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Your top Five Greatest Halo books.

OP HD Simplicityy

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Honorable Mentions: Halo: Silentium, Ghosts of Onyx.

5) Halo: Mortal Dictata
4) Halo: Envoy
3) Halo: Renegades
2) Halo: Last Light
1) Halo: The Fall of Reach. To this day remains number one. Eric Nylund's impact is enormous.

Without the cliche of picking the first or last/most recent of a story as the greatest, Last Light is the greatest, in my opinion. Its just complex enough of a plot to not become too deep. A fantastic mix of emotional character relationships, action, implication in the overall lore, and banter.

One day, I would love to replace Fall of Reach or one of the others, with a major, mainline book.
Fall of reach
First Strike
Flood
Ghost of onyx
New blood
5. Silent Storm
4. Contact Harvest
3. First Strike
Ghosts of Onyx and Fall of Reach are tied for me.
Fall of Reach, Ghosts of Onyx, Renegades, Silentium, and First Strike I guess. In no particular order. I really need to reread a lot of them to get a better list.
5. Contact Harvest 4. Glasslands 3. First Strike 2. Ghosts of Onyx 1. Fall of Reach

I know that the first 3 novels were re-released a couple of times with the 2019 editions of each being the current editions, however I just found out that just about every book under Del Rey and Tor were re-released. So basically whole Kilo-Five trilogy and Forerunner Trilogy, as well as Ghosts of Onyx, Contact Harvest and Cole Protocol. Each one with the exception of Glasslands book have had their pages extended drastically. Does anybody know what the differences are between the originals and 2019 editions of each book? I'm trying to get back back into them as well as make a timeline graph for myself of every major event taking place and when across all the games, books, comics, etc.

Not sure it they add new stuff that's relevant to their respective stories that would make my by the 2019 editions or not. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
MAG626 wrote:
5. Contact Harvest 4. Glasslands 3. First Strike 2. Ghosts of Onyx 1. Fall of Reach

I know that the first 3 novels were re-released a couple of times with the 2019 editions of each being the current editions, however I just found out that just about every book under Del Rey and Tor were re-released. So basically whole Kilo-Five trilogy and Forerunner Trilogy, as well as Ghosts of Onyx, Contact Harvest and Cole Protocol. Each one with the exception of Glasslands book have had their pages extended drastically. Does anybody know what the differences are between the originals and 2019 editions of each book? I'm trying to get back back into them as well as make a timeline graph for myself of every major event taking place and when across all the games, books, comics, etc.

Not sure it they add new stuff that's relevant to their respective stories that would make my by the 2019 editions or not. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I have not read any re-released book. Not that its relevant to my post. Anyway I will give you Ghosts of Onyx. Great one. First Strike was fun when I read it growing up.
1: Fall of Reach
2: Contact Harvest
3: Ghosts of Onyx
4: First Strike
5: Dr. Halsey's Journal

As far as I'm concerned these are the ONLY books.
1: Fall of Reach
2: Contact Harvest
3: Ghosts of Onyx
4: First Strike
5: Dr. Halsey's Journal

As far as I'm concerned these are the ONLY books.
So you rule out any others? why is that? The old ones are good yes.
Keep in mind that you DID ask for individual opinions on the books.

Because I don't like them and I don't like the direction Halo's overall story and direction have taken. The original books are military science fiction with the hint of mystery told competently by excellent authors who didn't have socio-political axes to grind and performing character assassinations to do it, too far up their own butts to see how terrible they were making the Forerunners by pulling the curtain away, or simply not that great.

Halo has always been military science fiction with the hint of larger mysteries that were always left for the player/reader to draw their own conclusions. It had characters that yes, did monstrous things but with good intentions. It didn't protray the Covenant as a bunch of pants on head aliens or incompetent human officials being needlessly nefarious and mustache twirling for their own good. Or giant meta-physical faster than light constructs because the author was so up his own butt about how creative he could be and no one thought to stop and say 'dude, maybe this is a little much'.

