“Halo” novels: Karen Traviss: “Glasslands” (c) 2011.

Karen Traviss: “Glasslands” (c) 2011

A “Halo” novel set in the immediate aftermath of the end of the interstellar war between humans and the Covenant, an alliance of aliens.
“Glasslands” is the first book in the Kilo-Five trilogy of novels by Karen Traviss.

“Halo” novels are part of the “Halo” multi-media franchise of sci fi games and novels. The sci fi novels are set in the far future. The first novel was “Halo: The Fall of Reach” by Eric Nylund in 2001. More novels have followed by other writers including William C. Dietz, Joseph Staten, Tobias S. Buckell , Greg Bear, Karen Traviss, and John Shirley.

“Halo” refers to the Halo Array, immense ring-shaped super-weapons built by an ancient civilization, the Forerunners. Relics and ruins of the Forerunners strongly indicate they had invented other highly-advanced technologies.

For decades, Earth and its colonies on far flung planets have been at war with the Covenant, an alliance of aliens. The Covenant worships the ancient Forerunners as gods.


In the novel “Glasslands” by Karen Traviss, the term “Glasslands” refers to the lands that have been turned into vitrified sand, or glassed over, by the intense heat of plasma bombardment by the Covenant. The planets with human colonies are particular targets.

The novel is the first book in the Kilo-Five trilogy of novels. The Kilo-Five is an exceptionally experienced and highly trained surveillance team sent to operate behind enemy lines.

“Glasslands” is set in 2553, the war between the humans and the Covenant has ended, but there is chaos and instability as intense power struggles emerge, there is civil war between the different alien races; there are insurgencies against Earth by human colonists.

The novel is also about the Spartans – children trained from a very young age to be super-soldiers to fight against the Covenant.

The captain of the Kilo-Five team, Serin Osman, was once part of the Spartan program. One of her team members, Naomi, is a Spartan. Serin Osman and Naomi were together in the Spartan program created by scientist Dr. Catherine Halsey. The paths of these three women cross again when Kilo-Five is sent to rescue Catherine Halsey and a Spartan team from a Dyson sphere that turns out to be a Forerunner slip-space bubble, and that contains more Forerunner technology.


Planning to continue to read the trilogy:

Halo: Glasslands, 2011,
Halo: The Thursday War, 2012,
Halo: Mortal Dictata, 2014.