Halo: Last Light
Troy Denning enters the world of Halo for the first time with Last Light. Part murder-mystery, part relic hunt, and with a touch of rebellion and warfare, Last Light has a lot to offer. It follows an investigator named Lopis Vetas as she looks into a series of murders in a massive cave system turned tourist attraction. Yet the murders are connected to the UNSC’s search for ancient Forerunner technology. All the while their presence stirs up resentment with the local population brimming on the edge of all out insurrection. With such a delicate situation, the search for the murderer, the ancient Forerunner relic, and the outbreak of rebellion all culminate in a suspenseful, action strewn novel that’s well worth checking out.
Going in, I wasn’t expecting a detective story, so it was quite a surprise. It starts off pretty strong with the murder-mystery angle, and as the latter half of the story turns into a warzone, the detective theme still pops up in a good way. It actually fits into the story really well. Especially with the cave setting which creates an eerie atmosphere. The closed in environments, the darkness, the twisting unknown passages, it’s a great place for a lurking killer.
Yet adding to the fun of the story is the Forerunner side of things. Denning actually dives into the mind of a Forerunner artificial intelligence. As a Halo gamer, I found the perspective to be pretty awesome. There are glimpses into the history of the Halo universe. There are little tidbits shedding light on the Forerunners, their war against the Flood, and their use of machines against them. The way the character is written does a good job of making it feel like a machine, but one with an interesting personality.
Along with Inspector Lopis, there’s a squad of Spartans rounding out the cast for the book. What Halo novel would be complete without a Spartan? Both Spartan II’s and III’s join the hunt for the mysterious serial killer and the search for the Forerunners. By the end of the story, they’re in full on battle mode as they engage ex-Covenant forces as things get out of hand. Several of the Spartans are developed as the story goes along, creating a nice bond with the reader. At the end of the story, I found myself ready to go off on another adventure with this team. They were a good mix of personalities.
One of the key strengths of Halo: Last Light is it’s ever changing storyline. At first it’s a detective story in search of a serial killer. Then it becomes a search for ancient Forerunner technology. Doubt is cast on the Spartans themselves as their presence on the planet is unwelcome and unasked for. It’s even possible that one of the Spartans is the serial killer. Underneath all of that is a brewing rebellion on the planet as key members of the government seek to take over control. Shifting schemes turn to violence, then war. The moods shift from mystery and suspense, to all out action. The constant shift keeps things interesting and adds a lot of fun to the story.
Overall, if you’re a fan of the Halo universe, Troy Denning’s books, or just fun sci-fi and good stories, Halo: Last Light is worth a read. I give it a solid four out of five metal bikinis.
Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.