halo books in order

How to Read Halo Books in Order

If you want to learn more about the lore of the Extended Universe, then you should read the popular Halo books in order. Although some of the later books like Battle Born feel like a tad of fiction, they are still very good. If you are hearing about these books for the first time and you want to know how to read all of them, this article shows you how to read Halo books in order.

Introduction to Halo Books


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As the gory Human-Covenant War continues on Halo, the destiny of humanity may rest with a single soldier, the only Spartan survivor of another mythical battle. It was this desperate, take-no-prisoners tussle that led humanity to Halo, which refers to the fall of the planet Reach. Halo books have been written in an attempt to describe this famous, doomed conflict.

Located virtually on the doorstep to the Earth, Reach is the last army castle to challenge the ruthless Covenant attack. However, the main objective of the warriors is to ensure that the Covenant does not discover Earth. Even though the outstripped soldiers appear to lose the battle, Reach serves as a secret training ground for the very first ‘super soldiers’.

These super soldiers are code-named Spartans. They are bioengineered and technologically enhanced warriors with unmatched abilities. Spartans are quiet, highly specialized, and lethal. As the fierce Covenant onslaught begins, a few Spartans stand ready to mete out the ultimate war.

At least the SPARTAN ‘Master Chief’ will live to fight another day on a shadowy and prehistoric artificial world called Halo. This book series is chock-full of thrilling stories, fascinating legends, and striking characters. Although the games cover a significant percentage of the story, the majority of Halo’s stories have been told through novels.

Halo Franchise

Halo is an army science fiction media franchise developed by Bungie. At the moment, the franchise is created and managed by 343 Industries, and owned and published by Xbox Game Studios. Apart from the video games, the franchise has been adapted into various types of merchandise and adaptations, including Halo books.

In an effort to grow their multimedia capability, Microsoft Studios embarked on a journey to create a tie-in novel for Combat Evolved. This idea gave birth to the first Halo novel, Halo: The Fall of Reach, which was written in seven weeks by Eric Nylund. From the time when the first Halo book was published in 2001, Halo’s book portfolio has grown to more than 30 complete novels and collections.

Nylund has written several other Halo novels, including First Strike (2003) and Ghost of Onyx (2006). Other writers who have contributed to this book series include Joseph Staten, John Shirley, Tobias S. Buckell, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Karen Traviss, Greg Bear, Matt Forbeck, and Troy Denning.

Are the Halo Books Canonical?


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Even though Halo books have always been considered canonical, they tell stories that were generally considered distinctive from the Halo games’ stories in various ways, with both games and the “expanded universe” creating their own separate narratives. Canonical literature can be closely defined as that which is recognized as realistic.

For example, the Bible and Shakespeare’s works offer the perfect distinction between canonical and apocryphal works. However, canonical books can also be defined more broadly as books that are assumed to be ‘good’ literature, actually the best.

How to Read Halo Books in Order

1. Halo: The Fall of Reach


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As mentioned above, this is the first Halo book, and it features useful information about the main characters. It is also the entry point for people who are reading the book series for the first time. Even in chronological order, this book is the first story.

2. Halo: Contact Harvest


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This is the second Halo to be published, and it follows Avery Johnson as he commands several UNSC Marines and other rag-tag battle warriors against the Covenant on the planet Harvest. This introduces the first battle of the Human-Covenant War.

3. Halo: The Cole Protocol


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This interesting novel tells the story of Jacob Keyes and Thel ‘Vadam before they appeared in Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. It also talks about the Spartan-II team Gray Team. The story lines up chronologically with Halo: The Fall of Reach.

4. Halo: Silent Storm


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This book talks about the Master Chief and Blue team in their quest to gather vital information about the Covenant in the first year of the Human-Covenant War. In the meantime, the human insurrectionist faction tries to intercept the Spartans.

5. Halo: Oblivion


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This is a sequel to Halo: Silent Storm. It tells the story of the Master Chief and Blue Team as they try to steal a frigate from the Covenant, while a cruel Elite Fleetmaster works hard to eliminate them.

6. Halo: Battle Born


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This novel follows the story of four teenagers and a Spartan as they work with other UNSC armies on the planet Meridian to fight the Covenant’s exhausting attack of the planet early on in the conflict.

7. Halo: Meridian Divide


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This is a direct sequel to Halo: Battle Born, and it occurs a few months after the attack on the Covenant is over. The characters from the first story come back to Meridian to check the Covenant’s efforts to regain a piece of Forerunner technology on the planet.

8. Halo: The Flood


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For all intents and purposes, this book is a novelization of the first Halo game, Halo: Combat Evolved. It introduces several interesting subplots as well as the Master Chief’s standpoint, amplifying the events that happen in the game.

