As the fortress world of Reach and its brave defenders were bombarded to rubble, a single cruiser fled the carnage with the battle's only human survivors: Captain Keyes, his crew of a few hundred marines, and the last remaining SPARTAN super-soldier, the Master Chief.
With the cruiser's artificial intelligence, Cortana, concealed in his battle armor, the Master Chief crash-lands on Halo in the midst of a massive Covenant occupation. Curiously, the alien soldiers appear to be searching for something hidden on the ring.
Built by a long-dead race, Halo harbors many deadly secrets, but one overshadows them all. Now the Master Chief must lead the scattered troops in a brutal race to unravel Halo's darkest mystery---and unleash its greatest source of power.
Listen to more stories of Halo.
©2003 Microsoft Corporation; (P)2008 Tantor
The character in this book march through the story like robots. I loved the first story it had some feeling between the characters. Most of this book is shooting with a very little plot behind it.
It's not the worst novel I've ever listened to. Even as a fan of the Halo books (and military scifi in general like Starship Troopers) this book in the Halo series is arguably the worst and the most disappointing of the novels so far.
This is the book that covers the events of the first Halo game. Unfortunately it's also like reading the events of a first person shooter video game. Masterchief turns the corner, shoots aliens, repeat ad nauseam. There's none of the character development from Eric Nyland's Halo novels which are far, far better. If only Nyland could write all of the Halo novels and if only Jonathan Davis could narrate them...
I found this book very disappointing because this IS the story from the first game and Nyland's book the Fall of Reach really was a great set up for this book. He was able to endow the Masterchief with a personality and backstory successfully in my opinion which is no small task all things considered.
This book is really only worth checking out if you're into Halo and military scifi like I am AND you're planning to listen to the books that follow it - First Strike and Ghosts of Onyx.
If you're a casual fan, I'd say skip it. If you want to read all of the Halo novels, check it out but don't get your hopes up. Otherwise ANY of the other Halo novels are a better read.
i would but not audio book because the voice actor ruined the whole book for me if i wanted a robot to read to me id have my computer do it
To be fair, I was warned before listening to this book that if I had played the first Halo, I should skip it. But, I enjoyed "The Fall of Reach" so much, I thought it would be fun to revisit the story. Unfortunately, this book turned out to be just a bland, step by step description of the game. Even the tutorial is described in detail- explaining how the master chief looks up, then down, then looks at each part of the HUD, and so on. If you're interested in listening to Halo books, pick any of the other ones.
Good book, as expected it's pretty much a direct clone of Halo: Combat Evolved with some excellent Covenant and Marine side stories added that help fill in some of the gaps left in the FPS.
I think its not time WASTED, but well-spent...not so sure.
Less action. I'm sorry, im an action kind of guy and love them in the movies, but there are way too many "ducks" and "rolls" and "flings upside down" moments in the book where im lost and find myself yearning more for story than action.
There are also moments where they go into some details about characters and then WHAM! They're dead. I had a lot of, "why the heck would you talk about them then!?" moments in this audiobook.
Oh man! Todd is a fantastic reader. Honestly just listen to a sample and you'll find out right away for yourself.
Again, not time wasted...but yeah, not the greatest of times. I would listen to it again some day just to try and catch up again during those action sequences.
The reading was awesome! The characters were great. The story, to a degree, was good and enjoyable. Its a good parallel to the game "though not exactly like it", but its fun to anticipate when the next encounter between Master Chief and the Covenant Warrior will clash every time in the story.
The end fight is very anti-climactic.
Amazon.com lost my original review when the hijacked Audible. Since I can no longer my original review and have not listened to this title in some time I can only give and good bad or ugly.
However I have listened to the entire series several times.
This was a great book that follows the series of events that cover the first game. Plus it gives us some insight to the other things happening behind the scenes during that time frame. On to the next book.
I bought the Halo Anniversary edition when I purchased this. The book is largely a recounting of the game. I would play the game to a point and then listen to the book to that point. It was interesting. There is a bit of a disconnect between this book and Halo: The Fall of Reach. Different authors for the two books. The Master Chief has a different "feel" and his relationship with Cortana seems different than it was in the first book. It's not terrible but I thought it was noticable especially since this book picks up right where Reach left off.The Narrator did a great job again.Definitely fun though. It was interesting to have just played the re-mastered game.
