Review: HALO: Envoy by Tobias S. BuckellHALO: Envoy by Tobias S. Buckell
Published by Gallery Books on April 25, 2017
Format: Paperback
Genres: Video Game, Military Science Fiction
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five-stars

An original full-length novel set in the Halo universe and based on the New York Times bestselling video game series!

It has been six years since the end of the Covenant War...and yet on the planet Carrow, a world on the edge of the Joint Occupation Zone, a decisive new battle suddenly erupts. Human colonists and the alien Sangheili have already been living a tension-filled co-existence in this place, with Unified Earth Government envoy Melody Azikiwe attempting to broker a lasting peace between their two species. But as civil war now engulfs the Sangheili settlers, Melody must act on an additional covert assignment courtesy of the Office of Naval Intelligence: find a way to free the SPARTAN-IIs known as Gray Team, held in stasis since the end of the war by a cunning Elite fleetmaster consumed with vengeance. And none can anticipate the ongoing violence leading to the discovery of an even greater, unstoppable threat—one hidden for eons below the surface of the planet….

HALO: Envoy by Tobias S. Buckell

When a war ends, it’s not entirely over for everyone. One of my favorite lines from Gears of war: Jacinto’s Remnant was one of the Gears wondering now that the war with the Locusts was over, how long would it take for them to start fighting amongst themselves again. When the war with the Covenant ended, not everyone is willing to embrace one another as allies. There are factions of Sangheili that still harbor great resentment against the humans, and vice versa. It doesn’t matter to either that each side was fighting a war, and war means terrible things happen on both sides. Usually these terrible things happen under orders, but the victims never consider that. Halo: Envoy tells one such story of each side not being willing to let go, and the detriments of holding on to such hate and pride.

An outer colony known as Carrow was once abandoned by human colonists, but now they have returned only to find Sangheili have formed a colony of their own after the war. These Sangheili aren’t entirely with the Arbiter or against him and his wishes for a human alliance. They want a chance to start over, especially after a team of Spartan-IIs literally blew up their home planet of Glyke. ONI sent an Envoy to these Sangheili to try to broker peace between them, and to try to retrieve something they have: the cyropods containing the three Spartan-IIs of Gray Team. Gray Team happens to be the very same trio who destroyed Glyke. To say that there are warring conflicts of interest would be putting it beyond mildly.

The Envoy was successful in waking the team, who has been sleeping the last six years and woke to learn that the war was over. It’s almost very Captain America-esque. Gray Team went under cryo due to very stressful circumstances, and they’ve awoken in the middle of a different type of skirmish. They feel they should help the colony of Carrow, which is currently under Jiralhanae attack. However, the Envoy has yet another secret up her sleeve thanks to ONI. If I ever thought I couldn’t despise ONI more than I already did, this book has certainly proven me wrong. If the Halo series included an uprising of the remaining Spartan-IIs against ONI, I’d be that story arc’s biggest fan.

I didn’t realize that Gray Team had been in a book before, but thanks to HALO: Envoy, I’m eager to get my hands on it. Gray Team is by far, the most unusual Spartan-II team, and they absolutely fascinate me. They’re rather rogue, and yet they know what they need to do. They brilliantly came together with their worst enemy in order to save them all from a greater danger. I could not have predicted a single thing in this story, from who Gray Team is to what ONI was hiding on Carrow. And the best thing about HALO: Envoy is the fact that anyone can read it, no matter if the reader’s only knowledge is from the games. Reading their first book, The Cole Protocol, isn’t needed (as I certainly haven’t read it), and neither are any other novels or comics.

HALO: Envoy is an absolute treat for all Halo fans, and it’s certainly a must-read for fans of the Halo extended universe.

About Tobias S. Buckell

Tobias S. Buckell

Born in the Caribbean, Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times Bestselling author. His novels and over 50 short stories have been translated into 17 languages and he has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author. He currently lives in Ohio.

 


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five-stars