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Halo: Mortal Dictata (Halo #12)

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  1,316 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Wars end. But hatred, guilt, and devotion can endure beyond the grave.

With the Covenant War over, the Office of Naval Intelligence faces old grievances rising again to threaten Earth. The angry, bitter colonies, still with scores to settle from the insurrection put on hold for thirty years, now want justice -- and so does a man whose life was torn apart by ONI when his dau
Paperback, 496 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by Tor Books
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Dave They are in a series based on the video games (Halo). Actually a good deal of thought went into creating a universe for the games, and the first book,…moreThey are in a series based on the video games (Halo). Actually a good deal of thought went into creating a universe for the games, and the first book, "The Fall of Reach" came out before the game.

There are many stand-alone stories in the Halo series, but there are also 2 trilogies. Searching "Halo Media" on wikipedia should list everything in the order they came out.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jesse Booth
Jan 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
I would have rated it 2 stars if it weren't for the last 1/4 of the book. It is the weakest book out of the trilogy, which is really too bad, since I loved the first two books.

I know a big complaint is the Halsey hate. And yes, this book is chock-full of it. Probably a little overboard, really.

There were two main fallacies with this book. Two things I really had to suspend disbelief with. The first thing: a Spartan II struggling with her emotions as she returns to her home planet and seeing her
Dec 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: featured-books, star
Does this author know nothing about the HALO world at all??? Any vague conception of the persons involved or their personalities??? I can't even give this book a decent review because I am too busy scathing.
Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military-sf
The Kilo-Five Trilogy is about the consequences, fallout, and morality of the Spartan-II program and to a lesser extent ONI. A huge focus of that arc involves pointing out that Dr Catherine Halsey did a terrible, condemnable thing by kidnapping children to become Spartans. Something many fans seem to take offence to, myself included at first. She's the mother of everything Halo, JOHN-117, Cortana, every story involving Spartans is a product of her program. Yet this trilogy is the first time that ...more
Mar 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
This is the final nail in the Kilo Five Trilogy and I am happy to see it go. From the beginning to its finale this series has felt like a parody of the Halo literature. Every character is two dimensional and with so many point of views it looses any kind of ability to relate to any of them. Everyone needs a witty one line but no character has any depth. Characters are created only to further the plot; which as a whole drags until the ending which is anticlimactic. Though I may be biased, I was s ...more
Nov 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I started this book 4 days ago, completely planning on finishing it the next day because I was really enjoying it. So 4 days later, I actually do end up getting back to it, but I had forgotten some of it. This led me to starting it almost completely over again. I'm not sure why I seemed to like this less the second time around....but it didn't hold my interest like it did the first time around. I should have finished this sooner, when I was clearly in the mood for it.

I liked the story. I think
Ryan Wiblin
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Garrett Vinson
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was a spectacular wrap up to the story of Kilo Five. It dwells a bit on morality, but that's the whole point of Kilo Five's story. What do the hardest special forces think of what was done with the Spartan project? What does the brass think? What does the one psuedo-Civilian think? It also gives a good picture of what the rest of the galaxy is doing. I read another review that said they were disappointed that people who were heroes in previous books were painted as Demons in Karen's no ...more
Justin Luther
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the best expanded universe writers alive. Every series would profit from a treatment from Karen Traviss.

Mortal Dictata is a book full of complex characters in complicated situations. While the Halo series may be best known for its addictive multiplayer and wacky alien midgets, the Kilo-5 trilogy highlights and explores the morally gray issues that are implied but go unaddressed within the games.
Sally Baquet
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love all things HALO and this was a great book. Naomi met her biological father (cried like a baby) Admiral Osmond found out where she actually came from and we now know who donated BB's consciousness. AND none of my favorite characters died! Now I'm looking forward to the next story.
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
‘Halo: Mortal Dictata’, by Karen Traviss, is a science-fiction book that is set in the distant future where humanity is at war with a union of alien species called the Covenant. As near as I can tell, the author chose to write this book solely for the purpose of entertaining an audience. There appear to be no other motives for writing it based on the content within.

