Mendicant Bias
The Book Club thread will be for general conversations of Halo novels including upcoming/ recently released media as noted within the titled.
 Readers are encourage to take personal notes of lore tidbits/ discrepancies they come across to be added to a master post.

"2526. It has been almost a year since humanity engaged in its destructive first contact with a theocratic military alliance of alien races known as the Covenant. Now the hostilities have led to open war, and the United Nations Space Command understands virtually nothing about its new enemy. There are only two certainties—the Covenant is determined to eradicate humanity, and they have the superior technology to do just that. The UNSC’s only hope lies with the Spartans: enhanced super-soldiers trained from childhood via a clandestine black-ops project to be living weapons. Their designated commander, Petty Officer John-117, has been assigned to lead the Spartans on a desperate counterattack designed to rock the Covenant back on its heels, and to buy humanity the time it needs to gather intelligence and prepare its defenses. 

But not everyone wants the Spartans to succeed. A coalition of human rebel leaders believes an alliance with the Covenant to be its best hope of finally winning independence from the Unified Earth Government. To further their plans, the insurrectionists have dispatched a sleeper agent to sabotage the UNSC counterattack—and ensure that John-117 and the Spartans never return from battle...."

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Venture Jones
So far I've been really enjoying Silent Storm.

Only at chapter 5, but so far "gripping".
🏜🎻🎮👌
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Gob
Just hit chapter 19. Right now it’s more of a detailed read than other more recent releases. Definitely appreciating the multiple viewpoints/3rd person narrative style. 
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Lord of Admirals
It's been nice to have the dates at the beginning of every chapter back. Also, given that some of the chapters occur in close proximity to each other, we can probably extrapolate how the Covenant Calendar works. I'll give it a shot after I get off of work.

Also, can't say I'm too upset with how they retconned Chief and Johnson's relationship. I quite like it actually, makes Chief's sadness towards his death in Halo 3 make a lot more sense.
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Gob
It's been nice to have the dates at the beginning of every chapter back. Also, given that some of the chapters occur in close proximity to each other, we can probably extrapolate how the Covenant Calendar works. I'll give it a shot after I get off of work.

Also, can't say I'm too upset with how they retconned Chief and Johnson's relationship. I quite like it actually, makes Chief's sadness towards his death in Halo 3 make a lot more sense.


Their relationship, more specifically, Johnson’s part in Chief’s growth, is easily my favorite part about the whole book. 

I typically get the audiobooks, but after this one I now see the appeal of having a print copy to mark up and make notes on. 
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Quirel
I loved this book. Seriously, it's up there with Ghosts of Onyx, and I can't wait to read it again. Unfortunately, I loaned it out to a friend, and I'm not sure when he'll get around to reading it. 

One of the few problems I had with the book was that I thought Johnson was unnecessary to the story. He fills an important role, but that role didn't need to be filled by Johnson, especially since it conflicts with First Strike. In First Strike, the Master Chief and Sergeant Johnson were strangers. Going by Silent Storm, they should be acquaintances at worst.

I think a better choice would have been Nolan Byrne. He's a hardass who fought the Covenant at Harvest, and he had much of the same training as Johnson. 

It's a minor missed chance in what was overall a very good story.
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Tacit Axiom

I think this book is what finally cements Troy Denning as a Nylund-tier contributor to the Haloverse and should serve as a quality standard for other writers where it comes to storytelling, worldbuilding, and attention to detail. Is it perfect? No, just as Nylund wasn't. But as far as Halo stories in the 343i era go, it's by far one of the best, and a damn refreshing return to form.

 

I agree with what others have said about the inclusion of Johnson, but on the other hand I can see why it was done, and do like how it adds gravitas to their relationship in H2-H3; then again, it does chafe noticeably with First Strike. As Quirel said, replacing him with Byrne would've made sense, and would've also offered an opportunity to flesh out a character who's been absent from the fiction for a while. Similarly, I'm still not quite convinced about Fred being so quippy; it works better in Last Light or Retribution where we actually see his POV but here, where he doesn't get as much to do, it comes off as a bit like flanderizing him into this box of designated team joker - a role previously filled by Kelly (though I admit there's a fine line between representing characters' known traits and flanderizing them). Overall, I wish Blue Team would've gotten more to do in terms of their interactions or their specialties, and even in situations that don't involve the mission at hand.

