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Re: The closest Halo's gotten to Nylund since Nylu
Date: 3/4/15 6:36 am

: Yeah that's right. Them's bold words, and I'm sticking with them.

: There's a certain simplicity and clarity to the text that has been missing
: from Halo novels since Nylund stopped writing them. He (and now Forbeck)
: had a way of writing dialogue and universe descriptions that made it easy
: to piece together a strong visual in your head, because it didn't rely on
: overly flowery dialogue or needless analogies. Nylon's writing was almost
: militaristic in a way, reflecting that clear-cut clarity that the
: military's rigid organization is supposed to convey. While I love reading
: Halo through the lens of different writing styles, it's really refreshing
: to have some of that clarity back again.

: I also think he managed to nail Buck's voice really well. I could absolutely
: hear Nathan Fillion as I was reading, barring a few non-conversational
: bits that are of course inevitable in a first-person story of this length.

: More than anything, I think New Blood felt like a true sequel to ODST with
: the way it brought all the characters back into play and expanded upon
: their relationships, but it also helped to tie in to the new post-war
: universe. Things were explained much more clearly and concisely here than
: in the Kilo-5 trilogy, to the point where I think I would recommend this
: short novel as a follow-up to Halo 3 moreso than the aforementioned
: (although Glasslands is of course necessary for getting everyone out of
: the dyson sphere).

: The only real difference I noticed was that Forbeck didn't excel at action
: sequences as Nylund did, and some of his stretched on overly long. The
: recap of ODST was nice for people who might not have played that game (I
: think this novel actually stands amazingly well on its own), but was
: indeed a little bit too long, as others have said.

: Mickey's betrayal didn't feel right, although I could certainly see it
: working if there was a little more explanation given to his thought
: process prior.

: Other than those and some other minor complaints, I think New Blood has felt
: the most like the original Halo novels of anything I've read since Ghosts
: of Onyx. I certainly missed the clarity that Nylund's writing brought, and
: I hope that we can see more of this style from the franchise in the future
: (although certainly keep the new stuff coming too!). I for one would be
: glad to welcome Forbeck back for a second outing. :)

Now that my initial shock has worn off, I can kind of see where you're coming from with regards to clarity. I still don't think it was necessary to make Mickey defect for the reasons presented, and the Rookie's end may have been needlessly undignified for a player character. But I can't really bring myself to be that angry about his death in and of itself since it wasn't done just for shock and it affected the other characters like a character death should.

Thing is, the Rookie didn't have a future as a blank slate, and if Forbeck started building him a characterization people would've gotten upset when it didn't match their headcanon. If he'd been kept as a blank slate he would've become more of a joke than a character; damned if you do, damned if you don't. I'm much more willing to accept him going out like this than, say, that Catalog character on Waypoint unceremoniously offing Ash, Olivia and Mark in a goddamn forum post.

I didn't get the Nylund vibes at all, though. Like you said the action wasn't quite on the same level and it was missing the jargon and technobabble that were part of the charm of the Nylund books. You mention descriptiveness and while I agree to a certain extent for me it didn't quite reach that vivid borderline movie-like experience the Nylund books provided. Still, it is far from Traviss' pages upon pages of meandering, bleeding-heart introspection and virtually no description. More importantly, New Blood doesn't read like the author has an agenda they're trying to shove in your face every page. You can see Forbeck didn't "rebuild" Buck's character through some ill-defined "psychological profiling" - he just studied how this guy acts and talks. And it works.

It's also pertinent to note that the reaction the ODSTs display to the use of kids in the previous Spartan programs is much more believable than what Traviss would have us believe, amounting to little more than "Whoa, that's messed up". And that's it. No self-righteous fury, no plans to track down and murder Halsey. Which is what you'd expect from battle-hardened soldiers who just endured through a genocidal war.

I doubt I'll end up regarding New Blood as the Next Great Halo Novel, but I'll give it another, less rushed read-through and see how it holds up.

