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Mortal Dictata thoughts *Minor SP*
Date: 1/24/14 4:20 am

I haven't cried because of Halo in a few years, not since Lucy accidentally killed a Huragok in Glasslands. On three separate occasions did Traviss make me cry while reading Mortal Dictata. Totally not going to mention the number of times I read and cried over page 355, though. :P

Mortal Dictata is rather complicated to explain. It is certainly an enticing novel to read through as quickly as possible. No doubt about that for any of Karen Traviss's forays into the Haloverse. Like the others, however, it's plagued by great sums of skippable filler. This drags it down considerably in a nearly 500 page novel.

Much of this filler is provided by the Kig-Yar pirating plot. At no time was I able to grab hold of a character and find something exciting about their lives, motivations, or happenings. Mortal Dictata is remarkably woven together with its three main plotlines, and the Kig-Yar manage to consistently bore you. It was a wasted opportunity on so many levels. Chol Von, a T'vaoan (skirmisher) shipmistress, aimed to unite the Kig-Yar by seizing the battlecruiser Pious Inquisitor to form the nucleus of a unified fleet for her species. Her nationalist aspirations and the concerns of Paragon's ship's company should have taken precedent. Instead, we get a dreadfully boring narrative of her searching for arms dealer Sav Fel. Worse than all this filler is the lack of details. Never did I have a sense of where I was. I was forced to substitute the author's inability to give this essential imagery by carelessly imagining Star Wars, Starship Troopers, and even Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor.

Honestly, I think the Kig-Yar are great. They have a great deal to offer the Haloverse that we've only just seen a glimpse into. Courtesies granted to enriching readers about the culture and history of human colonists, the Huragok, and Sangheili are rarely given to the Kig-Yar. Mere mentions of tradition and values. Nothing to sink your teeth into, sadly. Ignoring this species' potential in the franchise is ill-advised.

Central to Mortal Dictata is Venezia, where we find Marines Mal Geffen and Vaz Beloi, Spartan Naomi-010, and agent Mike Spenser pitted against the diverse world of rebels, terrorists, refugees, gangsters, and businessmen with disgruntled colonist Staffan Sentzke and the Kig-Yar, Sav Fel, at the forefront. This is the Halo I've been aching for. The controlled chaos of Venezia does not let up, and I guarantee it won't disappoint you. Staffan's history will hit you in the gut just a few pages in. Anybody who reads the trauma faced by him and his wife are unlikely to callously consider the SPARTAN-II program justified. It's evident that Traviss put most of her effort into the events leading up to the confrontation of Venezia and beyond.

Can't say much about Venezia without spoiling the entire story, but...

Page 355 gets all my feels. OH MY GOD!

With Staffan Sentzke, Sav Fel, and Chol Von thrusted into the spotlight, development of the previous two novels were given token mentions throughout Mortal Dictata. "The Bishop", Avu Med 'Telcam, a central figure in the Sangheili opposition to the Arbiter, is reduced to the other end of the phone line. Jul 'Mdama is only referred to when speaking of pissed off baddies. Although, I'm not too surprised the likes of Terrence Hood and Infinity were rarely mentioned. They weren't needed, so nothing lost there. 'Telcam's minor role would have been perfect had this been an open-ended book series as his presence in Mortal Dictata wasn't absolutely necessary as a visible character. But this being the final book in the trilogy, I wouldn't be surprised if his grudges with Chol Von are overlooked.

In Mortal Dictata, you're unlikely not to notice the wealth of emotion given to characters by Traviss. Nowhere is this better evident than with the Sentzke's. Staffan's first family of his wife Lena and daughter Naomi consumes you with sorrow just as you see how much of a sweetheart this father is. As the years pass, he gives life to another family on another world, all sharing in his passions, albeit unconvinced of his radical theories. I'll shut up now before I spoil you. For BB, Kilo-Five's intelligent artificial companion, he struggles with his personality. We've seen him grow from a stoic, impersonal construct unwilling to accept any form of token humanity we've previously seen to a character full of excitement, happiness, sadness, and concern.

I have little doubt that readers will walk away from Mortal Dictata without finding deeply ingrained feelings for these characters and their actions. This novel took quite an emotional toll on me from the start and I still haven't taken the time to realize what that all meant.

The galaxy stops for a week to seize a single warship, Pious Inquisitor, for a trillion people's various reasons. It will get tedious at times and you will wonder why Traviss chose this damn thing to wrap everything together. She got real boring writing the Kig-Yar racing around the colonies for this damn ship. Humans and something else give her life, but by the end, you'll just want them to scuttle the bitch and move on to the epilogue.

