Halo: Silentium Book Review
Posted on Thursday, May 9 @ 11:19:01 PST by Keri_HoneaThe Forerunner Saga, heralded by Greg Bear, has been a rather uneasy ride. The first two books, Cryptum and Primordium, were literally a chore to get through. They were a bit of tiresome struggle to trudge through until their shocking revelations at the very ends, particularly the origins of Guilty Spark 343. Fortunately, Silentium wasn't half the battle of its predecessors and was fairly entertaining throughout. At long last, now we know exactly what happened to the Forerunners, how the Didact went as insane as he did, and how the Librarian ensured the humans' survival above all else. It's not a fitting prequel for the entire Halo series however, but it's an excellent post-read after completing Halo 4.
Silentium starts off at the end of Cryptum and Chakas' tale on the Halo installation in Primordium. Instead of being told through the perspective of one character, as in the previous books, Silentium is featured as a series of testimonies given by the Didact, Bornstellar, the Librarian, and a couple of the Catalogs who are gathering their testimonies for Forerunner history and lore. Initially, the timeline jumps around quite a bit as each Forerunner gives their perspective on unique events that happened after the Didact was released from his cryptum and during the thousand years he was exiled in his cryptum. After the Didact's story of being sent into a Burn—a system completely lost to the Flood—thanks to the Master Builder, the testimonies start to line up, which happens to also mark the beginning of the end of the Forerunner race.
If you have read Cryptum and were confused at how the Didact that we saw in Halo 4 could be the same Didact in this first book, this question has been answered. In fact, nearly every question one could have as to what happened to the Forerunners, the Didact, why the Halos were placed as they were, and how the humans could have survived the ensuing catastrophe, is answered.
While Silentium is definitely the best of the bunch, the story of the Forerunners is still not a very riveting one. As such, all mild enthusiastis of the Halo series should strictly avoid it. Only the crazy, diehard fans of the Halo story will be able to stick through the trilogy until the end, and even then, I have to ask myself if learning everything I have has been worth the struggle. I enjoyed having all of my questions answered, but these books were a slow and painful way to learn the truth. I'm ready for the last book of the Kilo Five trilogy any day now.
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