FSFH Book Review

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Abnett, Dan
Adams, Douglas
Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto
Allen, Roger MacBride
Allie, Scott
Allston, Aaron
Anderson, Kevin J.
Barclay, James
Barnes, Steven
Baum, L. Frank
Bear, Greg
Bendis, Brian Michael
Bischoff, David
Bisson, Terry
Blackman, Haden
Bova, Ben
Bowen, Carl
Brooks, Terry
Canavan, Trudi
Card, Orson Scott
Chadwick, Paul
Clarke, Arthur C.
Clarke, Susanna
Clemens, James
Collins, Paul
Crichton, Michael
Crispin, A. C.
Cunningham, Elaine
Daley, Brian
David, Peter
DeMatteis, J. M.
Denning, Troy
Dick, Philip K.
Dickens, Charles
Dietz, William C.
Dixon, Chuck
Donaldson, Stephen
Eddings, David
Edginton, Ian
Elrod, P. N.
Erikson, Steven
Feist, Raymond E.
Foster, Alan Dean
Fraction, Matt
Furman, Simon
Gaiman, Neil
Gemmell, David A.
Gerber, Michael
Gibbons, Dave
Golden, Christopher
Goodkind, Terry
Goodwin, Archie
Graham, Mitchell
Grant, Alan
Green, Jonathan
Green, Laurence
Guggenheim, Marc
Hagberg, David
Hambly, Barbara
Hamilton, Laurell K.
Hand, Elizabeth
Harras, Bob
Harrison, Mick
Heinlein, Robert A.
Herbert, Frank
Herbert, James
Hine, David
Hobb, Robin
Howard, Robert E.
Jacques, Brian
James, Charlie Hamilton
Jenkins, Paul
Jeter, K. W.
Johns, Geoff
Jones, J. V.
Jordan, Robert
Jurgens, Dan
Karpyshyn, Drew
Kennedy, Mike
Kerr, Katharine
Keyes, Greg
King, Stephen
King, William
Knaak, Richard A.
Kube-McDowell, Michael P.
Lawhead, Stephen
Layman, John
Le Guin, Ursula K.
Lewis, C. S.
Lieberman, A. J.
Loeb, Jeph
Lorey, Dean
Lowder, James
Luceno, James
Lumley, Brian
Macan, Darko
Manning, Russ
Martin, George R. R.
Marz, Ron
Matheson, Richard
McCaffrey, Anne
McIntosh, Neil
McIntyre, Vonda
Michelinie, David
Millar, Mark
Miller, John Jackson
Miller, Karen
Milligan, Peter
Moench, Doug
Moesta, Rebecca
Moore, Alan
Nicholls, Stan
Nicieza, Fabian
Nylund, Eric
O'Neil, Dennis
Ostrander, John
Paolini, Christopher
Perry, S. D.
Perry, Steve
Pratchett, Terry
Pullman, Philip
Quinn, David
Reaves, Michael
Reed, A. W.
Reed, Brian
Rice, Anne
Richardson, Nancy
Roberts, Adam
Rowe, Matthew
Rowling, J. K.
Rubio, Kevin
Rusch, Kristine Kathryn
Salvatore, R.A.
Shelley, Mary
Shultz, Mark
Simone, Gail
Simonson, Louise
Simonson, Walter
Smith, L. Neil
Spurrier, Simon
Stackpole, Michael A.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Stewart, Sean
Stoker, Bram
Stover, Matthew
Straczynski, J. Michael
Stradley, Randy
Strnad, Jan
Sutcliff, Rosemary
Tolkien, J.R.R.
Traviss, Karen
Truman, Tim
Turtledove, Harry
Tyers, Kathy
van Belkom, Edo
Veitch, Tom
Wagner, John
Watson, Jude
Whitman, John
Williams, Sean
Williams, Tad
Williams, Walter Jon
Windham, Ryder
Wolverton, Dave
Woodring, Jim
Wurts, Janny
Yeovil, Jack
Zahn, Timothy
Collaborations A - F
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Collaborations T - Z
Anthologies A - R
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Anthologies T - Z
Still to come
Reviewing Literature
The Books of Eric Nylund

Eric Nylund holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a master's degree in chemical physics.  He lives near Seattle with his wife Syne Mitchell.
Average Review Score: 4.5 out of 5 (2 books)

Halo: The Fall Of Reach
The prequel novel to the massively popular 'Halo' computer game.  Now, I'll be entirely honest, I was expecting this book to be trash.  There are very few game tie-in novels that actually make good books (even great authors like Raymond E. Feist have trouble pulling it off - see the first and third Krondor books).  Nylund, however, left me very pleasantly surprised.  The book charts all the important backstory to 'Halo', telling of the Spartan project which produced the supersoldier you play in the game (the Master Chief, who turns out to be called John!), revealing the details of humankind's first encounter and subsequent war with the Covenant and finally the event of the title, the fall of the human fortress world of Reach.  The Spartans are handled with an excellent degree of humanity and Nylund manages to perfectly capture the kinship between them.  In the game, the Covenant were just more alien scum to fight (although 'Halo 2' expanded them considerably), but here we discover that the humans (the UNSC) are actually very much on the losing side of a religious war of extermination.  You'll feel all the disappointment of the characters as heroics and outstanding tactics provide them with a small victory, only for the larger conflict to go horribly wrong.  This is especially true of the book's final third, which deals with the arrival of an immense Covenant fleet above Reach.  Despite my predisposition to do so, I cannot fault this book at all and it's franchise connection never proves detrimental to the storytelling.
5 out of 5
Halo: First Strike
The third book of the Halo trilogy, following on from William C. Dietz's 'Halo: The Flood' and the game 'Halo' itself.  The first half of the book follows two distinct plotlines.  In one the Master Chief, Cortana and a few survivors from the destruction of Halo (including the ever-cool Sergeant Johnson) have to commandeer a Covenant ship and return to UNSC space with the data on Halo.  The other storyline returns to the battle for Reach and charts how several of the Spartans survive the Covenant victory and go to ground.  After these two story threads converge it is discovered that the Covenant have discovered Earth, meaning that the Chief and his Spartans have to launch a desperate first strike to delay the Covenant fleet.  Nylund brings us the same satisfying combination of action and military brotherhood that he showed a talent for in 'The Fall of Reach'.  This book isn't nearly as repetetive as 'The Flood' (which suffered from being the novelisation of the game rather than an original story) but, due to the lack of Captain Keyes and the Pillar of Autumn, we don't get the innovative tactical scenes we saw in the first book of the series.  Basically, Nylund provides us with a good book which serves to tie up loose ends from 'Halo' and provides the background for 'Halo 2'.  It's a shame there aren't more of these books, because the Chief's adventures are thoroughly readable.
4 out of 5

If you liked Nylund:
Then I can definitely see you enjoying the work of Karen Traviss.  Also, there's William C. Dietz, the author of the middle book of the Halo trilogy.

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