Top positive review
As good an anthology as I've read in years.
Reviewed in the United States on January 3, 2019
Typically, I’m not a big fan of anthologies, at least in book-form; in fact, most of the time, I tend to actively dislike them. There’s just something about the abbreviated format that represents a big turn off to me - if I’m going to read a story, I want to be guaranteed the time to really get to know the characters and become invested in the story, and in most cases, book anthologies simply don’t offer me that opportunity. So the fact that I enjoyed “Halo: Evolutions” as much as I did is a HUGE testament both to the individual writers of the stories included therein, as well as the editorial team tasked with organizing the project. This might be my favorite pieces of “Halo” canon yet, which I can hardly believe.
Of the 11 stories included in “Evolutions,” I dug 8 of them. And even with the stories that I didn’t necessarily like, there were none that I actively hated or that I regretted reading – another huge plus. Whether it’s Eric Nylund (!!!) writing an awesome “diary” retelling of the life and death of Preston Cole, or Jeff VanderMeer and Tessa Kum doing an “Aliens”-style take on the Flood, or B.K. Evenson delving into the trials of the “prodigal son” of Spartans, the majority of the stories here are not only compelling reads that serve to flesh out the “Halo” universe in cool new ways, but they also – and this is vital – don’t feel abridged or constrained by the anthology format. There’s no sense whatsoever that things are being rushed along or edited down to the point of triviality – each of the 8 gems here feel like they’ve been given the chance to properly build and expand at their own pace. More anthology editors should look at the way that “Halo: Evolutions” was written and structured – as a compendium of individual works, it’s about as good as you can find.