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

4.1 out of 5 stars 307 customer reviews
Book 7 of 15 in the Halo Series

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Review

“Bear takes a profound and unusual approach to hard SF.” ―Los Angeles Times

“Bear is one of our very best.” ―New York Daily News

“If anyone is the complete master of the grand scale SF novel, it's Bear.” ―Booklist

“Bear, who's won two Hugos and four Nebulas, should rack up nominations if not wins for this one as well.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Slant

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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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: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
wow the forerunner saga is nothing like the original halo books that focus on the spartans. some background, i was in middle school when The Fall of Reach first came out and have read that book at least ten times since, it is hands down one of my favorite books. i am 23 now and downloaded the forerunner saga books while looking for some new sci-fi. there is hardly any action in this book, has nothing to do with spartans, and has probably the slowest intro to a book ever; even more than some of my textbooks! ha! yet i loved this book when i finished it. the book really stimulated my imagination in a way that few books have.

i would highly recommend this book to sci-fi fans in general and halo fans if you are interested in the lore.
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