Halo: Primordium: Book Two of the Forerunner Saga Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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“. . . shocking, heart-rending, soul-tearing. . .” --Kirkus Reviews
“Tiger's Curse is magical!” --Becca Fitzpatrick, New York Times bestselling author of Hush, Hush
About the Author
Greg Bear is the author of more than thirty books of science fiction and fantasy, including Hull Zero Three, City at the End of Time, Eon, Moving Mars, Mariposa, and Quantico. He is married to Astrid Anderson Bear and is the father of Erik and Alexandra. Awarded two Hugos and five Nebulas for his fiction, one of two authors to win a Nebula in every category, Bear has been called the "Best working writer of hard science fiction" by "The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Science Fiction." His stories have been collected into an omnibus volume by Tor Books. Bear has served on political and scientific action committees and has advised both government agencies and corporations on issues ranging from national security to private aerospace ventures to new media and video game development. His recent endeavors include a long-term collaboration with Neal Stephenson and the Subutai Corporation on The Mongoliad, an interactive serial novel available on multiple platforms, including iPhone, iPad, and Kindle.
Narrator Timothy Dadabo is the voice of Forerunner Monitor 343 Guilty Spark in the Halo video games.
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Top Customer Reviews
The monitor contains Chakas' memories and proceeds to describe Chakas memories of his life and what happened to him after the battle at the end of book one.
Along the way the device tells a story that at times the science team finds hard to believe except that some key pieces of information match that from other sources
Chakas story starts with his regaining consciousness on a planet. He was ejected from the Forerunner ship and landed in a protective pod. What he thought was a planet turns out to be a HALO over 30,000 miles in diameter. The people are barely surviving on the HALO and there are experiments being done on them in a place called the Palace of Pain.
Chakas meets Vinnevra and her grandfather called Gamelpar. They had rescued him from his life pod. They are soon exploring the Halo as it not safe where they are and Chakas wants to find Riser. Vinnevra's inner gaes give her guidance where to go, and their journey begins.
It also becomes evident that a planet is heading straight for the HALO which starts to affect the HALO and makes the journey undertaken by Chakras even more tennous.
Greg Bear weaves an intriguing tale as Chakras tells his story of exploring the HALO and of actually meeting a Precursor. The story starts to clarify the Precursor / Forerunner conflict and the Floods connection to it all.Read more ›
All in all its a good book, but just like cryptum, it feels a little too "alien", with too little visual reference for the readers. For most of us, all we know about the forerunners comes from their architecture and the short glimpse at them in the halo legends anime, and I found that to be quite off setting.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I would NOT suggest this book if you have not read Cryptum, and I would NOT suggest reading it if you are not that into the extended fiction. This series does NOT feature the Covenant or UNSC, but the earlier factions (forrunner, ancient humans, flood). It is not paced like The Fall of Reach, or Ghosts of Onyx. Therefore, it may not be enjoyable because this series is building the set for Halo 4 - not any of the previous games and some people fail to realize that.
If you are looking for more "Halo 2-3" style stories, you should read Halo: Evolutions.
This book takes place starting at an event roughly two-thirds of the way through Cryptum, when everyone has been captured by the Master Builder. Somehow, Chakas and Riser have been misplaced in a chaotic situation and end up on a rogue Halo installation, now under the control of the mysterious Primordial and the rampant AI Mendicant Bias. The story is told through Chakas' viewpoint, and chronicles his journey alongside companions new and old across the surface of this great ringworld, in excruciating detail. It's a VERY interesting story and quite compelling at times. There are tons of genuinely fascinating concepts, ideas, events, and characters dotting the landscape of this story. The actual events and revelations are truly great and some are even moving. It's not perfect though. Characters' moods and emotions will sometimes change on a dime for seemingly no reason, and it feels at times like there's little genuine character development, which is a shame after Cryptum did such a good job at that.
