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Halo: Retribution finished. #19 for me. Spoilers!

OP HD Simplicityy

Yay! Nineteen books in one expanded universe is a lot even for me. Surpasses the Star Wars books I've read by five I think, which again isn't that much. By the way, I tried searching for the threat started about the book, where spoilers are, and Waypoint was giving me errors, so I thought I'd make my own thread. If this needs to be relocated, I can do that.

Anyway, I know some, based off Twitter posts and probably comments on that thread, thought Retribution was rather weak. I can see where you say that, I believe - the second half is a little stretched out and the action is hard to visualize in places. Why we went back to Gao is strange. That part of the plot could've gone elsewhere. Veta's has grown to be one of my favorite EU characters, but what I didn't like is I saw she lacked character development. If I'm wrong there, please shed light for me; I'd appreciate that. I enjoyed the investigations that accompanied the plot and made me guess where it would be going. I'm lost on what the first chapter had to do with the rest of the story and why Argent Moon didn't get more attention other than the Lieutenant being an idiot and Intrepid Eye showing her devious self as usual. Then the last scene with Fred and Veta. I liked that conversation. It showed a side to both soldiers outside fighting and surviving. But when Veta hugged Fred, I paused and reread it. Why was that necessary? It's a sweet moment I admit. I just dont see how the set of circumstances those two fought together in would cause Veta to hug him. It felt forced. I reread it, as I said, with an open mind. It's a touching move that is quite unconventional in my eyes. I can give Mr. Denning that one.

I quite liked the Last Light style of investigation, which I thought was so interesting in Last Light. In this one it was overdone to the point where I was wondering how far it would continue to go, unlike wanting to keep going. I liked the Forerunner whatever it's called in the Keeper station. I just don't understand why it was part of the story. Veta's banter with her Ferrets and other characters was good humor, and yet again demonstrated her skill of piecing together a puzzle with logical deduction. Impressive stuff. I appreciated it when she failed to figure out that one plot thread, which I forget where it happened.

That said, I'll score the book a 7/10. There still isn't a Halo novel that I haven't at the very least minimally enjoyed. On to #20 when I decide to: Legacy of Onyx! I'm slowly making my way through The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers as well. That's a dense read.
I just finished the book last night, and I really enjoyed it. I loved Castor's arc and all the tie ins with Halo 5 and the Banished. I thought Veta had decent character development, but the thing is she already developed a lot in Last Light. If you look at her fear of cramped and dark spaces, and her confronting that fear I think that was pretty cool. Also, she learns to take things into her own hands when she actually needed to. She learns how to stand on her own even when she works for ONI. I am not sure what her intentions where with Castor, but she almost seemed to save his life, or that is what Castor saw. She could of left him in the ore bed and jumped out on her own, because I am sure Castor would of kept trying to kill the driver. Anyways, the last part of the book I really liked. Not gonna lie, I saw some spark between Veta and Fred in Last Light, and I was very happy with that scene, even if Fred is like 10 years older then her. To me it did not feel forced at all, when you think about how much they have cared about each other. It showed on multiple accounts how Fred was nervous about Veta and scared for her safety. Another thing I really loved was background on Sloan, and Meridian Station. I am pretty sure the purpose of Gao in the story is to show how far Intrepid Eye went to have cover ups after cover ups. The ferrets went from blaming the Keepers, to blaming the Dark Moon and thinking Cassille was involved, and finally thinking that they were actually with ONI. That whole thing also showed how Veta was still willing to put differences aside and work with former enemies.
I finished the book last week! All the cover-ups were hard for me to follow as well, but I also loved Veta's development, both in Last Light and Retribution! Her sense of independence and working for justice, not any particular faction, is something I admire, and I love her relationship with the Ferrets ("Moooom!" xD).

I also found Castor's reaction to humans and their attachment to families quite fascinating, it makes me want to learn more about how Jiralhanae familial bonds work.

Enjoy Legacy of Onyx; it's one of my all-time favorites!