BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The black ops squad Kilo-Five has a staggering revelation but there is no time to consider the implications because one of their operatives goes silent on a hostile world. As civil war erupts on Sanghelios, the UNSC Infinity prepares to undergo a test run using live targets and live munitions. And ancient evil waits to be awakened.
PROS: Great ideas, essential to understanding what is going on in Halo 4.
CONS: Flat characters, repetitive character descriptions, not very engaging.
BOTTOM LINE: Recommended for Halo fans exclusively.
An hour into playing Halo 4 I found myself asking a lot of questions. Who is this Didact fellow? What is Requiem? Why are the Covenant suddenly attacking me – didn’t we have a truce at the end of Halo 3? How did the UNSC build a 6 kilometer long space ship? It’s a good thing that I play the Halo games for the shooting and not the actual storytelling. If I want to learn anything about the Halo universe I just turn to the tie-in fiction that has done such an amazing job of expanding the lore. Authors like Eric Nylund, William C. Dietz, Tobias S. Buckell, and Joseph Staten have written wonderful novels that support this monolithic franchise. Two new authors have been added to the roster, the much celebrated Greg Bear (whose Forerunner novels I have yet to dig into) and Karen S. Traviss, an author with much tie-in fiction experience. Halo: The Thursday War is the second entry in the Kilo-Five trilogy, which is itself an indirect sequel to Eric Nylund’s Halo: Ghosts of Onyx. Relating to the canon, Halo: The Thursday War takes place just prior to the events of Halo 4. So how does it stack up compared to the rest of the family?