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What Halo books to read first?

OP Goatman DotD

I've been into Halo since right before the release of Halo 2 but I'd never read any of the books, I know some of the lore that's outside of the games but I'd like to know which books to read first. I heard someone talking about the books not being cannon but if they are, or if some of them are, I want only cannon books to be listed in a reply. Thanks!
I think since 343i has taken over they've worked hard to try to make everything canon (with varying degrees of success). But if I'm wrong, someone can correct me.
(o_O )
Everything aside from some visual discrepancies and the Halo: Legends short, Odd One Out.

In terms of what you should read, release order is generally recommended so everything makes sense, so my suggestion is that you start with The Fall of Reach. It sets up a large part of the Halo franchise's lore, so it's useful for familiarizing yourself with some of the basics of the larger universe.

CIA391's comprehensive list of Halo media should be able to help you. If available, I'd personally recommend reading the Definitive Edition of a novel since they add some material and correct some slight discrepancies or just odd writing choices (such as how Nylund originally wrote Reach as the first instance of humans ever encountering Sangheili).
Thanks for all of the replies everyone, I've been absent from Halo for along time as I never got an Xbox One and got heavily into PC, Dark Souls replaced Halo as my favorite game but I miss Halo dearly, just picked up halo wars and halo wars 2 on pc in the meantime while I wait on Halo 6 pc, much love, lots of help.
My advice is always to read the books in publishing order -- that is to say, to read the oldest book first, then the next-oldest, and so on. I recommend this even though the books are written out of order and the stories hop from one period to another.

The main reason I recommend this is that -- unintentionally -- this is the best order through which to absorb the details of the setting. As time went on and Microsoft, Bungie and then 343 Industries contributed to the Haloverse, more and more of the texture of things clarified. If you were to read Broken Circle and then jump into The Flood, for instance, you would probably be a little perplexed by how vague all of the Covenant perspectives are in the latter compared to the former. That would have to do with the latter being written in 2003 and the former being written in 2014 (I think? Somewhere 'round there). If you read stuff in the order that it released, you're reading it in roughly the order it developed, in which you will find the clearest literacy of ideas.
Hunters in the dark was SOO COOL
Simple answer.

Halo: The Fall of Reach

after that, I would go "First Strike" and then "Ghosts of Onyx". I skipped "The Flood", which takes place between The Fall of Reach and First Strike. It is basically Halo CE but with more details. But yeah. I would start here.
I think since 343i has taken over they've worked hard to try to make everything canon (with varying degrees of success). But if I'm wrong, someone can correct me.
(o_O )
In this context “canon” basically means “part of the official story”. To this end everything the current publisher of the game creates is canon.
Boba772 wrote:
Simple answer.

Halo: The Fall of Reach

after that, I would go "First Strike" and then "Ghosts of Onyx". I skipped "The Flood", which takes place between The Fall of Reach and First Strike. It is basically Halo CE but with more details. But yeah. I would start here.
100% agreed. Great intro to the series. Personally I’ve skipped “The Flood”, and the Forerunner titles, but have read most everything else.
In my opinion Halo the Fall of Reach
If you want to read something akin to an origin story, you can either read or watch Fall of Reach, which details the Chef's indoctrination into the UNSC.
Nightfall on the other hand shows you what happens Post-Covenant war, but before Halo 5, and details Locke's Pre-Spartan adventures.

If you like the Halo: 4 campaign, you can read the graphic novel Tales from Slipspace to conclude it's story.

Did you like Halo 3: ODST? Great! Halo: New Blood Explores What Buck takes on after the Covenant war, and details how he became a spartan. Halo: Bad Blood will detail Buck's mission for ONI shortly after Halo 5. Its gonna be released this June so be on the lookout.

If you want to explore The Forerunner-Flood war, and consequentially, the Forerunner-Human war, I suggest Halo: Cryptum, Halo: Primordium, and Halo: Silentium
If youre looking for something more stealth like, Id suggest the Halo: Bloodline saga. Good read for Pre-Fall of Reach stories.

Halo: The Flood is essentially a novelization of Halo: CE, with a couple af added anecdotes and side stories.

Halo: First Strike fills in many gaps between Halo CE and Halo 2

The Kilo Five trilogy details the events immediately following the ending of Halo 3, and it's first book Glasslands, Is a sequel to Ghosts of Onyx.

Pretty much all of the Blue Team novels are a must.

Thats really all I can recommend as theyre the ones ive read.
Welp, I just got The Fall of Reach, The Flood, First Strike, Ghosts of Onyx, The Cole Protocol, and Contact Harvest.
The Kilo-Five trilogy is good for casuals