What's the best chronological way to read the books?

I’ve not read the books in a while (Besides Fall of Reach, the Flood and Shadows of Reach) I’ve recently finished shadows of reach and realised there was a few things I was missing. I want to read the books in the best chronological way but I don’t know what happens and when.

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I just recently finished Fall of Reach, The Flood, and First Strike. Wasnt sure where to go next so I’m on Shadows of Reach now and I believe I heard the newest book, Divine Wind, continues some of the story from shadows of reach.

Wait I just found this list
Halo: Forerunner Trilogy
Halo: Contact Harvest
Halo: The Cole Protocol
Halo: The Fall of Reach
Halo: The Flood
Halo: First Strike
Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
Halo: Evolutions

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The above list is good. But you can also split it chronologicaly I 2 parts
Bungie era chronological
Then
343i era chronological.

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There was a great thread on the old forums listing all Halo media in chronological order. Have they completely nuked the old forum?!

I tried replying about there being a thread on a version of this website now gone, asking if that could still be found anywhere, and for whatever reason my reply got automatically deleted.

A while back I created a visual timeline based on Halo Mythos timeline of every novel, graphic novel and game for a friend.

I recently updated it with some of the newer novels, if I can figure out how to convert the pdf to an image, I could share it here.

It probably isn’t 100% accurate since I haven’t read all of the books, since they kinda got spoiled when I built the timeline… so it might need to be refined.

I think this is the best way:

  • Halo: The Fall of Reach
  • Halo: The Flood
  • Halo: First Strike
  • Halo: Ghost of Onyx
  • Halo: Contact Harvest
  • Halo: The Cole Protocol
  • Halo Glasslands
  • Halo: The Thursday War
  • Halo: Cryptum
  • Halo: Primordium
  • Halo: Silentium
  • Halo: Mortal Didacta
  • Halo: Broken Circle
  • Halo: New Blood
  • Halo: Hunters in the Dark
  • Halo: Saint’s Testimony
  • Halo: Last Light
  • Halo: Shadow os Intent
  • Halo: Smoke and ShadowHalo: Envoy
  • Halo: Legacy of Onyx
  • Halo: Bad Blood
  • Halo: Renegades
  • Halo Silent Storm
  • Halo Oblivion
  • Halo: Shadows of Reach

[EVEN IF IT IS NOT ON CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, I THINK IS THE BEST WAY TO READ THEM]
If anyone can make a list with the years would be cool.

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Finally managed to create an image of my timeline, but the site does not allow me to upload images xD.

Sigh

Okay. MY TURN.

Keep in mind, this ALSO includes graphic novels.

Cryptum.
Primordium.
Silentium.
Contact Harvest.
Collateral Damage (Graphic Novel).
Silent Storm.
Oblivion.
The Cole Protocol.
Battle Born.
Battle Born: Meridian Divide.
Helljumper (GN).
Bloodline (GN).
The Fall of Reach.
Fall of Reach (GNs, optional).
The Flood.
First Strike.
Halo Graphic Novel (GN).
Ghosts of Onyx.
Uprising (GN).
Evolutions.
Initiation (GN).
Broken Circle.
Glasslands.
The Thursday War.
Mortal Dictata.
Lone Wolf (GN).
Last Light.
Hunters in the Dark.
Smoke and Shadow.
Renegades.
Escalation (GNs, Vol. 1-4).
Envoy.
New Blood.
Point of Light.
Bad Blood.
Tales From Slipspace (GN).
Fractures.
Legacy of Onyx.
Retribution.
Rise of Atriox (GN).
Shadows of Reach.
Divine Wind.

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I agree, it’s much easier that way…

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Looking at our fellow Helljumper’s list I noticed that I had forgotten a few books.

His timeline is mostly in line with mine, with a few differences. Namely, I created a main plot + side plot and split short stories into their slots.

I still cannot post the image here, nor share a link so I am doing it the hard way.
It is hard to read everything in order, because so many books cover such a long-time span causing books to overlap.

My list is based on the book Halo Mythos (strongly advise anyone interested in the story to get it) and tries to build a flow between books and games.

The Forerunner Legacy: 10.000.000 BCE - 852 CE

  • See Halo Mythos for the backstory before Halo Cryptum
  • Halo Cryptum → Halo Primordium → Halo Silentium
    (Personally, I would skip Primordium for a second reading and between the two other books I would read “Halo Fractures: Defender of the Storm”)
  • Halo Fractures: “Promises to keep” followed by the uncredited story in this book
  • Halo Broken Circle, part 1 (860 BCE-850BCE, this book covers part of the Covenant history)

Rise of Humanity: 2080 CE - 2552 CE

  • Refer to Halo Mythos for the early story of the Insurrection and other stuff about Humanity
  • Halo: Contact Harvest (June 16th 2524 - Feb 23 2525 CE)
    This book’s events are referenced in Fall of Reach
  • Halo Fall of Reach (August 17 2517 CE - August 30 2552 CE)
    Some books from the A Master Chief Story series can be read along with this book:
  1. Halo: Collateral Damage (December 3, 2525 CE)
  2. Halo: Silent Storm (March 5t 2526 - April 15 2526 CE)
  3. Halo: Oblivion (June 5 2526 - June 12 2526 CE)
  • (Optional) Game: Halo Reach Aug. (14-30 2552 CE)
    While reading the Fall of Reach book.

