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HALO: Primordium: Book Two of the Forerunner Saga

(Halo #9)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  3,490 ratings  ·  165 reviews
The second novel of the Forerunner Saga trilogy by science fiction legend Greg Bear—set in the Halo universe and based on the New York Times bestselling video game series!

One hundred thousand years ago. In the wake of the apparent self-destruction of the alien Forerunner empire, two humans—Chakas and Riser—are like flotsam washed up on very strange shores indeed. Captured
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Gallery Books (first published December 28th 2011)
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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,490 ratings  ·  165 reviews

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Ben Brown
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: halo
Typically, when one is reading a series of sci-fi or fantasy novels, there comes a point – usually after the end of the first book, MAYBE a bit into the second book – when the reader will feel totally “at home” within the trilogy – that is to say, they’ll have developed a solid grasp of the world and characters, and can progress into the ongoing story without feeling like they’re still having to learn the complicated ins and outs of the basic mythos. It’s the point where the reader can more or l ...more
Danny Runkel
Sep 20, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This book was terrible. There was no theme, no motivation for the characters, no amiable or sympathetic characters, and no point. The conflict was foggy and incomprehensible at best, the characters were dry, unrealistic, unlikable, and ill-defined. The setting was terrible, horribly explained, and changed every two pages or so. The description was sub-par to be polite, and it did not build up the world of the story at all. It kept describing creatures as humans when no humans have naturally grow ...more
Luis Fernandez
I just finished this book and I'm more than a little disappointed. The book tells the tale of Chakas, one for the two humans from the first Forerunner saga book. He lands on a Halo and spends the rest of the book walking around following a lady, who is nuts, and an old man. I'd say a majority of the book is them walking and looking for food and describing how hard that is. That and explaining that they don't really know what they're doing or where they are going. At the end, it gets interesting ...more
Tyler D
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book of the trilogy. Interesting planet and likable cast of characters.
Lord Nouda
This isn't a book that you can casually just pick up and get into, and expect to know everything about it, even if you're a hardcore science fiction fan. You'd have to have an extensive understanding of the whole Halo universe to even get any of the references which I eventually got by reading up the Halo Wikia, which is something that I do regularly for all of my science fiction or fantasy reads especially after getting into a bit of trouble remembering all the lore and background, which is hap ...more
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, read-2012
Never having been a 'gamer', I'd only heard of "HALO". Looking for something sf-positive to read, found this book and the "Cryptum", both written by Greg Bear. Enjoyable and fast-to-read books for me. So much enjoyed that I've ordered the first of Eric Nylund's Halo books as well as the new one by Karen Traviss, "The Thursday War".

I see "Silentium" isn't to be published and available till March of next year. sigh** I WILL WISH TO READ IT. Whether I'll like the novels of the earlier HALO series,
Timothy Pecoraro
To say that his book was the disappointing sequel to a badly ended previous work would be giving it a great deal of credit. 80% of the book is complete filler. Just getting the main character to plot points so that they have something to talk about for a twenty pages or so. I was deeply unimpressed by this work and the fact that the last 20-60 pages were actually descent does nothing to redeem the work as a whole. This book should have been worked into the ending of the first book in a MUCH SMA ...more
Halo: Primordium continues to delve into the history of the Halo universe offering quite a few surprises along the way. Die-hard Halo fans will definitely love discovering more about The Flood, the Precursor and what Chakas ultimately becomes. The cliffhanger ending also gives an enticing glimpse of how the story might tie in with the forthcoming Halo 4 game. More casual readers might find the slow pace a bit daunting, but it’s well worth persevering till the end. If you are looking for an actio ...more
Diego Figueroa pablos
Like the previews one it was good but a bit slower with less things going on which made it a bit dull. It was still a good read since it covered much of the plot holes of the first book but I feel there could of been a lot more to it. Nevertheless I'm still excited for the third and final one coming out this march! I would recommend it only if you've already read the first one Halo: Cryptum.
E.W. Pierce
Dec 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: video_game
Got 50 pages into it and put it aside. Did not grab me at all.
Travis O.
One of the things that irked me most about Halo: Cryptum was that it lacked a necessary human element. It was so mired in Forerunner jargon and rarified worldbuilding that it lacked the sort of lived-in soul that is present in almost every other piece of Halo fiction, game, comic, or otherwise. Cryptum’s sterile yet dusty tale of treasure hunting and tragedy was interesting, but not gripping; it was high adventure, but not dangerous. Greg Bear’s follow up, titled Primordium, is a much better nov ...more
Sacha Valero
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, halo
This book was a real disappointment coming off the first in the Forerunner Saga which I thought was fantastic.

In this entry we follow the story of Chakas after he falls to the surface of a Halo caught up in the battle with the Master Builder and his forces.

He's pried from his broken protective suit, and tended to by a girl. After he's well enough to walk she takes him to her grandfather whose lived away from their village for some time, and the reason they don't violate her is because she tells
Overall a much slower paced book then Halo: Cryptum, but the pacing is appropriate for the story. This book felt a lot like a poorer version of Niven's Ringworld and takes place entirely on a Halo ring (which Halo ring isn't revealed till the end of the book) from the perspective of a group of humans, a couple of which were introduced in Cryptum. The narrative serves to show just how manipulative the Forerunners were and how their empire starts to fall apart. It's not as exciting of a narrative ...more
Elizabeth Collins
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second of the Forerunner series was a bit of a let down for me, in comparison to the first book. It had the intensity, the drama, the ability to sway your sympathies from one species to another simply by change of perspective, all the power of a well-written book but in the end i was disappointed. The author changed one of his characters (the main from his first book, Cryptum) very drastically, turning him from a soul searching, true-to-himself young man into an exact copy of his mentor with ...more
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who has at least a modicum of knowledge about the HALO games.
This is a combined review of all three of Greg Bear's Forerunner Saga novels and is the same for all.

