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Halo: Last Light takes place almost primarily in an underground cave system on an independent planet known as Gao that has tenuous ties to human insurrectionists. Citizens of the planet have been going missing, and recently, some bodies have shown up in the caves, leading to an investigation, and a chase for whoever might be committing the crimes. The Office of Naval Intelligence has deployed a team of Spartans to the planet to “help” in the investigation, which usually means there’s something pretty serious going on under the surface (no pun intended).

Troy Denning writes somewhat of a rarity in the Halo extended universe. This novel is almost completely self-contained. Yes, it makes references to other characters and events from the universe, but were it not for those, this could have easily been a random sci-fi mystery. However, with that being the case, I still enjoyed this novel a lot. The characters are interesting, the plot is interesting (even if predictable at times), and the story takes us to a place we haven’t been to before.

The plot moves along at a pretty swift pace over the course of a few days, but leaves enough calm and quiet scenes peppered throughout to keep from feeling rushed. We get appearances from a few Spartans (Fred, Linda, and Kelly) that have been in previous novels as well as some new faces from the short-lived Spartan-III program. Gao Inspector Veta Lopis is a feisty new addition to the universe who manages to hold reader interest, despite not being a soldier, let alone a Spartan.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. It has crisp writing, which makes it one of the better novels to come out of the Halo extended universe since the Kilo Five Trilogy a few years back. It might not add a whole lot to the universe, but realistically, none of the books do at this point. Microsoft and Bungie leave the big stories for the games, but that’s understandable, and it doesn’t mean we can’t still have some fun with books like this.

The Verdict for Halo: Last Light:
4 out of 5

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Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

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