Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Halo Grasslands by Karen Traviss

Once again, loyalties are tested in a blasted future of brutal war which yawns between episodes of peace.  In HALO: Grasslands by Karen Traviss, the franchise of novels based on the video game continues as Kilo-Five is recruited to accelerate the Sangheili insurrection.  A shield world guards a treasure of Forerunner technology which may change the game, but does the game ever really change in the end?  Euan Morton narrates this latest episode, which develops its own side stories at its own pace.  The writing is good, regardless of how much new is learned about the Spartans and others, as the experience Traviss has in writing screenplays and other gaming franchises such as Star Wars and Gears of War comes to bear here.  Scottish actor Morton, as narrator, has a sharp yet versatile English voice, lending dimension to both male and female characters.  Now if only someone would imagine a universe where the basest of primitive brainstem urges doesn't propel everybody to bloodlust and power over others.  But I suppose that's asking too much.  What would you do with the video game controllers and fire buttons?

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