The finale I found a bit too successful for an early-war op, especially this early, but it is what it is, I suppose. At least it's not another story about a Forerunner MacGuffin, and it actually addresses my problem about previous war-era stories rarely just being about missions in the war; everything always has to get sidetracked by a convenient Forerunner artifact.

One of the things I particularly like about Denning's work is that he can write characters who are at odds with the protagonists yet have perfectly rational reasons for it, like Crowther in SS or Veta Lopis in Last Light. Too often in fiction (in Halo as well) anyone who opposes the main characters becomes merely an obstacle or a caricature (e.g. Del Rio). Denning is also very good at writing conflicting motivations, tensions and interesting dynamics between characters in general, which works really well in the military/special force context of the book. And it is really refreshing to see that in Halo, as most depictions of Spartans since Nylund have been trying their hardest to distance themselves from the "military" part of military sci-fi (or the "sci-fi" part as well, for that matter). Even things like the acknowledgment that the Covenant must have supply chains and the actual fleshing out of those supply chains really helps with making the world feel more believable and concrete.

halo
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Gob
Tacit Axiom wrote:

One of the things I particularly like about Denning's work is that he can write characters who are at odds with the protagonists yet have perfectly rational reasons for it, like Crowther in SS or Veta Lopis in Last Light. Too often in fiction (in Halo as well) anyone who opposes the main characters becomes merely an obstacle or a caricature (e.g. Del Rio). Denning is also very good at writing conflicting motivations, tensions and interesting dynamics between characters in general, which works really well in the military/special force context of the book. And it is really refreshing to see that in Halo, as most depictions of Spartans since Nylund have been trying their hardest to distance themselves from the "military" part of military sci-fi (or the "sci-fi" part as well, for that matter). Even things like the acknowledgment that the Covenant must have supply chains and the actual fleshing out of those supply chains really helps with making the world feel more believable and concrete.



Absolutely this. Most of my favorite parts were just a group of people sitting at a table and the tension that arises from conflicting view points. 

There are plenty of times where I thought character xyz was the bad guy, or thought someone was turning; it always kept me guessing. 


Also, could someone post a refresher on First Strike and how the Chief/Johnson relationship in SS conflicts with it. I myself need a refresher but it would also benefit anyone reading this too. 
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Quirel
In First Strike, the Master Chief and Johnson are strangers, which is fairly in keeping with the fact that they only met in the last chapters of Fall of Reach when Blue Team deployed to the station over Reach. There is no moment of "Hey, I remember this guy!" or even an acknowledgement that they know each other. By the end of the book, you see some of the relationship between John and Johnson that Halo 2 shows.

I have seen some people say that Silent Storm is closer to the friendship seen in Halo 2 than First Strike, but I think those people get it backwards. That greatly oversells the relationship between the two at the beginning of Halo 2.

Also, in First Strike, Halsey is not familiar with Johnson, and does not know that he is an ORION soldier.

I am going to echo what Tacit Axiom said. Silent Storm is solidly in the category of military science fiction, and it is all the better for it. The focus on the details of combat and operational planning kept the story grounded and meaningful. Contrast Silent Storm with Hunters in the Dark or Envoy. In Envoy, the Bad Guys have an evil plan, and the protagonists discover that plan (too late) and stop it. Likewise, Hunters in the Dark is ultimately about discovering the Bad Guy's nefarious plan and stopping it. The role of the military in both stories is perfunctory. They exist, they die, they step aside for the protagonists to step in and save the day. 

I am being unfair to Envoy. At least the colonial militia is seen holding off the Brutes and Sharquoi, and at the end they strike at the crater to give the protagonists a chance to slip in. But all the time the militia and the Sangheili warriors are fighting and dying, it feels meaningless. There is no real feeling for how this is going to hurt the colony.  A desperate evacuation is taking place, but it is as clinical and detached as a Catelog entry stating that over a billion people were successfully evacuated from Earth.