: Forbeck also does a fantastic job of finally introducing us to the Spartan-IV
: program in a way that helps us to understand exactly how it evolved
: (technologically and bureaucratically) out of the preceding programs, in
: ways that a comic just couldn't do. There was one particular passage in
: the book where the three different Spartan programs were summarized using
: comparisons to Titans, gods, and demigods, and I think that's the clearest
: and most concise (official) description of the differences between the
: programs that we've gotten to date, and I really appreciated it. Forbeck's
: writing showed an understanding of the Spartans that I found to be
: refreshing after so long with the Traviss Spartans (which I also enjoyed,
: in spite of focusing overly much on their vulnerabilities).

While I stand by my point that they didn't need to turn Buck and co. into Spartans, New Blood certainly doesn't make the IVs look any worse than they already were, and Forbeck did quite well keeping in mind the material he was working with. Had he been free of the unfortunate constraints of the groundwork laid down by Reed and the rest of 343i I suspect he could've done a lot better. Aside from the IVs' apparently laughable psychological screening. But the point that the IVs aren't meant to compete in the league of their predecessors does help make them less mary sue-like, even if it does seem like backpedaling given how the IVs have been presented before.

I still would've preferred a deeper look into the grisly details of the S-IVs' organization and the tech involved in their augmentations and the Gen-2 Mjolnir armor though. And while I appreciate Buck's criticisms of the Spartan-IV program's more ridiculous aspects like the "Spartan is your rank" nonsense, I think Forbeck could've gone even further with them. A few cameos from the Ghosts of Onyx crew wouldn't have hurt either, if just to remind us they still exist, though I like to hold on to the hope they're being saved up for some later grand showing (hopefully a Nylund book that retcons Glasslands into oblivion).

: Vergil and Sadie were not necessary and felt pointlessly shoehorned.

It definitely felt forced since it was just a cameo and didn't go anywhere beyond that. I get the feeling we're missing out on something potentially awesome with the idea of Sadie and Vergil teaming up to do spy things though.

