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Halo: The Fall of Reach

(Halo #1)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  21,619 ratings  ·  1,193 reviews
As the bloody Human-Covenant War rages on Halo, the fate of humankind may rest with one warrior, the lone SPARTAN survivor of another legendary battle... the desperate, take-no-prisoners struggle that led humanity to Halo--the fall of the planet Reach. Now, brought to life for the first time, here is the full story of that glorious, doomed conflict.

While the brutal Covenan
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Del Rey
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Nick Connor It is fully understandable without having played the game. The only references that I noticed were some references to the names of enemies in the game…moreIt is fully understandable without having played the game. The only references that I noticed were some references to the names of enemies in the game and a few vehicles. (less)
Samantha I first read this book when I was in 6th grade, and had no problem with it. I borrowed it from my elementary best friend who was OBSESSED with Halo. I…moreI first read this book when I was in 6th grade, and had no problem with it. I borrowed it from my elementary best friend who was OBSESSED with Halo. I loved the book even though I had never played the game myself. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  21,619 ratings  ·  1,193 reviews

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Master_chief chief
Nov 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
it describes my training and how i become famous and brave.
Feb 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Halo and Ender's Game fans
Ha! A book about Halo?! ROFL.

I was wrong.

Expected this: "Grenade, headshot, headshot. Two grunts down. More grenades. 360 no scoped an Elite." etc. A book about mindlessly shooting things up.

Got this: A book that doesn't focus on wars or engagements, but the thoughts and emotions of the Spartan's (yes, they have emotions!). You place yourself in their shoes and they are no longer dudes who are just good at shooting things. You see the painful life of brainwashing and conditioning they've gone t
Ben Brown
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: halo
Well, I’m doing it: I’m diving full on into the Halo universe. Games, novels, comics, web series, podcasts…I’m doing all of them, in the order that they were released. So, in other words, it was nice knowing ya’ll – I’ll see you in 20ish years.

I played the original Halo trilogy years ago, and distinctly remember reading the first three Halo novels that were published: “Halo: The Fall of Reach,” “Halo: The Flood,” and “Halo: First Strike.” Rereading “The Fall of Reach” almost 15 years later, I wa
Jan 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, awesome
I have played all of the Halo games and followed the story in the games and thoroughly enjoyed them. I was given this book several years ago and never got around to reading them, until I got my hands on the audio book version!

This book was incredible. It was not predictable at all. It begins when Master Chief was selected as a child for the Spartan program. Putting the setting well before the first Halo game. The author does a great job describing Master Chief and getting the readers following
Jun 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Originally posted on:

First off, and foremost actually, I beg of you all to not believe the hype that this book has surrounded itself in. It is, by far, one of the worst Sci-Fi reads I've had in recent history and the few good things about it get eclipsed by the shoddy writing and the down right awfulness that are most of the characters.
Right, let's get some structure in here.

The plague of tie-in books

Tie-in books have been around for a long time now. They
Dirk Grobbelaar
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is essentially a military Sci-Fi book with echoes of both Starship Troopers and Ender's Game. I haven't played the Halo games as I don't own an XBox, although I did dip into Combat Evolved at some stage (the one Halo that came out on PC). I remain intrigued by the concept of the Halo (a Ringworld-like structure - albeit much smaller). At this stage I would like to insert a comment on some of the negative reviews listed. This book is based on a video game franchise, yes, and is likely aimed ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
This book is based on a video game...and it's pretty good. I was in the mood for a straight forward even simple story. Good guys vs bad guys, military space opera, aliens who want to conquer the universe, or burn it...


Okay, so it's not Tolstoy or Dickens (not that Dickens is necessarily all that hot LOL). But these books (there is a series based on the game) are fun, action packed and really pretty well written.

We open with the "founding of" or "recruiting of" the Spartans. "Of course" our
Zacary Ryan
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Maybe not totally deserved, but this book made me feel something, damn it. And I haven't felt things in MONTHS. ...more
Jeannette Nikolova
May 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Also available on the WondrousBooks blog.

