First Strike is A Halo video game tie in novel By Eric Nylund.
This is the third of the Halo tie in novels and follows on from the fall of the Halo facility that was played out in the original video game. The story follows the protagonist of the novel who is know in part by his rank, Master Chief, and in part by his name, John, although only a handful of characters refer to him by his name. He is one of an Elite group that are known simply as Spartans and along with a couple of his fellow Spartans, a couple of officers, a couple of Marines, the Doctor that ran the Spartan program and the Artificial Intelligence ‘Cortana’ they have to battle their way back to earth to try to stop the enemy’s (The Covenant) fleet from reaching earth. The battle for Halo has cost mankind greatly and there is a fear that mankind will not be able to hold off an attack by The Covenant. As you can imagine there are numerous encounters with the enemy during the journey.
I just want to go back to the first two novels in the series to fill you in a little of the back round before I go on. The first novel titled; The Fall Of Reach also written by Eric Nylund. This is the prequel to the original video game. This book tells the story of the rise of the Spartan project that is created by Dr. Catherine Halsey and follows it through to the discovery of the Halo system. We learn how the Spartans are chosen to become Spartans and see much of their training to become these super soldiers. As you can guess the planet of Reach does fall but this is not really the story of that defeat. Its the story of the Master Chief and his Spartans and what they go through before the discovery of Halo.
The second book in the series is The Flood; written by William C. Dietz. This Book tells the story of the actual battle for Halo. I will admit that I did not enjoy this as much as the first and third. It was good to see some of the other stories of the battle that was raged but it just did not blow me away. I’m not sure that I share others criticism of Dietz’s efforts. As in detailing the battle sequences too much and his interpretation of the Master Chief. I will admit that I like two Halo novels written by Nylund more than this one but I like a lot of the heart and detail that Dietz put into the novel. He was a Navy corpsmen so he has personal experience in this field. I am more than tempted to track down some of Dietz work to see how what I think of it
As for First Strike I found this not as captivating as the first novel but still a satisfying read which leads into the second video game very well. I think for Halo fans it will be a very solid read and gives us even more insight into an amazingly rich world that I hope gets even more fruitful in the rest of the books.
On a note about these novels I do believe that they can be enjoyed with having played the video games. The Fall Of Reach is a great introduction to this universe and I do strongly believe that these books can stand on their own without someones knowledge of the game. I have got over Halo novels in my ‘to read’ pile and I have a high expectation of what to expect of them.
The next book I’m going to be reading is Bartholomew by Mimi Black