There is more of a gut punch in that one scene where an airlock full of Black Daggers get mown down by machine gun nests than there is in all of Hunters in the Dark. You feel how the characters are lost in the confusion, and the people who can do something about it are legitimately burdened by the need to let a sluggish chain of command know what is going on.

Likewise, there was more tension in the Spartan's race up to the communication shack than there was in that one Avengers 2 scene in Halo 5, because the threat that the Insurrectionists posed was taken seriously, and the Spartans had to coordinate, plan ahead, and play it smart.

Speaking of which, I love how the story doesn't hinge on a villainous plan for the heroes to discover and thwart. The UNSC has a plan. The Covenant have a plan. The Insurrectionists have at least seven different plans, and half of them are making it up as they go. And they all keep stumbling over each other and adjusting their own goals as the story winds on. For example, the battle in the ice quarry wasn't orchestrated by one side or the other, it was just a reasonable coincidence that the Innies and the UNSC decided to stage there, and the Innies had guns trained on the UNSC's approach vector because they were expecting the Covenant.

It reminds me of two of my favorite movies: one is Snatch, a story about three or four criminal conspiracies colliding in the streets of London, the other is Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Raiders gets a bad rap these days, with a common joke that Indiana Jones accomplished nothing and might as well have stayed home. This does a great disservice to one of the first summer blockbusters, because it's a hell of a lot smarter than most of the action movies that followed in its wake. There is no plan in Raiders, just a series of missteps and maneuvers as Indy and the Nazis vie for possession of the Ark. 

I really, really wish I didn't loan my copy out, because I want to read this book again.
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British Tyrannosaur

So this is still general novel chat? Here goes anyway.
Haven't had the chance to get SS yet, but have been reading retribution. Holy mother of god, Denning could make a porn story interesting. Only in the first 5 chapters but he just has a brilliant way of drawing me in. The criminal underworld he paints of Brutes,jackals and humans co-existing...well to pillage and murder but still working together is great. Some great tension and the actual investigation stuff by Lopis is honestly engaging. Surprised at how well the latter kept me interested, all the investigation stuff so far has been well written. Though I should have expected that after Last Light.

Have to say I even liked Osman, Denning made her quite the sarcastic jokester in Last Light, here you get into her head more. I hear bad things bout the character from some people but a least under Denning i'm interested.

Last Light was the most out of nowhere book of Halo I've read in a while. Retribution seems to be at least on par with it's engagement so far

 

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Jaydee
Quote:
Denning could make a porn story interesting.


Let's see if we can convince 343i to let him make write a lemon fic starring Kelly, Linda, and Daisy. Grim already announced something between Buck and Veronica.

Anyway, I admit I found the Spartan personalities a bit too open, particularly in comparison to Nylund's books and Forward Unto Dawn, though I could perhaps write it off as the Spartans not being scarred yet by warfare. I also believe it was a tad bit silly that John couldn't tell that Hector Nyeto was the bad guy due to him revealing far too much knowledge about the Spartan program. An acquaintance also noted how the Insurrection was still too obsessed with destroying the UNSC and failing to recognize the Covenant as a threat, which again, I could write off as being too early in the war for the Insurrection to know the Covenant won't discriminate, but I'm not so sure regarding Irenne Castilla, who was an important character in Cole's story.

With that said, I did enjoy the novel, I loved what the writer did for Daisy, even if I didn't expect those things from her at all; and the ending was so happy for me because it both showed Spartans being actually, truly happy for the first time in the entire canon, and by the sequel hook that Daisy and John would probably go into an adventure to hunt down Hector Nyeto, which I hope Mr. Denning gets to make.
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British Tyrannosaur
http:// https://twitter.com/HalopediaWiki/status/1051774293175099395?s=20

halo renegades.jpg 
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Sith Venator
I'm putting ten bucks down that Little Bit is controlling the Armiger.
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