9. Halo: First Strike


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This novel is based on the events of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. It talks about the Master Chief‘s return to the Earth, coming across new friends and dangerous enemies along the way.

10. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx


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This novel mainly focuses on the mysterious Intelligence and the beginning of the SPARTAN-III program, while also narrating the story of a skillful and crafty Covenant Elite. Some parts of its plot also line up with the happenings of Halo 2.

11. Halo: Broken Circle


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This novel is a deep and provocative novel that focuses on the discovery of Covenant and offers an amazing background for the series’ notorious alien menace. Some of its parts line up with the events of Halo 2.

12. Halo: Hunters in the Dark


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This book is set immediately after the events of Halo 3 in the Post-War era, and it follows a partnership of humans and Elites as they travel to the Ark to prevent a secretive initiation of the Halo rings.

13. Halo: Glasslands


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This novel follows up on story threads from Ghosts of Onyx and also features the underground ONI team Kilo-Five as they hide in Elite territory after the end of the Human-Covenant War.

14. Halo: The Thursday War


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This is a sequel to Halo: Glasslands, and it follows Kilo-Five when they get involved in the emerging Civil War by the Elites in their native world, Sanghelios.

15. Halo: Mortal Dictata


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This final Kilo-Five novel talks about a rebel force on the planet Venezia planning to threaten Earth. It also tells the story of one of the planet’s most famous arms dealers who has an unfamiliar association with Kilo-Five’s SPARTAN-II Naomi-010 which is talked about in the novel.

16. Halo: New Blood


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This novel is the spiritual replacement for Halo 3: ODST, and it focuses on the actions of the ODST squad Alpha-Nine during and after the war with the Covenant.

17. Halo: Last Light


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This book is a detective-themed story set on the planet Gao. The Spartans of Blue Team work alongside detective Veta Lopis to uncover the criminals behind several homicides in the colony world.

18. Halo: Retribution


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This is a sequel to Halo: Last Light. It tells the story of Veta Lopis who works with covert SPARTAN-IIIs and Blue Team to identify the killer of a UNSC Admiral.

19. Halo: Envoy


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This is a dramatic action thriller set a few years after the Human-Covenant War, in which humans and Elites try to find peace in a colony world that the two groups live on.

20. Halo: Legacy of Onyx


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Halo: Legacy of Onyx tells the story of teenager Molly Patel and her peers as they become accustomed to living on the Forerunner Shield-World of Onyx, while a Covenant splinter group threatens the welfare of the planet.

21. Halo: Smoke and Shadow


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This book tells the story of the daughter of Halo Wars’ John Forge, Rion Forge, who sets out to learn what became of her father and the UNSC Spirit of Fire.

22. Halo: Renegades


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This is a sequel to Halo: Smoke and Shadow. It follows Rion Forge as she and her ship’s crew, the Ace of Spades, search for the Spirit of Fire. However, they are being pursued by the remnant forces.

23. Halo: Bad Blood

Bad Blood

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This is a sequel to Halo: New Blood, and it takes place after the events of Halo 5: Guardians. In the story, Edward Buck, now a SPARTAN-IV, reforms the ODST group Alpha-Nine and sets out to learn how an Insurrectionist-controlled colony world has evaded detection by Cortana and the Created.

24. Halo: Shadows of Reach


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This book talks about the Master Chief and Blue Team as they go back to the glassed planet of Reach after Cortana takes over the galaxy. The Spartans are on a mission to retrieve a vital asset on the planet while trying to evade detection by the Created.

25. Halo: Evolutions


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This is a huge anthology containing innumerable short stories that focus on different eras, backgrounds, and characters inside the Halo universe. Every Halo fan must read this book, especially because some of its stories tie into the other books on this list.

26. Halo: Fractures


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This is the spiritual replacement for Halo: Evolutions, and it is also a large anthology packed with sufficient interesting short stories. Like Evolutions, most of these stories are linked to other Halo novels.

27. Halo: Cryptum


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This is the first novel in the Forerunner Trilogy of novels, and it follows both an adolescent Forerunner and the Didact during the Forerunner-Flood War, several eras before the events of the Halo games and other Halo books.

28. Halo: Primordium


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The second Forerunner Trilogy novel is based on a prehistoric human known as Chakas. The story talks about his journey across the enormous Installation 07 Halo ring, also referred to as Zeta Halo. This is important because Zeta Halo has been established to be the main setting for Halo Infinite.

29. Halo: Silentium


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The last Forerunner Trilogy novel revolves around the final years of the Forerunner-Flood War and how the Forerunners were eventually forced to fire the Halo rings to stop the Flood.

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