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Halo: Cryptum: Book One of the Forerunner Saga Paperback – Sep 13 2011

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Halo: Cryptum: Book One of the Forerunner Saga + Halo: Primordium: Book Two of the Forerunner Saga + Halo: Silentium
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (Sept. 13 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765330040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765330048
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.4 x 20.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


“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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By fastreader TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 17 2012
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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By tim halligan on Aug. 10 2014
Format: Paperback
Fan so the book is great. Great seller and delivery service. Thanks.
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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: 249 reviews
73 of 83 people found the following review helpful
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
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
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!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great Halo book, beginning is kind of rough Feb. 7 2011
By Erik Oleson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's hard to relate to the first-person narrative of an alien in the first chapter. I found myself confused between each human species and it's kind of hard to get a bearing on the surroundings. The names of everything in the novel so far seem outlandish, like they're stripped straight from a sci-fi novel about magic and dragons. I liked Halo because it strayed away from that side of it all - it used common terms to describe each facet of the universe, not "K'tamanune", or "Djamonkin Augh" to describe the name of an island. It did NOT feel like Halo in the beginning, but if you stay the course, you will be rewarded.

The end of the book is simply phenomenal. There are a lot of sentences that give SO much information while simultaneously going about the plot that it gets hard to keep up. I'm definitely going to read it again though. I am amazed at the level of detail, and this book alone has revitalized my thirst for Halo lore. I am usually very skeptical, and when I had heard of the book's release, I thought to myself, "What on earth could be so interesting about the forerunners and their plight? 343 has a long way to go to impress me with more Halo stuff."

I stand corrected in my criticism. Simply a great read, and full of life and vitality that the Halo franchise needed IMO. I would give the book 9/10, simply because the author's style and pacing takes some getting used to in the beginning.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Five stars for pure guts Jan. 10 2011
By Michigoon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If anyone out there is still complaining that video game novels are doomed to be lackluster due to their constricted subject matter, then you know those people haven't read Cryptum. This is an audacious work, that will so surpass any fan's expectations that you'll look back and be amazed at how you probably didn't dare to dream nearly as big as this author does.

The central theme of Cryptum seems to be just how far Bear can make your jaw drop, from startling revelations to beautiful prose. It's almost impossible to talk about any of the plot without revealing major spoilers, because there is just so much going on here. That's not to say the book is overly complicated, because Cryptum is told with a clear narrative that keeps you walking in the characters' shoes every step of the way. Nor is the plot itself that complicated at all- the early chapters involve some characters doing little more than literally walking and talking.

But the details- wow. Here's some tidbits:
-Revelations regarding the origin of humanity. Humankind have a secret history, and Bear's the first to tell it.
-Massive revelations regarding the Forerunners. Bear does a wonderful job providing detail while keeping this ancient race shrouded in mystery.
-An absolute upturning of everything you thought you knew about the Halo universe. There's just so much more behind everything you see in the games, that you never knew until now.

This is a book that you just have to read. Even if you've never played Halo games before, Bear is an incredible author and I'd highly recommend this book to most readers from the quality of the writing. The story is equal parts science fiction and fantasy, adventure and drama. I'll have to re-read this work a few times before I'm willing to classify it as a modern classic, but it's right up there. If you've ever read a book about a heroic journey and liked it, odds are you'll enjoy Cryptum.

Bravo, Greg Bear, for truly transcending the "based on a video game" genre and creating something so astoundingly original.