Much like Cryptum, Bear really captures the essence of the main character, and his viewpoint of the world becomes our own in the story. Because of that though, I find that the story in Primordium has almost no structure. The perspective is firmly focused on Chakas, what happens to him, and what he thinks about everything happening, but the narrative of the book never has any structure that really tells you what is happening in the overall "Forerunner Trilogy" big picture. You have to figure it out yourself in many parts. The characters have no destination in mind, are confused for most of the book as to what to do or where to go, and trust me, you'll share those feelings of confusion and uncertainty. I'm not sure if that was a purposeful narrative decision by Greg Bear, and I'm also not certain of whether or not it's a good thing. When you add in the ancestral imprints by the Librarian, who are practically characters unto themselves, and you've got another layer of complication. Another side-effect of seeing the world through Chakas' eyes is that, because pretty much everything outside of Earth is foreign and mysterious to Chakas, descriptions of almost everything are really confusing and nonsensical. Bornstellar at least understood what Forerunner tech was and how it worked and so did we as readers, even if we didn't understand all of its inner-workings, we at could at least understand what function it had and what it did. Chakas has no clue as to even that, so encounters with, for example, Forerunner cities or transport trains on Halo, are confusing to even figure out how to imagine what it looks like in our minds.
I find that this book suffers from the issues that Cryptum had, but much, much more so. Many of the important revelations in the story are buried and almost lost in tons and tons of exposition that focuses on minute and completely unimportant details. It's no exaggeration to say that for every page of genuinely compelling development in the overall narrative, there's anywhere from 7-10 pages of, for narrative purposes, useless information that merely extends the story's mass. Tons of effort went into describing minute details of every landscape they came across, the smallest details of landmarks such as a tree or a structure, and things like that. Then, huge moments, such as encounters with the Primordial or Mendicant Bias, flash by in just a few pages. Thankfully, all of the exposition is still focused on fascinating things, such as the Halo's landscape and innerworkings, as well as the countless people all inhabiting the Halo. Even if it is "fluff," it's still pretty interesting to take in. Personally, I don't mind more pensive, meandering novels (I loved Xenocide, which was much the same way) and so I liked most of Primordium myself despite all the "fluff." I can't deny that this book definitely has a ton of build-ups without enough pay-off to justify it though, and sometimes the overall narrative gets buried by all the fluff. Really, all of the pivotal information could be condensed into a short-story ranging anywhere from 100-180 pages and still be good. Who knows?
This book is genuinely compelling, its overall story is quite interesting if not confusing to patch together at times, and has a lot of interesting revelations at a pivotal, but small event in the Forerunner-Flood war.Personally, I found it hard to put the book down a lot of the time, but after finishing it, I recognize its flaws and some can be glaring. There's a lot of mind-blowing revelations in this book, and some of the pay-offs, while not given nearly as much page-space as the build ups, are truly spectacular. I just find that this book is not as good as Cryptum. I understand that Bear was given strict instructions by 343 Industries about what details to include to give us tantalizing hints at what's to come in Halo 4, but also plenty of details to exclude, so as to keep Halo 4 surprising and compelling when we finally play it. I understand that, but sometimes in the name of keeping on this strict narrative schedule, this book suffered a bit. Silentium seems poised to answer all questions that the first two books left unanswered (released a couple months after Halo 4 of course. Gotta keep that schedule. :P). It was hard for me to rate this book, but despite its problems, I enjoyed it. If you are a massive Halo fan like I am, then this is a good book to get, but it will also take some effort to get into and understand, not to mention patience to keep up with it. I hope that helps. Thank you and good day. :)
What follows is a very enthralling story that develops Chakas as a character and reveals layer after layer of the Human/Forerunner relations and the events that have led up to book 1, Halo Cryptum.
We learn more of the war between Humans and Forerunners and get glimpses into the Flood and the mysterious Captive (from book 1) and their impact in the Universe.
This isn't an action or plot oriented book. Its about discovery and mythology. If you don't have patience for character and story then this book will probably bore you. If you are interested in the mythology of the Halo Universe then you will be delighted. Greg Bear blows the doors open and fills the Halo Universe with depth and countless possibilities.
I tore through this book eager for each bit of tantalizing mythology that would be revealed. Slowly, the world is opened up to us, not in blatant exposition but rather along side Chakas as he catches glimpses into his own genetic past the mysteries of the Flood, the Geas implanted by the Librarian, the Forerunner/Human War and war currently taking place.
This book is very important in understanding the place of Humans in this universe and definitely worth the read.
You have been warned...
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