The game-related novel is a very weird niche, offering prose companions to some of your favorite video games. They matter and they don't; these novels highlight and expand moments in a game's universe, but most players never pick up a single one. There have been a total of 28 Halo novels published since 2001's Halo: The Fall of Reach.
Today, on Halo Waypoint, 343 Industries announced another Halo novel planned for release this year. Halo: Shadows of Reach, penned by Troy Denning, is the third and latest of a series of novels involving The Master Chief. Shadows of Reach follows 2018's Silent Storm and 2019's Oblivion, and takes place a year after the events of Halo 5: Guardians. It will be published on September 22, ahead of the holiday release of Halo Infinite.
"It has been a year since the renegade artificial intelligence Cortana issued a galaxy-wide ultimatum, subjecting many worlds to martial law under the indomitable grip of her Forerunner weapons. Outside her view, the members of Blue Team—John-117, the Master Chief; Fred-104; Kelly-087; and Linda-058—are assigned from the UNSC Infinity to make a covert insertion onto the ravaged planet Reach," reads the synopsis.
Blue Team were one-half of the main cast of Halo 5: Guardians, hunted by members of Agent Locke's Fireteam Osiris throughout the game. So far, there's been no word on whether the latter characters will return, with Halo Infinite being the Master Chief's story according to 343 Industries. Will the novel explain how The Master Chief ended up floating in space, as shown in the E3 2019 trailer for Halo Infinite?
Halo Infinite is currently scheduled for a Holiday 2020 release for Xbox One, Windows 10, and Xbox Series X. The new Slipspace Engine is powering what 343 Industries is calling a "spiritual reboot" of the franchise. We do know that weapons skins may be returning, if a new line of Nerf tie-in guns are any indication. Showtime's Halo television show is also in production after spending years in development hell, with a planned release in the first quarter of 2021.