Halo: Shadow of Intent
Good lord, I thought I was done with all the Halo books but then I found another one I hadn’t read yet.1 So I’ve got at least one more of these things to write.2
This was another of the interwar-period books, following some ex-Covenant folk. On one side, a Prelate, roughly the Covenant equivalent of a Spartan.3 On the other, the Half-Jaw, an old warrior who sided with the Arbiter in the mess of post-Covenant Sangheili politics. Seeing the mess that was Sangheilios, the Arbiter sent the Half-Jaw and his ship, the sole remaining assault-carrier in the Sangehili navy. If you’re in the middle of a morass of a civil war, you don’t want the under-staffed, under-defended Big Gun being right nearby and easily accessible to anyone who might want the power to glass half the planet.
The book felt deceptively short, to be honest – I was going to describe a bit more of the plot, but I realized that was easily halfway through it already, which is going a bit beyond my ‘no spoilers’ rule I try to abide by. More of a novella than a novel, I suppose.
That said, they managed to get some good character development in – the Prelate has a tragic backstory going on, explored through a couple (nightmarish) dream sequences, which gets worse over time. Rather sad, really, but I suppose that’s what happens in war. The Half-Jaw, on the other hand, is an old warrior, nicknamed for the injuries he received in the Covenant civil war, and wants nothing more than to be able to rest. Not really an option when you’ve got a Prelate trying to kill you, though. Poor guy.
There’s a bit of a Forerunner artifact involved, because of course there is, but it doesn’t really get explored very well – the part of me that always wants to know about Forerunner tech and history was quite annoyed about the lack of explanation on what exactly it was, but oh well. I’ll live.
Now, if I’m remembering properly, this being such a short book also meant it was pretty cheap, so go ahead and give it a read.
- It was already on my Kindle and everything. My roommate is making fun of me for having “the least unhealthy addiction ever.” ↩
- I say “at least” because at this point I might go back and reread the ones I’ve got as actual paperbacks and do re-read-reviews of them or something. It’s all an excuse to read more Halo books, I’ve gotta be honest. ↩
- Prelates are, apparently, retro-genetically modified San’Shyuum, so closer in relation to Spartan-IVs than anything else, I suppose? They’re also, notably, some of the only members of the Prophet race to be able to walk under their own power, and are actually impressively good fighters. ↩