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Halo: Cryptum (Halo #7)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  4,931 Ratings  ·  247 Reviews
100,000 years ago, the galaxy was populated by a great variety of beings.
But one species--eons beyond all others in both technology and knowledge--achieved dominance.
They ruled in peace but met opposition with quick and brutal effectiveness.
They were the Forerunners--the keepers of the Mantle, the next stage of life in the Universe's Living Time.
And then they vanished.
...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Alec Bennington This novel by itself describes The Librarian as a very old and wise lifeworker class according to Forerunner standards, yet still beautiful and…moreThis novel by itself describes The Librarian as a very old and wise lifeworker class according to Forerunner standards, yet still beautiful and touched by a vitality found in youth. The vast majority of the novel is spent mentioning her and we are only introduced to her physical form towards the very end. For that reason physical changes are not necessarily present in this book by itself.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Travis O.
Halo: Cryptum Review
Prequels tend to suck. That’s a fact that many a fan has had to deal with when reconciling unwelcome additions to their favorite franchises; the on-going chagrin for the Star Wars prequels is telling enough, but even more recent reactions to the Star Trek and Spider Man origin story rehashes (addendum: similar complaints are rumbling about The Man of Steel) remind us that, especially where highly elaborate fiction is involved, ignorance really can be bliss. Don’t take me wron
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Fred Hughes
Jan 16, 2012 Fred Hughes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the start of a trilogy detailing the rise of the Forerunners in the Halo world. The first book is by Greg Bear as is the second.

In this start to the Forerunner Saga we meet a very young Forerunner named Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting who just can’t sit still it appears. He is obsessed with the past and sneaks away to look for lost treasures.

Contrary to his Dad’s instructions he strikes out for a planet called Erde-Tyrene where it is rumoured that ancient Forerunner and Precursor tech
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J.
Nov 30, 2012 J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND YEARS AGO, the galaxy was populated by a great variety of beings. But one species—eons beyond all the others in both technology and knowledge—achieved dominance. They ruled in peace but met opposition with quick and brutal effectiveness. They were the Forerunners—the keepers of the Mantle, the next stage of life in the Universe’s Living Time. And then they vanished.This is their story.” – from the back cover of Halo: Cryptum

This book has started me on a great reading journey
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Richard A.
Feb 09, 2014 Richard A. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Greg Bear completely destroyed my fond ideology of an advanced, peaceful and selfless alien society in this book by interpreting the Forerunners as a species more closely resembling modern day humans with an appetite for politics, control and war. Mindless techno babble dominates seemingly every page as if readers are engineer experts on this fictional technology. Lack of a antagonist makes for a boring read as well as the awkward historical revelations of humankind's war with the Forerunner's w ...more
Travis L.
I had the hardest time following this storyline. I love Halo and was particularly interested in the Forerunner Saga, but lord does this book have a high learning curve. There are times where I would get so frustrated with all these unexplained (and conveniently Alien named) objects that my imagination would be working overtime in order to create an image of what the author was trying to write about. The best I can say about this book is that it takes work to read, even for me and I have a fantas ...more
Callum Shephard
Sep 22, 2012 Callum Shephard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Halo: Cryptum is a hard book to review as there is a lot here to both praise and criticise.
On the one hand it is well written, has a good pace, had likable characters and feels like the beginnings of a complex science fiction trilogy. On the other it introduces a lot of elements which serve little purpose in the overall universe, is utterly disconnected to the Covenant war and in all honesty seems like it’s Halo in name only.


As you might have guessed from the cover, the book looks into the live
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Rebeca
Sep 21, 2013 Rebeca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Halo is probably among my most important and influential science fiction epics. If I hadn't played the original trilogy as a child, I don't think I'd be into science fiction at all, let alone have it be my genre of choice as a writer.

A lot of what makes Halo great is the lore, the size and scale of the universe and the depth of the characters and their actions. So going into the backstory of the Forerunners--arguably one of the many great mysteries that hold up the original trilogy--is a bit ris
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William Johnson
With the exception of a final 20 pages in which the plot gets a bit too heavy, the complexities get too, well, complex, and the motivations get confusing, this book is a science fiction tour de force.

Greg Bear wisely decided to get involved with the portion of the Halo property that is virtually undefined. This way he can utilize his very unique writing style and his excellent world building skills without damaging the 'canon' of the Halo games.

