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Halo: Cryptum: Book One of the Forerunner Saga [Paperback]

Greg Bear
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.50
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Book Description

Sept. 13 2011 Halo (Tor Paperback) (Book 1)

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 is their story.

Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting is a young rebellious Forerunner. He is a Manipular, untried--yet to become part of the adult Forerunner society, where vast knowledge and duty waits. He comes from a family of Builders, the Forerunners’ highest and most politically powerful rate. It is the Builders who create the grand technology that facilitates Forerunner dominance over the known universe.  It is the Builders who believe they must shoulder the greatest burden of the Mantle--as shepherds and guardians of all life.

Bornstellar is marked to become a great Builder just like his father.

But this Manipular has other plans. 

He is obsessed with lost treasures of the past. His reckless passion to seek out the marvelous artifacts left behind by the Precursors--long-vanished superbeings of unknowable power and intent---forces his father’s hand.

Bornstellar is sent to live among the Miners, where he must come to terms with where his duty truly lies.

But powerful forces are at play.  Forerunner society is at a major crux. Past threats are once again proving relentless. Dire solutions--machines and strategies never before contemplated--are being called up, and fissures in Forerunner power are leading to chaos.

On a Lifeworker’s experimental planet, Bornstellar’s rebellious course crosses the paths of two humans, and the long lifeline of a great military leader, forever changing Bornstellar’s destiny …and the fate of the entire galaxy.

This is a tale of life, death, intergalactic horror, exile, and maturity. It is a story of overwhelming change--and of human origins.  For the Mantle may not lie upon the shoulders of Forerunners forever.   


Frequently Bought Together

Halo: Cryptum: Book One of the Forerunner Saga + Halo: Primordium: Book Two of the Forerunner Saga + Halo: Glasslands
Price For All Three: CDN$ 40.80


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“Evokes brutally and skillfully the violently numb condition of his alter ego.” (The Times (London) )

“As we trawl with him through deadbeat and dead-end jobs, this unsettling novel is haunted by the spectre of Charles Bukowski.” (The Times (London) )

“Moments which brush the genius of Bukowski and Hubert Selby.” (Elle (France) )

“It gives an honest misfit’s view of America far too few know.” (John Fowles )

“A truly great American novel.” (Scotland on Sunday )

“Dan Fante’s novel does an excellent job of delivering this tale of depraved despair with a steady one-two-punch rhythm that hurts like hell while still being impossible to put down.” (Sacramento Book Review ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Bruno Dante has fled Los Angeles for New York City. With its cold, hard edge, it's his kind of town. . . . But the string of deadbeat temporary telemarketing gigs is getting to Bruno and the steady work he can stand is hard to come by. Bruno's trying everything: hotel night manager, window cleaner, and cab driver, all the while punctuating his unsatisfying employment experiments with meaningless affairs and intense drinking binges. Then something totally unexpected pops up and Bruno finds himself in a position to act responsibly, to start writing again, and to get his life back on track. But like his drinking, screwing up might be a habit that's too deeply ingrained to shake.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By fastreader TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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 technology lies waiting to be discovered.

Bornstellar finds two humans that are willing to take him to a special place that is hidden from direct site either on land or from the air.

There the young Forerunner activates an ancient cryptum that contains a warrior who has been asleep for over a thousand years.

Soon Bornstellar and his two human guides are on a ship with the warrior and on their way to stop a plot to destroy the centre of Forerunner Technology. Along the way Bornstellar is linked to the warrior as he mutates to a higher state in the Forerunner hierarchy.

Great forces are at odds with the Forerunner political elite and we are introduced to not only Halo and what they were created for, but also the background to the Flood, and the Ark.

This book is a great start to describing in more detail how the Forerunner dominance of space occurred and who their enemies were.

I can't wait to get a copy of the second book which came out this month (January 2012)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars Aug. 10 2014
Format:Paperback
Fan so the book is great. Great seller and delivery service. Thanks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story! for all Halo fans its a MUST HAVE Sept. 22 2011
Format:Hardcover
I wasn't too sure comfortable with the story at the beginning, since its a Forerunner telling the story. But after a while it becomes really really interesting, I can't wait for the second to come out! I recommend it to all Halo fans! it answers many questions and it raises a lot more !!! you'll be hooked for life on the Halo Universe!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  235 reviews
72 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Begninning of what looks to be a very interesting expansion of Halo lore Jan. 5 2011
By Ross Bragg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Greg Bear has a peculiar style, a sense of jumping right into the action and explaining later. Granted, I've only read Eon and Slant, but his peculiar take and writerly skill (apologies to Eric Nylund, but Bear is better at what he does) lends a feel more at home in Hard SF than MilSF. It works, too- Cryptum is an enthralling read and an extremely worthy expansion to the lore of the Halo universe.

