The Kilo-Five Trilogy, by Karen Traviss
The X-Box universe of the Halo games is a diverse and complicated plane of ideas. The story line most people know is that of the Master Chief, John 117, and his AI companion Cortana. However the potential for other stories within this original fantastic story line is huge.
Karen Traviss takes this opportunity and runs with it in the jaw-dropping, exceptional Kilo-Five Trilogy.
Opening with first novel, Glasslands, we are placed into this universe somewhere between the third and fourth games.
The covenant has collapsed after a long, brutal war that saw millions slaughtered on Earth and her colonies. For the first time in decades peace actually seems possible, however, although the war has stopped the fight is far from over.
The UNSC’s feared and secretive Office of Naval Intelligence, or ONI, recruits Kilo-Five; a team of ODSTs, a Spartan, and an AI, to accelerate the Sangheili insurrection. Meanwhile the Arbiter, turned leader of a broken Covenant, struggles to stave of civil war among his divided people.
Across the galaxy, a woman thought to have died on Reach, is actually very much alive. Dr Catherine Halsey broke every law to create her beloved Spartans, and now she’s broken them again to save them.
Stuck with Chief Mendex and a Spartan team in a Forerunner slipspace bubble, hidden in the destroyed planet Onyx, Halsey discovers 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 them. The disgruntled colony Venezia has been biding its time to strike at Earth, and it’s most dangerous terrorist has an old, painful link with both Halsey and Kilo-Five that will test everyone’s loyalty to the limit.
Whether a fan of the games or not, this amazing first novel is sure to get any reader hooked into the Halo universe. Traviss delights with complex storylines, which not only will fuel your hunger for adventure and action, but that will also pull at heart strings.
There are no real main characters in this novel, or in any of the series, as Traviss shows off her prowess with constant but fluid changes of character narration, keeping us connected with everyone’s thoughts, from Halsey, to a Sangheili Jul, to the AI BB.
The Thursday War continues the fantastic, edge of the seat storyline when Kilo-Five go into a war zone to try to rescue one of their team.
But the troubles that Kilo-Five face are more than a lost team member, as colonial terrorism begins to resurface on one of the few worlds that survived the war, the man behind it is much more than just a name to Spartan-010. All the while an Elite plots his revenge from his Forerunner cadge.
The Thursday War stars up a monumental story, which is brought to a satisfying bang in final novel Mortal Dictata.
The colonies want to finish what they started and finally win the justice they put on hold for thirty-years during the war. But for one man this fight is personal, after ONI tore his life apart when it stole his daughter for the Spartan-II programme.
Kilo-Five find their loyalties tested, when the father of their Spartan comrade prepares to glass Earths cities in a desperate plot to finally find the truth.
These novels are a glorious triumph of literary and fiction talent. Filling in the gaps for those who follow the game franchise while absorbing readers into the complex world of Halo.
Defiantly worth a read, for both the game enthusiast and the avid reader.
ISBN – 978-0-230-76705-8
Cover price - £8.99
The Thursday War;
ISBN – 978-1-4472-2093-0
Cover price - £7.99
ISBN – 978-1-4472-2092-3
Cover price – £8.99