Consider the Halo games main storyline is a jumbled
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Tina
Nov 13, 2012 Tina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tina by: Hunt
I really enjoyed this book when I first started reading it, because it was different in tone and style from all the other Halo books I've been (devotedly) reading. The only problem was about halfway through when it started to get a little dry. I just found that Bornstellar wasn't the most engaging of characters. He was more interesting when he was confused, because he had emotions even if they weren't very deep ones (like curiosity or the need to rebel), and when he started to change and became ...more
Michael Castro
Nov 01, 2012 Michael Castro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the prequel to the Halo series, and to the Halo universe in general. "Halo: Cryptum" explains the Forerunner race, the Didact who appears in the Halo games, and what we thought was the beginning of mankind. I would recommend this book again to anybody who is interested in the history of the Halo games, wants to know what happened before the first books, and possibly anybody who just wants to read a good book. This book would probably be confusing for anybody who hasn't played the ga ...more
Brad Hotelling
Halo Cryptum was first shown to me through a friend. I am a fan of the Halo series and i wanted to see what it was like. The book take place thousands of years before the main Halo Series, it is through the perspective of the Forerunners (a long dead race during the original halo series). The Forerunners are dealing with some problems at which if left unchecked would bring ruin to their civilization and way of life. At first I struggled to get through the first couple of pages which turned me o ...more
Mack
Mar 17, 2011 Mack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Halo fans, sci-fi
A wonderful addition to the origins of the Halo Universe. The novel goes deeper into the history of the Forerunners and sheds some light on my key elements to the Halo storyline. In addition, other mysteries are unraveled, such as the beginning of the Flood outbreak and the appearance of the Halo superweapons. I cannot wait for book two.
mookie kong
Jan 10, 2011 mookie kong rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, own
Not bad. A good addition to the Halo universe and a good start for the history of what happened before the events of the Halo games. The book starts off a bit slow, but quickly picks up pace. At the end, I found myself wanting to learn more.
Emir Girgin
Aug 07, 2016 Emir Girgin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First book of the trilogy, it's mostly about the character introductions, and the state of the galaxy at the time. It also includes some of the events leading up to the time of the book.
A good read for those who're interested in the forerunners and the creation of halos
Robert
Dec 15, 2016 Robert rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Dreadful.

The protagonist is luggage floating in a sea of exposition, carried along by currents of mysterious origin, achieving nothing, influencing nothing. Despite the huge wodges of exposition, I was still completely baffled by the the denouement, having very little idea of who was doing what or why.
Just a huge waste of time. Presumably the Xbox game can't be this dull?

I long since gave up paying for books by Bear but at this point I think I will give up even reading him for free.
Gavin Bethea
Oct 28, 2016 Gavin Bethea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was very interesting to see the way the everything is portrayed. In the games I always wondered what it was like before the halo event
Steve
May 09, 2017 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting beginning - it was nice to get a different perspective on the Halo universe. looking forward to the following two parts.
Rebecca Burke
May 10, 2017 Rebecca Burke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-year-2017
The end of Cryptum was so good I have already begun Primordium which is the sequel.
BraveSlave
May 04, 2017 BraveSlave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rob Micensky
Meh. It was good enough to keep me reading to the end. It was a different saga than the original Halo storyline. It was interesting to learn more about the Forerunners and Precursors. The Didact character is one BAMF. I'll read the next one, cause like, what am I gonna do? Not read it?
Brandon Cole
Dec 07, 2016 Brandon Cole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris Smith
I picked this up because reviews on the upcoming Halo 4 mentioned that the narrative was a little dense if one wasn't well versed in the particular back story of the Forerunners. The Forerunner Saga (trilogy) was mentioned specifically.

The Forerunners were one of the many species created by the Precursors (along with the humans), but at some point, the Forerunners wiped out the Precursor civilization. When the story opens, we learn that 10,000 years prior, the humans lost a war with the Forerun
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Christopher Wieninger
Allow me to open this review with one statement: Even for Halo fans, Cryptum may be hard to follow at times.

