by Cortana

Buck is back! Halo: New Blood by Matt Forbeck released on ebook and audiobook

Who loved Halo 3: ODST? Me! Me! Who loved Gunnery Sgt. Edward Buck? Me! Me! Who loves Nathan Fillion? Me! Me!

If you feel the same way you’ll probably be very excited about the release of the latest Halo novel „New Blood“ by author Matt Forbeck. It serves as a sequel to the game Halo 3: ODST and follows Buck as he is offered to join the Spartan IV program.

The book is, at this time, available exclusively on ebook and audiobook. The audiobook is narrated by Scott Brick. My disappointment that the narrator is not Nathan Fillion himself, is big. I’m not sure if he was asked to do it and declined or if he wasn’t meant to do it in the first place. It’s a pity though, seeing that the book is written in Bucks point of view and it would be a delight to hear Mr. Fillion read it.

At this moment I’m not sure wether the book will be published as an actual book later this year. I do hope so! I need it for my collection and since I’m an anti ebook person I won’t get to read it otherwise.

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Toy review: I did it! I built my Mega Bloks Forward unto Dawn.

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I got my FuD as a christmas present from my boyfriend in 2013. I was beyond excited about it, since it’s one of the biggest builds Mega Bloks has to offer and of course because she’s such a majestic spaceship. Roughly 3 feet long, you need to seriously sort out a spot for display. It’s the first build in the Halo Signature Series and costs around 250 $. It has 2,877 pieces! Those come in 4 big boxes with a chart of the pieces within. Inside the boxes you have several bags with parts. What I found really annoying was the fact, that you had to open every bag in order to start your build. The parts are all mixed within the bags. That makes it extremely hard to work fluently on it. I spend so many minutes searching for one certain piece and since I couldn’t fit all the parts on my worktable I had to get up and sit, get up and sit…and so forth. Another thing I wasn’t too happy about was that the stickers don’t adhere very well. They were coming loose on the edges even while on the original sticker surface.

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The other slight problem I had was to differentiate between the colors of the parts. They come in black, light grey and dark grey. You need the best lightning you can get to safely see the difference.

But! But! It’s worth it, I promise. I had a lot of fun assembling this beauty. It has a soothing nearly meditative touch to build something from scratch. I listened to the awesome Drunken Halo podcast while building it.

The figures that come along are very well made. The Chief has his cryo tube and a Battle Rifle. Cortana stands on a platform and lights up if you press her down on the platform.

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Then you have an Elite with a Plasma Rifle, a Marine and a UNSC officer.

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There’s a fully stocked armory inside the FuD with 5 AR’s, a Sticky Detonator, 3 Pistols, 3 SMG’s and 3 frags.

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The really cool part is that you can simulate the breaking of the FuD like in the ending of Halo 3. You just have to lift the ceiling and split the ship in two, which is shown in the user manual. In the end of Halo 3 when the FuD attempts to make the jump through the slipspace portal, the Arbiter runs to the command bridge while the Chief stays aft with Cortana. As they try to make the jump, Halo’s pulse hits the portal and lets it collapse, severing the FuD in half. The Arbiter returns safely to earth, while the Chief and Cortana are cast out into unknown space.

Overall I can absolutely recommend this build to everyone who has the spare money and enjoys building stuff. It took me over 15 hours to build it and I didn’t rush it at all.

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Halo 2 map Relic is coming back to Halo 2: Anniversary in fancy new clothes

343 and Certain Affinity are currently working on reimagining the legendary Halo 2 map Relic. It’s a 12-16 player map and was very popular in the community. According to the latest Bulletin on waypoint, Certain Affinity have begun developing the remake. We will be updated on the progress throughout the next months. Until then we have these 2 amazing pictures of concept art.

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How to read the Halo books…

ATTENTION: There is an updated version of this article. Please click HERE.

…put on a self-knitted wool sweater, pour yourself a steaming cup of chamomile tea, find your favorite spot on the couch…nah, of course, I’m not talking about that kind of how to. When I bought my first Halo books 3 years ago, I wasn’t really sure which book to start first. I had no idea if there was a chronological order or not. All I knew was, that Fall of Reach was the most popular.

