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Halo: The Thursday War

(Halo #12)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  2,953 ratings  ·  128 reviews
Welcome to humanity's new war: silent, high stakes, and unseen. This is a life-or-death mission for ONI's black-ops team, Kilo-Five, which is tasked with preventing the ruthless Elites, once the military leaders of the Covenant, from regrouping and threatening humankind again. What began as a routine dirty-tricks operation?keeping the Elites busy with their own insurrectio ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Tor Books (first published October 1st 2012)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  2,953 ratings  ·  128 reviews

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Oct 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
I have read all of the Halo novelizations and re read them. Karen Traviss may be an accomplished writer but severely lacks a creative spark for writing in the Halo Universe. Her characters of Kilo-5 reflect a dark view of humanity after the Covenant war. The characters that she does not create, her interpretations of them are off the mark. Catherine Halsey in Glass Lands paints her as irrational, emotional and in some instances a bully, when for the longest time she has been collected, cold and ...more
Ben Brown
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: halo
As the middle chapter of the “Kilo-Five Trilogy,” “The Thursday War” does a lot right and very little wrong. Karen Traviss eloquently builds upon the events of “Glasslands” in a mostly satisfying manner, evolving her core cast of characters in ways that feel natural and expected. The fact that she also manages to play with and expand the overall “Halo” mythology (including some nice tie-ins to “Halo 4”) makes the overall experience of “The Thursday War” that much more satisfying.

Honestly, the on
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kilo-Five returns for another story dictating the aftermath of Halo 3's political landscape while providing supplemental information for the events of Halo 4. The story focuses on Kilo-Five's rescue efforts of Professor Phillips from Sanghellios as Civil War erupts, while Jul'Mdama finds himself imprisoned on Onyx. I love Traviss' take on the political landscape, especially ONI's underhanded tactics to prevent the Sanghelli from returning to finish off humanity. Parangosky, the head of ONI, has ...more
Hannes Kruusvee
Dec 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Started off from where Glasslands left off. Has some interesting moments, but is very lacking in action, which is the core of the Halo books thus far. Canon is also being heavily modified to fit the new Halo 4 game which will be right after this book in the timeline.
Still worth a read for a hardcore fan but if you aren't then stop at Ghosts of Onyx, with this series.
Eric Nylund, we miss you.
Mitchell Lapora
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a longtime fan of the Halo series, this book not only gave me an entertaining experience, but also a new outlook at the storyline. I read this book because there were so many questions asked in Halo 4 that I needed answers to. After reading this, not only did I get a few answers to said questions, but I also looked at things differently in the Halo universe. Seeing the humans trying to keep the former Covenant races from regaining power and the methods they used made me think of them as no be ...more
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
I read this two days ago, I can't remember what exactly I didn't like about it, but I didn't care for it. It was kind of slow for this genre and it made some wild leaps over reality, which is probably expected for this genre but it was too much for me. I was expecting it to be more in line with the other one in this series that I've read. I have one more in this series and will get to it someday. If it is like this one, it will be my last, but I'm hoping for the best.
Kelli W
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
Listened to the audiobook of this one, FANTASTIC narrator- Euan Morton.

Story- Wonderful characterization, amazing attention to detail! This is my second Halo book (I've never played the games) and while I wouldn't necessarily recommend this series as a jumping in place for the world, I have a 'tour guide' listening with me and I'm thoroughly enjoying this author.
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Halo: The Thursday War is the sequel to Halo: Glasslands. In Glasslands, a team of ODSTs, a Spartan II, an AI, a scientist skilled in Sangheili language and lifestyle, and the Office of Naval Intelligence’s (ONI) successor is formed. They are called Kilo-5. The year is 2553, not even a full year after the Human-Covenant War ended in November or December of 2552. The humans and a shattered Covenant are trying to mend a fragile alliance. However, the Elites (Sangheili), are also having a civil dis ...more
Jesse Booth
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Well, this book has 10 ratings, now 11 (with mine). Nobody has reviewed here on Goodreads yet, so I'll take a moment to be the first.

First of all... The Thursday War was an incredible 2nd part of the Kilo-Five Trilogy. The book moves at a good pace, and it's action packed. You feel for the characters, even the Huragok and the Sangheili.

The book focuses on 3 plot lines:

