Halo: First Strike

Halo: First Strike
Halo: First Strike

Halo: First Strike is the third in the order of the Halo books. In fact, before Halo: First Strike, you should read Halo: The Flood.

Halo: First Strike was written by Eric Nylund. It was first published on December 2, 2003 by Del Rey Books.

Published editions of Halo: First Strike

As aforementioned, the first edition of Halo: First Strike came out on December 2, 2003.

Seven years later, on December 21, 2010, Tor Books published a new edition of Halo: First Strike that included new content worth almost one-hundred pages.

Nearly nine years later, on March 19, 2019, Tor Books published the definitive edition of Halo: First Strike, by adding over forty pages worth of content.

Synopsis of Halo: First Strike

Like its predecessors, Halo: First Strike is divided into sections. This time, this Halo book was divided into eight sections:

  • Section 0: Reach
  • Section 1: Threshold
  • Section 2: Defense of Castle Base
  • Section 3: Rescue
  • Section 4: Gambit
  • Section 5: Massacre at Eridanus Secundus
  • Section 6: Operation First Strike

Let’s learn what happened in each section. But, before you keep reading this warned, be warned that there will be spoilers.

Section 0: Reach

Spartan John-117, also known as the Master Chief, tasks Frederic-104 to lead the other Spartan-IIs to protect the generators powering the MAC weapons. They become known as the Red Team

Read Team is attacked on their way to the target, resulting in the death of four Spartan-IIs and many injured. The Spartans group up with four marines, who explains to the Spartans what the marines have gone through.

The Spartans’ efforts prove to be in vain, when the Covenant get hold of the generators and begin destroying the planet.

Section 1: Threshold

Cortana and the Master Chief are aboard a spaceship, called Longsword. They used it to successfully escape the destruction of Halo, the ring world. Cortana scans the debris of what once Halo, searching for signs of life.

Cortana detects seven Covenant starships and three cryo-chambers. While approaching the cryo-chambers she finds a Pelican hiding. It attacks the Covenant, but eventually survivors come out of the Pelican and are rescued by the Longsword.

The group then attack one of the Covenant ships. They succeed in gaining control of the spaceship. The group uses it to return to Reach.

On planet earth, the United Nations Space Command discuss the destruction of Reach and all the spaceships. This means they must prepare earth to be the final line of defense.

Section 2: Defense of Castle Base

Back on Reach, Kelly and Fred meet the Spartans that survived, though they are all severely injured. Doctor Catherine Halsey is treating them. She asks Kelly and Fred to get some weapons.

Shortly after, the Covenant invades the base. Doctor Catherine Halsey and the Spartans manage to run into some titanium mines. The tunnels of these mines lead to a large room, where they find a Forerunner crystal. They get hold of it, but the Covenant manage to find the Spartans and Doctor Catherine yet again. They run for their lives, but reach a dead end.

Section 3: Rescue

The crew, inside a Covenant flagship called Ascendant Justice, notices that the Covenant did not destroy one specific spot of the planet Reach. A reduced Covenant fleet nearby wonders what a flagship is doing there.

The artificial intelligence system inside the Ascendant Justice informs the Covenant fleet that those inside the flagship are humans and not the Covenant. They destroy a few enemy spaceships before managing to flee into slipspace.

Master Chief finds Spartan Aston-044, Grace-093 and Li-008, hiding inside a cavern. There, he finds Admiral Whitcomb as well, who asks him what he’s doing there. Master Chief tells him what happened lately. Meanwhile, Haverson and others arrive to the cavern. Admiral Whitcomb tells Haverson how he managed to survive, revealing that part of the Red Team is still trapped in the tunnels under the CASTLE facility.

The crew of the Covenant flagship, including Master Chief, goes to rescue the Red Team. They encounter several Covenant forces, but manage to kill them. Three Spartans of the red team step into the light, accompanied by Dr. Halsey who holds a bit crystal. As they’re on their way to leaving, they are surrounded by thousands of Covenant forces.

In space, the spaceship Ascendant Justice emerges from slipspace, arriving to the system Oort cloud. The AI system Cortana discovers that the Covenant are heading to planet earth.

Section 4: Gambit

The Covenant forces are trying to retrieve the Crystal. However, after retaliation from the Spartans, they succeed in exiting the cavern.

On the spaceship Ascendant Justice, Cortana manages to combine the Covenant ship with another of the United Nations Space Command, namely UNSC Gettysburg. The Covenant fleet and the Ascendant Justice-Gettysburg engage in a fight, resulting in the death of Polaski, Li, and Anton, as well as severely injuring Kelly. But then, shortly later, Cortana succeeds in making them escape.

Section 5: Massacre at Eridanus Secundus

The AI system Cortana informs the Master Chief that she learned that the Covenant have discovered planet earth’s location and are planning to attack it. With Admiral Whitcomb and Lieutenant Haverson, Master Chief discusses what they can do.

Doctor Catherine Halsey and Cortana discuss the crystal and learn that it can manipulate space, gravity, and time. She erases these memories of Cortana’s memory.

The Gettysburg-Ascendant Justice crew head to an asteroid belt, where there is a rebel base of irresuctionits named Eridanus Secundus. But, the moment the spaceship leaves slipspace, the crystal emits a radiation that alerts the Covenant of their location.

The Covenant and the Gettysburg-Ascendant Justice engage in battle. During it, Doctor Catherine Halsey gives to Locklear the crystal, asking him to do whatever it takes to ensure the crystal stays away from the Covenant. Locklear sets a bomb near the crystal, resulting in his accidental suicide.

Section 6: Operation FIRST STRIKE

The crew of Gettysburg-Ascendant Justice manage to get a few shards of the now-destroyed crystal. However, something is even more impending: the Covenant are going to attack planet earth. AI system Cortana tells the crew that the Covenant forces are gathering at a battle station named Unyielding Hierophant.

The Master Chief plants to, accompanied by the Spartans, go to the station and destroy the reactors, thereby stopping the launch of the Covenant fleet.

In the Unyielding Hierophant battle station, the Master Chief and the Spartans encounter enemy forces, resulting in the death of Spartan Grace. The remaining four Spartans and the Master Chief set the reactors to explode within ten minutes. They use this time to escape the battle station.

Master Chief and the Spartans find the spaceship Gettysburg, but the Ascendant Justice is nowhere to be seen. Aboard the Gettysburg, they learn that the crew crashed the Ascendant Justice into the Unyielding Hierophant on purpose.

As the reactors explode, Ascendant Justice and hundreds more Covenant spaceships are destroyed. Only a dozen remain. Following the Cole Protocol, the Gettysburg first go to a random location, before going to planet earth to warn them of the Covenant attack.

Section 7: Harbinger

The Covenant recovered shards of the destroyed crystal and deliver them to the High Prophet of Truth. He orders the execution of the Covenant forces responsible for the destruction of the crystal.

What to read after Halo: First Strike?

To continue reading the Halo book series, you should now read Halo: Ghosts of Onyx.