I finally finished the Thursday War (I know, it took forever, I hated the book, at least the first half)and after reading it I can’t help but wonder why Travvis seems so intent on making me hate absolutely everybody in the book…?
I get that she writes from the perspectives of the characters, so obviously each character has their reasons for doing whatever they will be doing, but the cross contamination of opinions really makes me have a hard time liking anyone…
Spoilers about Thursday War coming up…
First of all, Parangosky is easily the worst character (I am referring to morality) in the book series. I will explain why later, but for now I can’t help but feel that Travvis is trying to make us like and support Parangosky… a futile attempt because she is clearly freaking crazy. I was so disappointed she didn’t die in the book (which I was confused about because Osman and not her shows up in Halo 4).
Firstly the whole plan is ridiculous. I know we could argue the morality till the end of time but the fact of the matter is Parangosky is off her rocker here. And considering the reader (and likely, game players perspective) the Arbiter is a character that we like and respect because we have played as him and understand his path. We know some of his generals (Rtas Vadum, who was never even mentioned in the series yet, why? I’ll explain later why this is another issue) and we like them too.
So the readers are not going to agree with a plan by Parangosky to not only undermine loved characters (like Thel and Rtas Vadum) but to also undermine respected characters like Admiral Hood, who Parangosky refers to as nothing more as a slight annoyance. Really?
First of all… Where the heck was Parangosky during the Human-Covenant war? I know doing some behind the scenes stuff that didn’t really matter while Hood was the players Admiral in the games. So how does Travvis get off acting like Hood is a shill that Parangosky can manipulate at will?
So this plan, that defies all the characters we’ve come to know and love from the games… break
Why is Travvis so in love with her own characters? They aren’t good! I have read 2 books with them and so far the only difference I can remember between Mal and Vaz is that Vaz is Russian and likes hockey. Other than that they are interchangeable, plug and chug characters. The rest are mediocre. Parangosky makes a decent villain, but Travvis is trying to make her come off as a hero? Really? Why can’t she write more about characters we actually, you know, like?
This awful plan is just one of a bunch of sins that parangosky and by transference, Travvis is trying to pass of as excusable (all while simultaneously trying to convince us, unconvincingly, that Halsey is the inexcusable one in this sci-fi universe…). Later on she…
Contemplates Dr. Magnusson’s plan, to starve every elite to death, including beloved game characters and their allies, but only disagrees with it because it could poison food for humans who she plans to have one day take over the planet
Contemplates killing a civilian contractor (Dr. Magnusson) for a mistake (Jul’s escape) when his security really should have been in the hands OF A SECURITY TEAM. Seriously why the hell was a Civillain DOCTOR in charge of the security of a half ton elite warrior? The only reason Parangosky didn’t kill her was too many witnesses, she will probably be executed later anyways.
She is incessantly racist towards every elite. Okay, they were at war with her, but it really is plain old racism. It would be like Americans hating the Germans who had defected to America after World War 2… And this is not a civilian, she is the head of the only known intelligence agency.
She authorized the Spartan 3 program… a far inferior and more reprehensible program than the Spartan 2s… never mentioned by Travvis who does not want to tarnish her characters persona
The persistence to even out the odds goes too far. When the Arbiter only has control of 5 ships, you order your ship to secretly destroy 3? And from this you can see how it leaks through to Osman who she is already corrupting.
So I said I didn’t like any of them. I meant it…
Osman seems okay… but she is getting less and less okay throughout this series.
She seems to disagree with some of Parangoskys methods, but she just goes along with it.
Osman did not find the starvation plan surprising at all.
-The worst offence imo, is when they were excavating Telcam from infront of Vadam. Osman ordered her team to gun down a legion of Arbiter loyal sangehlli, without a second thought. Those elites… thinking they were fighting for peace with humans… had their last sight as being humans betraying them. How is that just at all?
Mal and Vaz
I put them together because they are essentially the same.
They are cool enough… I mean, they seem unintelligent for seasoned war veterans but they do well enough.
The problem is the incessantly hate Halsey knowing very little about the program and its consequences and the reason it was started. I get it, Halsey is the bad mad scientist guys! Stop ramming it down our throats.
Additionally they seem to have very little personality
And they are… again… incessantly racist.
Most boring Spartan in the series.
Really? A super soldier trained from age 6 is haunted by her daddy issues of the past? And she just happens to be quiet… even though the previous books have showed us that not all Spartans are quiet.
She has no personality other than the intimidated child… and she is supposed to be an amazingly trained soldier who is also incredibly smart.
She really doesn’t seem that smart. She defers her tactical decisions to Vaz and Mal constantly and seems to just be a plot device to do objectives the ODST couldn’t logically achieve.
Additionally… she is the most boring Spartan ever. She doesn’t do any awesome fights, no cool feats… she just fights like a normal soldier who runs fast. That’s all they ever say about her
“mal was amazed how fast she ran”
“Vaz looked at how quickly she sprinted down the hall”
blah blah blah
Dev is actually okay. No complaints so I guess I was wrong about hating everyone.
Really not sure why he has to exist. Everything he does could have been done by an AI. He really isn’t all that interesting, why is he on the team? You easily could have given someone and AI translator. He isn’t so bad, he just really doesn’t need to exist.
Most boring, cliché AI ever.
“Oh no, existential issues” (like every AI in Halo ever)
“Look at me I’m so smart and better than humans” (like every AI in Halo ever)
Anyways, it isn’t too late for these characters to get better… but quite frankly in my mind only a couple things can fix it.
Osman needs to realize Parangoskys methods are wrong. They are wrong, and they have to be wrong for Halo fans sake. Parangoskys methods are spitting in the faces of characters we have come to love through the games and making us hate her at the same time.
A reasonable commander like Osman has to realize that this is not the way to do things for fans to have any hope of a future for the Halo universe that is worth fighting for.
Vaz and Mal need differentiation. Give them skills that define them, not transferrable equal skills. It makes them boring and interchangeable.