I thoroughly enjoyed Bear's fleshing out of the Forerunner backstory to the HALO games. He weaves a rich tapestry of the Forerunner caste society, its achievements and flaws, its greatness and its limitations. Of millennia-old plots and plans, and of how the longer those plots and plans run, the more they mutate beyond the control of the original authors. Of the shortsightedness of blind loyalty,
Callum Shephard
Before you even begin to start on Primordium there’s a question you need to ask yourself. That question is “Have I read Halo: Cryptum?” If your answer is no, then go read it. Don’t even bother trying to start with Primordium, you’ll just end up very lost.

Whereas other series might give a few pages, perhaps even a chapter, calling back to the events of the previous series to ease any new readers in, this book only gives a couple of lines. You’ll get more information from the description on the bo
Alex Wells
I had some momentum going into this book after reading Crytum. But I found myself rereading way too many pages in an attempt to fully understand the setting descriptions because they happen so often. I think the concept of the book is pretty cool (as a Halo fan) but it took way too long to get where it needed to be. I feel there were a ton of scenes that could’ve been way shorter and still got the point across. I was completely lost towards the end of the book trying to constantly visualize the ...more
Rob Micensky
Feb 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. This book was boring. I had been excited about reading this whole series of Halo Forerunner books. However, the plot action in Halo: Primordium is so stultifying that I was stopped dead in my tracks. It's just page after page of wandering in the wilderness. The characters aren't interesting. Even the fate of Chakas is revealed in the opening pages. Any Halo fan could immediately infer from the opening monologue what happened, and how Chakas fits into the main Halo story arc. I do not recomm ...more
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: video-game-books
Primordium gets a slightly lower rating from me only because the way it's written is a little more difficult to follow, and I had to reread it a few times before I was able to fully follow some of it.

It provides an insightful look into the lives of Halo's ancient humans and the nature of the Flood, however, and is full of all manner of delightful little twists and turns and the sort of diverse cast of characters you can expect from Bear's work.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's set on a Halo ring, focusing more on Chakas and Riser and less on Bornstellar. The lore is great, with more information about the Precursors and The Flood. However, the pace of the novel is really slow and there is a lot of wandering and long story times beneath the stars. The new characters are somewhat interesting, and an event in the jungle is especially intriguing. What saves the novel from three stars is the amazing ending, Bear really nailed that one.
Ian Woods
This would have been a 3 star review for the inventive imagery, concepts and ending. What stopped that is just that the book doesn’t start for 150 pages, in a way that makes it seem like the length was a contractual obligation. Really, nothing important happens for 40% of the book. They just wander.

**If you want to read this book, read the first 3 paragraphs of the wikipedia plot summary and start around page 150. Its worth it from there
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Takes a character from the first book in the trilogy and continues their story; a promising start. But it lacked the same impetus that the first story had. All I kept thinking was, “This is better when I read it more quickly and in longer sittings.” I’m not sure if that’s good or bad...
Conor Cook
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had slower parts throughout it and it took forever before the main character of book one came back into the story. There was a good surprise at the ending that really tied the book to the games. Ready for the next one.
Will Crudge
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The lore of the Halo Universe is rich and full of wonder! Me. Bear wrote a triumph of science fiction, and this book is essential reading for those of whom thrive on detailed world building. I look forward to reading book 3!
donnie drake
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book

It’s hard to read through with little description of places. Ready to read the next in this series. Thank you!
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ended very abruptly, left me with a lot of questions.
Endri Celaj
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sad for Chakas..
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La historia me parece estupenda, una pena que no tenga traducción oficial al español.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Creo que el tiempo en el Anillo es demasiado que se vuelve tedioso y no hay ninguna novedad o dato interesante que pueda cubrir todo eso.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing Sequel to Cryptum

While I applaud the attempt to tell a very different story then the first book, Primoridium is needlessly cryptic and hard to follow in parts.
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Mike’s book progress 1 1 Apr 01, 2019 08:05AM  
  • Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
  • Halo: Glasslands
  • Halo: Uprising
  • Halo: Contact Harvest
  • Halo: Helljumper
  • Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
  • The Halo Graphic Novel
  • Halo: Fall of Reach - Covenant
  • Halo: Blood Line
  • Halo: Broken Circle
  • The Art of Halo
  • Halo: The Flood
  • Halo: Last Light
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.

Other books in the series

Halo (1 - 10 of 27 books)
  • Halo: The Fall of Reach
  • Halo: The Flood
  • Halo: First Strike
  • Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
  • Halo: Contact Harvest
  • Halo: The Cole Protocol
  • Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
  • Halo: Cryptum
  • Halo: Silentium
  • Halo: Glasslands
“When all hopes are lost, only then does reality acquire that sharp focus that defines who we are and what we have become.” 14 likes
“It is no crime. I once felt affection for a Warrior-Servant as I hunted his ships and destroyed his fighters. No lover ever felt my attentions so fiercely.” 1 likes
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