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4.2 out of 5 stars76
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 24 July 2011
I am a Halo fan so I had to get this book. I waited until the softcover version came out and started reading it. I was a bit curious about the story because it is far away from the Halo universe we know of. But that curiousity was answered with great satisfaction. The story is awesome and it reads really well, great writing. It is still Halo and many things are related to the terminals in Halo 3. It is a must for everybody that likes the Halo universe and is curious about the history of it. Even if you are new to 'Halo' you can read this because the red line through the Halo universe is pretty simple in fact (and this book is in the beginning). You go back to the far past and meet the Forerunners. The Forerunners are an awesome civilizition/species, I wish our world was a bit more Forerunner-ish lol. The scale of their world is behind words and their role in the universe is the most noble cause a species can have. Look I'm starting to dream again! Looking forward to the next two parts because that universe is so huge and well designed that I still need to discover a lot. The book has not the same dimension than the others (Ghosts of Onyx, ...) but hey that is not a problem. And like I am used to, Amazon delivered it fast and in good state.
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on 2 October 2011
This is easily the best book I have read this year. I read this book in 2 days which is a rarity for me these days as distractions at home usually make books take much longer. I simply could not put this book down.

I have read a few other Halo books but found them a little boring and it seems they concentrate too much on the mechanics of battle rather than a good story line.

Cryptum is pure story from start to finish and satisfies my desire for information regarding the Forerunners. It also offers a glimpse into human history and hints at the origins of the Flood. This book is a perfect tease for the next two books as it gives just anough information to satisfy yet there must be so much more to come. I really cannot wait for the next installment and won't be waiting for the paperback next time like I did for this.

I recomend this book to anyone who has enjoyed the Halo storyline be it in game or book format.
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on 1 March 2013
Was pretty slow to start but loved it towards the end, definitely getting the second one just for the conclusion of the story really.

Definitely have to agree with the previous reviewer Irvinus on the descriptions etc. The author took like a whole page to describe what a portal looks like but doesn't even describe how many of the characters look. Probably the most specific character description we get throughout the entire book is that the main character's father is 4 meters tall (Bloody hell!) and his mother's skin is bluish-gray. And some of the concepts and description I just couldn't really understand or visualise - the war sphinxes for example, machines which are mentioned plenty throughout the book. I'm pretty sure he never gave an actual description of their physical characteristics. Am I to believe that the Forerunners basically had flying metal sphinx-like machines which people could pilot? [...] Really? OK. Also descriptors like "hard light formed around the spokes of the ring (Halo)" (Not an exact quote but close enough), what is that? Just what is that exactly? Is there such a thing as soft light? How can light be hard? Oh and one thing that really got me was the description of the San-Shyuum (Aka the Prophets in Halo) as being "Beautiful", "Charming" and almost seductive. Just cannot wrap my head around that without an explanation - either the Forerunners' idea of beauty was vastly different from ours or the San-Shyuum looked very different and went from beautiful, gracious beings to shriveled worm-like long-eared freaks. The answer is left to us for now. Maybe it'll be explained later, or has already been done so in another form of media that I haven't seen. Hate to nitpick but when reading some of this stuff I just had to stop and think about wtf the author was actually describing.

Nonetheless, it's an interesting read with quite a few interesting concepts like Forerunner mutations and their social structure, their armour, AIs, extreme terraforming, slip-space travel, The Flood, faint glimpses into the Precursors, the aforementioned portals and more. The plot is pretty interesting, as it includes some of the major Forerunner players seen in Halo 4 - The Didact and the Librarian. And as said previously, the plot really starts to kick off with an awesome finale.
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on 20 September 2011
Knowing Greg Bear is a hard Sci-Fi author, I wasn't sure what to expect coming into this series as a fan of the Halo video game. What I found was a deep, yet still easy to read, adventure story that totally flips what you know about Halo on it's head. A must read for any fan of the Halo fiction. Bear (oh look, a pun) in mind that this is the first part of a trilogy and you will have to wait a while to find out what happens next. Overall, an excellent start; will be picking up the next one as soon as possible!
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on 29 February 2012
Halo Cryptum is an Excellent Read for any Halo Fan, Starting out a new Saga in the Halo Universe, The Forerunner Saga, this book contains an excellent and intricate story as well as Must have knowledge for the Halo Die hard fans and Halo Beginners alike, I As a halo fan for going on Ten years Highly recommend this book to any and all halo/science fiction fans, this is one not to be missed!!!
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on 27 November 2013
I finished reading this book last night and I am very impressed. I've been a Halo fan since the first game on the original XBOX and I have read 'The Fall of Reach' all the way through to 'The Cole Protocol' but must say I found this to be better than any of them. I should also add I have never read anything by Greg Bear so did not know what to expect. The book really is a slow burner, which I like as it is good to get all your characters fleshed out and gradually develop the depth of the story. Despite the real lack of action in this book, I found myself unable to put it down. Putting together the different fragments of the story and thinking about the dialogue slowly allows you to understand all the things that have gone on in the forerunners' history and appreciate how the main characters have got to the situation they are in now.

