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What order should I read the novels?

OP jtran549

So I am currently reading Fall of Reach and i'm planning on reading The Flood after that. What I want to know is, which books build off each other? For example, I know that Bad Blood kinda builds off of New Blood, what other entries are related to each other? Or should I just read them in release order?
After The Flood, read First Strike. From there, there are many different paths you could take. IMPORTANT: YOU NEED TO HAVE PLAYED ALL OF THE GAMES TO UNDERSTAND THESE NOVELS. I'M NOT ORGANIZING THIS BASED ON WHAT GAMES YOU NEED TO HAVE PLAYED TO UNDERSTAND WHICH NOVELS. I'M ALSO NOT GOING BASED ON TIMELINES. IF YOU READ THESE, YOU'LL NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHERE THE NOVEL IS IN THE OVERALL TIMELINE FOR YOURSELF. READ IN ORDER OF LEFT - RIGHT FOR PROPER PATH ORDER.
Onyx: Ghosts of Onyx, the first two of the Kilo 5 trilogy (Glasslands and Thursday War), then Legacy of Onyx. (third Kilo 5, Mortal Dictata doesn't mention Onyx any if I recall, but still read it to complete the trilogy)
Forerunners: Cryptum, Primordium, Silentium, Halo Fractures short story
Short stories: Halo Evolutions and Halo Fractures
ODST: New Blood, Bad Blood
Veta Lopis/post-Onyx Blue Team/post-Onyx Spartan IIIs: Last Light (features references to Mortal Dictata so Kilo 5 trilogy is recommended), Retribution
Grey Team: The Cole Protocol, Envoy
Pre-Covenant War: Contact Harvest and Broken Circle (no relation to Contact Harvest)
Miscellaneous: Smoke and Shadow, Hunters in the Dark (HitD may have some connection to others but I can't recall any)
I recommend reading all of them because I like all of them but I'd recommend starting with the Onyx series first.
After The Flood, read First Strike. From there, there are many different paths you could take. IMPORTANT: YOU NEED TO HAVE PLAYED ALL OF THE GAMES TO UNDERSTAND THESE NOVELS. I'M NOT ORGANIZING THIS BASED ON WHAT GAMES YOU NEED TO HAVE PLAYED TO UNDERSTAND WHICH NOVELS. I'M ALSO NOT GOING BASED ON TIMELINES. IF YOU READ THESE, YOU'LL NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHERE THE NOVEL IS IN THE OVERALL TIMELINE FOR YOURSELF. READ IN ORDER OF LEFT - RIGHT FOR PROPER PATH ORDER.
Onyx: Ghosts of Onyx, the first two of the Kilo 5 trilogy (Glasslands and Thursday War), then Legacy of Onyx. (third Kilo 5, Mortal Dictata doesn't mention Onyx any if I recall, but still read it to complete the trilogy)
Forerunners: Cryptum, Primordium, Silentium, Halo Fractures short story
Short stories: Halo Evolutions and Halo Fractures
ODST: New Blood, Bad Blood
Veta Lopis/post-Onyx Blue Team/post-Onyx Spartan IIIs: Last Light (features references to Mortal Dictata so Kilo 5 trilogy is recommended), Retribution
Grey Team: The Cole Protocol, Envoy
Pre-Covenant War: Contact Harvest and Broken Circle (no relation to Contact Harvest)
Miscellaneous: Smoke and Shadow, Hunters in the Dark (HitD may have some connection to others but I can't recall any)
I recommend reading all of them because I like all of them but I'd recommend starting with the Onyx series first.
Awesome, thanks the detailed reply man!
You can't go wrong reading the books in the order they were released. This way, the big reveals will be big reveals, instead of most of them having been matter-of-fact in one novel, then suddenly being a big deal in the next, which happens sometimes if you read the books in the in-universe chronological order.
JNDreher wrote:
You can't go wrong reading the books in the order they were released. This way, the big reveals will be big reveals, instead of most of them having been matter-of-fact in one novel, then suddenly being a big deal in the next, which happens sometimes if you read the books in the in-universe chronological order.
This is what I am currently doing. Reading every novel, comic, etc in order of release. This makes it easier to keep track of certain characters, events, and places while making sure I don't skip over something and then not being able to find it at my local bookstore.
First, read the Fall of Reach, ALWAYS.
Then skip Halo: The Flood and play the first game. Halo: The Flood IS the first game, except some of the events that take place do not occur in the game. This book isn't canon and it is really... bland.
Next, read First Strike, this book is in between the first two games and ties the two together, also revealing how Sgt. Johnson survived the encounter with the flood.
After that play the second game, then read Ghosts of Onyx.
Play Halo 3: ODST and then Halo 3, and then continue reading with Halo: Contact Harvest.
Play Halo Wars as it takes place on harvest, then read Halo: Cole Protocol, and Halo: Evolution to learn more about the lore of the universe.
You can play Halo reach, but I would skip it if you want to learn more about the lore because Halo Reach, while it has a great story, directly contradicts the book. It is not canon in my eyes for this reason and also because Halo: Fall of Reach has a superior story to tell.
Read the Forerunner saga after that, Cryptum, Primordial, and Silentium, but keep in mind that they are a very... unique read. I love it, but many people are easily bored by it. The second book also has serious problems, so keep that in mind.
I always stop here, and for me, the quality of the stories and games go downhill significantly, but if you wish to continue, go to Halo Reach.
Play Halo 4, if you wish, but keep in mind that the Didact from the books and the didact from the games are significantly different characters in their military strategy and prowess.
Finally, skip the rest. It goes downhill, and only gets blander, duller, and less and less interesting.