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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 4 August 2017
Super story, another great episode in the Halo saga
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on 25 April 2017
Love these books
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on 30 September 2012
I was really looking forward to reading this book, and bought it once released to kindle, but unfortunately I did feel a little let down.

Whilst I did eventually feel gripped by the story, it took a while to get there. The first quarter or so felt a real struggle to get through, I found it hard to get used to Karen's writing style as opposed to the ease and familiarity of say Eric Nylund. That's not to say it was bad at all, just a big shift from what I have been used to with the other books in the Halo series.

I was especially interested in the continuation of the storyline from Ghosts of Onyx, but was sadly disappointed with this; the story part itself was great and fulfilled the "so, what happen's next" questions, but the characters just felt completely "wrong". It was like the characters were completely different people, they didn't behave or speak how you would expect them to at all, and it was so hard to follow or believe, because of this. Some characters have been transformed into the "bad guys" with an awful lot of hate suddenly appearing and being brought to bear, and I felt there was way, way too much focus on making these bad people, considering that their actions were no worse than many others that had been committed throughout the war.

The other annoying thing was that the book just seems to end, with no real conclusion to anything that's going on. Yes, there should be plenty that keeps the story open to the follow-on books, but this was just like it was missing a few chapters at the end, there was no real closure to anything. Other Halo books have cliffhangers etc, but the main plot in the book is usually tied up with some explanations, and unfortunately Glasslands seemed to leave everything hanging. Another chapter or section for each of the sub-plots would have probably just about done it.

There is also very, very little action, battles or combat in this book, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, the story didn't call for it. But if that's a big reason for you to be reading these books, as it used to be for me, you may be disappointed.

This might all sound a little too critical, so having said all that, the book is still definitely worth a read, if only to further the Halo story. Although don't be surprised if some well-known characters seem to have had a personality swap!
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on 1 September 2012
I'm going to start off by saying that this book was an exceptional book, well worth purchasing. However some readers may find it a bit different from the Halo novels they know and love.

Some readers seem to view Travis's addition to the Halo universe is not worth picking up because of these two issues, one, a new style and, two, a different portrayal of the original characters. Yes Travis has changed some things and while this may be seen as an unwelcome change for die-hard fans of previous Halo books this should not influence the reader's decision on whether to buy this book. Yes the book will be different, it's written by a different author.

Rather than judging the book in this way instead consider these three questions:

1. Does the novel entertain? Yes, the transition between characters and their view points is very smooth. Travis alternates between different plot-lines masterfully, building tension and switching at the right moment keeping the tale exiting. I enjoyed reading about the characters and by the end had grown to love them and wanted to know what would happen next. Travis entertains while also causing the readers to pause for thought on certain matters, very interesting.

2. is the Novel easy to follow? Fairly, it is recommended that you read Ghosts of Onyx first. As this is a sequel to Nylund's book I would say that Travis assumes that you have a good idea of the events leading up the Novel and does not recap what happened. However the story is easy to follow and you won't have to spend vast amounts working out where the characters are in relation to each other.

3. finally, is the Novel worth re-reading? In my opinion yes, Travis does a good job in creating characters that are appealing and there is enough depth within the novel that readers will be able to focus on different areas of the story and still find a book that is consistent.

So to conclude, Glasslands by Karen Travis was a good, fun book. While it may be a shock to the system to have some characters portrayed differently the changes don't stop this book from being good. Yes there are some trivial inconsistencies within the universe (I counted one) however these do not detract from Travis's great storytelling. Travis has created new characters that are well rounded and complement each other well and I look forward to seeing further developments on this front. As well as this Travis provides interesting nuggets of information about the upcoming Halo 4 game. Give this book a go, you won't be disappointed.
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on 14 September 2012
Being a long time Halo fan I was excited to read this book after my usual year or so of Halo seclusion - that awkward time between games where nothing is announced or released for ages which is then followed by drips of information that i try my best to avoid.
Somehow I managed to miss the release of Glasslands so when it arrived I got straight into it.

My Fiance kept going on about how Karen Traviss is a brilliant author as she has taken care of the Gears of War franchise novels for quite a while now. Obviously I expected loads of action and military accuracy as this is apparently what she is known for.

Military accuracy and detail - yes; action - not so much. But this is a very good thing.
Now I admit I love my straight-forward explosions and skirmishes with lots of adrenaline but I found myself totally enthralled from the start despite the lack of this exact thing; it still had everything to keep me turning the pages. It wasn't until the end that I realised this...
There are only a couple of action sequences that I remember, and they were brief. Unusual for a Halo novel as I seem to remember lots of boarding actions, battlefield epicness and fisticuffs in the previous installments.

Everything is perfect in this novel - the characters are three-dimensional, every one of them. The Elites come to life like never before with more depth to their personalities thanks to the brilliant development of a few of their characters.
The Kilo-Five team are all brilliant, a good mix of characters from different backgrounds and they're all given their time in the limelight without it feeling cluttered.
There are some excellent plot twists and a very emotional bit where we see one of the Halo universe's legends through the eyes of the common ODST and it's not pretty.
Suddenly what we may have thought about the Spartans and the people who are responsible for it is challenged.