We did not need the Precursors, we did not need the curtain pulled back on the Forerunners, and we definitely didn't need Ancient Humanity. Glimpses were what help make Halo and it's story what it was. There was always the primary story, the human vs Covenant, the drama in humanity's struggle to survive against terrible odds while in the background there was always the hint of something greater at work.

And let's also be honest here. Before 343i got their hands on the franchise and started needlessly complicating the story and, frankly, ruining it by allowing certain authors known for drastically altering characters to suit her own socio-political agendas, most people could grasp the lore of Halo. Even new fans could pick up on it pretty quick without much need to explain it. Now it is so needlessly complex that trying to explain it to old fans, let alone new ones that are not horribly invested in figuring it all out is a exercise in futility before you end up just directing them to Halopedia.

343i has made so many mis-steps with the franchise, the books included and turned Halo into a science fantasy where EVERYTHING has to be explained or blown up to such huge, galaxy spanning proportions. Not to mention artificially inflating the UNSC and weakening the Covenant factions simply so they can have their stupid big ugly ship of destiny fly around while saying "We're the giants now" only four years after a one-sided genocidal war in which the UNSC only survived via a technicality and had for all intents and purposes LOST as it had no more worlds left "Earth is all we have left" and even then Earth was OCCUPIED by a superior force.

You will not convince me of the so-called quality of the books under 343i's direction, not when they've done such a terrible job with the franchise. 343i does not and has NEVER understood Halo.

Remember, you asked and I answered.
Keep in mind that you DID ask for individual opinions on the books.

Because I don't like them and I don't like the direction Halo's overall story and direction have taken. The original books are military science fiction with the hint of mystery told competently by excellent authors who didn't have socio-political axes to grind and performing character assassinations to do it, too far up their own butts to see how terrible they were making the Forerunners by pulling the curtain away, or simply not that great.

Halo has always been military science fiction with the hint of larger mysteries that were always left for the player/reader to draw their own conclusions. It had characters that yes, did monstrous things but with good intentions. It didn't protray the Covenant as a bunch of pants on head aliens or incompetent human officials being needlessly nefarious and mustache twirling for their own good. Or giant meta-physical faster than light constructs because the author was so up his own butt about how creative he could be and no one thought to stop and say 'dude, maybe this is a little much'.

We did not need the Precursors, we did not need the curtain pulled back on the Forerunners, and we definitely didn't need Ancient Humanity. Glimpses were what help make Halo and it's story what it was. There was always the primary story, the human vs Covenant, the drama in humanity's struggle to survive against terrible odds while in the background there was always the hint of something greater at work.

And let's also be honest here. Before 343i got their hands on the franchise and started needlessly complicating the story and, frankly, ruining it by allowing certain authors known for drastically altering characters to suit her own socio-political agendas, most people could grasp the lore of Halo. Even new fans could pick up on it pretty quick without much need to explain it. Now it is so needlessly complex that trying to explain it to old fans, let alone new ones that are not horribly invested in figuring it all out is a exercise in futility before you end up just directing them to Halopedia.

343i has made so many mis-steps with the franchise, the books included and turned Halo into a science fantasy where EVERYTHING has to be explained or blown up to such huge, galaxy spanning proportions. Not to mention artificially inflating the UNSC and weakening the Covenant factions simply so they can have their stupid big ugly ship of destiny fly around while saying "We're the giants now" only four years after a one-sided genocidal war in which the UNSC only survived via a technicality and had for all intents and purposes LOST as it had no more worlds left "Earth is all we have left" and even then Earth was OCCUPIED by a superior force.

You will not convince me of the so-called quality of the books under 343i's direction, not when they've done such a terrible job with the franchise. 343i does not and has NEVER understood Halo.

Remember, you asked and I answered.
Thats quite an answer! Thanks haha.

Got tot disagree respectfully. I love how they took it from just military sci fi - the grind, the power fantasy, the bits of mystery - and blew it wide open. We have military sci fi stories and non-military characters finding their ways. We have young adults learning the hard way of what came, and what they deal with now. We also still have Spartans doing Spartan things. I think the Forerunners and Precursors and Ancient humanity are a great addition. No more mysterious alien who is worshiped by other aliens is constantly under wraps. They have their own levels of depth. Their own universe defining characteristics to add to the games. Not to mention all the philosophy.

