Hey Everyone! The Booket List read Halo: Contact Harvest by Joseph Staten for our February read! You can check out our podcast discussion riddled with spoilers here. If you aren’t interested in the spoilers you can read Brennan’s spoiler free review down below!
In short summary, Halo: Contact Harvest is a military science fiction novel by Joseph Staten Published in 2007. As a prequel to the popular Halo series. The story follows Sergeant Avery Johnson 27 years before the events of the first game. Throughout the novel, we witness the first contact between the human UNSC and the alien Covenant—the two empires in conflict throughout the entire Halo series. Contact Harvest is in my opinion one of the best novels within the Halo franchise. It covers plot arcs that have not seen the light of day through other avenues. Along with that, it goes into such detail giving us an excellent interpretation of the Halo Universe.
As for the writing quality within Halo: Contact Harvest, I would propose that it is quite good. There are points within this novel where I find the writing to be a bit lackluster. But, Staten does an absolutely beautiful job switching POV’s. He can flawlessly switch between Human, Alien, and AI Characters. Which greatly increases the plot quality of the novel. He does an excellent job painting his world through his words. Which helps the reader to really feel along with each character.
Although we see the main character Sergeant Johnson throughout the Halo video games, this novel does a magnificent job expanding on his characterization and personality. We also see a large amount of this novel through the eyes of different covenant species. Further more, Staten did a wonderful job exploring the inner thoughts of these species. We got to see the rough war themed culture of Tartarus and the other Jiralhanae. As well as the intense struggle of the Deacon Unggoy as he works to better himself in the eyes of The Prophets.
Contact Harvest being a prequel novel, we read about the beginnings of many different plot lines. Also, the novel introduces a lot of key characters. Which we later see throughout the Halo series. However, the plot does have some draw backs. Generally a reader picking up a Halo novel is expecting a lot of action. Which does happen, but it takes too much time to actually get to it. Along with this, there are a few scenes that seem really odd and unnecessary within the novel.
Overall, Halo Contact Harvest is a good read with excellent characters, beautiful writing, and a quality plot line. With this, we would recommend this to anyone looking for a military science fiction read. This novel will leave you wanting more from the Halo universe!