Archives: troy denning

How to read the Halo books – Revised Edition

Back in January 2015, I wrote an article about how to read the Halo books in a chronological order. 3 years later, I wanted to put out a revised article because we have seen 10 more books come out in that time span.

Fotu_Revised Halo books_2

Currently, there are 26 Halo books on the market. Out of the 26, 22 are novels, another 2 are collections of short stories and 2 are digital only media. Saint’s Testimony is a digital short story and Shadow of Intent is a digital novella. Smoke and Shadow by Kelly Gay was also digitally released in November 2016 but the paper version (My version!) came out in January 2018. It is a novella as well and part of it was already printed in the short story collection ‚Fractures‘. The Halo books have 2 trilogies to offer. One being the Forerunner Saga by Greg the Bear and the Kilo-Five trilogy by Karen Traviss.

In this article, I will not include the comics and games. Just so you know. It is wholly about da books.

The first 3 Halo books were published by Del Rey (now Unbound Worlds), another 10 by Tor and the rest was and is published by Gallery Books. 343 announced that they partnered up with Gallery Books in 2014. Tor was the publisher from 2006 until 2014.

But let’s head into the interesting part. How do I start the „project Halo books“? How can I become a Halo lore expert? Well, I have the answer…

First off, you begin your journey with a trilogy. Not just one trilogy. THE trilogy. The Forerunner Saga by Greg Bear. No other Halo book compares to this Saga. It is completely different from the rest of them. But that is a good thing. Not because I don’t like the other Halo books. On the contrary, I love almost all of them. But because it suits the topic. After all, the Greg Bear books are about the Forerunners. A species we had next to no knowledge about before the books came out. Because it is such a mysterious topic, the writing style of Greg Bear suits it so well. It is strange and sometimes cryptic but it makes sense to me because we read about this ancient time and this ancient race full of mystery. But yes, to be brutally honest with you, you most likely will have a tough time reading the books. From my experience, it is totally worth it though. I will link you to 2 podcasts who have in-depth discussions about the books and that I highly recommend once you finished the books. It helped me a lot to fully understand everything.

Podcast Evolved – Cryptum

Podcast Evolved – Primordium

Podcast Evolved – Silentium

and/or

Halo Conversationalists  – Cryptum 

Halo Conversationalists – Primordium

Halo Conversationalists – Silentium

So now to the actual list of Halo books in chronological order:

Because the collections of short stories ‚Evolutions‘ and ‚Fractures‘ have such a widespread timeline due to the many various stories in it, I think it is safe to say: read them whenever you like.

To conclude this article I just want to say, that there are of course many ways to go about the Halo lore business. My list does not claim to be completely correct when it comes to the chronological order of the events. But it makes sense to me. There are a lot of books where timelines collide with other books or there is one section in a book that has a retrospect. If you were to be a smart ass you could argue that you had to read said retrospect and then go to the book that fits in that timeline. Only after that, you could go back to the book with the retrospect. I don’t know if I make any sense at all now. I hope so.

My best advice at the end of this: Have fun with the books! It is a glorious thing to learn more about this amazing Universe. And remember to support your local bookstores. Go, be sociable before returning to your Nerdcave with a grand old Halo book. If for some reason you cannot get your book from a bookstore, you can use the links provided in the list above to get your books online.

Halo: Retribution

Although I am still finishing the Karen Traviss trilogy right now, I am already hyped for the next installment of Halo lore. On August 29th Troy Denning’s Halo: Retribution will release. The cover art alone is just beautiful!

Fotu_Halo:Retribution_Cover

Here is the official summary:

December 2553. Less than a year after the end of the Covenant War, a string of violent incidents continues to threaten the tenuous peace in human-held space, culminating in the assassination of UNSC fleet admiral Graselyn Tuwa and the abduction of her family. It is a provocation so outrageous that the Office of Naval Intelligence must retaliate swiftly and ferociously—but only after its operatives identify her killer and rescue the hostages.

This mission will be the first for homicide-detective-turned-ONI-operative Veta Lopis and her young team of Spartan-IIIs, and something feels wrong from the start. The obvious suspect is an infamous Brute who leads the Keepers of the One Freedom, an ex-Covenant splinter group in fierce opposition to the UNSC. But Lopis and her team soon realize that the truth is much more insidious than they could ever have imagined, and with Fred-104, Kelly-087, and Linda-058 of Blue Team for combat support, they must stop a plan hatched in the bowels of the secret research station Argent Moon — a plan so sinister it could destroy all those still reeling from thirty years of intergalactic conflict…

I haven’t read Last Light by Troy Denning yet, but this seems to be kind of a successor to it. At least some of the same characters will appear. Most importantly Veta Lopis. I am really looking forward to her character and story and I will definitely read Last Light before Retribution.

The story is set in pre Halo 4 times, which is a little sad, because I am dying to read more Halo 5 era stuff like the one story in Fractures. Which one was that? The one where BB and Osman land on this secretive planet? Gosh, excuse my memory. It is the worst.

Hah! I just found out. It is Rossbach’s World. I really liked that story! And I would love to see more lore from this era. But that is a tricky part for 343 I guess. I don’t think they will make the same mistake as they did with Halo 4 and the Karen Traviss trilogy. Telling the complete pre story of the game in the books and the people who haven’t read that and only played the game (like me, back then) are completely lost. I don’t think that they would do that again, so I don’t expect much or any Halo 5 sequel lore soon.

But 343 could always extend the very weak plot of Halo 5: Guardians couldn’t they? They definitely could.

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