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HALO: The Fall of Reach

HALO, Book 1
Written by: Eric Nylund
Narrated by: Todd McLaren
Series: Halo, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
5 out of 5 stars (120 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling origin story of the Master Chief - part of the expanded universe based on the award-winning video game series Halo!

The 26th century. Humanity has expanded beyond Earth’s system to hundreds of planets that colonists now call home. But the United Earth Government and the United Nations Space Command is struggling to control this vast empire. After exhausting all strategies to keep seething colonial insurrections from exploding into a full-blown interplanetary civil war, the UNSC has one last hope. At the Office of Naval Intelligence, Dr. Catherine Halsey has been hard at work on a top-secret program that could bring an end to the conflict...and it starts with 75 children, among them a six-year-old boy named John. And Halsey could never guess that this child will eventually become the final hope against an even greater peril engulfing the galaxy - the inexorable confrontation with a theocratic military alliance of alien races known as the Covenant.

This is the electrifying origin story of Spartan John-117 - the Master Chief - and of his legendary, unstoppable heroism in leading the resistance against humanity’s possible extinction.

©2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. (P)2008 Tantor Audio. All rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Punctuation

I loved the story, been meaning to read this for a while, but damn. they need to watch or play some source material, it's not pronounced Ma-Jole-Near

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing Book

Amazing storytelling, amazing plot, everything was amazing. would recommend to any fan of the Halo series.

1 person found this helpful

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Narration makes the story even better

After reading this book in the past and enjoying the hard Sci-fi and rich lore it offered, it was a pleasure to have it read back to me as an audio book. As a halo fan, this experience is a must. I am impressed with the work of the narrator as his voice works perfectly with the tone of the story. I also enjoyed how well he changed his voice to fit the characters.

1 person found this helpful

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excellent story! however theres one small problem

amazing however, the narrator says 2542 but the story is set in 2552. I would hope they would be more diligent about these types of things. 10 years in a timeline is a huge difference

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great book

great book fast and easy to follow , good story and execution . great read

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Even better than the hard Copy

I've read the hard copy! but is a totally different experience! I totally love it!!

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I Love It!!

I love being able to get a inside look on what was going on inside the mind of some of the characters like Dr. Halsey and Master Chief. I'm so excited to listen to the series, i just finished my first book and it just flew by. i would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a adventure and a half. it is well worth your time.

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If you like the games you’ll love this book

Not only do you get som info about the spartan program, but you really do get a grasp of how serious the human covenant war really is. Definitely worth a listen, Todd McLaren does an amazing job at portraying master chief.

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better than expected

i am just a big halo fan. probably not a good book if you arent, though the whole super soldier program is super interesting

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Military Science Fiction

This book was hard to stop listening to. It does a great job laying out the universe in a way that is easy to understand but also very cool. We get to see the bonding of future super soldiers in a universe about to be ravaged by the greatest threat humanity has ever encountered. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in a military-heavy science fiction experience. The performance is near perfect.

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  • jake
  • 2019-01-08

Couldn’t properly pronounce Mjolnir

Enjoyed the book
The space combat in ships can get a little dry and there’s a lot of it but I thoroughly enjoyed the telling of Johns story and how he became the soldier he appears as in the games

Reader couldn’t pronounce mjolnir properly and that made me cringe

20 people found this helpful

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  • christopher statton
  • 2019-01-02

The book is great the audiobook is eh

I love every single book in this series. The audiobook is good but seems to just fall short of being amazing. From the way he reads it, to the way he pronounces Mjolnir and ONI. It’s the little things, but I would still recommend to others

17 people found this helpful

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  • wotsisname
  • 2019-07-02

Phenomenal story - problematic performance

The entry point into the extended lore of my all-time favorite fictional universe, this story is so superbly written that I can disappear into it completely and not notice the hours flying by. Its so grounded and believable, yet fantastic at the same time. The characters feel real, their interactions and actions are genuine and the world is so detailed and honest that you buy every second of it.

Objectively the performance is pretty good, but not great. Normally I find Todd McLaren's smooth and dulcet tone addicting. I could listen to him for hours at a stretch. And for the most part, his delivery matches the weight of the story very nicely, though it does feel a little flat at times. He does a good enough job at differentiating the various characters through inflection and accent without sounding too forced, although a few do feel a bit overdone and he slips every so often.

