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Halo: The Cole Protocol Paperback – Nov 25 2008

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Halo: The Cole Protocol + Halo: Contact Harvest + Halo: Evolutions: Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (Nov. 25 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076531570X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765315700
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #137,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"[HALO: THE COLE PROTOCOL] is one of the best-made audio books in my fairly extensive collection. Jonathan Davis is a very good reader, using accents well, easily distinguishing even closely related characters, and making the pronunciation of all the Covenant vocabulary seem effortless."--Bruce Baugh, Tor.com
"The eleven hours of this audio book seemed to whizz by, such is its pace and excitement. Enthusiastically narrated, the listener is taken straight to the action and is immersed in it totally.... be aware that in listening to this you will probably want to listen to others in the series. Make sure you have plenty of shelf space."--Rod MacDonald, SFCrowsnest

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Tobias S. Buckell is the author of Halo: Evolutions, Sly Mongoose, Ragamuffin and Crystal Rain. His books have been finalists for the Nebula Award, the Prometheus Award, and the Romantic Times Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. He hails from the Caribbean, where as a child he lived on boats in Grenada and the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. When he was a teenager, his family moved to Ohio after a series of hurricanes destroyed the boat they were living on, and he attended Bluffton University in Bluffton, Ohio, where he still lives today. Buckell fell in love with science fiction at a young age, reading Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov novels when he was seven years old. He is now a full-time author and freelancer.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
I have all the books and this one is the weakest in the series. Though it gives you a deeper look into the Sangheli (elite race) which is okay but not great. It also diggs deeper into the history of Captain Keyes. Obviously he's not Captain yet but it tells more of his history and the history of the attacks of the Covenent. As a huge Halo Nerd I will buy every book that ever comes out ever but if you are just looking to educate yourself in the world of Halo then the books First Stike, The fall of Reach and The Flood are your best books to be schooled. The previous books are also for Master Chief Junkies. Spartans are in this book but they play a much smaller role as far as Spartans go. Master CHIEF IS NOT IN THIS BOOK...Be Warned
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By AlZ on Feb. 13 2009
Format: Paperback
An interesting look at the Kigyar/Jackal relationship in the Covenant as well as insight regarding the Sangheili/Elite culture. There is also more exploration of Jacob Keyes' background with the story detailing his service to the UNSC. The Spartans are portrayed rather differently than known before, but they play a relatively small but important part.
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By Cindy Barroby on July 14 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good story but moves rather slowly. Adds to the covenant story and adds to things that we didn't already know about the covenant
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By Janie Groleau on Sept. 20 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for my husband who love the Halo' series in video games and in books. So he loved it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 116 reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Not as good as Nylund Nov. 27 2008
By Matthew Willett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book, taking place 9 years after the book Contact Harvest (also in the halo series) tells of Capt. Keyes and the designated Grey team of Spartans protecting the Cole Protocol to keep the location of Earth safe from the Covenant. I do have to hand it to The Cole Protocol for not tethering off new problems or destroying some of the fabrication in place in the Halo Universe, but overall the writing just isn't as good as Nylund's works in the series (Fall of Reach, First Strike, Ghosts of Onyx). Buckell knows the series and knows what he wants to do in this book while keeping sure not to add more bumps in the series with misplaced (cronologically) monikers, weapons, or the sort.

In short, if you are following the series, get this book. It is a good read. Much better than Contact Harvest, but not on the same level as some others, though still enjoyable.
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
promising, but flawed Jan. 9 2009
By Elizabeth Lakewood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I looked forward to this book with great interest from the moment I found out that it would be handling a major Elite character's backstory. Sadly, I find myself underwhelmed with it. Writing-wise, it's about the level one would expect from a spinoff book of a video game. Essentially, it's not well written, not terribly well-characterized, and extremely poorly proofread ("cyrogenic" jumps out at you right on the first page-- not only should a proofreader have caught that, but a spellchecker should too). Needless to say, you need to be quite well-read in the Halo mythos for this book to make a whole lot of sense, as The Cole Protocol assumes an array of prior knowledge. What matters, then, is what it does for the canon as a whole.

I mainly read Halo novels for the worldbuilding, and the back history of characters we've come to know and love through the game. I don't expect each author to do equally well with all aspects of the Halo world, and this book is no exception. Captain (here, Lieutenant) Keyes gets a turn in the spotlight, and he's kept in-character, with a properly Keyesian, out-of-the-box maneuver at the end. There's a part played by Spartan Grey Team, and while I (only a mild fan of the Spartans) was satisfied with it, people who are focused on them will likely come away disappointed. Still, their interaction with other characters (ordinary humans and the Elites (Sangheili)) is interesting more for what it says about the other characters than what it illumines about the Spartans.

