Listen free for 30 days

HALO: The Fall of Reach

HALO, Book 1
Narrated by: Todd McLaren
Series: Halo, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
5 out of 5 stars (486 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

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

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    411
  • 4 Stars
    60
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    324
  • 4 Stars
    85
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    379
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

All fantastic except...

Have been really enjoying the performance, I’ve been a Halo fan for years, played all games, read and re-read all the books. Fall of Reach being a favourite, and Todd McLaren does a great job...except...one thing that frustrates me as a fan is the pronunciation of Johns Spartan designation number - within the canon it is “one, one, seven”, however here it is being pronounced “one, seventeen”...I know this is a minor detail, but it’s one that sticks with me after playing the games with “one, one, seven” being used. But, that one point from a big fan aside...a great performance, really enjoyable, cannot stop listening to it!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great reading but wrong dates of events

The story is as great as ever and love hearing the origins of the Master Chief, however some thing that unsatisfied me was that the dates for the Battle of Reach were wrongly read out - the narrator (who did do a great job of reading this) read the year as 2542 everytime, even though the actual year of the event was 2552. But still a great reading!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Self-isolation answer!

Whether or not you’ve played the Halo games, this novel is incredible! Lots of interesting lore, excellently read and written. Onto the next one!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, decent reading

The book is interesting and well written, and a must read or listen for any Halo fan. The only gripe I had was the reader. The company that produced it had either not done their research or simply not informed the reader about the pronunciation of several of the terms, such as ONI (pronounced: "Oh-knee") or Mjolnir (pronounced: "Mole-near"). Aside from that it's very well done. I haven't listened to the other audio books yet so I am not sure if the pronunciation situation has been addressed.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great halo book

Being a big halo fan of all the games and already having most of the paperback books.
I love this story because you get to find out about how the spartans came to be and best find out more about spartan 117 John the Master Chief before the first halo combat evolved game.
5/5 I like reading but sometime I like to lay and relax Whilst listening anyone that likes halo give it a go

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

super book

i love this book it,s a very good story
and i love halo get this book every one

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My riview

super nice long story awsome time and super additieve like the game and love the reading voice

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inconsistencies with the game

If you can get the inconsistencies out of your head it’s really brilliant halo book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing listen

Halo has been part of me for a very long time with playing the game but getting to listen to the books is a new level. loved it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Best Halo book!!

This is the best Halo book I have ever read / listened to!! The story is great and so is the narration..it’s a must for any Halo fan!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for jake
  • jake
  • 08-01-19

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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for wotsisname
  • wotsisname
  • 02-07-19

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.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for christopher statton
  • christopher statton
  • 02-01-19

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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jonathan McGraw
  • Jonathan McGraw
  • 20-06-19

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for dalton bartlett
  • dalton bartlett
  • 15-06-19

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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for David & Sara Rahl
  • David & Sara Rahl
  • 08-07-19

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Corie Champagne
  • Corie Champagne
  • 13-01-20

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-06-20

Story good. Performance Meh

Performance did not completely ruin it but her Majolnir for Mjolnir was a bit annoying After the umpteenth time. Also O-N-I instead of ONI was annoying. But overall still a good value. It seems like he knew how the Chief was supposed to sound (at least when he was geared up). Voices for Cortana and Halsey were okay but when I read the paperback I had the voices of the actual characters from the video games going in my head and that felt much more authentic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-05-20

Never played the game

Never played halo, but master chief’s story is worth hearing the Spartans are the best hope against the covenant

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 27-05-20

explanatory

this the book to read if you some back story on masterchief and if you want to know the events that lead to ce