While the brutal Covenant juggernaut sweeps inexorably through space, intent on wiping out humankind, only one stronghold remains: the planet Reach. Practically on Earth's doorstep, it is the last military fortress to defy the onslaught. But the personnel here have another, higher priority: to prevent the Covenant from discovering the location of Earth.
Outnumbered and outgunned, the soldiers seem to have little chance against the Covenant, but Reach holds a closely guarded secret. It is the training ground for the very first "super soldiers." Code-named SPARTANs, these highly advanced warriors, specially bioengineered and technologically augmented, are the best in the universe - quiet, professional, and deadly.
Now, as the ferocious Covenant attack begins, a handful of SPARTANs stand ready to wage ultimate war. They will kill, they will be destroyed, but they will never surrender. And at least one of them - the SPARTAN known as Master Chief - will live to fight another day on a mysterious and ancient, artificial world called Halo.
Listen to more stories of Halo.
©2003 Microsoft Corporation; (P)2008 Tantor
This book is obviously based on a video game. I'm not sure what some other reviewers were hoping to get out of the story, but I don't think it was meant to be thousands of pages of character development just to get to the inevitable ending that most anyone who played the game knew was coming. I do not think it is a rip off of Ender's Game at all, sure they start as kids learning to fight, but that's where the similarity stops. I found it very entertaining. It provides the back story for Master Chief and initially develops the canon of the Halo Universe very well. Because of this book I ended up listening/reading every other Halo book and have found the ones written by Eric Nylund to be the best. If they ever get around to making the Halo movie and want it to be successful, they had better not deviate much from this book.
I am a fan of Scifi literature. Without a doubt this is one of the best audiobooks I have had the pleasure of listening to. Eric Nylund is one of the best writers I have encountered in this genre. If you were only going to listen to one SciFi book, you would be well advised to listen to this book.
I've played the Halo games on Xbox360. I was told this book tells about the story before the 1st Halo game. I'm not sure how non-Halo fans would like this because without playing the game I wouldn't have felt attached to the people in the story. There's no reason to really care about them. But as a Halo fan I liked learning about the pre-game experience and how everything began, including why I wear a large green armor.
the narrator mispronounces a lot of words and terms. Aside from that, it's a fun listen that really fleshes out the character of the Master Chief.
I was weiry of this title bought it strickly on reviews and that i had a 10 hour drive ahead of me and needed a book to get me through it. im a fan of military sci fi but im often turned off by the endless model numbers and specs some authors like to give. i would compare this to star wars books but better. they build up the characters in a way that you like them and stay interested in the development and take through a story that makes it so you can wait for the next book.
So darn amazing.
Any good sci-fi read, they're just great.
Some great added character.
This is a great first start to an amazing series of tie-in novels.
The descriptions of how master chief became a spartan and hero of humanity
Master Chief and Jacob Keys
Amazing book. I am going to listen to it over and over again.
Todd McLaren has become my new favorite Narrator. His vocal frequencies adjust accordingly to each character, situation, mood, energy, and stress of the story. Honestly, he made the story come alive.
I've listened to samples of other Narrators, and I fear Todd might have turned me off from listening to the other books now that I enjoyed this one so much.
I have not, I'm looking for other books and the other Halo book. It was too fun.
Goosebumps. The story is very serious and action packed, but Todd's tones sometimes sent shivers up my spine. A very good performance.
An excellent Sci-Fi book, however don't expect to understand everything unless you've had a visual reference first (eg, play the game or watch Halo: Forward Unto Dawn).
I love books. I love military science fiction. I loved the Halo series, and the story line in the gaming series. I thought this book would be an easy 5-star excellent read, based on other reviews and the subject matter. I was wrong.
How do you mess up a book like this? There are three easy steps:
1) Have a narrator of limited vocal ability. The narrator has very few voices available, and many of the characters sound the same. There is little nuance in his vocal ability, so most characters are either talking at normal volume, in a slightly raised voice, or screaming at the top of their lungs.
2) Have no editor for the audio edition. So many words are mispronounced. Some, like "chitin", are not used often. Some, like "Mjolnir" (correct pronunciation mule-ner) occur hundreds of times, and are butchered. To make matters worse, some of the chapters differ greatly in volume. I thought my phone or headphones were the issue. They were not. One chapter ends loudly, and the next is extremely quiet.
3) Have little character development. The few main characters are fairly two-dimensional. There is some backstory. There is some emotion, but it isn't explored very much. For instance, Master Chief feels guilty and conflicted for wiping out rebel citizens in his home star system. Rather than explore this line or resolve his guilt, BOOM - the Covenant sideswipe the story. That's fine. This is military Science Fiction. However, even military sci-fi can go as deep as it goes broad.
And some really strange pronunciation. Sword... who pronounces the 'w'?
I was gratified that the author gave up on the usual American rehash of the dehumanising method the American military uses to beat its people in to their required, unthinking, shape.
The story is OK, while being way too video game. But whatever, it's a spin-off. Just accept it and it's not bad. But it really isn't 'good'.
But forget the physics making any sort of sense. The author obviously has zero understanding of the scale of space, even a solar system like ours, and the huge speeds that would be necessary to get around. If you can transit a system in a few hours then you are doing millions of miles per hour. So if you are at a range of a few miles you are within a microsecond of a collision. Conversely kinetic, unguided, weapons are almost entirely useless. If your ship is a mile long, then a microsecond difference is a total miss. Sub-light weapons, well you can see them coming thousands of miles away, and if you can see the things moving then there's loads of time to make a tiny course adjustment and miss by miles. It just doesn't make sense. You certainly can't collide with another ship at stellar speeds and survive. Even at orbital speeds a glancing impact releases fantastic energy.
SciFi for ignorant children.
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