Halo: The Fall of Reach by Eric S. Nylund
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If I were to just compare this book with the grand majority of MilSF titles out there, I'd probably rank it as one of the best for pure grit and against-all-odds heroism, with a solid background for Master Chief and all the plausible extra SF bits like bio-enhancement, super armor, AI assists, etc. It's really quite good and the story is classic alien invasion. In comparison, it's decent with story, better than most, and it plays to its strengths.
However, I must point out that this book has a rather big history. It came out the same year as the first Halo game, the game that really defined first-person shooters back in 2001 so much that everyone and their fat dogs wanted to copy it. This is a companion novel more than anything else and as such, I think it deserves just a tad bit more love than anything that was particularly stand-alone.
Why, you ask? I mean, I probably would have asked that myself, for the simple reason that I used to pride myself on staying away form franchise novels in general, be it Star Wars or Star Trek or whatnot.
And yet, now that I've played the games and I've read this first novel, I really get the sense of them all being rather complimentary. It all builds on each other very nicely.
So this is a successful case of a product being much greater than the sum of its parts. :)
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