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Halo: First Strike (Halo #3)

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  10,056 Ratings  ·  261 Reviews
Reach fell, and when hope seemed lost, humanity stood face-to-face with the possible extinction of all life in the galaxy and lived to tell the tale.

But that was just one epic battle, and the war rages on . . .

The Covenant shows no mercy as they continue to assault every human world they can find, but in their way lies humanity's great champion, Spartan-117, the Master C
ebook, 448 pages
Published December 21st 2010 by Tor Books (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mackenzie Riccardi
Feb 25, 2010 Mackenzie Riccardi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sci-fi and halo fans
A lot of people play games for the killing, but others like the story. People who have played the game Halo for the story should read Halo, First Strike, and the other halo books by Eric Nyluno. This book (Halo, First Strike) and the others are about the famous super soldiers called Spartan IIs that are hopelessly defending the Human race from the evil Covenant and finding an ancient super weapon called Halo. This is a great book to read because the plot is interesting, the conflict is simplisti ...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
This book kicks off with two story arcs, being continuations of the events depicted in both The Fall of Reach and Halo: The Flood. As such, the first three novels in the Halo series form a fairly cohesive whole. There are a few reasonably spectacular action sequences, especially the events concerning Master Chief in the early chapters of the book. However, that's about as good as it gets this time round. A few new characters are introduced, but I didn't particularly care much about any of them o ...more
The Fog Witch (Nikki)
This book was very refreshing after the underwhelming slog that was "The Flood". Mr. Nylund writes the Halo stories I want to read.
Plus more Sgt. Johnson. <3

Master Chief is back to true form and is no longer a knuckle-dragging, gun-happy 'derp' that he was in The Flood. No more endless descriptions of ammo that never ends, no more uninspired and recycled battle scenes, and no more stereotypical military jargon spewing just because it's a 'military' book.

We begin the story with John and Cortan
May 28, 2012 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, but I can't remember anything about it! It's not because the book was forgettable, but because half an hour after reading it I suffered a mild concussion and I seriously cannot rememeber A THING about the novel. I remember I really enjoyed that other Spartans were found and that they had distinct personalities (at least Kelly, Fred, and Linda anyway), and the action scenes were quick-paced and realistic (they actually run out of ammo quite a bit, unlike in The Flood w ...more
Jared Shilts
Dec 23, 2015 Jared Shilts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 13+
Recommended to Jared by: nobody
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melisa Ramonda
Apr 16, 2015 Melisa Ramonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SPARTANS never die.

And, apparently, they never eat, sleep, go to the bathroom or shower in weeks, either. I like Eric Nylund's writing on this universe VERY MUCH because he knows his trade and you can see that he likes these characters and respects them. He knows these characters. This is the MC I want to read about, obviously. Anyway, although I liked this book incredibly much, sometimes I open my eyes and wonder about how unbelievable
Sep 10, 2008 Newton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: video-games
First Strike is one of the many books set in the Halo Universe to fill in the gaps of story between the trilogy of games. This story takes place in the time frame between the first two games. The book is sent in the 26th century and describes a small part of a huge on-going war between the human race and a alien race, known as the Covenant. The Covenant have superior technology, allowing them to win almost any engagement. There is a small hope for humanity, and that lies in a group of super-sold ...more
May 15, 2014 Louis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. I realize I might be giving the Halo books too much credit (they aren't exactly of a dazzling literary level) but wow. Just wow. Incessantly I could not help but feel involved, as if I was literally there, amongst the ranks of the spartans, lieutenant and corporal, ODST and marines alike. The detail with which Nylund describes the (space) battlefield, the assaults from each side, the emotional shock with the personas, it all adds up, and the whole just makes sense. This book also clos ...more
Feb 28, 2013 Taylorpe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a great book if you are a fan of the Halo Universe. It is not a masterful piece of literature, but then again all of those Star Wars and Star Trek books aren't either. This book does exactly what it sets out to do, and that is fill in the narrative background between the two games in the series for the Halo universe. Eric Nylund did a wonderful job keeping with the canon of the series and produced a pretty good story out of a limited set of material.

Worth the read if you are a fan.
Oct 03, 2013 Joey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Halo the first strike was very different from the other halo books because the unsc actually attacks the covenant and wins. But also they add Spartans to the blue team and a surprise. To me halo has always been a good series to read they are perilous but exiting. Master chief always seems to live even in the face of death. Which always is fun to read when the main character has a slim chance of survival. In the end it was a 5 star book
Jan 07, 2013 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
And the plot thickens. Read most of this on a long plane ride and it really helped the time pass. It's action-packed, gives tantalizing hints of things to come, and further develops and has you fall more in love with characters. More and more the series makes me think of "if W.E.B. Griffin wrote a sci-fi" and that, for me, is a very good thing.
Dec 08, 2008 Stefan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Not a bad piece of light military science fiction. The continuation of the Halo storyline is well carried off, mind you, this isn't a mind-blowing piece of science fiction either
Back to the good stuff - bridges the gap between Halo and Halo 2 very well, although some of the slipspace stuff always goes over my head and seems unnecessary.

Ghosts of Onyx time :B
Mar 21, 2013 Tanner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!