End of the War: 2552 CE

  • Halo: Flood (Sept. 19-22 2552 CE) or Game: Halo Combat Evolved (Sept. 19-22 2552 CE)

  • (Bonus) Halo Graphic Novel: “Breaking Quarantine” (shows how Johnson escaped the Flood)

  • Halo: First Strike (August 30 2552 CE - Sept. 13 2552 CE)
    The First Strike book continues the story outside of the Halo ring and the events of the Halo: Flood book eventually tie into this book.

  • Halo Graphic Novel: “Armor Testing”

  • Halo Ghosts of Onyx (May 1 2531 CE - November 4 2552 CE)
    This book is a side story that actually starts during Fall of Reach, ties to the First Strike and then flows into the Kilo Five Trilogy (November 2552 CE - March 2553 CE).

  • Game: Halo 2 (Oct. 20 - Nov. 3 2552 CE)

  • Halo Evolutions: “Human Weakness” (Cortana vs Gravemind) and “Palace Hotel” (Metropolis level) can be read a long with the game.

  • Halo Uprising (Graphic Novel)

  • Halo 3 (Nov. 17 - Dec. 11 2552 CE)

  • Halo: Broken Circle, Part II (2552 CE - 2553 CE)

The Aftermath: 2553CE - 2556CE
After Halo 3 and before Halo 4 there is a huge hole regarding the Masterchief. Halo Mythos provides lots of insight into the events during this period and there are a lot of other books (those that I place in my side plot).

  • Halo Initiation + Escalation (Jan 2553 CE - September 2558 CE)

Return of the Prometheans: 2557CE - 2558CE

  • Halo 4 (July 2557 CE - ??)
  • Halo: Tales from Slipspace: “Dominion Splinter” (Cortana’s Fate - 2558 CE)
  • Halo 4: Spartan Ops (Feb. 2558 CE)
  • Halo: Nightfall (live action about Locke)
  • Halo 5
  • Halo: Shadows of Reach (A Master Chief Story October 2559 CE)

So this is my main plot flow…

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For the side plot:
Some of these don’t have a clear starting date,
Rise of Humanity: 2080 CE - 2552 CE

  • Halo Evolutions: “Pariah”(April 2525 CE - December 2525 CE)
  • Halo Evolutions: “The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole”
  • Game Halo Wars (2531 CE) followed by Halo: Tales from Slipspace “Somethig Has Happened” (January 2537 CE)
  • Halo: Cole Protocol (2535 CE)
  • Halo Evolutions: “Midnight in the Hearth of Midlothian”
  • Halo Evolutions “Headhunters”
  • Halo Evolutions “Blunt Instruments”
  • Halo Battle Born and Halo Battle Born “Meridian Divide” (Battle of Meridian 2548 CE - 2551 CE)
  • Halo: New Blood (2545 - 2555 CE)
    Consists of Buck’s Biography and ties in to Halo 3 ODST (Oct. 20 2552 CE) and is somewhat connected to other books later on.

End of the War: 2552 CE

  • Halo Helljumper (2552 CE)
  • Halo Bloodline (mid 2552 CE)
  • Halo Graphic Novel “The Last Voyage of Infinite Succor”
  • Halo Evolutions “The Mona Lisa”
  • Halo Graphic Novel “Second Sunrise Over New Mombassa” (during ODST)

The Aftermath: 2553CE - 2556CE

  • Halo Fractures “Shadow of Intent” (2553 CE)
  • Halo: Last Light (July 2553 CE)
  • Halo Fractures: “A Necessary Truth” (October 14 2553 CE)
  • Halo Retribution (Dec. 2553 CE)
  • Halo Fractures “Lessons Learned” (March 29 2554 CE)
    Links to Buck’s story.
  • Halo: Hunters in the Dark (March 2555 CE)
  • Halo Fractures “Anarosa” (March 26 2556 CE)
  • Halo: Smoke and Shadow (Jan. 2557 CE) and Halo: Renegades (March – September 2557 CE)

Return of the Prometheans: 2557CE - 2558CE

  • Halo Fractures: “Saint’s Testimony” (Jan. 17 2557 CE)
  • Halo: Tales from Slipspace “Knights takes Bishop” (Jan. 21 2558 CE)
  • Halo Evolutions: “Return”
  • Halo Fractures: “Oasis” (July 2558 CE)
  • Halo: Point of Light (August - ? 2558 CE)
  • Halo: Envoy (Sept. 2558 CE)
  • Halo Fractures: “Rossbach’s World” (October 2558 CE)
  • Halo Fractures: “What Remains” (October 25-28 2558 CE)
  • Halo: Tales from Slipspace “On the Brink” (Blue Team Mission 2558 CE)
  • Halo: Tales from Slipspace “Undefeated” (During H5 - 2558 CE)
  • Halo: Legacy Of Onyx

Guardian Age: 2559CE

  • Halo Rise of Atriox (no timeline)
  • Halo: Tales from Slipspace “Hunting Party” (Hunting Atriox - 2559 CE)
  • Game Halo Wars 2
  • Halo: Divine Wind (October 2559 CE)

Edit: I haven’t read all of them, so it is possible that the flow could be adjusted. If anyone has suggestions let me know.

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Is Shadows of Reach an appropriate game to enhance my Halo Infinite experience? I want to read a novel before Wednesday (Campaign release day)

TBH I’ve read a most of the books by now and I mostly go by release order. Usually stories are pretty self contained so you don’t need a crazy amount of specific context. Although I haven’t read some of the graphic novels yet.