I’ve never played the computer or console game, though I’ve watched fan vids. What I did know was the game revolved around the exploits of an armoured space marine Killing aliens and rescuing humans. Of course the Halo universe was a lot more sophisticated than that.

And this compendium of stand-alone stories showed me why there are legion of Halo fans, spawning cross-platform Halo stories.

Halo: Evolutions: Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
ISBN: 9780765315731

I learned of the (initially covert) Spartan super-soldier programme, of advanced AIs, the rise of the colony militia, that ODST stood for Orbital Drop Shock Troop, the human and alien weaponry, the conflict between earth and her colonies (plenty of fodder for drawing parallels between how British and American colonial development, subsequent war with each other, and then as a coalition force against a common enemy).

The stories also shed light on the alien Covenant, which was a conglomerate of alien species — the cannablistic Brutes, the Grunts and Jackals, the Sangheili Elites, the Prophets. And the even more alien Flood and Gravemind.

Eric Nyland’s “The impossible life and the possible death of Preston J. Cole” was an interesting overview of the earth’s perspective of the development of the human and Covenant conflict.

I liked every story in this compendium.

My last experience in reading a spin-off series was the Macross.

If you are a Military Sci-fi fan, this book would certainly entertain. Doesn’t matter if you have not played the computer game.

Others in the series
– The fall of Reach/ Eric Nylund
– The flood/ William C. Dietz
– First strike/ Eric Nylund
– Ghosts of Onyx/ Eric Nylund
– Contact Harvest/ Joseph Staten
– The Cole protocol/ Tobias S. Buckell