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Denning grew up in the mountain town of Idaho Springs, Colorado. An avid reader of science fiction and fantasy, he began writing himself at the age of fourteen in 80-page spiral-bound notebooks, and began to collect the usual quantity of rejection slips. Around his eighteenth birthday, he received a rejection slip from editor Ben Bova, but one with a signature and a handwritten note thanking him for the submission. Heartened, Denning continued to write as he attended Beloit College, where he also played on their Division III football team.
2526. It has been almost a year since humanity engaged in its destructive first contact with a theocratic military alliance of alien races known as the Covenant. Now the hostilities have led to open war, and the United Nations Space Command understands virtually nothing about its new enemy. There are only two certainties—the Covenant is determined to eradicate humanity, and they have the superior technology to do just that. The UNSC’s only hope lies with the Spartans: enhanced super-soldiers trained from childhood via a clandestine black-ops project to be living weapons. Their designated commander, Petty Officer John-117, has been assigned to lead the Spartans on a desperate counterattack designed to rock the Covenant back on its heels, and to buy humanity the time it needs to gather intelligence and prepare its defenses.
But not everyone wants the Spartans to succeed. A coalition of human rebel leaders believes an alliance with the Covenant to be its best hope of finally winning independence from the Unified Earth Government. To further their plans, the insurrectionists have dispatched a sleeper agent to sabotage the UNSC counterattack—and ensure that John-117 and the Spartans never return from battle….
Andrew Bulthaupt: Silent Storm is a great addition to the Halo universe, focusing on the UNSC’s favorite Spartan – John-117 – and one of his team’s earliest engagements with the Covenant. There are plenty of familiar faces in addition to the Master Chief and a few new ones as well, giving readers both a sense of familiarity and added depth.
The story is set well before the Fall of Reach – technically it’s events take place in the middle of the book with that title – at a point where John’s loss of Samuel-034 during an attack on a Covenant ship is still fresh in his mind. Now he and eleven other Spartans are part of a much larger mission to attack the Covenant after they have glassed several UEG colonies. Without spoiling anything, you soon find there’s more parties involved than initially apparent, and the mission becomes much more challenging.
I enjoyed this look back into the early days of the Human-Covenant war. It was great to see certain characters together again and the story also had the effect of setting up some events that take place later on in the timeline that we’ve seen in other works. I would definitely recommend it to any Halo fan wanting to learn more about universe.
Alex Hill: I really enjoyed this book. Troy Denning has become my favorite Halo author from the stories that have emerged after Bungie’s Halo 3. He seems to be the only one that understands the Halo lore and how it’s supposed to sound and feel. He stays true to what makes Halo great while also bringing in new ideas.
That being said, this book wasn’t as good as his other two. My only criticism is that I found a majority of the battles and action sequences throughout the story to be extremely difficult to follow. I couldn’t visually understand what was happening. The settings felt inconsistent at times and the actions the characters took were confusing. It seemed like there were pages missing that would have explained the change in pace.
Still better than Matt Forbeck’s Legacy of Onyx.
A “Thank you” would be nice!