Messages In This Thread

Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Grizzlei3/1/15 4:55 pm
     Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Quirel3/1/15 5:10 pm
           Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Grizzlei3/1/15 5:14 pm
                 Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Hyokin3/1/15 6:01 pm
                       Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Grizzlei3/1/15 6:20 pm
                             Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Morhek3/1/15 11:07 pm
                                   Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Quirel3/2/15 2:46 am
                                         Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Grizzlei3/2/15 2:51 am
                                               Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Quirel3/2/15 2:56 am
                                                     Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Quirel3/2/15 2:57 am
                 Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Quirel3/2/15 4:18 am
                       Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Grizzlei3/2/15 5:46 am
                             Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Quirel3/2/15 4:22 pm
                                   Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Archilen3/3/15 7:17 am
           This.Archilen3/2/15 1:27 am
                 Re: This.Quirel3/2/15 4:21 am
                       Re: This.Grizzlei3/2/15 5:35 am
                             Re: This.Quirel3/2/15 5:48 am
                                   Re: This.Grizzlei3/2/15 5:55 am
                                         Re: This.Quirel3/2/15 6:02 am
                                               Re: This.Grizzlei3/2/15 6:09 am
                                                     Re: This.Quirel3/2/15 6:22 am
                                                           Re: This.Grizzlei3/2/15 6:25 am
                                                                 This thing that we do.Quirel3/2/15 4:23 pm
     Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*TDSpiral3/1/15 11:20 pm
           *SP* *GIF* *TARDIS*Grizzlei3/2/15 6:04 am
     This kinda bugged me *SP*Grizzlei3/2/15 2:40 am
           Some thoughts and stuffs *SP*Grizzlei3/2/15 5:19 am
                 Nothing is sacred.Revenant19883/2/15 9:51 am
                       Re: Nothing is sacred.robofin1173/2/15 2:07 pm
                       Valar Morghulis *SP*Grizzlei3/2/15 2:38 pm
                             Re: Valar Morghulis *SP*General Vagueness3/2/15 11:36 pm
           Re: This kinda bugged me *SP*Stephen L. (SoundEffect)3/2/15 2:24 pm
                 Re: This kinda bugged me *SP*Grizzlei3/2/15 2:48 pm
                       Re: +1Hyokin3/2/15 4:29 pm
                             Re: +1Grizzlei3/2/15 5:32 pm
                                   Re: +1Hyokin3/2/15 5:53 pm
                             Re: +1Cody Miller3/2/15 7:06 pm
                                   About that... *GIF* *NSFW*Grizzlei3/2/15 7:20 pm
                                         For real?Cody Miller3/2/15 8:12 pm
                                               Four reels *IMG*Grizzlei3/2/15 8:22 pm
                                                     Re: Four reels *IMG*Hyokin3/2/15 8:24 pm
                                                     Re: Four reels *IMG*Cody Miller3/2/15 8:26 pm
                                                           Five reels *IMG*Grizzlei3/2/15 8:34 pm
                                                                 Re: Five reels *IMG*Cody Miller3/2/15 8:42 pm
                                                                       Re: Five reels *IMG*Grizzlei3/2/15 8:56 pm
                                                                             Re: Five reels *IMG*Cody Miller3/2/15 9:06 pm
                                                                                   Re: Five reels *IMG*Grizzlei3/2/15 9:21 pm
                                                                                         Re: You're my hero, Grizzlei. *NM*Hyokin3/2/15 9:30 pm
                                                                                         Re: Five reels *IMG*Cody Miller3/2/15 9:41 pm
                                                                                               Re: Five reels *IMG*Grizzlei3/2/15 9:58 pm
                                                                                                     Re: Five reels *IMG*Quirel3/3/15 4:08 am
                                   Re: +1Hyokin3/2/15 7:33 pm
                             Re: +1munky-0583/4/15 10:45 am
                                   Re: +1Grizzlei3/4/15 11:56 am
                                         Re: +1Hyokin3/4/15 1:49 pm
                                   Re: +1General Vagueness3/5/15 1:53 am
                             Re: +1 - I'm backTuna3/4/15 2:55 pm
                                   Re: +1 - I'm backQuirel3/4/15 4:24 pm
                                   Re: +1 - I'm backJoe Duplessie (SNIPE 316)3/5/15 8:50 am
                                         Re: +1 - I'm backTuna3/5/15 10:59 am
                                         Re: +1 - I'm backbluerunner3/5/15 6:40 pm
                                               Halo CE shottyLawnmower1723/5/15 11:41 pm
                                               Re: +1 - I'm backJoe Duplessie (SNIPE 316)3/6/15 3:43 am
                                                     Re: +1 - I'm backCaneCutter3/6/15 11:31 am
                                               Re: +1 - I'm backmunky-0583/6/15 6:27 am
                                                     Re: +1 - I'm backCaneCutter3/6/15 11:30 am
                                         Re: +1 - I'm backKermit3/6/15 6:36 pm
                       Re: This kinda bugged me *SP*Stephen L. (SoundEffect)3/2/15 8:01 pm
                             Re: This kinda bugged me *SP*uberfoop3/2/15 8:14 pm
                             Re: This kinda bugged me *SP*Cody Miller3/2/15 8:27 pm