The novel Halo: First Strike by Eric Nylund, bridges the gap between the Xbox 360 game Halo: Combat Evolved, and Halo 2. After the Master Chief destroys the ring world known as Halo, also known as Installation 04, he is drifting in space in a Longsword space fighter away from the debris. He, and his AI companion Cortana, are hoping they can make it to a friendly base, outpost, planet, etc. If there are any left. The Covenant have stopped at nothing to eradicate as many
Hayden Thompson-white
**SPOILERS!** The book starts out above the planet Reach with Master Chief sending a team of Spartans to the surface t power some generators for their escape. Master Chief and Cortana locate the other survivors from the halo ring and return to Reach. They find three Spartans on the surface of the dead planet that know what the covenant plan to do next. Kelly is taken by the covenant and Master Chief stops the covenant from detonating the bomb.
A word from the book that I didn't quite understand
Nov 30, 2016 Brendan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really have enjoyed this book and I'm very close to finishing it. One thing I really liked about the book was the great storytelling and it sticking to the lore of Halo, and revisiting the place where Chief Mendez first tested them. One Criticism I have is that I personally didn't like having the story told through the eyes of Fred and not the Master Chief. Honestly a step up from the Fall of Reach not starting when the Spartan's were children was a little better to me. Still I really enjoyed ...more
Richard Reinhar
Nov 21, 2016 Richard Reinhar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Halo First Strike us another brilliant book by Eric Nylund in which Master Chief continuing conflict with the Covenant has discovered that there is something more to the planet than a human colony. 5 out of 5 stars.
Audiobook - Good story
Oct 13, 2016 Damien rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is great for people who love the games. If anyone who wants to read about the Master Chief this is the Third book you want to read. Nonetheless this is a good book. Right off the bat you are thrown straight into a firefight where the odds are stacked against the squad who is then left behind as the planet is taken by the enemy. Don't take my word for it read it yourself.
Brayden Raymond
Dec 20, 2016 Brayden Raymond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: halo
Nylund caps off the trilogy in an outstanding way. I have reread this novel way too many times. It is exciting and finishes the Story of the first Halo. a story I often felt unfinished.
Lisa MH
Mar 29, 2011 Lisa MH rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This book is like candy for anyone who enjoys the Halo games. Being a fan myself, I loved it. It has enough action and plot that even those who don't follow the games can enjoy it (although some parts/descriptions might be confusing for them). This is third book of a trilogy and should be read after the other two. Eric Nylund wrote the first book and this one and they both shine. It's unfortunate you have to wade through the second book to get to this one (my review of Halo: The Flood: http://ww ...more
Sep 20, 2016 B.C. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You could call this Halo 1.5
The story takes place between the first two games. Its ok I guess? It's Halo's usual quality in lore and action and the characters are very likable and probably what brings you on the journey with them. The plot is a definite "eh" though. If you like Halo, I;m sure you'll enjoy this book. If you're a casual fan of the story you can probably skip it.
Ricky Beckett
May 13, 2016 Ricky Beckett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As if the Master Chief single-handedly annihilating Halo Installation 04 and an entire Covenant armada weren’t badass enough of the Spartan elite, First Strike gives us even more insight into the “badassery” of Spartans—their incredible strength with the inclusion of their MJOLNIR enhancements as well as their tactical genius and supreme resilience. That is, aside from what’s portrayed of them in Nylund’s Halo: The Fall of Reach. Besides this first book of the Covenant War trilogy, First Strike ...more
Todd Mitchell
Jun 13, 2010 Todd Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sci-fi and Halo fans
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction
It took me a couple of tries to read First Strike. This was where I left off the first time I tried to get through the Halo series. This second time around I got through it a bit quicker.

I think a lot of folks hold the first three Halo novels (this being the third) in special regard compared to the handful of titles out now. Even Tor Books chose to re-release an updated version of these in anticipation for the upcoming Halo: Reach on the Xbox 360. This in mind, First Strike was good, not great.

Marcos Casillas
Nov 27, 2015 Marcos Casillas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 17, 2011 Vernie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a long time since I read any good Science Fiction book. At this point, I even surprise myself that I have appreciated the Halo Universe on which I may consider myself a late member. I have not yet played the Halo on Xbox 360 because I still don't have that expensive game console, but I look forward to getting the PC version. Meanwhile, I got myself a copy of the novel to better understand why I liked the Halo game at the first place when I discovered a lot of those videos on ...more
Sep 03, 2014 Philip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


I really like this book for reasons that are too many to count.

1. It bridges the gap between HALO COMBAT EVOLVED and HALO 2.

2. It was the first HALO book i ever read.

3. It gave me a look at what HALO was before I was a HALO fan.

The book follows the continued story of the Master Chief a.k.a. SPARTAN 117, after
There were less pros and more cons in the third installment of the Halo series this time. Although with the added cons I still enjoyed the read for the simple fact that a. its Halo and b. you get to see things from a different perspective.
However, I don't enjoy constant reiteration. So despite the additional character scenes for others that are a part of the series I don't think that First strike was really necessary simply because the information could have been added to the other novels witho
Mike Smith
The third novel based on the Xbox-exclusive video game "Halo", this story takes place between the original Halo game and Halo 2. It tells the story of how the technologically enhanced super-soldier known as Master Chief survived the destruction of the first Halo (where Halo ended) and returned to Earth, where Halo 2 begins. The plot is straightforward with minimal character development, except perhaps for the character of Cortana, the artificial intelligence that guides Master Chief on his adven ...more
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cool 3 13 Jan 18, 2013 08:24AM  
  • Halo: Contact Harvest
  • Halo: The Cole Protocol
  • Halo: The Flood
  • Halo: Glasslands
  • The Halo Graphic Novel
  • Halo: Cryptum
  • Halo: Uprising
  • The Art of Halo
  • Halo: Helljumper
  • Halo: Fall of Reach - Boot Camp
  • Halo: Blood Line
  • Halo: Last Light

Other Books in the Series

Halo (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Halo: The Fall of Reach
  • Halo: The Flood
  • Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
  • Halo: Contact Harvest
  • Halo: The Cole Protocol
  • Halo: Cryptum
  • Halo: Glasslands
  • Halo: Primordium
  • Halo: The Thursday War
  • Halo: Silentium

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