Top critical review
A decent enough story, bogged down in a style of prose that is absolutely laborious.
Reviewed in the United States on January 15, 2020
Having now read 3 of his 4 total “Halo” novels, I think I just have to be honest: I am not a fan of Troy Denning’s writing style.
Or maybe a fairer way to put it would be - I am not a fan of Troy Denning’s writing style when it comes SPECIFICALLY to “Halo” novels. Having not read anything else by the man, it’s entirely possible that his prose – which tends to lean heavily on world-building details and dump trucks-levels of exposition - might pair better with a franchise that, at its core, is a little more character-centric, like “Star Wars” or “Forgotten Realms,” both of which Denning has contributed quite a bit to in the past. But in “Halo” – a franchise that, in and of itself, is already extremely descriptive in its world building - Denning’s already heavy style feels excessive, even burdensome, bogging down the narrative at what consistently feels like exactly the wrong times. In “Last Light,” “Retribution,” and now “Silent Storm,” I struggled mightily to find an “in” with the characters – there’s just too much militaristic doo-dah going on, too much stylistic filler that serve to continually shove the emotional beats – the stuff that I personally gravitate most towards - to the background.
I want to make clear: I don’t think Troy Denning is a bad writer – he knows how to set a scene, and the core of his narratives are sound. Unfortunately, for me, at least when it comes to his “Halo” output, those strengths are nearly always buried under a prose and a style-of-writing that I just don’t respond to.