Where Cole Protocol shines is its depiction of ordinary humans. Nylund's books give a good military/UNSC perspective on the Human-Covenant war, but Buckell gives you a sense of what it's like to live there and be a civilian trying to make your way through a series of completely sensible, but still extremely onerous laws. You get a better sense of the Insurrectionist perspective here, and the Rubble (a ragtag civilization built by refugees, Innies, and miners behind enemy lines) is well depicted. Delgado, a civilian pilot caught in the middle, is an interesting character and a nice counterpoint to Keyes and the Helljumpers. Buckell also carries on the tradition of novels exploring AIs in the Haloverse-- Juliana, an AI on the verge of rampancy, has a small part that I wish were a bit larger, because it seems right on the edge of really exploring the ramifications of rampancy for people who depend on the AI (and for the AI herself), but skates away before dealing the subject much more than a glancing blow.

Which is the main flaw of the storytelling in this book, it tries to tell a few too many stories, and ends up giving short shrift to most of them. This is, sadly, especially apparent with what should be a selling point of the book, that it delves further into the culture of the Sangheili and tells the backstory of one of the most important Elites in the universe (Thel 'Vadamee-- who will be a bit more familiar to readers by story's end). The previous Halo novel, Contact Harvest, developed rather well the backstory of Halo's nefarious Prophet Hierarchs, and I had hoped for something similar for 'Vadamee and the Sangheili. Instead, Buckell bounces off every "warrior race" stereotype known to military SF and fantasy and settles nowhere in particular. 'Vadamee gets a lot of attention in the story, but is only thinly characterized-- though the one exception is that some good attention is paid to conflicting notions of "heresy" and showing the fault lines already present in the Covenant. Considerably better is the depiction of the Kig-Yar (Jackals). I'd even go so far as to say that a Kig-Yar leader named Reth somewhat steals the Covenant side of the story away from 'Vadamee, at least for being a bit more unexpected and interesting.

In sum, it's worth reading if you're a canon completist, but falls well short of its potential. I think the Haloverse is complex enough to support a much, much better book, and I continue to hope that one day we'll see that book. Until then, enjoy Cole Protocol for the things it manages to do well.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
The Cole Protocol Nov. 27 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Simply put, quite a good book. Although I will admit, this book is not for everyone. Essentially, if you like Halo, and the Halo book series, then you will like this book. I've also read Contact Harvest, the other three, and Ghosts of Onyx. For the uninitiated, this is not a book for you. The book makes references and allusions to other parts of the Halo mythos; so unless you are up to speed, the book would probably be ponderous, lacking in information, and probably not all that fun to read. For other people that have followed Halo, and liked the other books, go out and by this. Its not a difficult read, but a fun one. It reads like the books that came before it, and puts a human face on humanities struggle against The Covenant.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Bad writing :( May 16 2009
By Lee M. Jacobs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There are some problems with this novel.

Here's a list:
- Action redundancy
Every character in this novel will bite their lip at least once and at totally inappropriate times (like when angry).
- Teleporting
Scenes often teleport to locations that are woefully under-described. You'll be reading about an event in one room and then the next event will take place in another room without much transition, if any.
- Poor Multitasking
Trying to cover three perspectives at once is a bad idea. What's worse is covering all three at the same time by switching perspectives each chapter.
- Poor Structure
Chapters (seriously) can last only three to four pages. For reference, the book is 300 something pages long and it contains 70+ chapters.
- Treated like an epic
This book comes in chapters and parts. From my experience, Parts are reserved for longer more epic books. Proper use of Chapters would have gotten rid of parts all together.
- Poor scene description
- Poor character development
- Cliche ridden

Over all, pretty bad. I'll finish reading it, but it won't be on par with the other Halo books (not that they were shining gems of literary skill either).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Amazing Halo Story, Reads Effortlessly May 2 2011
By Paul M. Owen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The richness of the Halo universe is developed even further in this amazing novel by an amazing author, Tobias Bucknell, who really seems to understand the tone and energy of the Halo lore. Having 100% completed all the Halo games and having read almost all of the novels and most printed works associated with Halo, the Cole Protocol is, in my opinion, one of the most gripping tales. Set in the time period directly after Admiral Cole set in motion the Cole Protocol, ultimately designed to keep the Covenant from reaching Earth and other vital planets, the story seamlessly weaves the lives of several individuals into a cohesive joyride of words. Prominent characters include the young Jacob Keyes, before he was the captain of the Pillar of Autumn, and a team of three Spartan IIs, and even an honor-obsessed Elite. My only regret is that I finished the book too quickly; I wish that the experience of immersing myself in the characters' struggles would have lasted a day or two more. Purchase without hesitation and enjoy a fun and fantastic book, like candy for your brain.