This is a first on our review section, instead of reviews of hardware and games, we are treated to a review of the new Halo novel, "Halo: The Flood" by Michael Lloyd
Halo: The Flood is the second book in the outstanding series by Bungie, telling the story of the mysterious ring world Halo and the secrets that it holds. For all of the fans who read the official prequel, The Fall of Reach
, they will immediately notice the difference that the new author, William C. Dietz, makes to the story. Love it or hate it, Dietz has a very different style of writing than Eric Nylund. The book still follows the adventures of our hero Master Chief, or Spartan 117 as he is now known. There are many side stories, including the entire story of Captain Keyes’ escape with his crew, the marines and Helljumpers who evacuated the ship, and even a Grunt by the name of Yayap and his escapades to try to survive the fight while his leader goes on a quest to kill Master Chief.
The book starts off with the Pillar of Autumn already in system and being attacked by Covenant ships. Captain Keyes is forced to make an emergency crash landing on Halo, and is immediately greeted by Covenant ground patrols. The main storyline is still the exact same as the game, with all the text and locations unchanged. Unfortunately, that isn’t necessarily a good thing. While I found it interesting to read the same things I had just done in the game, it did get a bit tedious going through all the fight scenes. The game was designed with gameplay in mind, but the excitement of killing hundreds of aliens starts to become tiresome in the book. Fortunately the author realizes this and keeps many of the later action scenes short and to the point. One of the improvements is the toning down of Master Chief, and he doesn’t seem as godlike as in Fall of Reach.
One of the high points of the novel comes from the story of the hapless marines that set up on a hill and fend off Covenant and Flood in battle after epic battle. To keep things fresh there is also the story of Captain Keyes, telling everything from his escape, to the battle to fight the flood that has taken his body. You will discover the stories of countless other people involved in the backstory of Halo that never were mentioned in the game. This information alone makes it well worth the read, and helps to clear up many questions that were never answered in the game. Of course, it also brings up new questions.
The novel leaves off with the Spartan boarding the Longsword fighter and making his escape. It sadly doesn’t give any hints about what will happen in Halo 2, but the ending is effective nonetheless. In all, the book is exciting and will keep you intrigued until the last page. Even though you know what happens, it stays fresh and most important, entertaining. Even if you are not familiar with the game or have not read the prequel, it goes into detail explaining all the things in the Halo universe.
A must read for any Halo fan!
Purchase Halo: The Flood from Bungie