That being said, author Greg Bear crafts a science fiction novel that even people who aren't fans of the Halo franchise will appreciate for its complexity. Honestly, the complexity of this novel is what makes it enjoyable, if not hard to read at times. For example, Bear introduces new words and concepts without, in most cases, any explanation up front, leading the reader along a particular
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J
This book is pretty hazy.
I have played a few of the Halo games and felt like conceptually they had a lot of imagination behind them.
The Forerunners are an enigmatic race who disappeared millenia before the events of the games take place. They had sacrificed themselves by setting off massive weapons in an attempt to eradicate a race of parasitic aliens that were sweeping the universe.

"This is their story." <-- Ends the back cover of the novel.

Unfortunately the author doesn't want it to be HIS
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E.W. Pierce
Dec 03, 2012 E.W. Pierce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: video_game
As a long-time fan of the Halo video game series, I've considered picking up some of the expanded universe novels to deepen my understanding of the universe for some time. But up until Halo 4, I never felt it necessary, and so the Halo books were always 'someday, maybe' type of books. Up until Halo 4, that is.

While I enjoyed the narrative of Halo 4 specifically centered on Cortana and the Chief, much of the stuff about the Forerunners, specifically the Didact and the Librarian, went right over m
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Keith Vai
Hmmm.

I think I have played all the Halo games up to 4. I dont think I ever understood the actual story. Who built the rings? What were they for? The Covenant were bad, then they were good, then they were both? A tank mission?

I have liked Bear's books in the past and then heard him speak about the second Halo book so I got curious and read this book.

Bear is a good writer. I enjoyed the book and the story but I am still a bit hazy about the overall goings on. This is the first book I have ever rea
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Alejandro Olivera
Nov 13, 2015 Alejandro Olivera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book, Cryptum is the first in a trilogy written by Greg Bear. I'm going to give you a little bit of context. Halo is a series of video games that tells the story in the 26th century where humanity is in war with a collective of alien species. Most of this conflicts are triggered somehow by the discovery of ancient artefacts or installations left by an alien species known as the Forerunners before their eventual demise 100,000 years ago. This book tells the story of some of this individuals i ...more
Owen Jones
Jun 28, 2016 Owen Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book is based on the Halo series of games for the XBox and PC, I'd like to say a few words about its value as a pure science fiction read distinct from the games. The book is set in the distant past where humanity had gone into space, established a thriving empire and then been knocked back into a more primitive form by an advanced race known as the Forerunners. The hero of the book is a member of the Forerunner race (and they are truly alien, not just humans with makeup and elf ea ...more
Eric
Aug 02, 2016 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having spent hundreds of hours in the Halo universe since the first game was released in 2001, I've always appreciated the formatting of the games and the supplemental books and other materials (books, videos, etc.). Each of the books I've read has been authored competently by an established science fiction writer, and even the one describing the events of the first game was worth reading even though I had played that game prior.

Having less time for games now than when I was in my teens and earl
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Dillon Fontaine
Apr 03, 2012 Dillon Fontaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Halo Cryptum is the first book of the Forerunner Saga by Greg Bear and is 342 pages long. This novel is written from the perspective of Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting, or Bornstellar for short, a young Forerunner who dreams of finding vast and ancient treasure of the people before his own. Accompanied by the young humans Chakas and Riser, their explorations start on Earth, but eventually take them to the Forerunner Capitol, an artificial planet and also the seat of galactic government, where ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Book needs to be deleted or combined... 1 33 Feb 21, 2012 02:13PM  
  • Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
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  • Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
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  • The Art of Halo
  • The Halo Graphic Novel
  • Halo: Blood Line
  • Halo: Fall of Reach - Covenant
  • Halo: The Flood
  • Dead Space
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Greg Bear is one of the world's leading hard SF authors. He sold his first short story, at the age of fifteen, to Robert Lowndes's Famous Science Fiction.

A full-time writer, he lives in Washington State with his family. He is married to Astrid Anderson Bear. He is the son-in-law of Poul Anderson. They are the parents of two children, Erik and Alexandra.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/gregbear
More about Greg Bear...

Other Books in the Series

Halo (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • Halo: The Fall of Reach
  • Halo: The Flood
  • Halo: First Strike
  • Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
  • Halo: Contact Harvest
  • Halo: The Cole Protocol
  • Halo: Glasslands
  • Halo: Primordium
  • Halo: The Thursday War
  • Halo: Silentium

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“They understood the universe in ways we never will. We can't unlock their secrets—but now, apparently, we can destroy all they ever made. That's what I call progress.” 0 likes
“The quest, the fight—never the finding or the victory.” 0 likes
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