Anyhoo, like I said, Mortal Dictata is kinda difficult to score. It left me in tears, cheered me up, then made me pissed off at everyone, but it still wasn't great. For the most part the novel didn't drag on and on, but the parts that were unsatisfactory really tried their hardest to bring down an otherwise good piece of literature. That being said, however, I really do encourage you to read it. It may not carry some page-by-page with excitement, but it will make you think. For apprehensive fans who weren't able to appreciate the previous two books, I believe Traviss has remedied most of your concerns. I would even say that Mortal Dictata can be read as a standalone book.

Simple list of stuffs:

- The cover
- Making Halsey apologists seem like heartless bastards: Yeah, I'll explain this one this weekend. Trust me. I have a lot of bitching to get off my chest.
- Pirates
- Dollhouses: Jealous
- Cool ass lamps with star pattern holograms: Super totally jealous to the max.
- Not taking ONI's shit at age six: You go, girl!
- Biting
- Scandinavian pride!
- The Mortal Dictata: Hey! That's the name of the book!
- Huragok decorating cake
- Huragok upgrading Pelicans
- Huragok being hardcore badasses
- Instant breakfast
- Kig-Yar mother warning her son that she'll feed him to his older brothers if he doesn't stop being a whiny little bitch.
- "Awh!" moments
- Drunk Helljumpers
- Blonde haired people
- Dem feels...
- Huragok

- No Blue Team: Reasonable exclusion. I just miss our babies. :(
- Surströmming: Why, Hedda? WHY?
- Margaret Parangosky: She could have been less of a kinda sweet old lady and more evil. Be consistent!
- Wondering if [BLANK] is the [BLANK] of [BLANK] the whole fucking time!
- No pictures

