Halo: The Fall of Reach

Halo: The Fall of Reach
Halo: The Fall of Reach

Halo: The Fall of Reach is the first Halo book you should read of the Halo book series.

This Halo book was written by the New York Times bestselling author Eric Nylund and was first published on October 30, 2001 by Del Rey Books.

Published editions of Halo: The Fall of Reach

Halo: The Fall of Reach was first published by Del Rey Books in October 2001.

Almost nine years later, in August 2010, Tor Books republished Halo: The Fall of Reach, with some content added. But it was in June 2011 that Tor Books released the definitive edition of this book, where many mistakes were fixed.

In March 2019, Gallery Books published this book yet again. This time, only the cover changed, for the content is the same of the 2011’s definitive edition published by Tor Books.

Synopsis of Halo: The Fall of Reach

This book is made of six sections: the prologue, Section I: Reveille, Section II: Boot, Section III: Sigma Octanus, Section IV: MJOLNIR, and Section V: Reach. Let’s learn what happen in each one.

Be warned that there will be spoilers below. So if you don’t want to know what happens before you get the change to read Halo: The Fall of Reach, we’d suggest you don’t read the synopsis part of this article.


This book starts on planet Jericho VII, in February 2535. This prologue introduces the super soldiers known as the Spartans and why they were created. The alien alliance, Covenant, fights for the destruction of the planet Jericho VII and the Spartans try to defend it. Ultimately, the Spartans fail and the planet Jericho VII is destroyed.

Section I: Reveille

Aboard the United Nations Space Command diplomatic shuttle is Dr. Catherine Halsey and Lieutenant Junior Grade Jacob Keys, travelling the the planet Eridanus II. Their purpose is to find John, a person who Dr. Halsey believes would be a good candidate for her SPARTAN-II program.

Dr. Halsey finds John and, through a test involving a coin, she tests his aptitudes. Joh succeeds in the test.

Section II: Boot

John goes through training and learning to become a Spartan. Eventually, he’s renamed to become John-117.

John leads a squad of Spartans, whose mission is to capture Colonel Robert Watts, an insurrectionist habitating in the Eridanus asteroid belt. They succeed in their mission, although John-117 ends up injured. He is, however, awarded the Purple Heart medal for his bravery.

In February 2525, an alien race named Covenant destroys one of the United Nations Space Command colony. They send three warships to investigate, and only one returns, badly damaged. By the end of the year, the United Nations Space Command gathers a fleet whose mission is to reclaim the lost colony and deter the Covenant.

Dr. Catherine Halsey goes with the Spartans to the planet Chi Ceti IV, with the goal of getting their hands on the powerful MJOLNIR armour. On their way, they engage in a fight with the Covenant. Thanks to the bravery of John-117 and other Spartans, they manage to destroy the Covenant spaceship.

Section III: Sigma Octanus

Following the United Nations Space Command to reclaim the lost colony Harvest and deter the Covenant, we learn that they succeeded. However, it costed the United Nations Space Command two-thirds of their spaceships, due to the Covenant having much greater technology. Shortly after, and due to the United Nations Space Command having so little resources now, the Covenant attack the Outer Colonies, one by one, resulting in their destruction.

Now they must protect earth and its secret location at all costs. To that effect, they activate the Cole Protocol, which means they must never do anything to risk the reveal of planet earth’s location.

The battle against the Covenant continue, this time on the planet Sigma Octanus IV. This time, the United Nations Space Command earn a small but significant victory.

Meanwhile the Spartan teams named Spartan Blue, Spartan Red, and Spartan Green, are sent to attack the Covenant with a nuclear bomb. Although they succeed, the Spartans inadvertently reveal the location of the planet Reach to the Covenant. Additionally, they find a rock, which Dr. Hasley realizes that must be an artifact that belongs to a race must more ancient than those of the Covenant.


It’s 2552, and the Covenant have destroyed countless of Inner Colonies that once belonged to the humans.The Office of Naval Intelligence tasks the Spartans to capture one of the Covenant spaceships to then be used to capture a Prophet.

Section V: Reach

The mission is interrupted by a gigantic fleet of Covenant spaceships invading the Epsilon Eridani system. Captain Keyes want the Spartans to fall back to Reach, but Master Chief convinces the captain to allow the Spartans to continue their mission.

The Covenant land on planet Reach, with the goal of disabling the the Super MACs power generators, the humanity’s last resource to stop the Covenant. The Spartans are sent to defend the power generators, but they’re murdered by the massive forces of the Covenant.

Humans manage to learn what the Covenant have been search for: Halo, a sacred artifact to the alien race.

What to read after Halo: The Fall of Reach?

To learn more about the Halo book series, you should read the sequel to this book, namely Halo: The Flood.