                                   Re: This kinda bugged me *SP*Stephen L. (SoundEffect)3/3/15 6:54 am
           HBO has officially gone full 343. RIP. HBO.munky-0583/3/15 4:07 am
                 Edit...munky-0583/3/15 4:09 am
                 *Reads post*Quirel3/3/15 4:10 am
                 Re: You're my hero, Korny. *NM*Joe Duplessie (SNIPE 316)3/3/15 4:17 am
                 343: Now featuring characterizationGrizzlei3/3/15 12:45 pm
                       Re: 343: Now featuring characterizationPostmortem3/4/15 1:02 am
                             Re: 343: Now featuring characterizationGrizzlei3/4/15 1:40 am
                                   I am optimistic about where this thread is going.Quirel3/4/15 6:19 am
                                         +1Archilen3/4/15 7:26 am
                                               Re: +1munky-0583/4/15 11:21 am
                                                     Zip.Quirel3/4/15 4:24 pm
                                               Re: +1Quirel3/4/15 4:27 pm
                                         This. *NM*Ragashingo3/4/15 5:54 pm
                                         Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiGeneral Vagueness3/5/15 1:37 am
                                               Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiQuirel3/5/15 3:32 pm
                                                     Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiGeneral Vagueness3/5/15 8:17 pm
                                                           Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiArchilen3/6/15 7:14 am
                                                                 Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiscarab3/6/15 12:59 pm
                                                                 Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiQuirel3/6/15 2:40 pm
                                               Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiQuirel3/6/15 4:38 am
                                                     Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiGeneral Vagueness3/6/15 8:04 pm
                                         +1 *NM*Kermit3/5/15 8:53 am
                                   part ARevenant19883/4/15 12:20 pm
                                         Re: part AGrizzlei3/4/15 12:51 pm
                                               Re: part Amunky-0583/4/15 1:10 pm
                                                     Re: part Akanbo3/4/15 1:24 pm
                                                     Re: part AGrizzlei3/4/15 1:42 pm
                                                           Re: part AQuirel3/4/15 4:35 pm
                                   part BRevenant19883/4/15 12:45 pm
                                         Your two posts need to be laminated and displayed.munky-0583/4/15 1:02 pm
                                         Re: part BGrizzlei3/4/15 1:25 pm
                             Re: 343: Now featuring characterizationQuirel3/4/15 3:46 am
                                   Re: 343: Now featuring characterizationPostmortem3/4/15 9:18 am
                 Re: HBO has officially gone full 343. RIP. HBO.*OTGeneral Vagueness3/3/15 8:02 pm
           Noble Six was always male.Celestis3/4/15 8:08 pm
                 Re: Noble Six was always male.Grizzlei3/4/15 8:33 pm
                 Good find. *NM*Quirel3/6/15 2:41 pm
     Finished it *SP*Archilen3/2/15 12:46 pm
           Can you answer for me a question?Revenant19883/2/15 12:53 pm
                 Is Half-Life 3 out yet? *GIF*Grizzlei3/2/15 1:02 pm
                       othankgod *NM*Revenant19883/2/15 1:02 pm
                             Re: othankgodGrizzlei3/2/15 1:08 pm
                 Re: Can you answer for me a question?Archilen3/2/15 1:02 pm
           Finished it as well *SP*davidfuchs3/2/15 1:51 pm
                 Re: Finished it as well *SP*Archilen3/3/15 7:12 am
                       Re: Finished it as well *SP*davidfuchs3/3/15 4:54 pm
                             Re: Finished it as well *SP*Postmortem3/4/15 1:12 am
                                   Re: Finished it as well *SP*Archilen3/4/15 7:18 am
     Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST?MacGyver103/2/15 4:32 pm
           Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST?p bro3/2/15 5:06 pm
           Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST?Anton17923/4/15 3:48 pm
                 Good to see you around. *NM*Quirel3/4/15 3:51 pm
                       Re: Good to see you around.Anton17923/4/15 5:20 pm
                 Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST?MacGyver103/4/15 6:55 pm
                       Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST?Anton17923/4/15 8:04 pm
                             Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST?Archilen3/5/15 3:52 am
                       Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST?Quirel3/9/15 6:34 am
           Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST? *Long*Quirel3/7/15 6:27 am
                 Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST? *Long*Anton17923/7/15 11:59 am
                       Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST? *Long*Quirel3/9/15 6:50 am
                 Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST? *Long*Archilen3/9/15 9:59 am
     I wish this came out 3 years ago *SP*Dervish3/2/15 8:44 pm
           Re: I wish this came out 3 years ago *SP*davidfuchs3/2/15 10:44 pm
     Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*General Vagueness3/2/15 10:58 pm
     Briefly read excerptserpx3/3/15 9:22 am
     Re: New Blood - In one image: *GIF*Hyokin3/3/15 12:50 pm
     The closest Halo's gotten to Nylund since Nylund.Postmortem3/4/15 1:36 am
           A response with kinda sorta major-ish minor *SP*Grizzlei3/4/15 1:55 am
           Re: The closest Halo's gotten to Nylund since NyluArchilen3/4/15 6:36 am

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