In this book, as previously stated, humanity is at war with aliens. This particular story follows a spec ops team called Kilo 5 wh
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, to-re-read
I haven't read the other books in the Kilo-Five series in quite a while, but I still remember a majority of what they were about. I had bought this book when it came out, along with the final book in the Forerunner series. Unlike the Forerunner series, which for some reason I just had trouble getting into with all three books, I love the Kilo-Five series. I was glad to finally be able to find the drive to actually read Mortal Dictata, and saddened to finish it. I'm not sure if I'll mention any s ...more
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mortal Dictata is a book about ONI black ops squad Kilo-Five and their hunt for the Pious Inquisitor, a Covenant battle-cruiser, falls to the hands of a human Insurrectionist who plans on glassing the cities of Earth if the UNSC doesn't tell him what happened to his daughter Naomi. Naomi was kidnapped by ONI in 2517 to become part of the Spartan-II program. Now its 2553 and Spartan Naomi-Zero-One-Zero is in a squad with an ex-Spartan, Admiral Osman, and ODSTs Staff Sergeant Mal Greffen, Corporal ...more
Let's just say it was reasonable but just dragged on and on and finally got fun within the last 50 pages.
Connor Wood
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Lets face it, this book will be read by Halo fans like myself whether or not it is good or bad. I knew it would be bad, I read it, and yep it was bad. If you aren't familiar with the Halo universe, don't read it.

The storyline wasn't particularly enchanting. The threat that the team had to resolve was made more grandiose than it actually was, and could have been sorted out in a short story. Travis forced the story further than what was reasonable, which ironically is somewhat pointed out by one
The only word for this book is weak . The characters. The plot. The climax. Overall, the only reason I kept reading it was so I could get to the next book by a new author (finally). It’s unfortunate that Traviss decided to play the morality card instead of the action card with this book, because where her writing really excels is in action scenes. She is very good at battles and fights, but not very good at everything else; this would have been completely fine if she actually stuck to what she ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well written, makes you think
CJ Stech
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
wish I could rate it 6 stars, best of Halo
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Hardcore Sci Fi Adventures and the Halo Lore
Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/Writer
Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers
Review Source: Purchased
reviewer: Me

Mortal Dictata is the third novel in the Kilo-Five Trilogy (Halo #12) by Karen Traviss. And to my surprise, I really enjoyed the story. Now, Traviss and I have a love-hate, hate-love relationship. Sometimes, her character lack depth and personality. In Mortal Dictata, her writing style seemed to work better for me than it did in her Gears of War novels, which somehow always left me wantin
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi

This is a book about mortality, mistakes, and consequences in the Halo special forces universe.

I'm a big fan of Karen Traviss. I really enjoyed her SW and Gears books. So I was excited when she started writing in the Halo universe. Her books are not the action packed/oriented books that we have seen from some other authors in the Halo universe as much as they are character driven stories about people. Her ability to write the special ops soldier has been well honed in her previous efforts and t
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: terrible-books, owned
I would like to erase this book from existence. The only reason I even finished it was to find out Osman's background; and then when I found it out, it just made me even more annoyed at the rest of the book. What is with the sudden hatred of Halsey? There was an insult to her or a monologue on how disgusting she is at least once a page for the second half of the book. Why? Yes, what she did was so so so morally and ethically wrong but why unleash all of this hatred on her now? From a storytellin ...more
Matthew Young
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: halo
Fantastic book, definitely the best of this trilogy. Fall of Reach described the Spartan II process, but the impending alien invasion made it seem necessary and just. This book explores the effect of the part of the program that was kind of glossed-over: the fact that the UNSC was kidnapping children and experimenting on them to win a civil war against (at the time of the program's start) other human beings.

The previously idolized Catherine Halsey, for example, has always been a protagonist. A
Matthew Ciarvella
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
This could have been a much better book. There are glimpses of a better book lurking within: the scenes when two characters are taken prisoner was interesting, intense, and well executed . . . and ends far too quickly.

