Monday, January 9, 2012
Review: Halo: Cryptum
Halo: Cryptum tells the story of the Forerunners and reveals the origins of the Halo structures as well as a surprising connection between the human race and the Forerunners. The story is told from the perspective of a young Forerunner named Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting (Born for short) and revolves around his journey into adulthood while he gets entangled in the events that will eventually lead to the disappearance of the entire Forerunner race.
Halo: Cryptum is a character-driven story that relies more on narrative than action to explore life in Forerunner society as their race reaches a turning point while having to face their greatest peril. I enjoyed the coming of age story of Bornstellar as he is forced to grow up. His journey is not an easy one, but he still faces it with courage and a distinctive determination. There is one very poignant moment when he finally comprehends the impact of what the Forerunners had done to ensure their dominance in the galaxy. At that moment he realizes that his life is forever altered and that he can never return to his childhood innocence no matter how strongly he yearns for it. Bornstellar’s two human companions, Chakas and Riser, also undergo tremendous personal changes especially when they are faced with the reality of what has been done to them and what their race has lost at the hands of the Forerunners.
Since this is the first novel in the Forerunner saga it’s largely used to lay the groundwork for the rest of the novels. Things started off quite slowly, but the pace picks up nicely as the story progresses. There are lots of startling revelations along the way and the twist at the end caught me entirely by surprise. I can’t wait to get my hands on Halo: Primordium to see what happens next.
I enjoyed Halo: Cryptum far more than I expected. The writing is well done and the Halo universe makes for a vibrant and captivating setting. This would be a great starting point for newcomers since it’s essentially the story of how it all began. Long-time Halo fans won’t be disappointed either and will finally get some answers to lots of burning questions. Definitely recommended!
The Rating: 7.5/10 (Very Good)
Thanks to Kelly from Pan Macmillan S.A. for providing the review copy.