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Halo: Cryptum

(Halo #7)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  5,768 ratings  ·  280 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.
Hardcover, 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)

Community Reviews

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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,768 ratings  ·  280 reviews

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Ben Brown
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: halo
“Halo: Cryptum” is a tough book to read, and an even harder book to review. The first in a trilogy, set hundreds of thousands of years before the events of the original “Halo” video game, “Cryptum” digs DEEP into the lore of the Forerunners, the Flood, and the origin of the Halo rings…and it does all of that without ever once even coming close to holding the reader’s hand.

For my money, that’s both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing, because writer Greg Bear clearly trusts that his
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
Fred Hughes
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Richard A.
Feb 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Sep 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
review of
Greg Bear's Halo Cryptum The Forerunner Saga
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - October 4-8, 2018

In general, I avoid reading bks that have obvious product tie-ins. In particular, I avoid bks that are written as game side-merchandise. I unintentionally made my 1st exception to that w/ Barrington J. Bayley's Eye of Terror. I gave that one of my very rare negative reviews. I didn't initially realize that there was a tie-in to Warhammer 40,000, a tabletop miniature wargame. I found Eye of Te
Nov 13, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Travis L.
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it

Can be dreadful at times because of the info dumps but what you do learn is mind blowing!
Will Johnson
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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,
Michael Castro
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Sacha Valero
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, halo, sci-fi
This was a fantastic journey to the very foundations of the Halo Universe. Bornstellar, a young Manipular is on a quest to find Precursor treasure (artifacts) and he winds up with two humans, a Florian named Riser who is about half the height of regular humans, and Chakas. The Librarian essentially manipulated the the meeting in order to locate, and free her husband the Didact, from his Cryptum and thousand year exile.

After he's free, the Didact takes them to the planet of Charum Hakkor, a place
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have been a long fan of the Halo series, I've always had a deep affection towards the franchise. With the Book regarding the history of the Forerunners, not much is known about the Forerunners to people outside of the series. (Even in my instance I did not know much about the Forerunners) but this book adds a sense of depth to the lore and the backstory of an important force in the Halo universe, which is what a love most about the Halo books to begin with, they advance your knowledge and dept ...more
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very well written sci fi book, told mostly from the perspective of a young Forerunner. It's rare to get a good story told from a alien perspective and Greg Bear succeeds here. The book starts a little slow but never gets lost in too much exposition. There's a particularly memorable moment towards the end of the book that makes the entire book worthwhile, especially for fans of the rich Halo universe. If nothing else this is a must read for everyone who wants to know more of the background lore o ...more
Joseph Graham
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book is a good read for people with a wondering mind. I found this book very easy for me to read. I am not saying that this book lacks in any way proper grammar or structure. I am saying that the book flows very well and let me put myself, as a reader, into the book and live with the characters. I love the science fiction in Cryptum. It has opened my mind to love the wonder of space and look at my own community in different positions.
Dec 15, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf

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.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I might be a bit biased because I love any and all Forerunner lore, but in my opinion this is the best Halo book out there. It's the start of a saga that gave us our first look into Forerunner culture and history and Bear did an absolutely phenomenal job on it.

It's easy to follow and doesn't require prior knowledge of the Halo universe to understand. The characters are well-written and enjoyable and it's a delight to watch Bornstellar's character growth from his own POV.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This definitely wouldn’t make sense to someone who has not played any Halo games but was a fun read for me (a big fan of the games). It begins filling in backstory to Halo 4, which I found rather confusing without the story provided here. It helps that this is all Forerunner story so it feels totally new and unbounded by the Human-Covenant war (and characters).
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
So less than a year ago, I got into the Halo games. There's still a lot about the lore I don't really understand, so I figured I'd try to get more into it with these books. After browsings through forums, I decided to start with the Forerunner Saga... I'm still puzzled, but very much intrigued to read more of these books!! Already got Primordium downloaded on my phone... heh.
Conor Cook
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
The book started out pretty slow but it picked up. The looming threat of the Flood and their inception was fun to read though. If you're not a Halo fan, you probably won't like this but. But if you are, it's worth reading.
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Creo que es un modo excelente de explicar y entender qué pasó con los Forerunners y el Flood. Pero puede ser confuso por las terminales que ofrecen los juegos.
Al fin es una trilogía y ya vamos por Primordium.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Soy fan de la saga halo y he empezado a leer las novelas cronológicamente según la historia,es decir, este es el primer libro que leí y me ha encantado no pongo 5 estrellas porque no ha hecho que me lo quiera leer del tirón aún así me ha encantado
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Origin of the Halos

Cryptum is the worthy origin story of the Halo universe, bringing Forerunner society to life and revealing the history of the galaxy. It's a fun read, and probably my second favorite Halo novel after the Fall of Reach.
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SQHS YLL: Halo: Cryptum by Greg Bear 3 4 Jun 11, 2018 10:32PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Book needs to be deleted or combined... 1 34 Feb 21, 2012 02:13PM  
  • Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
  • Halo: Glasslands
  • Halo: Contact Harvest
  • Halo: Uprising
  • Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
  • Halo: Helljumper
  • The Halo Graphic Novel
  • The Art of Halo
  • Halo: Fall of Reach - Covenant
  • Halo: Blood Line
  • Halo: The Flood
  • Halo: Broken Circle
  • 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.

Other books in the series

Halo (1 - 10 of 25 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
“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
“There are points in life when everything changes, and changes in a big way. The old sophistic texts refer to these points as synchrons. Synchrons supposedly tie great forces and personalities together. You can’t predict them and you can’t avoid them.” 0 likes
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