The amount of hatred the author bears for the character of Dr. Halsey is nothing short of amazing. Every character loathes Halsey. Every character wants her dead. Every character thinks she's the worst thing since Hitler. There's no nuance. There's no balance. Halsey never appears
I'll still give it 3 stars(it deserves less, but for some reason the ending improved me overall gloomy view on this book) but I probably liked this the least among the Halo books. This wasn't as confusing or meandering as Halo: Silentium but it felt less Halo like in general. Halo without Master Chief is hard to get through, but this book in particular was worse.
A lack of a good fight, the plot seemed contrived and forced and particularly poor execution.

And of course there was the Hitler and Naz
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Karen Traviss maintains a distinct voice from other Halo trilogies. She brings a certain depth to characters who would otherwise be one-dimensional. Many readers are offset by the idea of a Spartan-II doubting herself, but it fits the story well. This is the first time since being a child most Spartans would have an opportunity to think about life beyond the mission.

After the first two books tore down Dr. Halsey, I wanted to see her redeemed in the eyes of reader. I wanted Kilo-Five to view her
John Hobkinson
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
In my opinion Traviss is the greatest writer out there for the mind set of soldiers. Not surprising giving her real life CV.

I gave the Thursday War a 5 when I read that and yet I have only given this a 4. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and really enjoyed the relationship between Naomi (Spartan-010), Osman, BB and the rest of the crew, Huragok included.

Whilst I say I enjoyed this book, and I would happily recommend it, the problem for me is it seems to be the end of a story arc that started way b
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: halo
karen Traviss' Kilo 5 trilogy gets better with each book, and the third and final one, Mortal Dictata, is not only my favourite of the three, but also of the entire Halo novel series (not including the Forerunner saga which I haven't read yet). With Mortal Dictata Traviss has really found her flow in the Halo universe, each character's personality really shines, especially the ODSTs Mal and Vaz, and the hilarious AI, BB. The best thing about it is how much of the human element Traviss brings to ...more
Jan 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Karen Traviss takes advantage of a really interesting video game canon and tells a story that's extremely riveting and humanizing at its core. Unfortunately, this third book in the trilogy seems a bit rushed and somewhat careless at times, but she nailed portions.

I'm sure my more literary friends will mock me openly, but the truth is these books are fun and full of heart, set in one of the most interesting sci-fi universes since Dune.

The trilogy that this book brings to a close is conceptually v
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So, it is done. The Kilo-Five Trilogy is now finished. I had an amazing time reading this series, and I have to say that I rate this as the best series in the Halo universe. The novels do a great job at filling in the gaps between Halo 3 and Halo 4, making the latter far more enjoyable. The characters were all great, whether they were comedic AI's, tough ass ODST's or religious Sangheli (elites). Light was shed upon the real meaning the SPARTAN-II program had on those involved or affected by it, ...more
Delray Beach Public Library Public Library
Halo Mortal Dictata by Karen Traviss

The long war against the Covenant is over, and now ONI, the office of naval intelligence, faces new threats against Earth, this time in human form. The remaining colonies still keep old grudges against them, and now want justice even if it means glassing Earth. With the Black-ops squad Kilo-Five in disarray after their discovery that the main terrorist leader is the father of their Spartan ally, who still searches for answers, they must pull together or face t
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: halo
Mortal Dictata it the final book in the Kilo 5 trilogy. It resolves most of the adventures and some of the conflicts the team had been facing, and packs a lot of action into a few hundred pages.

The story reveals a lot about the psyche of Spartans and UNSC marines, and really tackles some of the issues brought to the surface in the earlier novels about the morality of the Spartan II program. Traviss isn't heavy handed about it, and instead allows you to see each of the main characters' thoughts a
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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
More about Karen Traviss...

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“Humans believed they thought things consciously when most of the time they were simply rationalizing instinctive reactions as basic as the amoeba’s, and after those reactions had already taken place.” 3 likes
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