Since then I have made some research on how to read them best.

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To date, we have 13 Halo novels. Halo: The Broken Circle written by John Shirley is the newest addition released in November 2014. In this book, we learn more about the time before the Covenant was created. A time were Elites and Prophets were at war over different interpretations on how to use or not use old Forerunner relics.

This topic puts the book at the beginning of the chronological order, right after the Forerunner Saga and before Halo: Contact Harvest.

But first we will start with a list of the books in order of their release date:

  • 2001: The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund
  • 2003 (Apr): The Flood by William C.Dietz
  • 2003 (Dec): First Strike by Eric Nylund
  • 2006: Ghosts of Onyx by Eric Nylund
  • 2007: Contact Harvest by Joseph Staten
  • 2008: The Cole Protocol by Tobias Buckell
  • 2009: Evolutions (Collection of short stories from Traviss, Nylund, Buckell or Frank O’Connor)
  • 2011(Jan): Cryptum by Greg Bear (Book 1 Forerunner Saga)
  • 2011(Oct): Glasslands by Karen Traviss (Book 1 Kilo Five Trilogy)
  • 2012 (Jan): Primordium by Greg Bear (Book 2 Forerunner Saga)
  • 2012 (Oct): Thursday War by Karen Traviss (Book 2 Kilo Five Trilogy)
  • 2013: Silentium by Greg Bear (Book 3 Forerunner Saga)
  • 2014 (Jan): Mortal Didacta by Karen Traviss (Book 3 Kilo Five Trilogy)
  • 2014 (Nov): The Broken Circle by John Shirley

The first 3 were published by Del Rey, the other ones are all published at Tor Books. The latest one The Broken Circle came out at Gallery Books. If you are a die-hard Halo fan who read all the books when they came out, you’re definitely a very cool person. If you are like me, a die-hard fan as well, but slowly exploring and discovering the Halo universe, you should consider reading or re-reading the novels in the following order:

  1. Cryptum
  2. Primordium
  3. Silentium
  4. The Broken Circle
  5. Contact Harvest
  6. Fall of Reach
  7. Cole Protocol
  8. The Flood
  9. First Strike
  10. Ghosts of Onyx
  11. Glasslands
  12. Thursday War
  13. Mortal Didacta
  14. Evolutions (You can read these short stories at any point really. I choose to read them last.)

That is at least the order I’m going to read it in. Right now I’m at Fall of Reach. Gotta read it again since it’s been too long. And of course, I haven’t read The Broken Circle yet. I still need to purchase that book.

I began with The Forerunner Saga two years ago I think. I was very confused at first. The Saga is very different from the other books and it takes some effort to really get into the story. For me, not being a native speaker and reading it in English was very hard. All the specific terms and what not had my head spinning. But all in all, I enjoyed the books. Gives you a detailed look into the mysterious Forerunners, who of course had their grand appearance in the game Halo 4. So if you want to know more about the Didact and his wife, the Librarian and the story of the Forerunners, you should definitely read the Saga.

I also really enjoyed Contact Harvest, which tells you the story of Sgt. Avery Johnson and the first human encounter with the Covenant on planet Harvest. It gives you insight on the Covenant, on how the different races live together in High Charity. You learn more about the Prophets (How Truth plotted to become the leader), about the Grunts and Jackals and the Brutes. I loved this book!

So you have books like The Flood by William C. Dietz, that follows the story of an actual Halo game. In this case, Halo Combat Evolved. And you have others, most of them, who give you background info on events of one of the games or just general background info on the Halo universe. You learn so much more about the rich and fantastic story of Halo and lets you understand the games even more. You should definitely replay the games if you read all the books. Or! Or! You could be a real crazy nerdy ass nerd and follow this particular chronological order I found here: halodiehards.net

That, of course, includes all the games at the right point. So you would read a few books, some not even completely, play a game in-between and then go back to the books.

I would looooove to talk to one person who has done it that way. I really would. If you are one of them, please leave a comment.

Important: Support your local bookstore. If they don’t have your book in stock they can order it for you. With the following links you can quickly find a local bookstore in the US and UK:

USA

UK

And now pick up a Halo book and start reading!

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