HALO: The Cole Protocol by Tobias S. Buckell

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HALO: The Cole Protocol
By: Tobias S. Buckell
Ignatio Delgado, a former Insurrectionist, is fighting with a co-pilot in a docking bay against a pair of Jackals. (Jackals are aliens that have bird-like faces, they are one of the Covenant’s units).His co-pilot runs for the navigational data. Ignatio is gripping Senor Siez tightly in his hand, unloading rounds at the enemies while they are distracted. He hits a Jackal with a round, and his co-pilot dies falling short to the data. Ignatio runs behind a crate and runs for the nav data. He gets hit in his side on the way there. Delgado thinks that it is all over, the Jackal pirates are going to kill him. Suddenly there is a cry from one of the two and several shots of plasma.
A large, gray armored person covered in blood jumps over the six foot high crate. Then Delgado suddenly recognizes what he is looking at. A Spartan, one of the mysterious UNSC units is here saving his life. Why? The Spartan jumps back over the crate and several more blasts of plasma fire and a deadly cry. The second Jackal’s body flies over the crate by Delgado, dead with its shield powering down. The Spartan walks around the crate and leans over Delgado with a foam canister. She sprays it into Delgado’s plasma burn. The foam freeze’s the plasma as a temporary aid before medical attention. The Spartan takes its helmet off and under the helmet is a woman. She has deep, ice-blue eyes and bright blonde hair. This woman is a Spartan, must be Czeckslovakian with a little Russian.
This is just one of the many intense scenes in HALO: The Cole Protocol. It is one of the many books inspired by the hit game series HALO. The book is a third-person viewed book. The view switches from Ignatio Delgado, to the Spartan Grey Team, to Lieutenant Jacob Keyes, to one of the Covenant shipmasters named Thel Vadamee. The main characters are Ignatio Delgado, Spartan Grey Team whose names are Adriana, Jai, and Mike; their ships AI (artificial intelligence) Juliana, Lieutenant Jacob Keys, , Thel Vadamee, , Reth a jackal pirate, the prophet of Regret and Truth, and a large cast of characters. In the book, there are two main factions and two sub-factions. The main factions are the Covenant who is a group of space aliens waging a war on humanity because they think they are heretics against their religion. The UNSC is the United Nations Space Command or the human army. They are fighting the Covenant to defend humanity from the offensive enemy, and they are losing. The sub-factions are the Insurrectionists (a group of humans against the war who fight the humans and try to befriend the covenant) and the Jackal Pirates (working with humans and Covenant).
The plot is from several different standpoints. Ignatio Delgado, who lives in a place called the Rubble that is part of a destroyed planet, meet a Spartan and is dragged into a fight involving one of the council members of the fused asteroids, Jackal pirates, and the mysterious Spartan Grey Team for navigational data that leads, and control the fate of Earth. Lieutenant Jacob Keyes is fighting with the UNSC against the Covenant and goes on a secret mission that leads him to the Rubble. There, he learns about the navigational data and is ordered to destroy it because of the Cole Protocol, which is a protocol by the UNSC that states that all navigational coordinates leading to Earth must be destroyed when Slip-Space Jumping to the Outer Colonies of human worlds. Thel Vadamee, a highly held shipmaster of the Covenant is sent on a mission to try and find navigation data that leads to Earth on human ships. He fails his first missions, but is redeemed when he is sent to Metisette (a moon covered in methane gas used for Grunts), near the Rubble, to investigate a Jackal weapons dealership humans by the Prophet of Regret. He finds the Rubble and prepares he, his team of elite Zealots, and two Covenant Cruisers to destroy it and the only thing standing against them is the Jackal pirates, Jacob Keyes, Spartan Grey Team, and Ignatio Delgado. The Spartan Grey Team is behind enemy lines to later find out that Delgado has navigation data to Earth and so they manage to get the Rubbles AI, Juliana to watch Delgado.
Throughout the time I read this book, the story and plot emitted many different effects on me. I started feeling different ranges of emotions from excited to mystified to worried and other feelings. Also, I felt things for each of the characters and their feelings, like when a friend died I felt remorse, or when there was a tense moment I felt excitement like the character would. The book affected me by showing new ways to write in third person view and to show more than one characters feeling on a subject. It also taught me how to get to know each character better and to connect to them. It helped me be able to describe scenes without “telling” but “showing”. It also gave me a deeper understanding about the HALO series other than the fact that it is just a game, but that it has an emotional, thrilling story behind the game series.
This book is filled with emotional moments like when people are injured or killed. The scenes make you feel like you are actually at that place during that moment feeling what the characters are feeling. One of the emotional parts is when an Elite kills himself for some honor for his family. Another part is when Keyes is discovered as a spy against Insurrectionists (people rebelling against the UNSC army) and his captain is badly wounded, his friend dies in a Pelican crash (a flying vehicle), and other fellow operatives die all around him.
Some questions you may ask are, is there just pure violence, do you recommend because you like the HALO series, and does it get a “pull” on you while you read. In my opinion it gives a good “pull” because it puts you in a very descriptive “show not tell” scene, it shows the feelings of the character, and there is talk about many different things. Second, it is not just pure violence like the video games. The book talks a lot about the background about how the war started, gives very good inner conflicts, and very good outer conflicts. I rate this book a nine out of ten because it is very exciting and makes you want to keep reading and is very descriptive and attention grabbing, but it could talk about the background a little more for new readers to this Sci-fi series. I recommend this book because it is a very interesting, exciting, and heart stopping story of a futuristic war not just physically, but physiologically as well for all the character. Note: This story has mild profanity.





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