1. The captured Sangheili Jun Mdama who is stuck on Onyx for study by the humans.

2. The extraction of the scholar, Phillips from
Jan 22, 2013 rated it liked it
To be honest, this one gets a three simply because I love the Halo universe. The Thursday War brings together many threads of the story line that result in the circumstances of Halo 4. However, I am still not a fan of Traviss' science fiction writing. This story lacks imagination and lacks follow-through on many of the interesting character developing conflicts. Also, I feel like there was a lot of opportunity to develop the culture of Sanghelios which ended up being squandered on unimaginative ...more
Niklas Braun
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew Bulthaupt
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: halo
The Thursday War is the followup to Glasslands and the second book in the Kilo 5 trilogy. It picks up pretty much where the first left off and continues the story of Captain Osman and her ONI team. It's a worthy followup but not as enjoyable to me as the original, perhaps because of the lack of the other Spartan 2s and 3s (Naomi is still there). I can see where Karen Traviss would want to develop her own characters as opposed to the ones that have come before, but we like them because they we've ...more
Yes! action in this book, and you know what? Everybody's doing exactly what I'd thought they'd do. But some things in the book make me say "What where they thinking?" like Phillips going to a planet full of 8-foot aliens who would've killed him in a second a few months earlier, and I would've just saved the trip until the whole planet wasn't getting ready to kill each other. Somehow I have the feeling the Arbiter is up to something... Anyway, I'd say this book was better than the last one, excep ...more
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
"This book is a book you have to read for any halo fans and new people that just got introduced to the series. It is based after Halo 3 and probably before Halo 4. It introduces mostly everything in Halo 4 and also the UNSC vessel the Infinity. Reading this will really help you understand how everything lead to Halo 4. so this is a book you should read as this book talks about Kilo squad and how they went to rescue one of their own. So get ready to know about this epic book which will really he ...more
Feb 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
Wow you can tell this was written by a woman and that she has issues with men. All of the male characters are subordinates and they are all week, indecisive or cowardly. All in all a very poor addition to the Halo series. I am sorry I actually spent money on this (even though it was an ebook). Calling the main characters anti-heroes ia putting it mildly as none of them had any redeeming qualities. For the first time I actually found myself rooting for the covenant.
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Traviss continues to be the one tie-in writer whose work I regularly look forward to. She toes the line well here, setting up some franchise-mandated lead in to Halo 4 while also continuing to develop her own series plot lines. I have a hard time telling Mal and Vaz apart as characters, but otherwise her cast is pretty well developed - Phillips and Jul in particular get a lot of time to shine.
Mar 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
Incorrect canon, and sloppy storyline.

Not much to say about this novel, but giving Karen Traviss then rights to make a series on Halo was a mistake. The additive of new and idiotic expansions to the universe is unnecessary and a lot of them go against canon.
Kurt Vosper
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
So early I was surprised about the Fall of Reach Halo novel and how good it was. Now I have finished this book and was quite a bit more ambivalent. A good read, nothing spectacular. It's average with some interesting background on the world of Halo.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great continuation, wish I could have read this series more closely to when they came out / when the games came out, they really do a great job of adding depth to the characters we hear references to in the main video games.
Alex Billedeaux
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thursday War is fun pulpy character drama that deepens the setting of the games.

If you felt like the unprompted arrival of the Infinity was jarring in Halo 4, or your understanding of Halo’s lore is hazy, this is a great crash course.
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thrillers, sci-fi
This will be the first Halo book I've read since starting this Goodreads thing (unfortunately, it's part two of a trilogy), but for a while there I was on a real bender. I read all of them that were published, and then waited impatiently for this one to be released. Once it was, it sat unread on my shelf for a year and a half for some unfathomable reason....I've always appreciated the depth of the world created for the Halo games. It goes way deeper than any I'd encountered before when I first d ...more
Marcus V
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jameson Ranck
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
I didn't really enjoy this book. I made my thoughts about Traviss' take on the Halo universe fairly clear in my last review, where it isn't necessarily believable and is a 180 from previous stories. At the same time, this review isn't just about that. The book plodded. There wasn't really any reason that I wanted to keep reading - the characters were shallow and cruel, the plotline meandered, and nothing really happened. It does seem many trilogies have one story like this, but it doesn't really ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Continuance

I don't have enough experience analyzing books to say this novel is a great story. I am biased toward the subject and in this way enjoyed the Thursday War from a lore expanding point of view. I love the switching between Sangheili and ONI. This switching between perspectives allows for a halo 2 vibe as well as the ability to get a overall understanding of the events before me. The Jul 'Mdama's storyline including the parts with his wife are a nice touch that really hasn't been s
L.B. Sisk
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Don't get me wrong: Karen Traviss is a great writer. But she killed off Mara Jade in the Star Wars books (I'm not sure if I'll EVER forgive her and Del Rey for that ;) ) and has had to take on the "new" direction of the Halo books, which essentially "villainized" Catherine Halsey, who is a complicated character at best for what she did to children, and tried to make us sympathize for the Margaret Parangoskym, who I hated sooo much in the earlier books. The reason why Karen is a talented writer i ...more
Stephen Holtman
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book in the Halo franchise takes place directly after Glasslands. It starts with the turbulations that the last one left off with. The writing continued to be a really great and expanding vision into the series. I have to say that this one was a really strong entry. You have the drama, action and sometimes funny moments that have been in everything Halo since it’s inception. The presentation was also greatly done. As for the charatchers, they were individually and collectively both interest ...more
Oct 25, 2020 added it
A lot of the time, the second installment of a trilogy sags in comparison to the first and last. Less bombastic because you're not being propelled via rocketship blasters strapped to your ass into a brand new world with brand new characters, nor are you arriving at a momentous climax that three books have led to. But there is no shortage of tension and fighting, and Traviss uses the opportunities in between the battles to flesh out some really cool military politics as well as some badass ideas ...more
Nicholas Whyte
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was ok

It's the second volume in a series of novels based on a game I haven't played, and while I admired the author's efforts to make a human/alien dynamic that worked, most of it sailed over my head.
Coushatta LaRue
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy this series. I love all the characters and I love the writing. I love Halo so I was really excited about this series. The only thing I didn't like is how much they didn't like Halsey. I get it I get it she's supposed to be the bad guy or whatever but honestly I think she saved them all with her experiments. Just saying.
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#1 New York Times best-selling novelist, scriptwriter and comics author Karen Traviss has received critical acclaim for her award-nominated Wess'har series, and her work on Halo, Gears of War, Batman, G.I. Joe, and other major franchises has earned her a broad range of fans. She's best known for military science fiction, but GOING GREY and BLACK RUN, the first books in her new techno-thriller seri ...more

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