*** 1.5 stars ***

Well... at least I tried.

I have a friend who is a big Halo: The Fall of Reach fan and in his attempt to get me interested in the story, he convinced me to give it a shot.

I really, really tried to like the story, the book, the writing... I couldn't.

Halo: The Fall of Reach to me was poorly written and rather dreary, shallow and messy. Many events came to be in the book, but the story moved so little in terms of world-building. Yes, of c
T.R. Preston
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I can't even summarize how much I loved this. Halo is my favourite fictional universe of all time, so I'm always eager to dive deeper when I can. I actually read this book already when I was a kid, but I couldn't remember a bloody thing about it so I picked it up again as an adult.

As wonderful as the story is, something must be said: the editing for this book was hot garbage. I have read many fanfictions with less typos. I don't recall ever reading a traditionally published novel with more erro
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Halo fans
Recommended to Tina by: Matt and Hunt
I wasn't expecting too much from this book, so I was more than surprised at the quality of the novel. It's wonderfully fun. The author has very fluid prose that keeps you addicted to the story but doesn't rush you through it. Also, given this is a prequel to the games, the author was kind of stuck writing within certain parameters, meaning that he had to conform to the series' history/locations, and he has to ensure his writing was accessible to everyone - that leaves little room for experimenta ...more
Apr 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Mass market paperbacks covering someone else's IP must be a pain to write, since you're probably under a huge time constraint to come up with 250 pages worth of story constrained by existing canon. But even more constricting is the fact that your work is permitted to exist only to further sales of the primary product. In essence, your book is a commercial.

Given that, Nylund does a pretty decent job putting some life into a killing game. While the protagonist, John 117, hardly rises above the au
David Martin
Oct 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Having gotten used to reading very deep, character driven series like Game of Thrones, it was an abrupt switch to read a novel in which character development and differentiation took a bit of a back seat to the action. That isn't the author's fault, per se, but I would be lying if I didn't say I wanted some depth added.

That said, God bless this guy, he wrote this book in under two months so that its release could roughly coincide with the original release of the first Halo videogame, and he wrot
Mike Smith
Jul 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This was a bit better than I expected for a book based on a video game. This is the prequel to the game Halo, which involves a cybernetically enhanced super-soldier battling aliens over possession of a massive ring in space built by a long-dead species. The plot is pretty thin and goes through some major contortions to get all the major characters where they need to be to begin the game. The characters themselves are fairly one-dimensional, with most of the soldiers being either cowards or noble ...more
Adam Robertson
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, 2016
A wonderful background on how the SPARTAN's were created. ...more
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a year of Sci-Fi this has been! So, I thought why not start reading another good series before the year is out? I’ve had the Halo series on my mind for a while and I don’t know why I‘ve waited so long to start it because I’ve enjoyed it so much.

Fall of Reach tells the back story of the Halo series’ Master Chief. As a child, the Chief is selected from a number of children to participate in a program that is set to prevent civil war across the human colonies. An even greater threat looms aga
C.T. Phipps
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: space-opera, halo
I am a huge fan of the Halo universe and doubly-so it's Expanded Universe. Long before I got my copy of the Master Chief collection, I was enjoying the books by Eric Nylund and William Dietz that set up a surprisingly awesome science fiction universe. They were written in conunction with the original game and I suspect provided much of the backstory which would eventually be incorporated into the game's lore.

The premise is surprisingly dark. John-117 is a six-year-old boy kidnapped from his fami
The Grim Reader
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a MASSIVE fan of the HALO franchise, it’s perhaps surprising that it has taken me this long to get into the books. Maybe it’s because I’m not a huge sci-fi reader. Regardless, I decided to take the leap into space and join the Master Chief and his team of Spartan badasses on their mission to rid the universe of the Covenant threat.
HALO: The Fall of Reach is the first book in the series and follows the path of John as he moves through the ranks eventually becoming the famed Master Chief. This
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes Halo
Recommended to Tyler by: Me
Halo, The Fall of the Reach by Eric Nylund
Summary, The Fall of Reach is a prequel telling the story of humanity's war against a technologically superior race called the Covenant, a mysterious race on a religious crusade to destroy all of humanity. The story focuses on the hero John and his fellow Spartans Sam, and Kelly enhanced human beings bred as soldiers for humanity's military and the best chance the humans have for victory in the losing war against the covenant. John, Sam and Kelly were k
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: want-to-reread
Originally I thought the book was going to be some kind of, mash up of random killing and plain old combat like the games can be. Boy was I wrong. It is amazing how much actual story line and background they add to the rest of the books/games with just the one book!