In what reads like a last confession, Bear puts the reader in the shoes of Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting, a rebellious young Manipular who will advance to become a Builder, one who will be responsible for the grandest of Forerunner constructs. His journey rapidly morphs into one on which hinges the fate of the Forerunner civilization and galactic life itself. Bear draws his characters from the Terminals found on the Ark in Halo 3- Mendicant Bias, the Didact, and the Librarian all make appearances- and helps to put those in context, along with astonishing revaluations about the origin and history of humanity and the Prophets (San 'Shyuum as they are referred to in the novel) their earlier interactions with the Forerunners, and the origins of the Flood.

It's nice to have a non-militarySF take on the Halo universe, and doubly so to have that voice be Greg Bear's. Anyone who wants to get started on what's looking to be an excellent trilogy would be well-served to pick up this book.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars short and sweet Jan. 13 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having grown accustomed to the tomes of Frank Herbert and Dan Simmons, Cryptum was a blink in comparison. That's not to say that it was bad however; quite the contrary. Being a connoisseur of Halo fiction, I can say with confidence the writing here is easily on a level all its own. Bear attempts to elevate Halo to a certain quality of literary fiction I've felt was long overdue for material with so much promise. Does he succeed? Almost. Maybe the action-centricity of Halo is too ingrained; maybe the story was just too short, but the personal quest didn't quite work for me. I can only report with surety that I never quite got the grandiose action I was hoping for, nor the deeply moving introspective revelation I was craving. Just when it was getting really good it ended. But of course this is to be a trilogy, so hold off on the judgements.

As a novel on its own merits, good but not great. As part 1 of a scifi opera, a very auspicious beginning. If you're a fan of Halo's fiction, this is the payoff to your dedication and the best reason thus for why we do what we do. With any luck part 2 will be something akin to Empire Strikes Back in its personal grandeur. I'm of the opinion Bear has the talent.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I read as a Greg Bear Fan, not a Halo Fan: loved it! Nov. 28 2011
By John L. Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am a fan of both Greg Bear and Halo. I've never read any of the Halo fiction, and my interest in the universe never extended beyond the games (which I've played Halo / 2 / 3 / Reach / ODST). When I saw Greg Bear had a book I'd not read, I *had* to get it and read it, even though it happened to be Halo-related: I tend to stay away from game / tv fiction.

I was immediately at home with the writing. Like many of Bear's books, the story unfolds without much explanation, you're instantly immersed in the world. Despite knowing a fair amount about the Halo universe, most everything in this book was new to me. It's set well before the Halo games, and has more to do with the Forerunners and the Precursors than anything else. These races are almost mythical in the game, discussed only tangentially.

The story unfolds through the eyes of a young forerunner, eager to explore the universe for reasons of his own. Although it starts a little slowly, this lets you get at least a preliminary bearing in the universe. From there the story unfolds, and the relevance to the Halo universe becomes more clear.

I found the characters interesting, as well as the technology, and the mythology of the universe. The story unfolds in a way which almost makes me forget it's based on the Halo game universe. To me, this is a Good thing.

If you're not a fan of immersive science fiction (jumping straight into the universe without much in the way of explanations), this will probably be a hard read for you. If you DO like that sort of fiction, however, and you like Bear's other works, you'll be in heaven. And, even if you hate Halo, if you're a fan of some of Bear's other works, I suspect you will be quite happy to read this book.

Personally, I loved it and I'm happy we own a copy!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely forgetful May 23 2013
By M. Holden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I finished reading this book and had to consult Wikipedia to find out what it was I just read. There is something about Bear's writing that bores the snot out of me to the point where I have no idea what I'm reading. I've read two of his books (including this one) and they've both been incredibly dull, and I have no plan to read any more books that he's written. I only finished this because I cannot start a book and not finish it, but I have no problem not reading the next two of the trilogy. I'll consult Wikipedia to find out what happens, and while I'm there, I'll figure out what was in this book too. If you've ever read a Greg Bear book and got bored, this is absolutely NOT for you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Almost forgot that this was a Halo book though Nov. 7 2012
By Jimmy Kim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An excellent installment in the Haloverse though a little vague and disconnected to what we are accustomed to. A little softer and gentle compared the constant actions and hyper descriptions of the other books.

I read this once over and in first impressions did not like the book because of how different and brief it was but then I reread it and realized the impact and subtly it had compared to the others and then began to thoroughly enjoy this new direction of the Halo world.

The book itself is thick but the pages are thick and the words big. You will breeze through this book in about a day or two.

I am a DEEP Nylund fan but I can also be a Bear fan too. I am looking forward to purchasing the next few books to this series.
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