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4.0 out of 5 stars49
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 30 January 2012
This book was a real disappointment. The first of this trilogy, Cryptum, provided the promised revelations about the Forerunner and the history of the Halo universe, but managed to fit that around an engaging and exciting story.

Primordium totally fails at this. For the first 60% of the book, almost nothing happens. It's just characters the reader has been given no reason to care about walking and talking through a deserted landscape. Once the action picks up a bit in the second half, the writing style is incredibly stilted and confusing and makes it very difficult to follow what is happening.

For Halo addicts that want to know more about the lore of the setting there are plenty of revelations here, but they are written in a maddeningly ambiguous fashion. Nothing is answered clearly, and it is very difficult to tell where the author is being deliberately coy and where the ambiguity is coming purely from poor writing.

I am still curious enough to finish the trilogy, but I hope Greg Bear remembers to include a story alongside the world-building next time.
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on 5 December 2013
Halo: Primordium focuses primarily on the journey of Chakas and Riser - the two humans we encountered in the prequel Cryptum. At the start of the book, they both find themselves on a Halo ring following the aftermath of the space battle at the end of Cryptum. Chakas is taken in and cared for by a small tribe of humans and once he is nursed back to full strength, sets off on a journey with two of his new companions to seek safety from the Forerunners/Precursors and to find his old friend Riser. Other things happen along the way though and Chakas is soon drawn in to a quest that goes beyond finding shelter from the forces that could do him and his companions harm.

If I am honest, this book is even slower than Cryptum. The first half of the book is spent following the main characters across the Halo and very little happens in that time. All the truly interesting stuff takes place in the second half of the book. This is where things start to click into place as the plot unfolds and the scene begins to be set for the third book Silentium.

The characters are still solid and well thought out but there's a sense of time wasting for a large portion of the book. In Cryptum, things moved slowly but in a meaningful way that helped to develop the story and give substance to everything that would happen later and that made it good, made it feel as though the story had depth. Primordium is still a good book but where Cryptum could be picked up and enjoyed by all, I think Primordium is a book that will only hold the attention of Halo fans (and perhaps not even then) simply because in parts it is difficult to follow and it would be nigh impossible to understand if you didn't already have a grasp of the Halo universe. I've given this book 4 stars because as a Halo fan it intrigues me and I can understand all the references and little nods to the video games but for somebody that has never played the games, this book would probably get about 3 stars from them, perhaps only 2 :(

A good book, but you have to be very patient with it and if you haven't played the games or read up on the lore, you might be best giving it a miss.
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on 11 April 2013
This book is fantastic. I would say, definitely read Cryptum first and definitely read Silentium after. Greg Bear is one of the greatest things to happen to the Halo canon, he writes well and his work has implications running through Halo 3 and Halo 4 for the Xbox 360 as well as repurcussions for the human race overall - it answers a whole bunch of questions you had, but leaves you asking many others (which I will add are mostly answered in Silentium, to my stunned surprise as the answers were not what I was expecting!) Certainly a must-buy book!
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on 11 November 2012
Sorry to all Halo fans but never played the game - book for diehard Halo's fans I think. Found the book a labour to finish, which is a pity as realy enjoyed the previous installment..
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on 18 December 2012
First book set up a potentially great trilogy but unfortunately Primordium is the most boring book ever published.Strongly recommend you do not purchase.
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on 30 August 2013
3 stars is a bit harsh as i would say 3 1/2 is fair. It is a good read but i found it un-re readable within the 2 or so years since its first release. The main reason im giving this book 3 and 1/2 instead of 5 like cryptum (book 1) is that it is centered around 3 human characters in 3 individual sections of the story which all wind together at the end instead of Bornsteller, the main alien character with 2 humans coming along on the adventure and how the characters interact between races and gaining memories from other long dead humans which isnt the case in primordium as it is more focused on the humans instead of the sci-fi culture of the builders and bornsteller aswell as the didacts political and military roles.

Definatley worth getting if your a fan of halo but you may get bored if you try to re-read in the near future.
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on 6 June 2013
Bought the book as a gift for a relative. I have received very positive feedback towards the book. He isn't usually a bookworm but it was finished within a couple of days. It must have been really good as he went out and bought the others in the series.
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on 30 June 2013
This is a bit stodgy in parts. I found it a little bit boring interspersed with some good bits. A bit like riding a roller-coaster,, you go up and along the slow bits then scream down the other side..
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on 25 September 2015
After the awesome revelations portrayed in the first book of the series Primordium is huge let down. The first half of the book is completely unnecessary, boring and uneventful. The last part is worth the read but the descriptive style used is hard to follow and extensive. Constantly describing the physical attributes of structures and objects that only exist in the halo universe is exhausting, distracting and seems to serve no purpose.

The first half of the book could literally be titled someone takes a walk. The first half has a few moments that promise something worthwhile but then immediately fails to deliver.

The book is worth a read but it has so many failings that is became a huge annoyance which dwarfs what should be a fulfilling conclusion.

I can't help but feel that this trilogy should have been two books, with first 50% of Primordium absent.
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on 20 October 2015
I found this book much harder to follow than Cryptum. The backstory was excellent but the constant walking around left a tad weary by the half way mark. However, events ramp up considerably and I found the conclusion, and the big reveal at the end to be excellent. Overall, primordium was a good read, and an excellent addition to Halo Lore. The main gain from reading is the additions to the Halo backstory, and Primordium definitely delivers. Just a shame about the aimless wandering in the middle. I felt the pacing on that section could have been tightened up a bit
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