I really enjoyed the AI, Wellsley. I thought it was humorous. I also really liked a lot of the parts that were not part of the game and what McKay does in the end is tough as nails.Yah-Yup (sp?) was amusing as well.
Not too much over the top. Knows when to increase pace, ease off, knows when to emphasize and when to be a bit "calmer." I was never distracted by the narrator.In contrast, my niece asked me to download "The Hunger Games" and although that is an interesting story, it seemed like the author there was auditioning for her next drama series. She was very distracting.
When the action is following John (Master Chief) as the point of view character, the narrative generally breaks down into "the Master Chief does this.... the Master Chief does that" with much less of the inner monologue normally associated with novels. There is some which sheds some interesting light on his motivation; but there really isn't much. That part is actually pretty frustrating, constantly making me want to pause the book and just go play back through the game's campaign. Eventually, that's what I ended up doing. I would listen to a section and play to about that point in the game. It was far from an exact science because about half of the book involves John and Cortana, and the rest focuses on other characters.
The narrative for the other characters is much more interesting. Even the poor schlep up in the control booth when the Chief is first brought out of chryo sleep gets a passable backstory before the covenant puts him on ice. Considering the straitjacket put on the plot because this is a novelization, the author really does a pretty good job here. It takes a decent amount of skill to write a novelization of game or a movie, and this guy seems to do a pretty good job under those constraints. The author even utilizes a few events such as the elevator ambush at the very end to work in stories of characters who aren't actually in the game. I was really hoping one of the grants would end up being the "thirsty grunt" Easter egg, but no such luck. The author also seems to know a little bit more about Navy jargon then some of the other Halo authors. Or maybe he just utilizes it more freely.
There are a few things I probably would consider major errors. For one thing, the author appears to be misinformed about the true nature of hunters. Even the graphics of the original version of Combat Evolved made it pretty clear they are actually a collection of individual worms. The average player probably doesn't notice, but the author of one of the canon books really should.
The author also really poorly handles Elite society. Some of the Elites behave extremely uncharacteristically based on how their honor code and society is portrayed in the other books and subsequent games.
As for the UNSC characters, the author also doesn't mention Linda. At this point, John thinks she's pretty much dead, but he did put her in the chryo tube hoping she could be saved. Given how much downtime character has in the book, I would've expected him to at least spare a thought for her. I also wish the author had taken the opportunity to tell more of Avery Johnson's story. They awkwardly reference that in the next book. But since it had already been established that he survived by the time this book was written, I really wish they had built that in to the story.
The book does do a good job of explaining some of the logistics of the game. it always bothered me that they went from a few ragtag escape pods to suddenly having a force capable of fielding scorpion tanks and healthy supply of warthogs. The logistics of that makes perfect sense in the book. There is also an interesting bit done on Spartan racism. Given a bunch of humans scared about their potential genocide, I could totally see that happen.
The narrator from several of the other Halo books makes a return for this book. As usual, he does a really good job with the Chief's voice, but a lot of the other characters sort of run together. I will say this though, he doesn't try to do a creepy falsetto for the female characters; he just works some subtle feminine inflections into the narration. I'll take that any day over a man squeaking his way through a woman's lines... The audio version of the uncanny valley.
One issue I do have with the narration is probably more of a production/engineering problem. The action flows quite quickly from section to section within the chapters. With most books, including all the other Halo novels, the narrator gives enough of a pause between sections to give the listener some idea perspective is about to shift. In this book, the narration simply jumps to the next point of view character rather abruptly. That can be a bit jarring and confusing. There were times when I had to rewind because we were suddenly seeing the action from another character's eyes who was also present at the previous scene.
Overall, I'm definitely pleased I listened to the book. I'm not sure how much of that was a pleasure about the new parts, or the excuse to play through combat evolved anniversary's campaign again. Should people get it? I definitely wouldn't make this my first Halo book. Most of the others are much better from a novel standpoint. But, if you've played all the games and read/listened to several of the other books, you'll probably get your money's worth out of this one.
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