Its far more than I imagined a videogame universe of books becoming. There is no way it sticking to the formula of the first four books would keep it fresh. Literally would be the same style of story told over thirty books. By expanding it past what you love, it creates so much variety of storytelling. All that with the gritty military science fiction found in much of it.

So thats my two cents. I do want to add: I have seen a few posts form you in other threads recently. I suggest you not toss out other players' opinions by making your point as clear as you are. You say no one will convince me otherwise is awfully stubborn. How you word responses can come off wrong. It really just sounds like you won't be a little open to the good parts.

Remember Bungie didn't care so much about the expanded universe. 343 did. Yes, there are certain character choices that are bad. Bad to the point of ridiculous. Same with social political things. I find some of the more recent socio-political drama are both warranted and a bit much.They got lots of criticism for early additions. Just like from Halo 4 and Halo 5. Not all their choices have worked.

They are, in my opinion, allowing the universe to breathe and us to see more. Mystery remains. Only not as much. Sooner or later you have to explain in order to expand.

I like your love for the old lore. Its simple power fantasy we all enjoyed. Re-readable; I might have re-read them at least once or twice growing up. Chief and Blue Team on Reach and Unyielding Hierophant however its spelled.
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  1. Contact Harvest
  2. First Strike
  3. Renegades
  4. Silent Storm
  5. Envoy
This was difficult for me to pick... Some of these could be switched around, but Contact Harvest is firmly planted in the number 1 spot for me.
I haven’t read enough books yet, but contact harvest has been a favourite of mine, Reach, then the Forerunner trilogy was very interesting!
  1. Halo: The Fall of Reach
  2. Halo: Silent Storm
  3. Halo: New Blood
  4. Halo: Bad Blood
  5. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
1. Halo: The Fall of Reach
2. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
3. Halo: First Strike
4. Halo: Contact Harvest
5. Halo: The Flood

Bonus: Halo: The Cole Protocol

Yah, yah, I know I'm old school.
  1. Ghosts of Onyx
  2. Fall of Reach
  3. First Strike
  4. The Flood
  5. Cole Protocol
1. The Forerunner Saga - yup, I'm counting them all as one. And Rebirth.

2. Broken Circle - still moved to tears by the ending, still one of the most incredibly imaginative and wondrous books that only comes along once in a very long while.

3. Renegades - a beautifully poignant resolution for Spark's story, and a new beginning for the character which ticked a lot off of my narrative wishlist going back over a decade.

4. Ghosts of Onyx - Nylund's finest work, after six years of building the expanded universe this is one that I can revisit at any time and still feel the same way I did the first time I read it.

5. Evolutions - a tremendously interesting engagement with what it means to tell a Halo story, prodding the universe with searching questions about its themes and ideas in that transitional period that was in the process of happening with lots of different side-stories going on.

Additional shoutouts to The Fall of Reach (which started it all), Contact Harvest, New Blood, Last Light, Retribution, Battle Born, and Fractures (primarily for Saint's Testimony, Shadow of Intent, and the coda). Frankly, it's hard to go wrong with any of the Halo books, the only ones I really have any major negative feelings towards are Kilo-5 - it's a tremendous achievement to have a franchise where the vast majority of your thirty books typically range from 'very good' to 'god-tier.'
1. Halo: The Fall of Reach2. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx3. Halo: First Strike4. Halo: Contact Harvest5. Halo: The FloodBonus: Halo: The Cole ProtocolYah, yah, I know I'm old school.
Nothing wrong with that. The old and new are great.
1. The Forerunner Saga - yup, I'm counting them all as one. And Rebirth.

2. Broken Circle - still moved to tears by the ending, still one of the most incredibly imaginative and wondrous books that only comes along once in a very long while.

3. Renegades - a beautifully poignant resolution for Spark's story, and a new beginning for the character which ticked a lot off of my narrative wishlist going back over a decade.