The story revolves around four main characters including two humans, a young forerunner and an ancient high-ranking member of the forerunner warrior class known as 'The Didact'. As a race, the forerunners' entire culture is based around the principles of something called 'The Mantle' which is basically their term for the responsibility of looking after all life. They are the wisest, fairest and most technologically advanced race since they rebelled against 'The Precursors' and assumed this mantle they speak of. Forerunner society is at a major crossroad however and faced with threats both new and old, there are different ideas of how to proceed amongst the ruling bodies of forerunner governance....

Aside from being a good science-fiction read, there are a lot of truths in this book that the human reader can relate to. The forerunners have a very noble feel to them and genuinely want to protect and assume responsibility for what happens in their galaxies. I found myself wishing the human race could be a bit like the forerunners, their attitude towards others and their discipline makes this alien faction somewhat honourable and admirable.

Five stars from me, I plan to start Primordium very soon indeed :)
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on 7 March 2011
I've been a Halo fan since the first game came out, the first thing I said to myself when the Master Chief landed on the Halo World was "Larry Niven, I hope you are getting royalties on this".
The Halo universe has grown a lot since that first game, with the tie in novels, Halo 2 and 3 games. The storyline has increased and expanded the little we can grasp from the games. Halo 3 added a lot of info about the Forerunners, the beeings that built the Halos, but the information was scarse and fragmented and left you wishing for more crumbs.
Well, this book is not about crumbs, consider it a full loaf (in a good sense).
Cutting away from everything about the current Halo Universe, it's set back thousand of years in the past and tells the story of the misterious forerunners. It links to the crumbs we get on Halo 3 and it explains the behaviour of Guilty Spark on the original Halo game when meeting the Master Chief for the first time.
This all said, this is a must have for any Halo fan.
If you are new to the universe of Halo and have never heard of or played any of the games it still stands solidly as a good Sci-Fi book. You are not required to understand or know the Halo universe, knowing it will allow you to correlate some things, but as I already said, it's not necessary. It stands on its own as a great story about the fall and rise of star faring species.
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on 17 November 2013
I have never played the game, nor read any of the books. In fact, I know nothing at all about Halo, except there is a lot of stuff out there. When I saw that Greg Bear had written what I think is a prequel, I thought that would be a good point to start - do the prequels, and then move on to what, I suppose is the main course; the books that have been around from the beginning.

It certainly inhabits a different world and I am not sure whether any of the characters, or indeed life forms make it through to the later books, but I enjoyed how they were all fleshed out. The settings are described in detail, albeit from a mostly alien perspective, and you soon come to inhabit that world and take interest in the characters and what happens to them. This book certainly focuses on the young Forerunner and, as I start book two, I see that other characters are coming to the fore.

I really enjoyed this book and on the strength of it, I have downloaded 2 and 3.

My only, slight gripe, is to do with the odd typo here and there, particularly near the beginning but that seems to settle down.
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on 11 April 2013
Halo: Cryptum is about the origins of the Didact. This book introduces the characters central to the continuing plot of Halo - the Forerunner race, and the Precursor race. These two races are the future, and in some ways the past (without spoiling Primordium) of the Halo franchise, and therefore are vital to anyone wanting to fully understand the Halo plot. Greg Bear does a fantastic job at introducing the series here and leaving it on a cliffhanger that will instantly make you want the second part (imagine how this felt for those of us who had to wait eighteen months to get the next part of the story!). This book is followed by Primordium - read this after too to enhance your knowledge and for your own enjoyment because it is just so fantastically written! This is then followed by the conclusion, Silentium, which is the best conclusion to a trilogy I have ever read! Go for it! :)
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on 23 January 2011
This is an absolute must for all Halo fans, it weaves a lot of information regarding forerunners, halo and humans (some of which was quite surprising) into excellent story line that is very compelling.

Having now completed reading the book I consider it one of the best written and entertaining of the series so far. I am looking forward to the next two parts of the trilogy, just hope we are not made to wait too long.
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