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Halo: Glasslands

Written by: Karen Traviss
Narrated by: Euan Morton
Length: 15 hrs and 15 mins
5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 37.62
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Publisher's Summary

The Covenant has collapsed after a long, brutal war that saw billions slaughtered on Earth and her colonies. For the first time in decades, however, peace finally seems possible. But though the fighting's stopped, the war is far from over: it's just gone underground.

The UNSC's feared and secretive Office of Naval Intelligence recruits Kilo-Five, a team of ODSTs, a Spartan, and a diabolical AI to accelerate the Sangheili insurrection. Meanwhile, the Arbiter, the defector turned leader of a broken Covenant, struggles to stave off civil war among his divided people.

Across the galaxy, a woman thought to have died on Reach is actually very much alive. Chief scientist Dr. Catherine Halsey broke every law in the book to create the Spartans, and now she's broken some more to save them. Marooned with Chief Mendez and a Spartan team in a Forerunner slipspace bubble hidden in the destroyed planet Onyx, she finds that the shield world has been guarding 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 all of them as disgruntled colony Venezia has been biding its time to strike at Earth, and its most dangerous terrorist has an old, painful link with both Halsey and Kilo-Five that will test everyone’s loyalty to the limit.

©2011 Microsoft Corporation (P)2011 Macmillan Audio

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Halo from a new reader

This book is certainly one of the better halo books in terms of getting to know characters and feeling like your are with them, the mixture between a lack action and comedy from a raggedy crew really enthralled me by filling my emptiness of a new firefly experience.

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good shit

narrator was good. i have read the book before and loved it and was just meaning to find the time to re read it but opted for an audio book instead

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    5 out of 5 stars

amazing book, better audio book!

read the original series and loved it! beginning to end this trilogy is one of the best in the halo novelizations. great narration by Euan Morton! cant wait to listen to the next installment

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • CHRISTOPHER
  • 2012-10-18

This is a very different kind of Halo book

This was a surprisingly different experience from the other Halo novels. Much like the games, most of the previous installments have been fairly action-packed and event oriented. Large sections of this book (and I do mean LARGE) consist solely of conversations and internal monologue. If you ever thought Star Trek The Next Generation was kind of boring given that it was a show about staff meetings, this book will be even more difficult. Since the book primarily follows the activities of intelligence agents, the lack of action shouldn't be a total shock. That's not to say that nothing happens, it's just that it's about as far from the novelization of a first person shooter as you could possibly get.

The book is also a lot more linear than many previous novels. Those early books have to go back and establish a lot of backstory. By this point a lot of that has more or less been established in the author was able to focus on a specific store in a fairly condensed period of time.

The author also explores some areas I honestly didn't consider before. A lot of the mundane detail about life in the Spartan armor is discussed for the benefit of the reader. The content also has a much more distinct psychological overtone which adds depth to both existing and new characters. I found that to be a plus, though it was difficult at times because of the positions taken. A lot of angst is expressed over the actions which led to the creation of the Spartan program. You certainly could make a war crimes argument over most of that. But I did get a little tired of worrying about 70 children when billions or trillions of humans were killed along the way. No one in this book has clean hands, it just seemed a little bit overbearing for some of the characters to pass judgment on others.

I was also a little bothered by the physics of the book. Early in the Halo universe (just a few years ago according to the book's own chronology), humans were crawling across the vastness of space in cryo tubes. Getting anywhere seemed like a real hassle. Likewise, communication between different planets functioned more like an intergalactic pony express.

In this book the universe seems no larger than a modern-day big city. The main characters pop back and forth between planets with relative ease. They also have real-time communication spanning galactic distances, even though sending one-way communications over huge distances was portrayed as slow and prohibitively expensive in the previous novels. Granted, these characters would have the absolute best technology available, and probably access to some wonderful covenant toys. But if all of that was available to the covenant, the war never would've taken 28 days, much less 28 years. Having such a rapid switch in communication and travel limitations is pretty jarring.

One last criticism is about the type of story. I could probably shoehorn this thing into the traditional three act story format used by 95% of fiction novels. But that would be a real stretch. This book would've comfortably fit within an anthology format comprised of multiple short stories. The only overall story arc (outside of the one provided by the larger Halo universe) is that humanity consists of the bunch of jerks. Over the course of the trilogy I have no doubt a larger story will take place. The author is clearly talented enough to pull that off. But this didn't feel like a self-contained novel to me.

I did enjoy many of the references to previous books and games. Dr. Halsey's journal for example was mentioned quite heavily (a highly recommended buy on Amazon if you didn't get hold of it with your copy of Halo: Reach). It was also interesting to see the Halo universe from a more "grownup" perspective.