I am aware that the author had to go into the game and possibly even look up different halo history to keep the book as accurate as possible, which can be a tough job. Even so the book was still written and done very well. Every tim
Jesse Booth
Dec 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
The Halo story is phenomenal. For people who just play the video games, you are missing out on the best part. Gameplay may be fun, but reading about the actual story completes the game.

Fall of Reach is a prequel to the original Halo: Combat Evolved story and gives amazing insight on how John 117 came to be. He definitely has more of a personality in the book, so it was good to actually see that.

As the title of the book indicates, this story goes into detail about the events leading up to when Th
Lesa Divine
Ha hubby wants to get on reading with me. So I let him pick a series for us to read.....well of course he picked a game as the book series to read lol. I don't know nothing about Halo I've watched hubby play the game but I can't really tell what it was about besides fighting, shooting lol.

So reading this with him going to be interesting. Even though I have a feeling I'm be more reading than he is lol.

Review: 2.5 🌟
Spartans made to be able to fight the unfightable "not a word" but made to fight st
Sep 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was reading the gaming blog Kotaku as my daily routine when I saw a live action trailer for the latest Halo game, Halo: Reach. I was taken away immediate and noticed one of the commentors said that if you like this trailer, you definitely have to read the book The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund.

The only experience I've had with Halo so far was a few minutes watching my friend play Halo 2 at his place, and so had doubts of whether I will understand or enjoy the story. In the end I decided to give
Aug 26, 2011 rated it liked it
I was very curious about reading this book because I am a huge fan of the games. I thought it was a good book and does a great job of explaining where Master Chief (the game's main character) comes from. I loved that part. But of course there is a lot of war going on in the book and I didn't enjoy that. It is my first war novel and I'll admit that is not something I enjoy reading. I won't continue the series. I also wish it had better cover art. I mean it looks like a cartoon!

Liam || Books 'n Beards
Back in the day I was an enormous Halo fanboy. I played all the Bungie games, and read the reputable novels - listened to the soundtracks, even watched the fairly shitty anime tie-ins.

I used to say that it was the greatest universe of all time, which looking back may be a tad of an exaggeration. I maintain however that, for a dumb first-person shooter, the expanded universe that grew to encompass the games is unique in its quality and its depth.

Fall of Reach wasn't as great as I remember it bein
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure what I was heading into when I picked up this book.

I was expecting a lot of action. I wasn't sure how good the writing was going to be. I thought it would be fun, but not great. I thought it might feel too "gamey".

But it was actually a lot of fun, written well, and a really enjoyable read! Also emotional at times! It was action packed as hell, but in a great way.

I was pleasantly shocked, and will be keeping my eye out for the next two in the trilogy on my next bookstore trip.
The Grim Reader
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great introduction to the HALO universe. Review soon.
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2020
I like the story of the SPARTANS, but the characters were really flat. Wish there was more depth to them. Also there was a LOT of technical and military jargon, a little too much.
~2,5 stars
Stefan Gugler
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Stefan by: Kayla Comalli
It was much better than expected. Usually, video game books don't have such a great reputation, so I went in with a pretty low expectation. Yet I must admit that the pacing was quite agreeable and the level of detail didn't feel overwhelming, even though I'm new to the Halo universe. From time to time the whole militarism gets a bit trite and I can't read more about how proud and obedient Master Chief wants to be but generally, that was ok. Especially the first half felt a bit like Ender's Game, ...more
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have never played the game but I liked the story enough. Also it is well written
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