5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Risky, However Bold New Step.,
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This review is from: Halo: Cryptum: Book One of the Forerunner Saga (Hardcover)
I'll begin by saying I was on the fence before reading this new product. Halo Cryptum explores an area of Bungie's universe purposely kept dark to invoke a sense of mystery in all the various Halo products. To rudimentarily describe my feelings on this novel I viewed 343 industries as big business looking to drill for oil in serene nature. They could bring us all wealth or they could destroy all that was good and unique about that place. Halo Crytum eliminates the enigma of the Forunner's detailing who they are and really bringing their empire to life. However what Cryptum gives up in mystery it thankfully makes up for with a rich history filled with new heroes and villains and a great story to tell.
The novel follows a young Forunner named Bornstellar ( its in fact much longer but relatively unneeded) who desires to be different then what his family desires for him. Guided by a mysterious AI in his armor has him searching for a treasure on a planet long forgotten by his people. Instead he finds something more complex then a simple treasure one that will send him on a journey to solve the dark secrets of the Forunner's past . The Forunner's empire at this time control the galaxy and are at the apex of their domain. However threats that could doom their entire existence are conspiring from without and within....
I honestly would love to explain more but fear it would take so much back story to properly do justice to all the events that take place in the novel because it adds so many complexities to the Halo universe. I loved the book and see a great future in this new book trilogy. My prior fears of killing of the mystic feeling of the Forunners was realized however many many more questions were thrown into the mix that have me furiously hypothesizing. Cryptum new writer Greg Bear not only delivers a very new experience in an unknown era of the lore but manages to do it with a completely new style. While I do love Eric Nylund's and all the other novel writers they followed an established format of military sci-fi book. Greg Bear doesn't deliver his action and battles as masterfully as Nylund ( and theres considerably less of it) but that's not what this story tries to accomplish. Cryptum feels more along the line of educating the reader on who the Forunners were then making a badass book and that's what makes this very new. The only complaint I had against this book is the pacing felt very quick at times and some character plots were left hanging ( I'm sure for the future installments in his trilogy).
To conclude I felt 343 drilled successfully and brought all who read it a wealth of new information to the Halo Lore. Cryptum turned in better results then my expectations by delivering on a really good story with complex characters navigating it. The book seemed to reminiscent to the fall of the Roman Empire the way Forunner society has been eroding slowly but only few are aware of it. Thanks for reading hope you found it informative I did my best to feed you too little information as opposed too much. I recommend this book to anyone who loves to read science fiction regardless of their knowledge of the rest of the Halo Universe.
Comments or questions are appreciated thank you.
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Initial post: Mar 7, 2011 11:36:20 AM PST
G. Godfrey says:
I'm sorry, but I disagree completely. In my eyes, Cryptum left me saying to myself "Well, obviously Greg has not played the games, spent little if any time with the history of the Halo universe and did not read any of the previous novels." I say this because his explainations of the Forerunners, other species (humans included), the Halo, the Shield Worlds, heck almost everything, just did not jive with ANY of the previous, and quite numerous, "hints" as their natures and origins. To me it felt like I was reading a false history that had no ties to the rest of the universe other than using some of the same names for things.
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