one or two points I found myself going over a chapter again to make sure I got what happened. It's only occasional though, and perhaps non-existent all together since I stayed up all night to read it in one go, not recommendable if you have school or other commitments the next morning. It drags you in.

Ultimately, the different tone, a fresh feel to the book serves well, and the ending is something to behold. Eric Nylund has done well. Borders also for releasing it early. As if that was not enough, there is more on the way. More books have been confirmed as 'On the way' by Bungie studios. I for one can't wait. Buy this book. Enjoy it.

I for one, am going to bed.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2007
If you've read my First Strike review, you'll know that I've rated Eric Nylund for taking the Halo franchise and making it his own. As he raises the bar yet again in this novel, I can only imagine that the game designers at Bungie are now awaiting his next instruction with sycophantic adoration.

It is a very different story to Last Strike and the Fall of Reach. Where as these two previous novels aim to flesh out the exiting Halo mythology whilst splicing the Halo game plots into a coherent, character-rich space opera, Ghosts of Onyx back tracks the story to a parallel plot line concerning the shadowy exploits of an ONI splinter cell and the emotional hardships spawned by the horrors of their actions on the Spartan commissioned to lead their cause. This is a story about people.

Only at the very end, the time-line somewhere shortly after the plot of Halo 2, does the story reach out to give the reader a glimpse at the shape of things to come in Halo 3.

Some people may be disappointed that this book doesn't reveal all the secrets of the Forerunner legacy within it. Personally, I think the point is that this should only be revealed when the final game is released, and not a moment earlier.

Of course, if you have played both games and read all the books published so far, you may well respond the conclusion of the forthcoming Halo 3 game with a knowing, smug little grin.

The end is near my friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 13 March 2008
This latest novel in the Halo series is a slight departure from the others in that it barely features the Master Chief and instead focuses on a top secret ONI training centre on the mysterious planet Onyx. Here the UNSC are training a new breed of super soldier, the SPARTAN-III.

It also (conveniently) turns out that Onyx houses a Forerunner installation, which of course the humans ultimately run into and then the Covenant turn up, as they wouldn't mind a look either.

If you haven't played the Halo games or read any of the other books, I strongly suggest you do before tackling this one. It gives you a bit more depth to the overall plot of the series and lays some hints in the direction of Halo 3.

It's also Nylund's weakest Halo novel. The central premise is stretched awfully thin, and although the new characters are better drawn than previously, I found some of them I didn't care about as much as I would have liked. Elements of the story are confusing, and as another reviewer has mentioned, I had to re-read certain sections earlier on in the book as I was getting a little lost.

The story winds its way to the end without much in the way of ultimate resolution, which although not surprising is still disappointing. Worth a read if you enjoy the series, but not the best example.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2007
This book being the forth in the series, in my opinion is best one, Eric Nylund seems to have a talent at capturing the Spartan 2's in all there glory, but what about the Spartan 3's?

The story revolves around the fact that Earth is only delaying the "Coming fire" that is the complete eradication of Hummanity, and the even the Spartan 2's are not enough, so ONI section 4 begins the Spartan 3 program, using orphaned children from the Harvest campaign and others, they plan to create cheap, effective Spartans. The Spartan 2 project has gone public, and the Spartan 3's will be completely secret, under pain of death.

If you remember Col. Ackerson, the guy against the action of Spartan 2's, and Dr. Halsey's work, he is the creator of the Spartan 3's, and with help from ONI, the newly formed Spartans will under go rigorous training, and out do the Spartan 2's.

However these New Spartans are nothing like the Spartan 2's, and things become a bit complicated, as there armour variant known as SPI (semi powered infiltraion armour) is not up to the task, amd undergoing the the training, is Kurt-051, and Chief Mendez, on the planet Onyx.

The spartan 3's and the remainder of the training camp have to fight in guerilla warfare through jungles and massive caverns, to uncover why Onyx has become active, and alive once more when there camp is attacked.
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on 28 April 2008
Very enjoyable book, was gripped right up to the end. I know some people were bothered about it not having Spartan 117 in the book an awful lot, but that made the book even more compelling to read on. Again still none the wiser as to what happened to all the forerunner even after the discovery of the shield world. Although playing Halo 3 and actively searching out the 'terminals' and reading them you get a slight picture as to what happened to them. (A clue to this - IT INVOLVES 343 GUILTY SPARK)
Although i am beginning to see another book coming out or maybe a spin off. If you have completed Halo 3 on 'legendary' you get a sneaky wee cutscene showing the remains of the frigate 'Forward Unto Dawn' containing the chief and Cortana tumbling towards Onyx which contains various people whom you will know if you have read the book. (Geek moment: on seeing this i actually leapt up of my sofa screaming OMG)
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 2006
I could not wait to get my hands on this book when it came out. I've read the other 3 novels and found them brilliant. This book, however, left me slightly dissappointed. Don't get me wrong, if you like Halo games and you've read the other novels, get this book. Its a good read and it does expand on what has happened between the Covenant, where Dr. Halsey went and so on.

Even though the book is bigger, it took me only a couple of days to finish, and it felt like I has still hungry for more.

Plot-wise the book is OK, most action takes place on Onyx, but at times there is not much action, with the Spartans travelling a lot of the time, from place to place. In the previous novels, you are told about major plots, the plots are explained, and you can unerstand them. When you are finally told the purpose of Onyx, the book is almost over, and you are still none the wiser about the Forerunners and what happened to them. In the end you are left on a huge cliffhanger, just like the end of Halo 2, and you haven't actually gained much understanding of the whole plot.

Overall, I rate this book good, but not excellent like the previous ones. If you like the previous novels, then buy this one too. Especially when it going this cheap.
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on 5 August 2013
I never got round to reading all other earlier Halo novels, but if you have played the games you will not need to do much guesswork and patching up between the author and bungies takes on the Spartan III project. This is overall a blistering brilliant and I would recommend it to any Halo fan. It follows the conceiving of S III and follows up to an attack on the Spartan training ground by a mysterious ancient force. The only problems I do have with this book is that it doesn't account for all of the Spartan III s on Halo: Reach and that energy shields don't seem to protect against gunfire as a single shot to the side side from a covenant plasma rifle can down a Spartan. But overall I found this to be a great book.
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on 21 April 2015
The book is really good. This was my first Halo book and I was really interested in how this expanded the lore and gave me a greater understanding of the Halo universe.

Without giving away too much; as far as I can tell, it takes place throughout Halo 2 and near the beginning of Halo 3. Fans of Halo: Reach and Spartans in general will find this book particularly interesting.

There is a good few spelling mistakes throughout the book, though. It could do with a second edition re-release.
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on 10 February 2013
This is exactly what i'd expect from a halo book. Lots of action but with a story that develops throughout. Lesser writers would have sections for the story and other sections for action. A skilled writer blends the two with the knowing wink of the manicurist. This book will not let you down with tension and epic moments with a typical halo explosive ending perfectly leading the reader through to the ultimate climax and ending with a cliffhanger that answers as many questions as it raises.
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on 28 June 2009
It took me about a week to read this book and I can say that every night I found myself thinking I will just read another chapter and after that I was thinking surely it wont matter if I read another. Trust me, once you start reading this book its battle to put it down.

I can only see two things wrong with this book the fight and action scenes are very short and its quite slow to start. Actually I have just thought of another your time sleeping suffers!
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