I think the narration is also something of a mixed bag. He does a pretty good job of many of the characters native accents and he doesn't do that appalling falsetto voice for the women. Given how many female characters this book has, that would've been unbearable. But sometimes the reading is a bit jarring when perspective shifts back and forth between places and characters. And although I like his take on most of the new characters, some of the voices/accents don't really fit with the existing cast.

Overall, I wouldn't put this in my top three Halo book list. It's slightly above average as far as they go, but not my favorite. I really hope this doesn't become required reading for players of Halo 4. I suspect they will create a standalone story for the game, because I can't see the typical first-person shooter fan sitting through 16 hours of this kind of book. Get it if you feel compelled to consume everything Halo related, there are certainly wonderful gems to be found. But if you are a casual fan of the games, spend your time and money somewhere else.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Derrick
  • 2012-08-01

One of the best in the Halo saga

Would you listen to Halo: Glasslands again? Why?

Yes, this is a great continuation of the story started in Ghosts of Onyx.

What other book might you compare Halo: Glasslands to and why?

Glasslands is written quite similarly to Ghosts of Onyx, continuing the story and expanding to include a great new cast of characters.

What about Euan Morton’s performance did you like?

Characters are well defined by the distinct voices he uses for each one.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

None stand out as the whole book was great.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • freddy partida
  • 2015-05-04

Ensorcelled

Euen is great at purtraying the various characters of the Halo universe. The story does well the bridge the events happening along side the game events. A must for fans of the series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark Norris
  • 2012-08-06

Exactly what I wanted from Karen Traviss

Would you listen to Halo: Glasslands again? Why?

Yes and because it is a great way to pass the time and also I love the story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Vaz was my favorite he was tough as nails with just enough compassion to make him really dangerous.

What does Euan Morton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

the accents made the story it made it very easy to fallow along with who was saying what.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Pamela
  • 2012-09-22

Excellent Addition to the Halo Universe!

If you could sum up Halo: Glasslands in three words, what would they be?

Great, intense, suspenseful

What was one of the most memorable moments of Halo: Glasslands?

*SPOILER* I have to say that when they brought Halsey away. Or maybe the scene when the Sanghilei (can't remember his name) got decked by Naomy... Naomi... Whatever.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Halsey's interrogation.

Any additional comments?

This book is an Amazing addition to the Halo Univeres and a major gap filler for Halo 3-Halo 4.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Wade G. Williams
  • 2019-02-24

Solid in the line up. Leads well into next book

Great break from more serious books and isnanfun read if you are a fan of the series. Took me a second to track who was who and what voice was whos. several female voices read by male narrator. hard to track who was talking. overall though A+

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Maxxxxxy
  • 2019-02-22

it is okay

characters don't really have a lot of substance and the story isnt really about anything.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • J. F. Lusa
  • 2019-02-20

A boring, blatant cash grab

The book only exists to set up its sequel, and only serves to make money for the author and publishing company. Instead of the usual action packed, canon based literature, the story revolves around a new, hackneyed group of soldiers, scientists and spies. Save your money and buy the Forerunner Saga or Evolutions instead!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-02-11

If you read Ghosts of Onyx, You gotta listen 2this

Ghosts of Onyx had such a cliff hanger that there was no way you could go on without reading Glasslands. Even if you don't care much about the Kilo-Five story, figuring out how the story moves on from the last few books, especially Ghosts of Onyx, makes this so worth it. The banter between Dr. Halsey and Chief Mendez while they are stuck inside the Planet Onyx is legendary! I won't spoil it for you, but this book is full of really important dialogues for the overall story of Halo. And Euan Morton delivers the dialogues really well. I don't particularly like the way he does the voices for the Elites, but that's just because I still imagine the voice of arbiter from the Halo games. All in all, really enjoyed this listen, and I am excited to continue on in the kilo-five series.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-01-25

Better than expected.

I read a good number of reviews prior to picking this up but after finishing it I can say it's better than I was expected to believe.

I love Halsey, so the insight gleamed from this book is more than welcome. Ghost of onyx was one of my favorites too and it's continuation was long awaited. I was not disappointed.

Osman having an ausie accent threw me off due to her visual portrail in Halo 4 being very different (which I prefer), bit of a continuity error. Having a little look into Jul 'Mdama was nice, I guess. However his character after the events of Halo 4 and 5 is awful and is beyond saving.

Overall a great read if you're caught up on details from Nylunds books and a fairly decent performance by the reader.