Also, for those excited for Halo 4 this seems to tie in, or at least build up to a tie-in with hints of a certain high-tech warship and a new project on the cards. I would love it if some of these characters make an appearance in the game.

this book is worth reading even if you're not a Halo fan but if you are - bonus!
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on 12 December 2012
This book is yet another suprisingly good story to add to the ever expanding Halo Universe. Glasslands switches its focus from the main story line of the Halo games to the politics within the different species across the universe. The new characters which the author brings in are well rounded and while individually they may not be the most likeable people their camoraderie and group bonding is simply done yet well crafted. The portrail of Halsey and the moral code of Vaz in this book are truly refreshing break away from the standard ultilitarian views that the games run on and add real depth to the characters.

The level of detail that is given to the technologies is as solid as you would expect from a Halo book and gives yet more insight into the mysterious god-like forerunners. If you are not familiar with the Halo universe and dismiss this book due to it being related to a computer game then you are seriously missing out. If however you do fancy giving it a try do not start with this book as you need to have read at least Ghosts of Onyx (and probably the cole protacol) before hand for it to make any sense and I would suggest reading all the previous books if you wish to get the full bang for you're buck.
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on 27 October 2013
I enjoyed reading this. I was very confused to start with, and searched for earlier books, unfortunately only by the same author, so missed out on earlier reading. In isolation the book is a little confusing as it clearly refers and depends upon earlier events and characters. That said it's well written, and I got by reading it as a first intro to halo, I wouldnt recommend this approach, but cela vie. Having only discovered half way through that it was preceded by books but by other authors I finished this one first. Another reviewer has criticised the ending, I wouldnt criticise it, but it doesn't end, it leads right into the next book, the Thursday war. I had intended to go back and fill in earlier gaps, but because of the cliff hanger ending have started on the next book instead. Karen is clearly English which must either mystify or go right over the head of American readers. I thought she wrote very well and will be trying other books of hers. Normally I would avoid a female scifi writers like the plague, as they seem to descend into the touchy feely stuff at the least excuse even the greats like LeGuinn.
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on 12 December 2011
I was really hoping for a truly interesting story, something to equal Halo: Primordium. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the author spoils the story line with the character assassination of some primary Halo characters. Yet the reason for their treatment borders on the ridiculous when compared to actions committed by the Covenant or even by people in the 20th century. If this was removed from the story line this would have be worth a high 4 or low 5 stars.

Truly hope the author improves her game for the next two books.

In response to another review, my nationality (British) or that of the author has no bearing on any of my reviews.
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on 18 May 2013
Word's cannot describe just how bad this book is, but I'm going to give it a try anyway.

I've been a fan of the Halo Universe for over a decade. Eric Nyland's `Fall of Reach' was probably the first novel I ever read. I still feel it was largely due to Nyland's brilliantly sculpted world and characters that the Halo franchise was able to branch into so many fields of media (comics, anime, short live action films etc)

And now ten years later we have received the complete opposite of Nyland's masterpiece, a novel that is quite simply poorly written and terribly executed.

Where to start?

Firstly is the atrocious inconsistency errors. Humanity going from a decimated backwater race on the verge of extinction to economic superpower in a matter of month (despite the fact most of our worlds and production facilities have been glassed or destroyed). Then off course there is the Sangheili, a much loved and respected alien race suffering an episode of sudden extraordinary bad luck and loss of intelligence. (Such as misplacing all their capital ships and their genetically crafted engineer's. You heard me, not destroyed, not misappropriated, misplaced. We're suppose to believe top military assets were stolen as if someone left the keys in the ignition whilst billions of engineers on every Covenant world and ship vanish without a trace, it's beyond implausible!)

And there is Travis's almost nauseating obsession with demonising Catherine Hasley.

I understand that Dr Hasley is a somewhat controversial character among fans, however Travis's seemingly personnel vendetta against Nyland's principle character reaches truly ridiculous proportions at times, with Hasley being likened by Travis's own supposedly moral characters, (characters is a bit of a stretch, there basically mouthpieces all spouting the same preposterous nonsense) to some of the worst individuals in all of human history. Dr Hasley was the surrogate mother of the Spartan II program, without her guidance, love and care the Master Chief would not have been the selfless steadfast Hero of the Halo Universe we all know and love.

Halo is a Universe whose foundations have been built on a chilling credible and realistic background(with a large degree of fantastical but always believable alien cultures supporting this Universe). Glassland's throws this credibility straight out the window and replaces it with a poorly researched and ludicrous plot, flimsy two dimensional characters and complete lack of consistently with the other Halo novels and literature.

For weeks after reading this novel I kept hoping to wake up and find out Glassland's was just a bad dream, the dream you tell yourself could never happen.

Now I hope at the very least Nyland will be brought back to write the next series of novels. At most I hope that Glassland's and all subsequent novels Travis writes for the Halo Universe will be discounted to alternative fiction and discarded.

It could be the only way 343 can fix this mess.
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on 27 December 2011
This is a must buy and read for any Halo fan. Not only dose it fill in alot of gaps it also open up alot more questions that I look forward to finding out about in future books, I don't want to give anything away but....

No spoilers sory you will have to read it and find out what happens to the Spartan 2's and the Spartan 3's
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