on 7 February 2004
Eric Nylund successfully follows up on the great story telling from the Fall of Reach (and to almost the same extent, The Flood, which doesn't quite have the same edge) with this frankly excellent book that brings a much loved sci-fi universe to life as much as the gaming experience has for millions of xbox owners everywhere. I finished this the same day I got it - it had me hooked from the first page. New characters are introduced, as are old friends and one or two surprises that will draw you in even more...
If you have the first two, get this. If you haven't got the first two, get ALL THREE - you won't regret it...
on 8 May 2005
Computer game tie-ins are generally not well thought of by book readers, and quite often this is justified. Not so, however, with the Fall of Reach. It's obviously not just been written to capitalise on the success of the games, and has been written in conjunction with the game writers. As such, the book takes the depth of the Halo story and builds upon it to create a rich and immersive world. Halo: The Fall of Reach is a prequel to Halo, and gives us details of how the Master Chief and the others came to be Spartans, the appearance of the fanatical Covenant, the fall of the human fortress world Reach and the escape of the Pillar of Autumn to Halo.
There are one or two let-downs. Nothing has to do with the story, more with the editing. Parts of the text seem to have been copied and pasted into random places, and various words seem to become confused, as if an object has been named one thing, that name has been forgotten and replaced with something else.
These flaws are minor, and do not detract from the story at all. If you're a fan of the game, or even if you're not, this book provides depth and detail to the Halo universe that is hard to put down, and harder still to dislike.
First of all do not read this book without having already read 'Halo The Fall Of Reach'. Simply because playing the game Halo is not enough to fully understand this book. There is of course Halo The Flood, I havn't read that because it is the game, just more in depth, I'm sure it's very good but I feel that it's just a little unecessary.
O.K. onto First Strike, this book is incredible, it is written by Eric Nylund (responsible for the Fall Of Reach). This is not a book for hard core readers, I mean people who read Jane Austin or something like that. This is a book for Sci-Fi fans, not just Halo Sci-Fi fans, all fans can enjoy this book. It is perhaps a little muddled in its set out, much like Fall of Reach, every other chapter or so is a new setting, a few chapters later we go back to where we left off. This is actually key in this book because two stories are being told at once. I don't want to give away anything but I will say that Reach plays an important part in this book, some Fall of Reach readers may be able to figure out why.
Now the book itself is the story of John, or Spartan 117 as he anounces over the comm at the end of Halo 2. He has just destroyed Halo, the Covenant aren't happy. From this point on we follow the Master Chief (John, Spartan 117) through his journey back to Earth. They pay a short stop at Reach on the way back, because as I said two stories are being told at once, one on Reach a previously 'Glassed' planet (read Fall of Reach) and that of the Chief. This book picks up directly from where the original Halo left off, the Chief and Cortana floating in space.
There are the occassional spelling mistakes, and I think that maybe some complete paragraphs have been copied and put in the wrong place, either that or the same thing is said twice (usually dialogue). Despite this the book is written with great detail and intrigue, it is hard to say just how good this book is and how well it captivates you, I actually find it hard to close the book at night and I am waiting with sorrow in my heart for the day when I finish it. It will be a hard day to cope with.
Alright, overview time: This is a Sci-fi book, as are the games. Read Halo the Fall of Reach and play the original game then read this book. It is a great buy and better than most books that are written by the greats (in terms of description and vocabulary). Honestly buy this book and you won't regret it.
on 1 December 2003
First Strike is the third novel based on the Xbox game Halo. The first book, The Fall of Reach (also by Eric Nylund) was an excellent prequel to the game and a great book in it's own right. The second book, called The Flood (by William C Dietz), was essentially a novelisation of the game with the scope expanded to include points of view other than the Master Chief. (In my opinion the 'Flood' levels in the Xbox game were my least favourite. The Flood characters worked better in the book than in the game for me.)i enjoyed it, but I liked Eric Nylunds' style better.
I was excited to learn that Eric Nylund was writing the next Halo book, and once I read it I was not disappointed. I won't go over the plot lines so as not to spoil it for others. First Strike is more closely related to The Fall of Reach than The Flood, and those storylines that were not tied up in Reach are picked up here, for Example Dr Halsey and the Spartans sent to the surface of Reach to defend the generators.
This book is fast and exiting with plenty of action and a great plot which again leaves a story thread or two to be picked up in a fourth Halo novel, hopefully written by Nylund. Perhaps based around Halo 2? After all, some features of that game are included here - the Brutes, the new rifle - dropped in briefly to tease fans of the games.
To finish, if you liked the previous books, you'll like this and it will leave you wanting more.
on 28 July 2004
This is an EXCELLENT read for those of us who want to learn a little more about the universe of HALO. I particualy liked the way the other Spartans are introduced, as well as the first chapter which explains a little more about 'The Fall of Reach'. However I won't give away anything else about the book as it truly is one of the best I have ever read. I recommend this book whole-heartedly to anyone, but the people who would enjoy it the most are: Fans of HALO and/or people who enjoy reading military based books such as the Tom Clancy series.
on 24 August 2004
Well, what more needs to be said, other than excellent!
A well written and satisfying book. And also frustrating!- It's a few months till the next game comes out and I have to wait till then to find out what happens!
The story is well above the level of most tie-in books and I would recommend it as such to any non-gamers out there, too. It links the events of the first game and the new one very well indeed.
One of the strengths of the books is the depiction of the "ordinary" soldiers and their reaction to the Spartan super soldiers, as well as their feelings and motivations.
Overall it's recommended to anyone, except those after pure gung-ho guns and action with no story - this covers all the bases. A crowd pleaser, all round.
on 27 July 2006
I loved every page of this book, the very beginning of the book is brilliant but it did start to get slow once it got into the Spartan 117's training.
Other than that myself and all my friends, who I've let borrow the book, have all given it a thumbs up and it's suggested this book is given to anyone you know who like Halo and like to read.
5 out of 5 (Eric Nylund, I salute you!)
on 16 December 2003
Having read both "Halo: The Fall of Reach", and "Halo: The Flood", as well as having fully played the game, I was eager to read this book. I was not disappointed in the slightest. Having now read a second book by Eric Nylund I can now say his style of writing is superb and perfectly suited to the sci-fi genre, particularly the Halo series.
As for the book itself, it's everything you can wish for in the run up to Halo 2. More action, more characters (some new and some old), and more high-tech, razor sharp, cutting edge technology from the Halo universe.
Quite simply superb. Read it.
on 25 July 2004
This book is amazing. Truly. Not just because its bridging the gap between the Halo games for us fans but because its got everything you need. Mystery, suspense, clifhangers, jaw-dropping action, surprises and of course a well constructed story that is perfect from start to finish. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but for all you Halo fans out there theres some stuff in there that will make you think of the Halo saga differently and make change what you anticipate in Halo 2. Don't sit there reading this! Buy it! Then buy the other two. You won't regret it.
on 13 July 2005
The best one of the three. Eric Nylund returns with his writing expertise to give us the 3rd in the series. It is brilliant it tells us how SGT Johnson survived, how masterchief got back to earth, and what mystery lies under Reach's surface.
Eric also gets us back into the place when you think you're actually there. Full marks to one of the best stories I have ever read. I only hope they make one based on halo 2.