Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Halo: New Blood

Halo: New Blood, Matt Forbeck, Gallery Books, 2015

Set approximately 500 years from now, this novel, part of a series, is about humanity in the middle of an interplanetary war. Their opponent is a large group of species and factions collectively called the Covenant.

Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck is an average soldier in that war. He and his Strike Team are part of the Orbital Deep Shock Troopers, or ODST. The relationship between Strike Team members is much more than just trusting each other. They have to know what their colleague is going to do before he does it. Even though they have the latest weapons and battle armor, the Troopers still have a high death rate.

The ODST play a major role in thwarting a Covenant invasion of Earth at the end of the Covenant War. Buck has every justification for wanting to retire to someplace quiet with Veronica (who works for the Office of Naval Intelligence), his girlfriend. The Spartan program will give Buck and the other Troopers the chance to, literally, become super soldiers. Buck is very reluctant to go through the internal, and external, modifications that are necessary, until Veronica convinces him.

Meantime, there are some humans who really don't like the United Nations (the name of the human planetary confederation). Now that the Covenant War is over, they can't help but think that the Spartan soldiers will be used on them, to stifle all dissent. For Buck, fighting the Covenant War, was, figuratively, easy (if a being is alien, fire away). It gets a lot harder when the enemy is human, perhaps even another Spartan.

This is my first exposure to the "world" of Halo, based on the popular computer game. This novel is really good. As you can expect, there is a lot of action, but the characters are real people, too. The author does a first-rate job from start to finish, and it is well worth reading.

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