Ghosts of Onyx

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Our Review

Halo: Ghosts of Onyx takes place primarily during the events of Halo 2 but also acts as a sequel to Halo: First Strike. In addition, it is the first book by Eric Nylund that does not involve Master Chief as the main character, focusing more on side stories. Despite this, however, the book is actually enjoyable.

What I like best is the fact that, although the book makes the occasional allusion to other Halo media, it’s more original than past novels. This is primarily because the story is distanced from the events going on at the same time in Halo 2. At the same time it is more personal, not dealing with events of galactic consequences which sets it apart from other stories, but also brings it home. Some might prefer that but is is different.

Another really strong aspect is the characters and character development. As I mentioned Master Chief is not the focus of the book. Instead Eric Nylund focuses more on his side characters. Each of these characters have their own moment to shine. I particularly enjoyed the character development for Kurt who’s beginning drew me in, and who’s end was emotionally dramatic. Dr. Halsey is also a great character, even though her persona had already been established it all seemed to converge here.

Eric Nylund’s style is both personal and military, making it very enjoyable to read. There are a few moments when there appear to be too many characters to keep track of. It seems like Eric Nylund may have been bringing too many plot lines together. Additionally, some of the techno/military babble fills the page making it easy to skim and miss things. But the book is generally well written and fun to get back to.

Overall, this is a good book, though perhaps not as good as Fall of Reach, but definitely one of the best. And even though it feels like the third installment in a trilogy (with Fall of Reach, and First Strike) the ending is still left open promising for more in the future.