Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Book Review: Halo Broken Circle by John Shirley

Halo Broken Circle by John Shirley

Paperback, 352 pages

Published November 4th 2014 by Gallery Books

I know I have no business reviewing a video game novel but here is the deal. The most modern video I have played is Galaga. John Shirley is my favorite author currently calling planet earth home, so I just looked at this as a space opera by an author who doesn’t normally write in that genre. Shirley has written Video game tie-ins before, he is a gamer after all. I read his Borderlands and Bioshock novels as well. (on a side note Brian Evenson has deadspace novel I’d like to read too.)

Of the three franchises his Bioshock novel worked the best as a stand alone novel. That said I did enjoy this novel despite my total ignorance of the Halo universe. The first half of the novel takes place 1,000 years before the events of the game. The second shoot ahead A thousand years and I had the feeling this was the part of the book that tied to the game.

Mostly the first half was about the building of the last forerunner shield world, which seems directly influenced by Larry Niven’s classic Ringworld. Interesting aspect is the fact that the novel lacks a single human character. I pretty sure that is a first for Shirley. This has a much more space fantasy feel than anything he has ever written before.

Shirley does a strong job of building up the factions and breathing life into the characters. It has excellently realized action and it has made me a little more interested in the Halo universe. Must read for Halo fans and Shirley die-hards like me.

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