- Release Date:2011-01-04
- In-universe Date:100,000 BC
- Series:Forerunner Saga
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.
Greg Bear is a Hugo and Nebula award winning author, and although this might not be the best of his writing, he certainly lends his genius to what is already a rich and detailed universe.
Cryptum is different from any of the other Halo books, primarily because it takes place 100,000 years before the events of the video games. Therefore there is very little Earth culture to drawn on. It’s a completely different Earth, a different universe, with the only common familiar elements being the Halos themselves and our own solar system. This, however, is what Greg Bear excels at. His ability to craft a completely different and new culture is impressive. The Forerunner race seems advanced to an extreme degree but still seems a believable culture.
The book also has a nice mix of giving you enough information to keep you intrigued and holding back enough to keep you reading. If you are familiar with the Halo Franchise there is enough of ta connection to make you very interested in learning about the history of the Halo universe. If you are not familiar with the Halo universe it will still appeal as an excellent and original seeming science fiction.
The only complaint I have is that the book seems a bit impersonal. Even though it is written in the first person, the main character thinks very differently from you or I. He is not even human. The similarities between Forerunners and Humans do exist but it is still different and gives the reader a distanced perspective.
Overall however, Halo: Cryptum is a great addition to the Halo universe. It provides a depth and diversity to an already great and growing franchise.