Halo: Glasslands is the first novel in the Kilo-Five trilogy, a multi-book deal between Tor Books and bestselling writer Karen Traviss, taking place within the Halo universe. It was released on October 25, 2011.
Traviss has clarified the term "sequel" in regard to the statement by saying: "It isn't a sequel to Ghosts of Onyx in the sense that you mean a sequel, i.e. a continuation of the same story with the same cast -- these novels are set just after it and follow the events of Halo 3. There'll be new characters and new storylines."
The prologue begins within the Micro Dyson Sphere, where Dr. Halsey, Senior Chief Petty Officer Mendez, and the surviving Spartan IIs and IIIs continuing their venture to find a way to escape their confinement in the sphere.
The story switches to ONI operatives Captain Serin Osman, accompanied by professor Evan Phillips, meeting with Avu Med 'Telcam on the former human colony of New Llanelli. Telcam accuses the human race and Thel 'Vadam of spreading lies about the Forerunners and the Halos, citing that these revelations have created significant religious and political divisions amongst the Sangheili. Osman offers to arm Telcam's splinter group with Covenant weapons on the condition that they stay as far away from humanity as possible upon their victory. Telcam agrees to the arrangement.
The book skips to the viewpoint of two ODSTs, Staff Sergeant Mal Geffen, and Corporal Vaz Beloi, who are searching for the Parthenon Bar to keep a promise to their fallen comrade Emanuel Barakat before heading to a meeting with Vice Admiral Parangosky. Upon reaching the supposed location of the bar, they find nothing but a crater. They proceed further down the road to find a large intact road with a cab driver waiting for any military personnel who could use the lift and drove them to ONI facility Bravo-six.
The story switches back to the Micro Dyson sphere, where the group is desperately foraging for food. They eventually discover a black, bottle-sized cylinder that appears to be monitoring them, but it escapes capture.
The story switches back to Earth, where Serin meets with Vice Admiral Parangosky and her personal AI Black Box. Once reaching Parangosky's office, they begin to discuss the events that transpired at Onyx. Parangosky voices disbelief that Dr. Halsey is dead and anger toward Halsey's actions. Serin deduces the possibility of leading a team designated as Kilo-5 to Onyx. Parangosky states that the Sangheili schism mission is still top priority and that she only needs to be ready to divert to Onyx if anything is found there. Parangosky proceeds to discuss the status of the personnel involved with Kilo-5. BB states that Sgt Mal Geffen, Sgt Lian Devereaux, Cpl Vaz Beloi, Dr. Evan Phillips and Naomi 010 are all prepared for their briefing. With that, Parangosky passes control of BB to Serin.
On Sanghelios, Thel 'Vadam pleads for unity and the regaining of their independence, casting blame of their current situation on the Great Schism rather than the humans, and announces his intention to sign a peace agreement with humanity. Jul disagrees, saying that they should wipe out humanity while their guard is down.
On Earth, Mal and Vaz are met by Sgt Lian Devereaux, Naomi-010, Captain Osman, Dr. Phillips, and Admiral Parangosky. Parangosky states that the purpose of the mission is to create infighting, strife, and discontent within the Sangheili society until the UNSC is ready to execute the killing blow. They agree that BB should take them to Sanghelios.
Back in the shield world, the group find entrance into a Forerunner tower and encounter more of the gray cylinders within the tower.
Back in the Sol system, Serin Osman reveals her true identity to Naomi. Seconds before the slipspace jump, the Stanley receives a data transmission regarding the damaged UNSC patrol ship UNSC Ariadne in the Venezia system.
Meanwhile, on Sanghelios, Jul meets Kaidon 'Mdama to discuss the matter of the Arbiter's alliance with the Humans. After the Kaidon says he agrees with the Arbiter, Jul leaves and walks back to Bekan. He notices that Relon has destroyed the Forerunner structure on his land. The following morning, the Bekan keep is attacked by the Servants of the Abiding Truth (Neru Pe 'Odosima). Jul goes to the Bekan keep, only to find that Relon and his brother Jalam has been killed, and has been hanged from a hastily erected scaffolding. A board hanging from Relon's neck says, "We do not allow blasphemers to live. The gods demand a return to piety. Truth Abides." Jul decides to seek help from the Servants of the Abiding Truth to rebel against the Arbiter.
- Dr. Catherine Halsey
- Serin Osman, Spartan-019
- Chief Petty Officer Mendez
- Jul 'Mdama
- Thel 'Vadam
- Black Box, BB
- Vice Admiral Margaret Parangosky
- Avu Med 'Telcam
- Professor Evan Phillips
- Vasily Beloi
- Malcolm Geffen
- Lian Devereaux
- Lord Terrence Hood
- Mike Spenser
- Raia 'Mdama
- Levu 'Mdama
- James Ackerson (Mentioned only)
- Cortana (Mentioned only)
- John-117 (Mentioned only)
- Jacob Keyes (Mentioned only)
- Miranda Keyes (Mentioned only)
- On page 119, "heads-up display" is printed as "head-up display."
- On page 445, Mal is referred to as "Mel."
- Halo Portal — Bestselling Author Karen Traviss Set To Explore The Halo Universe
- Karen Traviss Blog — Master Chief insists