Book Review: Halo: The Cole Protocol

Book Review: Halo: The Cole Protocol

You might think that reading a book based on a video game franchise might be silly. Believe me, you are mistaken. Tobias S. Buckell’s The Cole Protocol ( is a plan of action that human captains of space ships have to follow. It states that they have to erase all traces of navigational data if they think they are going to be captured by the alien enemy. They do this to prevent the enemy forces from finding Earth. This protocol is the center of the story. There are a group of Spartan Soldiers carrying out guerrilla-like attacks on the edge of the galaxy. Their primary mission is to protect a hard drive from being captured by the enemy. They have to prevent this at all costs even if it means killing humans.

Fringes Of The Empire

This book made me think of something I once saw in a documentary about the Roman empire. As you well know, the Roman empire conquered most of the known world at the time it existed. The problem the empire faced was keeping control of the lands far away from Rome. One of the ways they tried to fix the problem was to offer citizenship to the conquered lands. This way they didn’t need to destroy the cities of the conquered country. What the empire was looking for was taxes. What was the point of killing the people in a country when they could pay taxes instead? Sometimes this plan worked and sometimes it didn’t. The people living on the edges of the roman empire didn’t feel part of the roman empire. They were unhappy for a large number of reasons, but they eventually thought: why are we paying all these taxes when we can save the money and maybe organize an insurrection? That’s when the trouble started.


The people of the fringe colonies of the human space in this book feel the same way. The situation they are in is similar to the territories conquered by the Romans. They are isolated and unable to communicate with the rest of the galaxy. This was a safety measure implemented through the Cole Protocol. This means they must fend off alien attacks without the aid of the Earth military. Why should they be loyal to Earth? This is what leads them to consider negotiating with the alien invaders. One of the few forces preventing the leadership of the fringe colony from turning over a hard drive of navigational information over to the enemy are the Spartan soldiers. They have to fight against the alien invaders and the human populace of the colony to prevent the enemy finding Earth.

Final Thoughts

I highly recommend this book. It made me think about the meaning of loyalty, duty and responsibility in the face of great difficulties. Please do yourself a favor and read this book.

Ezra Carias is an author. You can find out about his latest book here.

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