Messages In This Thread

Mortal Dictata thoughts *Minor SP*Grizzlei1/24/14 4:20 am
     One more concern to note...Grizzlei1/24/14 4:24 am
           THISMid7night1/24/14 9:36 am
                 SPOILERY MINI SPOILFEST part 1 *SP*Grizzlei1/25/14 7:50 pm
                       Eh sorry, that's "Late 2517 - Reach" *NM*Grizzlei1/25/14 7:53 pm
                       Re: SPOILERY MINI SPOILFEST part 1 *SP*DEEP NNN1/25/14 9:40 pm
                       Re: SPOILERY MINI SPOILFEST part 1 *SP*Avateur1/25/14 9:57 pm
                             Re: SPOILERY MINI SPOILFEST part 1 *SP*Grizzlei1/25/14 10:20 pm
                                   Re: SPOILERY MINI SPOILFEST part 1 *SP*DEEP NNN1/25/14 10:48 pm
                                   Re: SPOILERY MINI SPOILFEST part 1 *SP*Avateur1/25/14 11:19 pm
                                         Re: The SpartansRevenant19881/26/14 1:06 am
                                         Nitpicking...Arithmomaniac1/26/14 1:21 pm
                                               Re: Nitpicking...Avateur1/26/14 1:35 pm
                                   Maybe\probably more spoilers. *big post*Revenant19881/26/14 12:46 am
                                         Re: Maybe\probably more spoilers. *big post*Grizzlei1/26/14 1:42 am
                                               Re: Maybe\probably more spoilers. *big post*Revenant19881/26/14 3:56 am
                                                     Re: Maybe\probably more spoilers. *big post*DEEP NNN1/26/14 8:21 am
                                                     Re: Maybe\probably more spoilers. *big post*Grizzlei1/26/14 1:50 pm
                                                           Re: Maybe\probably more spoilers. *big post*Quirel1/26/14 2:39 pm
                                                                 Re: Maybe\probably more spoilers. *big post*Grizzlei1/26/14 4:13 pm
                                               Re: Maybe\probably more spoilers. *big post*Arithmomaniac1/26/14 12:37 pm
                                         Re: Maybe\probably more spoilers. *big post*DEEP NNN1/26/14 8:17 am
                                         Chief wins alldavidfuchs1/27/14 11:22 am
                                               Re: Chief wins allRevenant19881/27/14 11:34 am
                                   Re: SPOILERY MINI SPOILFEST part 1 *SP*Arithmomaniac1/26/14 1:06 pm
                                         Re: SPOILERY MINI SPOILFEST part 1 *SP*Grizzlei1/26/14 1:33 pm
                       What's Jorge's deal?Dervish2/2/14 5:36 pm
     Side thought (kinda OT)padraig081/24/14 10:26 am
           Re: Side thought (kinda OT)Revenant19881/24/14 10:55 am
                 Re: Side thought (kinda OT)padraig081/24/14 11:06 am
                       Re: Side thought (kinda OT)Revenant19881/24/14 11:12 am
                             Re: Side thought (kinda OT)padraig081/24/14 11:15 am
                 Re: Side thought (kinda OT)Grizzlei1/24/14 4:19 pm
           Re: Side thought (kinda OT)Leviathan1/24/14 11:58 am
                 My thoughts to both Padraig and Levi actuallyMacGyver101/24/14 3:26 pm
                       Link for Epilogue Cutscene BTW: Jump to 2:35MacGyver101/24/14 3:29 pm
                       Re: My thoughts to both Padraig and Levi actuallypadraig081/24/14 3:45 pm
                             Re: My thoughts to both Padraig and Levi actuallyArithmomaniac1/26/14 1:12 pm
                                   Re: My thoughts to both Padraig and Levi actuallyGrizzlei1/26/14 4:54 pm
                       Re: My thoughts to both Padraig and Levi actuallyQuirel1/24/14 9:41 pm
                 The only thing I disagree with...Quirel1/24/14 10:03 pm
                       Re: The only thing I disagree with...Leviathan1/24/14 11:00 pm
           Re: Side thought (kinda OT)Grizzlei1/24/14 3:53 pm
                 Re: Side thought (kinda OT)Avateur1/24/14 5:57 pm
                       Re: Side thought (kinda OT)scarab2/2/14 5:05 pm
                             Re: Side thought (kinda OT)Quirel2/2/14 9:13 pm
                                   Re: Side thought (kinda OT)Avateur2/2/14 10:18 pm
                                   Re: Side thought (kinda OT)davidfuchs2/2/14 11:09 pm
                                   Re: Side thought (kinda OT)scarab2/4/14 7:17 pm
                                         Re: Side thought (kinda OT)rhubarb2/4/14 7:30 pm
                                               Re: Side thought (kinda OT)scarab2/5/14 12:39 pm
                                         Re: Side thought (kinda OT)Quirel2/5/14 12:39 am
                             Re: Side thought (kinda OT)Avateur2/2/14 10:16 pm
                                   Re: Side thought (kinda OT)Avateur2/2/14 10:19 pm
                                         Re: Side thought (kinda OT)Quirel2/2/14 10:36 pm
                                   Re: Side thought (kinda OT)Revenant19882/2/14 10:34 pm
                                         Spoil me rev, I want that knowledge in me now! *NM*padraig082/3/14 11:54 am
                                   Re: Side thought (kinda OT)scarab2/5/14 1:02 pm
           I kinda want to play as a rogue Spartan/EliteFlynn J Taggart1/24/14 7:53 pm
                 Re: I kinda want to play as a rogue Spartan/Elitecrazedone19881/25/14 3:28 am
                       Re: I kinda want to play as a rogue Spartan/EliGrizzlei1/25/14 10:36 am
     Re: Mortal Dictata thoughts *Minor SP*DHalo1/25/14 6:36 am
           Re: Mortal Dictata thoughts *Minor SP*Grizzlei1/25/14 10:08 am
                 Re: Mortal Dictata thoughts *Minor SP*DHalo1/25/14 10:59 am
                       Re: Mortal Dictata thoughts *Minor SP*Grizzlei1/25/14 11:59 am
                             Re: Mortal Dictata thoughts *Minor SP*DHalo1/25/14 1:47 pm
                                   Re: Mortal Dictata thoughts *Minor SP*Grizzlei1/25/14 2:21 pm
           Re: Mortal Dictata thoughts *Minor SP*Avateur1/25/14 7:32 pm
                 Re: Mortal Dictata thoughts *Minor SP*Grizzlei1/25/14 8:02 pm
     Simple solution to all of this controversy...Postmortem1/25/14 3:08 pm
           No.Grizzlei1/25/14 3:30 pm
                 Re: No.davidfuchs1/27/14 11:05 am
           Re: Simple solution to all of this controversy...Frankie1/27/14 2:13 pm
                 Re: Simple solution to all of this controversy...Quirel1/27/14 2:15 pm
                 Who is this strange person?Revenant19881/27/14 3:38 pm
                 See, this is what happensMacGyver101/27/14 3:52 pm
                       Re: See, this is what happensQuirel1/27/14 4:02 pm
                       Re: See, this is what happensmunky-0581/27/14 4:05 pm
                 Re: Simple solution to all of this controversy...DEEP NNN1/27/14 6:17 pm

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