The Halo Novels: Introduction / by Benjamin Sawyer

Last November 343 Studios released Halo 4, the studio’s first original Halo game and the beginning of a new decade of Halo fiction. When most people hear that phrase, “a new decade of Halo fiction,” one thing comes to mind: Halo games, and don’t get me wrong, that is 100% true. But “Halo fiction” reaches past the console. Halo, whether you know it or not, has spread its rich world into books.

Since the release of Halo: Combat Evolved in 2001 twelve books, with a thirteenth and fourteenth coming in the near future, and five graphic novels have been published. To the ordinary gamer in my generation, at least in my experience, the thought of reading is comparable to having small needles plunged into your eyes. But this is different. The Halo novels, graphic and otherwise, are extremely entertaining reads, and at 343’s Fiction of Halo panel at San Diego Comic-Con Frank O’Connor, Franchise Development Director, said, “The games are made to stand alone, but if you read the books, subtleties in the plot will make more sense to you.” So, in the long run, reading these books will actually pay off.

But for all of us who would rather watch Sports Center than take the time to watch the entire game, I am going to write reviews on every book that has been released in an effort to educate those uneducated in Halo’s esteemed lore. My reviews will consist of a timing and placing of the specific novel (where in the game timeline each takes place) and an introduction to the characters and setting. Then I will give you a SPOILER FREE plot summary of the book in its entirety. Immediately following that I will give a synopsis that I will call “The Tell” that will contain what I view as the important details from the story (all of the things that affect the story and may or may not be topics brought up in Halo 4). This section will include SPOILERS and will be designated as such.

Be looking for these reviews two to three times a week, hopefully having all of them finished by November 6th, giving you a solid base of knowledge as we begin to revisit Halo 4. The first review sits at the top of the Features page. Enjoy and God speed soldiers.