I've gone on record in the past of having disliked the first book in this series. I take it back. After having played the original Halo through to the end more than 10 times now, I now find these books irresistable.
Halo Book One - The Fall of Reach
The first book of this trilogy details the formation of the Spartan II/Mjolinar program, including the origination of the characters Master Chief, Captain Keyes and Cortana. "Fall of Reach" fleshes out the backstory. How did the Covenent happen upon humanity in the first place? What were our first encounters with the Covenent like? What does "glassing a planet" entail? And what is it that the Covenent is after?
The last question isn't answered completely, but this first volume does provide some tantalizing details that might give you a clue. You do, however, find out exactly what the Pillar of Autumn was up to prior to ending up in orbit around Halo.
Eric Nylund does a great job of injecting some humanity into the Spartans (yes, there's more than one) and some drama and strategy into fight scenes with the Covenent. If you find yourself liking this book, you may want to pick up Nylund's "Signal to Noise" or "A Signal Shattered". No matter how good Nylund's military sci-fi is, his hard sci-fi is better.
Halo Book Two - The Flood
Normally, I'd say "skip this" if you've already played the game. And if you have played through the game, then the plot points in this novel won't lend you any surprises. It is, however, a testament to William Dietz's prowess as an author that even Halo veterans such as myself can pick up this book and still be interested in the subject matter. As with "Fall of Reach", "The Flood" fleshes out the Halo universe even further.Read more ›
As a member of the US military, it is hard to find fictional military stories that combine sci-fi and a good solid storyline. These are the kind of books that I have been searching for. Worth the time to read and the money to buy.
i just got these 3 books yesterday...and i had time to sit down and read all three of them in a single day its a page turner for sure..highly addictive reading...these books flesh out all the backstory on the master chief and the spartins...yes he was one of a group of super soldiers :)..these books also tell us about the war with the covenant and how it came to start and what the covenant is actually looking for on the planet halo.... if your a sci fi reader or just like a good story loaded with action grab these books..oh and the box set is great for desktop display...cant wait to the halo movie that is going into production.. cheers
At first, I was hesitant to pick these titles up for the simple fact that, while I am a "gamer," I'm not real big on sci-fi reading. I also feared that these books might add up to little more than fodder to lure more money out of the pockets of die-hard "Halo" fans by pandering to the already fanatical following the game has produced.
And I was wrong.
Halo's story successfully crosses the media lines in three amazing books that actually enriched my appreciation of the games.
I used to like the fact that the Master Chief was that quintessential tough guy: mysterious and unbeatable, eternally resourceful and cool-headed, cold and battle-hardened. And, if you've played the games, then you know the gimmick: you never see his face.
Well, these books unmask our beloved Spartan 117, literally and figuratively. Initially, I was a little jaded that these authors took it upon themselves to encroach upon the intergalactic man-of-mystery, but it wasn't long before I warmed up to learning his history and fighting his battles from a third-person perspective that's actually more "first-person" than even the game can offer. I learned to appreciate the depth of the human inside the helmet.
I also enjoyed learning about the other Spartans and the tight fraternal bonds they forge with each other: bred and trained for battle, loyalty and duty, though essentially ostracized, feared and misunderstood by their "normal" human counterparts; there are several points when it's said that the other marines see the Spartans as being as alien as the alien race their fighting against.
Most interesting, however, are the stories you get that the games never touch upon.Read more ›
Having experienced HALO: Combat Evolved and studying up a bit on the backstory I decided to risk a few bucks on these novels based on what previous reviewers have said. What did I think? Well, as a very picky and details oriented fan of military fiction and sci-fi I was pleasantly surprised and very entertained by these novels. The space combat scenes in The Fall of Reach and First Strike are simply fantastic. The action is believeable and creative. The technology imployed, whether Human, Covenant or other never seems too far-fetched. The Flood is a bit of a change of pace, as I had expected from reading other reviews, but it was no less entertaining or fun and intriguing. Also, the human stories are fascinating. While only a few characters are really developed in-depth they are dynamic in ways that the games could never get across. I personally found myself captivated by Jacob Keyes, Cortana, and especially everyone's favorite cyborg: John, Spartan 117.
All in all this is a great series of novels and they add a wondrous wealth of knowledge and depth to the HALO universe. It's what I wish more military sci-fi stories could be. If you're not yet a fan of HALO, but you like military sci-fi then this is a great place to test the waters of the HALO universe. If you're already a fan and haven't read these books you're cheating yourself. These authors and the people at Bungie studios have created a tale full of adventure, mystery and a good share of hidden treasures.
Revelation (John) 1:17
And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, "Fear not; I am the first and the last; I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."