Halo Book Reviews

Halo book 1
Halo Fall of Reach original cover. Microsoft

The Halo universe is large and interesting, but it you only look at the stories in the games it is all pretty confusing. That is why Microsoft and Bungie teamed up with sci-fi author Eric Nylund on a series of books that help to flesh out the universe and connect everything so it makes sense. The three books – The Fall of Reach, The Flood, and First Strike – are fun to read and make you appreciate just how great the Halo games and overall universe really are.

There have been several other Halo novels written in the years since this original trilogy of books. The new books include stories that tie all of the games together — all the way through ​Halo 5 ​— and are well worth reading for die-hard Halo fans.

The Fall of Reach

The first book in the series is called The Fall of Reach. The Fall of Reach details the origins of the Spartan program and also covers the beginning of the war with the Covenant leading all the way up to the discovery of the first Halo.

If you have ever read Robert A. Heinlein’s "Starship Troopers," The Fall of Reach is told in a very similar manner. The title, The Fall of Reach, references a human controlled world called Reach that is a major staging area for the military.

The Covenant discover the location of Reach (the Halo: Reach game is about this battle) and the resulting chaos leads to a random slip space (basically hyperspace or light speed in other sci-fi universes) jump where Captain Keys, Master Chief, and the rest of the crew of the ship Pillar of Autumn discover Halo.

The Flood

The second book of the series is called The Flood and is basically a novelization of the first Halo videogame. Pretty much every memorable part of the game is recreated in the book exactly the same way you remember it.

This method of storytelling is sort of disappointing, since we have literally done all of this before, but it is interesting at the same time because it does a good job of detailing the threat that Elites and Hunters pose as well as the horrible destructive nature of the Flood that can’t really be conveyed in the game.

The book also makes a nod towards Halo 2 by telling the story from the perspective of both the humans and the Covenant on Halo. This book is the weak point of the three Halo books since it doesn’t really cover anything new, but it is still a fun read.

First Strike

The last book of the series is titled the First Strike and follows Master Chief and a handful of other survivors as they try to get back to Earth and warn them about the Flood. The group is able to capture a Covenant ship and on a hunch, they head back to Reach to search for any survivors.

Bottom Line

All in all, the three Halo books are interesting to read and give you a much greater understanding and appreciation of the overall Halo universe. You can purchase the three books in a box set for under $15 in most bookstores.