4. Ghosts of Onyx - Nylund's finest work, after six years of building the expanded universe this is one that I can revisit at any time and still feel the same way I did the first time I read it.

5. Evolutions - a tremendously interesting engagement with what it means to tell a Halo story, prodding the universe with searching questions about its themes and ideas in that transitional period that was in the process of happening with lots of different side-stories going on.

Additional shoutouts to The Fall of Reach (which started it all), Contact Harvest, New Blood, Last Light, Retribution, Battle Born, and Fractures (primarily for Saint's Testimony, Shadow of Intent, and the coda). Frankly, it's hard to go wrong with any of the Halo books, the only ones I really have any major negative feelings towards are Kilo-5 - it's a tremendous achievement to have a franchise where the vast majority of your thirty books typically range from 'very good' to 'god-tier.'
I am surprised you felt that way over Broken Circle. I enjoyed it; in no means did I find it amazing like Renegades. I think at the time I found the points to each story confusing.
I have never read Evolutions. Its animated version is alright. And of course you love the Forerunner Saga the most. haha. I had a hard time following it.
1. Halo: The Fall of Reach2. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx3. Halo: First Strike4. Halo: Contact Harvest5. Halo: The FloodBonus: Halo: The Cole ProtocolYah, yah, I know I'm old school.
Nothing wrong with that. The old and new are great.
I am surprised you felt that way over Broken Circle. I enjoyed it; in no means did I find it amazing like Renegades. I think at the time I found the points to each story confusing.
I have never read Evolutions. Its animated version is alright. And of course you love the Forerunner Saga the most. haha. I had a hard time following it.
Renegades was amazing, and made my list for sure. If I might add an argument for Broken Circle though: I didn't view the stories as separate. Therefore, I didn't view them as having two different points. The overarching story focused on the fragility of the Covenant. In the first half of the book, the Covenant devoted significant resources to a singular dissident, knowing that any opposition in the early stages could lead to the downfall of such a tentative alliance. Then in the second half, you see that fragility finally come to fruition as the Covenant shattered under the terrible leadership of Truth. From the beginning, and through the end, the Covenant was barely holding itself together.

I also highly recommend picking up a copy of Evolutions. The motion comics are fantastic, but nothing can replace the value of experiencing those stories through written word.

As for the Forerunner Trilogy.. you definitely aren't the only one who had a hard time following the story. It took me two read-throughs and some additional research to understand that story.
1. Halo: The Fall of Reach2. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx3. Halo: First Strike4. Halo: Contact Harvest5. Halo: The FloodBonus: Halo: The Cole ProtocolYah, yah, I know I'm old school.
Nothing wrong with that. The old and new are great.
I am surprised you felt that way over Broken Circle. I enjoyed it; in no means did I find it amazing like Renegades. I think at the time I found the points to each story confusing.
I have never read Evolutions. Its animated version is alright. And of course you love the Forerunner Saga the most. haha. I had a hard time following it.
Renegades was amazing, and made my list for sure. If I might add an argument for Broken Circle though: I didn't view the stories as separate. Therefore, I didn't view them as having two different points. The overarching story focused on the fragility of the Covenant. In the first half of the book, the Covenant devoted significant resources to a singular dissident, knowing that any opposition in the early stages could lead to the downfall of such a tentative alliance. Then in the second half, you see that fragility finally come to fruition as the Covenant shattered under the terrible leadership of Truth. From the beginning, and through the end, the Covenant was barely holding itself together.

I also highly recommend picking up a copy of Evolutions. The motion comics are fantastic, but nothing can replace the value of experiencing those stories through written word.

As for the Forerunner Trilogy.. you definitely aren't the only one who had a hard time following the story. It took me two read-throughs and some additional research to understand that story.
OHHHHH I meant that about Halo: Fractures.
I have no idea where that came from.

I still thought Broken Circle was decent at best. That San Shyyum character was good that was trying to get out of High Charity. But you make good points. As for Evolutions, I mean, I can read it. It never was one I cared to get into.
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