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Halo: Cryptum: Book One of the Forerunner Saga Hardcover – January 4, 2011

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Halo: Cryptum: Book One of the Forerunner Saga + Halo: Silentium + Halo: Primordium: Book Two of the Forerunner Saga
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Holter Graham’s narration is excellent” – SFCrowsnest.com

“Holter Graham does a spending job narrating all the roles…this first in the Forerunner Saga tells an exciting story that spans millennia.” – BookLoons.com

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Greg Bear is a multiple Nebula and Hugo award-winning author whose works have been celebrated for their vision, scope, intensity, and sheer drama. His novels include his newest, Moving Mars, Queen of Angels, The Forge of God, Eon, Eternity, and Blood Music. He lives in Washington State.
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Product Details

  • Series: Halo (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765323966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765323965
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Greg Bear is the author of more than thirty books, spanning thrillers, science fiction, and fantasy, including Blood Music, Eon, The Forge of God, Darwin's Radio, City at the End of Time, and Hull Zero Three. His books have won numerous international prizes, have been translated into more than twenty-two languages, and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Over the last twenty-eight years, he has also served as a consultant for NASA, the U.S. Army, the State Department, the International Food Protection Association, and Homeland Security on matters ranging from privatizing space to food safety, the frontiers of microbiology and genetics, and biological security.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Ross Bragg on January 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Greg Bear has a peculiar style, a sense of jumping right into the action and explaining later. Granted, I've only read Eon and Slant, but his peculiar take and writerly skill (apologies to Eric Nylund, but Bear is better at what he does) lends a feel more at home in Hard SF than MilSF. It works, too- Cryptum is an enthralling read and an extremely worthy expansion to the lore of the Halo universe.

In what reads like a last confession, Bear puts the reader in the shoes of Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting, a rebellious young Manipular who will advance to become a Builder, one who will be responsible for the grandest of Forerunner constructs. His journey rapidly morphs into one on which hinges the fate of the Forerunner civilization and galactic life itself. Bear draws his characters from the Terminals found on the Ark in Halo 3- Mendicant Bias, the Didact, and the Librarian all make appearances- and helps to put those in context, along with astonishing revaluations about the origin and history of humanity and the Prophets (San 'Shyuum as they are referred to in the novel) their earlier interactions with the Forerunners, and the origins of the Flood.

It's nice to have a non-militarySF take on the Halo universe, and doubly so to have that voice be Greg Bear's. Anyone who wants to get started on what's looking to be an excellent trilogy would be well-served to pick up this book.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By sumdumfu on January 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having grown accustomed to the tomes of Frank Herbert and Dan Simmons, Cryptum was a blink in comparison. That's not to say that it was bad however; quite the contrary. Being a connoisseur of Halo fiction, I can say with confidence the writing here is easily on a level all its own. Bear attempts to elevate Halo to a certain quality of literary fiction I've felt was long overdue for material with so much promise. Does he succeed? Almost. Maybe the action-centricity of Halo is too ingrained; maybe the story was just too short, but the personal quest didn't quite work for me. I can only report with surety that I never quite got the grandiose action I was hoping for, nor the deeply moving introspective revelation I was craving. Just when it was getting really good it ended. But of course this is to be a trilogy, so hold off on the judgements.

As a novel on its own merits, good but not great. As part 1 of a scifi opera, a very auspicious beginning. If you're a fan of Halo's fiction, this is the payoff to your dedication and the best reason thus for why we do what we do. With any luck part 2 will be something akin to Empire Strikes Back in its personal grandeur. I'm of the opinion Bear has the talent.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John L. Miller on November 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am a fan of both Greg Bear and Halo. I've never read any of the Halo fiction, and my interest in the universe never extended beyond the games (which I've played Halo / 2 / 3 / Reach / ODST). When I saw Greg Bear had a book I'd not read, I *had* to get it and read it, even though it happened to be Halo-related: I tend to stay away from game / tv fiction.

I was immediately at home with the writing. Like many of Bear's books, the story unfolds without much explanation, you're instantly immersed in the world. Despite knowing a fair amount about the Halo universe, most everything in this book was new to me. It's set well before the Halo games, and has more to do with the Forerunners and the Precursors than anything else. These races are almost mythical in the game, discussed only tangentially.

The story unfolds through the eyes of a young forerunner, eager to explore the universe for reasons of his own. Although it starts a little slowly, this lets you get at least a preliminary bearing in the universe. From there the story unfolds, and the relevance to the Halo universe becomes more clear.

I found the characters interesting, as well as the technology, and the mythology of the universe. The story unfolds in a way which almost makes me forget it's based on the Halo game universe. To me, this is a Good thing.

If you're not a fan of immersive science fiction (jumping straight into the universe without much in the way of explanations), this will probably be a hard read for you. If you DO like that sort of fiction, however, and you like Bear's other works, you'll be in heaven. And, even if you hate Halo, if you're a fan of some of Bear's other works, I suspect you will be quite happy to read this book.

Personally, I loved it and I'm happy we own a copy!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Brian Lamkin on March 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Okay I just finished the book and thought I'd share my opinion on here.

I actually don't really like it. In fact I would say it's the lowest of the Halo series to me. Were I rereading every Halo book I might very well skip this.

The main reason is that the story seems INCREDIBLY random. Nearly all the events and action that happen in it come from out of the blue with no real reason other than the author wanted it to happen. It's almost as if he wrote a bunch of scene ideas down on scraps of paper, put them in a hat and would choose one at random when he felt like it. This isn't true of the entire book but most of it, so it seemed to me. The last 100 pages or so seemed more coherent. Another way to put it is that it seemed like the author was unwilling to share the plot of the story with the reader. Like it was some big secret he didn't want us to know about.

Also the descriptions of Forerunner tech didn't match completely with anything we see in the games. He had rooms rearrange for furniture, ships made out of hard light (it was stated that the first major ship ridden in was mostly made of hard light), and just other stuff that didn't seem to fit what we've seen. It was pretty cool on its own merit and had this not been a Halo book I would have liked it. It just didn't feel like Halo to me.

The characters seemed completely flat and lifeless. It's as if they were just going through the motions saying what the director (the author) wanted them to say. I don't feel any attachment to any of the characters, save one. Runner had a spark of personality but even that is muted. But they are just lifeless characters.

I did like the description of Forerunner life cycles though.
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Halo: Cryptum: Book One of the Forerunner Saga
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