Well, I read that about as fast as I could without incurring undo familial stress. Let me point out first that I won’t be putting any spoilers in this review, it’s more of a general feelings kind of thing. I haven’t decided yet if I will do a Chapter-by-Chapter breakdown, or just hit on the main points when I do the full review, but I will leave that for a couple weeks to make sure people have had some time with the book.
On to the meat. First off, it was better than Glasslands. The previous novel in the Kilo 5 trilogy had so much Halsey bashing, that it overrode any other redeeming qualities the book had. After reading Glasslands, the prevailing thought I had was “Boy, Traviss sure hates Halsey. Like, a lot.” In her latest novel however, I find she doesn’t get hung up on one situation, or mood, or thought. The themes from Glasslands are still there. Are we doing the right thing? Should the few suffer for the good of the many? How will people’s past affect how they make decisions? Are the old beliefs still valid, or do we need to change? However, they are spread around to so many different issues that none take precedence The main thought I have after reading Thursday War, story wise, is that it fleshed out even more of Sangheli culture than the last one. I’ll leave it at that.
Another thought I had while reading the book was that the Halo Universe has us cheering for the bad guys. Here we are on the side of the big huge empire, and we are rooting for the super secret spy organization. We cheer for a person who did abduct children and put them through bootcamp, and worse (at least I do). We feel angry towards the people who think she is a monster. She is. So are Parangosky, Mendez, and Ackerson, before he died. These people do horrible things and still we are on there side, rather than the side of the insurrectionists. Why? Is this simply a side affect of the Chief being so loved by fans? Or do we really feel like “We’re all in this together” for good or bad?
As great as the book was, it did feel slightly anti-climactic, and some of the things that had me page turning as fast as I could just never materialized. There were no major reveals in the book, for me at least. I already knew a lot of what was hinted at or confirmed because I am following all the news about Halo 4. Though I could imagine that if someone who wasn’t following all of that read this book, it would be quite the tease. That’s not to say there wasn’t back story for Halo 4 however. There where things that answered some questions I had, and filled a few holes.
In the end, it is a much better book from Traviss than her previous shot at the Halo Universe. She seems to have taken what was good about Glasslands, namely getting inside the thoughts of each character, and toned down the Halsey obbsession. Like, a lot. I really wasn’t keen on her as an author before, but this book has redeemed her in my eyes, at least in the Halo Universe. I look forward to the next book in the Kilo 5 series.