The Flood (Halo #2) Review

The Flood (Halo #2) is a 2003 military science fiction novel written by William C. Dietz, published by Del Rey Books, and based on the 2001 video game Halo: Combat Evolved. Set as a sequel to Halo: The Fall of Reach, the story follows a super soldier named the Master Chief and his A.I. companion, Cortana, as they explore the artificial ringworld called Halo while combating the Covenant, a group of aliens bent on mankind’s destruction.


Positives:

  • Great characters
  • Great suspense
  • Good story
  • Good writing

Negatives:

  • Writing could be better

Plot: Set in the year 2552, humanity is at war with a collective of alien races called the Covenant.  The story picks up with a human ship discovering an ancient ring-world called Halo.  The human-Covenant war reaches the planet’s surface.  The story follows cyborg, super solder Master Chief and his A.I. companion Cortana, as they aid the remaining Marines, fight the Covenant, and unlock the secrets of Halo.  However, the war takes a turn for the worst when Halo’s darkest secret is unleashed.  The story is really exciting filled with intense action as well as horror.  It does take its time revealing the story, focusing on several perspectives. (3 out of 5)

Characters:  The main protagonists of the story is Spartan-117, the Master Chief, and his A.I. companion, Cortana.  Both fight for humanity as they lead the charge against Covenant forces while attempting to uncover the secrets of the ring world, Halo.  Master Chief and Cortana are really good characters and the two working together does feature a strong developing arc for both characters.  Master Chief is pretty straight forward while Cortana is sarcastic.  The story also follows Captain Keyes, the captain of the Pillar of Autumn.  Keyes is just as interesting as Master Chief and Cortana.  It was nice seeing him leading the Marines against the Covenant as well as the standoff with the Covenant.  Such a great character it was sad to see him go.  On the Covenant’s end, the story follows Elite commander Zuka ‘Zamamee and his Grunt companion Yayap.   ‘Zamamee and Yayap’s perspective does lend some interesting insight into the Covenant’s hierarchy and operations, how Elites and Grunts interact, as well as how the Covenant sees humanity.  Also, I really liked this grudge ‘Zamamee has against Master Chief for nearly killing him and how he treats Yayap after he saves him. (3 out of 5)

Writing: Dietz does a fantastic job of giving a play-by-play adaptation of the Halo: Combat Evolved.  Not only when it comes to the execution of the various events within the game but also adding additional content and new characters.  There is a really good focus of the war from both sides of the war.  Who is leading the Covenant on Halo, what are the marines doing outside of Master Chief’s story; for fans of the game this game reveals it.  There are some moments where the author does exaggerate some actions and events that does seem a bit unrealistic. (3 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Halo: The Flood is actually a really adaptation of the video game of the same name.  Not only does it tell the story of the game but it also fills in the gaps providing different perspectives as well as smaller stories.  Thumbs up to Dietz for the writing, good characters, good story, and plenty of suspense.  Halo: The Flood gets 3 out of 5.

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