3 Halo novels you need to read to prepare for Halo Infinite

After careful scrutiny, other Halo experts and I were able to discern details about Halo Infinite from its reveal trailer. Notably, it was concluded that the game would likely take place on a Halo ring that we haven't visited before in-game: Installation 07, or Zeta Halo.

There's plenty of interesting lore behind Zeta Halo to be found. I put together a condensed explanation of all of it here, but if you'd like to get more in-depth, you can check out these relevant Halo novels.

Halo: Hunters in the Dark — Peter David

Halo: Hunters in the Dark (Image credit: 343 Industries)

Halo: Hunters in the Dark by Peter David (about $10 (opens in new tab) is set after the events of Halo 3. In it, UNSC scientists studying Zeta Halo discover that, somehow, it's on a timer to being activated. After taking this disturbing news back to the UNSC, they find out that all the other Halo rings are on the same timer. With the galaxy suddenly only weeks away from annihilation, the UNSC and the Elites form a coalition to travel back to the Ark and stop the threat.

Though the time spent on Zeta Halo in this novel is short, we do get details on one of the forms of wildlife seen in the Halo Infinite trailer. Additionally, the coalition force discovers several types of alien life on the Ark that could end up being seen on Zeta Halo.

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Halo: Primordium — Greg Bear

Set during the Forerunner-Flood War, Halo: Primordium by Greg Bear (about $10 (opens in new tab) is almost entirely set on Zeta Halo. As the war effort drew on, and Forerunner society began to crumble, their leader, Faber-Of-Will-And-Might, began to use Zeta Halo as a site for Flood cure research. In desperation, they searched for a way to end the parasitic spread before it was too late. Meanwhile, the Forerunners' strongest artificial intelligence, Mendicant Bias, began an interrogation with the Primordial, the last Precursor, who was possibly connected to the Flood.

The second work in the Forerunner Trilogy of novels, Halo: Primordium gives a significant amount of context to Zeta Halo, including what it was meant for originally, what it was repurposed to do, the history behind it, and more. Though not fully necessary, it would be a good idea to also read the book's predecessor, Halo: Cryptum (opens in new tab).

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Halo: Fractures — Various authors

Though not directly tied to Zeta Halo, Halo: Fractures (about $12 (opens in new tab) is still a fantastic read for anyone looking to learn more about the Halo universe. Comprised of a whopping 14 short stories, Halo: Fractures delivers a hefty amount of information for all the perspectives in Halo. From a look at the immediate aftermath of the Human-Covenant War to the complicated process of artificial intelligence creation, it's jam-packed with lore.

Of course, it also has a fair share of narratives set in the final days of the Forerunner-Flood War, and right after the events of Halo 5: Guardians, as well. These are the stories that have the greatest chance of being relevant in Halo Infinite.

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Your thoughts

What do you think of these and other Halo novels? Have you read any of the ones mentioned here? Have others to recommend? Let me know in the comments.

If you're looking for some Halo content in video game format, make sure to check out Halo 5: Guardians, Halo Wars 2, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection (MCC).

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

  • Lol I saw your twitter post made the Halo community update, it was pretty funny!
  • Thanks :) glad you liked it!
  • Seriously? If I have to read a book just to play a game, I'll skip it, thanks.
  • Noone said you had to read the books. They just add background and context to the overall Halo universe. The games all stand on their own.
  • At least Mass effect had a codex to get into the lore.
  • That's something the lore heavy fans of Halo have been lobbying for for a very long time. Halo Wars 2 sort of had it with the Pheonix Logs. I hope it comes to FPS Halo games.
  • Can I just play the game?
  • yes
  • People getting triggered by the headline, apparently. Pro tip: you don't "need" to read anything to play the game, but if you are into the lore, you might enjoy it more if you do. (Also, relax a little.)
  • It's meant to be a primer more than anything. Just some background context to what is likely to be relevant.
  • Stan Lee got it right with his approach to comic books back when he was in charge at Marvel, before comic books became fetish soap operas. Every issue is somebody’s first, so don’t just throw somebody into the middle of something with no explanation, and keep it fun. I’m not reading books so that I have a backstory for a game. Everything should be explained in the game. I would consider Halo Infinite a massive failure in storytelling if it turns out like Halo 4, where the cast of characters were reacting to a villain from the novels with no backstory given for players that didn’t read the novels, and people like me were just left scratching our heads at what was going on. The game should explain everything to the player with no novels needed. It’s some player’s first time, and I’m not doing homework so that I have references for a game’s narrative. I just want to have fun with a new Halo game.
  • Goodness, a lot of whining about some great books that if you WANT to read can give you more back story and depth to a awesome universe you can. The game will have the story and who knows maybe a good way to get the lore through the game. But this article is about reading some books so you can have some of that depth and lore before the game is released. The comments in here are ridiculous.
  • Just get the Audiobooks? Listen to them on the commute to work. Problem solved.
  • Where can I find them, I mean all books about halo in (whatever) digital form? There is plenty of them.