Book Review: ‘Halo: Silent Storm’ by Troy Denning

Halo: Silent Storm is the latest book to come out of the Halo Lore. This book focuses on Master Chief and takes place a few months after the events of Spartan Samuel-034 being lost. Master Chief and the rest of the Spartans are only 15-year-olds, and are sent on a mission to defend against the Covenant and send a message to them in the early days of the Human-Covenant War.

*This review will contain spoilers so please be warned now that I will talk about some plot points in the book*

Overall, I liked the book and felt it did do justice to adding more into Chief’s past and the lore in general. In this book’s events, this is the first time Sergeant Johnson, who makes a return to the lore, learns about the Spartans and meets Chief along with the Blue, Gold and Green teams. This meeting of Chief and Johnson also shows how their relationship forms and how Master Chief learns valuable lessons from Johnson that he would remember throughout the rest of his time. We also get to see more of the other Spartans from other media like Kurt-051, Joshua-029, Daisy-023, and Naomi-10; along with the rest of Blue team and the other unnamed members of Green and Gold team. A younger Dr. Halsey also makes a return and you get to see her more, boosting her Spartans abilities. This is also Dr. Halsey’s first experience learning about the Covenant technology.

Silent Storm delves more into the UNSC and their view of the Spartan program early on. The games do not really show it but the books get into it more and show that not everybody in the UNSC likes the Spartans or believe in their abilities. For example, Colonel Marmon Crowther doubts the Spartans for most of the book and wanted his ODSTs, the Black Daggers, to be used in the mission more than the Spartans. Throughout the book, Crowther spends most of the time making John-117 and the rest of the Spartans have to prove themselves, or stay on the side – which starts getting to the Chief. This gives Sgt. Johnson the opportunity to teach John-117 about gaining people’s trust, proving yourself, how to get around orders, and not try to always be the hero. In this book, it is also Crowther who gives John-117 his 4-rank promotion to Master Chief, which gives us the history of him gaining his popular name.

The mission of this book is for the entire squad to intersect a fleet of Covenant ships, board them and plant tactical nukes aboard to blow the ships up. Throughout the mission, Commander Hector Nyeto was secretly sabotaging the mission because he was working for the insurgents. Nyeto was also feeding the insurgents the classified existence of the Spartans to other insurgent leaders, who then tried to sell the info to Covenant for an alliance and immunity. Nyeto was also responsible for messing up  the missions of Blue, Gold and Green teams, which you learn he did on purpose in order to get rid of the Spartans. This mission was Chief’s learning experience for letting other soldiers carry out tasks/missions, and not try not to do everything himself. Throughout the book, Chief starts allowing others to do tasks, even if they end up dying; respecting the sacrifices of the other soldiers.

My dislikes for this book were not having the other members of the Green and Gold teams being named, or even having a chapter giving the reader an insight on their mission. However, this is due to this being a Master Chief story and not just a general Halo story. I also did not like seeing Chief try to always be the hero, but since this is after just losing Samuel, I understand it.

This book is a great read if you are trying to learn more about Master Chief’s early days, his interactions with other members of the UNSC, and how he and his family first become Spartans. The book adding Kurt, Daisy, Naomi, and Joshua was a nice nod to using other Spartans that barely get any spotlight.  The book also does a good job in showing how the loss of Samuel affected not only Chief, but how he tried to protect the other Spartans. Hopefully, in the future more books will be released that focus on the Green and Gold teams, and the other Spartans.

Written by Troy Denning, Halo: Silent Storm is a great addition to the Halo lore and definitely worth the read!

Halo: Silent Storm is available for purchase in Kindle and audiobook format, as well as hardback and paperback online, or from your local book store.

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