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Cryptum (Halo: The Forerunner Saga, #1)
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Cryptum (Halo #7)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  3,714 ratings  ·  206 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.
This i

Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 1st 2011)
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Travis Knight
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
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
Fred Hughes
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
Richard A.
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
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
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
Nov 22, 2012 Tina rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
Callum Shephard
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
Michael Castro
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
I was very excited to read this book.
The greatest mystery of the halo-verse were the forerunners
and the book to begin with doesn't disappoint.
the book focuses on born stellar makes last eternal an errant heir apparent of a master builder
who has decided to shirk his responsibilities and run off to erde tyree(earth) to explore ancient artefacts
he recruits a couple of humans to be his guides
(humans are primitive and vary wildly in shape and body type thanks to forerunner's genetic manipulation )

Decent book. As far as videogame books go, the writing isn't too bad. Pacing was rather disappointing. During the climatic part, the author keeps you stuck in the protagonists mind, detaching you from what is happening. So you don't really feel it; there was no excitement.
It was a good insight into Forerunner society, although it is pretty much the same as Covenant, with a rigid caste system. Replace Sansh'yuum and Shanghelli (sp?) with Servant-Warrior class and builder class, and you pretty muc
Mar 31, 2011 Mack rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Keith Vai

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
mookie kong
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.
Paul Johnson
I'm not sure why I even finished this incomprehensible rot. Bear's description, when it's there, of ships, transport, worlds and, well everything, defies any physics I've ever heard of. But then if you stretch out the time lines to tens of thousands of years, well......maybe. But what CAN'T happen is a natural progression of any species to something totally unrecognizable, say ape to man in 10,000 years. Take a population genetics course and get a grip. Further Bear randomly drops names for race ...more
An interesting if unsatisfying toe dip into the world of the Forerunners. It's difficult to understand how such godlike creatures could be overwhelmed by the Flood, but there we are.
In the book Halo Cryptum, there is a new forerunner that joins the war and he has lots of struggles throughout the book.There was no name for the forerunner. A forerunner is another way of saying soldier in war. One of the characters that comes later on in the book is named Chakas. He is the leader of the new forerunner and also is a great friend to him and helps him in the war.They are at the base training the Forerunner for battle the covenant then attack them. The book is a great book to rea ...more
David Church
This book is very different from the action-packed Spartan novels that were written before it. It has a Tom Clancy-like slow start with a crescendo that accelerates throughout the book. Now, normally I would have put this book down after the first fifty pages, but I didn't, and ended up tearing through the final 242 pages in one sitting. I'm glad I did because it ultimately lives up to its promise: to reveal more about the Forerunners and the flood. The biggest reveal literally ended the book. B ...more
This prequel to the Halo universe was not bad but not great either. There was some action at the beginning and some at the end, but the middle was mostly dry and boring. The main character, Bornstellar is kind of a boring guy and I didn't really like him that much. The humans were supposed to be characters but they were just kind of there, not really important to the story. The Didact was supposed to be important to the story, but he wasn't really in the story all that long.
I like Halo and I ha
Halo: Cryptum is unlike any Halo book before it. There's no Master Chief, no UNSC, no Covenant. But that doesn't mean everything is unfamiliar, as there are still lots of people, places, and things that you'll recognize.

Cryptum is a prequel to everything else in the Halo universe. It is set thousands of years (if not longer) before the events of the games, before recorded human history as we know it. It is a story about the Forerunners and the creation of the Halo rings, the foundation of all th
This book was way better than I expected!! I'm not a big sci fi fan when it comes to books- it's usually a bit too complicated and technological for me. However, I really enjoyed this book. It definitely helped having a background in the Halo universe. My boyfriend is a huge Halo fan, comparable to how I feel about Harry Potter, and he was the one that told me to read this. I've also played all the games with him and really enjoyed them. This book is set thousands of years before the games, but ...more
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
E.W. Pierce
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
Moayad Taibah
Halo Cryptum tells the story of the Halo universe centuries before the history of the game. It focuses on the story of a young Forerunner who is quite the an adventurer and does not like to abide to the ways of the Forerunners. On one of his adventures he goes to earth where he meets two humans and discovers an old grave of a warrior Forerunners which unfolds a chain of events that would involve the young Forerunner in over his head along with his two newly found human friends.

The story does ind
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
Ricky Ganci
How does a video game studio get a top-flight science fiction author like Greg Bear to cross-market books featuring characters in a video game release? Because for all its brand-association, this is not a half-bad novel.

The characters of this novel are well-defined, and the fact that they provide a context into Forerunner psychology, culture, strata, and involvement with the Halos is the kind of thing that rationalizes the Halo universe as a legitimate space opera in its own right. While it lack
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
Jack Hope III
Starting this tonight. As a matter of full disclosure, I love the game, and was inspired to read most of the other Halo universe novels and - more importantly - the Ringworld books by Larry Nevin, though the two have no connection except for one rather obvious similarity. Thank you Bungie and microsoft.


Cryptum was interesting, but not nearly as "alien" as I had hoped. Written with a very tight point-of-view from a single narrator, I admit that I'm a little disappointed. In the game, yo
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Goodreads Librari...: Book needs to be deleted or combined... 1 33 Feb 21, 2012 02:13PM  
  • Halo: Glasslands
  • Halo: Evolutions: Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
  • Halo: Uprising
  • Halo: Contact Harvest
  • Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
  • Halo: Helljumper
  • The Halo Graphic Novel
  • The Art of Halo
  • Halo: Blood Line
  • Halo: Fall of Reach - Covenant
  • Halo: The Flood
  • Dead Space
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.
More about Greg Bear...

Other Books in the Series

Halo (1 - 10 of 16 books)
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  • 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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