It's a decent performance overall but I feel I must take a moment to vent an ongoing frustration that this reading brings back to the surface; you can tell very clearly that the narrators of these books are not even remotely familiar with the world and universe the story exists in and it negatively affects the experience of the story.

Most obvious is the repeated mispronunciation of key character and item names. They're simple things that admittedly don't seem so damning on the surface, but they're things that anyone who has spent even just an hour studying the material knows is blatantly wrong.

ONI isn't "O-N-I", its pronounced "oh-knee". And John-117 isn't "one-seventeen". Its "one-one-seven".

And why is no one able to pronounce Mjolnir properly? Its not Muh-joll-neer. Surely somewhere between reading, recording, editing and then publishing, someone must have picked up on it. How does this continue to be an issue?

It isn't even a word made up specifically for this story. It has an established and correct pronunciation that almost every entry in this series gets wrong. The fact that it continues to show up so frequently comes across as worse than just lazy, it borders on ignorant disrespect for the material.

If you're going to go to the effort of producing narrated versions of such a well known and beloved series, then the least you can do is respect the fans and material enough to spend some time getting familiar with the world, or at least even just learning the names of the key elements beforehand.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathan McGraw
  • 2019-06-20

Narrator Never Played Halo

The story is good, but the narrator doesn't pronounce many things from the story correctly. The most obvious and annoying are his mispronunciation of Mjolnir and calling John 117 one-seventeen instead of one-one-seven like everyone else in universe does.

6 people found this helpful

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  • dalton bartlett
  • 2019-06-15

had to return it

the narration is just awful. I wanted to like to book but I couldn't get passed how badly it was read.

6 people found this helpful

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  • David & Sara Rahl
  • 2019-07-08

Great story lessened by a nondescript narrator

I love this story. I have ever since it came out. Eric Nylund does an incredible job of implementing and expounding upon the Halo lore, and gives us an origin story of epic proportions that has become the accepted canon for the birth of John-117 and his fellow Spartan-IIs.

That being said, Todd McLaren's lackluster attempts at voices, constant mispronunciation of key Halo terminology (such as Mjolnir, ONI, and Shiva), and apparent lack of familiarity with the lore and universe severely detract from an otherwise brilliant story. Having read the story in print version, I can overlook these weaknesses out of love for the universe, but the narration is a severe tarnishing of what I would normally consider to be a shining silver plate.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Corie Champagne
  • 2020-01-13

Great story, bad reading.

I'm just can't understand how the narration got away with speaking over half of the story in the wrong year...from chapter 15 on it claims it is set in "2542". I have the hard copy of this book and it is all set 10 years later. I love this story, but that made me grit at the beginning of every chapter.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tyler Hutchins
  • 2020-04-01

This Narrator

I love the halo stories, except for the games after reach. You can tell that this Narrator has never looked into the story before or even appreciate it. It seems like he's just going through his job. He sounds dry and misses little details for the halo fans such as saying one-seventeen instead of one-one-seven for the master chief and mispronouncing mjolnir. I know these seem insignificant to those who may be new to the story but it's these little details that come from the games and make us look back and smile. But when I hear him say these things I cant help but get annoyed. However if you can look past these shames, the story is fantastic! from the start of the Spartans to Keyes maneuvers against a covenant fleet.

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  • Darth Achilles
  • 2020-03-25

Great book.

The origin of the baddest man in the known universe. One of my favorite Master Chief stories and overall one of the best in the series.

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  • Andrew Higgins
  • 2020-03-25

Overall good

If you ever wanted to know what happened before the game Halo CE, then this will explain a good chunk of it. It contradicts with the story from the game Halo Reach a bit at the end. I enjoyed it, except the reader mispronounced Mjulnier.

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  • Corentin DEVILLERS
  • 2019-12-10

An amazing book with a tiny flaw

My only problem with this audio book was the fact it was not read in French. I had the book back at home but barely enough time to read them. Good thing I have a good level in English, but for the French public it's a bit sad we don't have a French version