Halo Silentium is a thrilling ride, an excellent finish to Greg Bear's Forerunner trilogy.
It answered many burning questions, some that have lingered since Halo Combat Evolved. And other more recent questions brought about from Halo 4. Silentium does an excellent job at tying up the loose ends from the Forerunner trilogy, leaving very little to question. However, at the same time events that unfold open up new realms of possibilities for the future of Halo.
The forerunner saga, and specifically this novel, does an excellent job connecting the old with the new. Without going into spoiler territory, connections between this book, the original Halo trilogy, and Halo 4 are numerous. Mainly, most of what is seen in Halo 4's terminals is played out in Silentium albeit somewhat off screen.
Bear's Forerunner and Human characters are excellently portrayed. It can be a bit confusing at times as to who is speaking, so pay attention at the beginning of each chapter. It names the character through whose perspective you will be seeing events unfold. Bear does do some explaining of character's backgrounds. However, to get the full impact of their stories read Cryptum and Primordium first.
Some sections of the narrative require a bit of patience as Bear explains Forerunner and Precursor scientific concepts. One must read these parts carefully to get a grasp of how advanced and expansive the science behind Halo really is. This may be a turn off to some people, but for others provide better understanding of this universe.
Some early and middle sections of Silentium feel kind of slow and inconsequential. However, keep reading as it all fits together nicely. When you are done reading, enter those symbols found in the Chapter headings on the Xbox version of Halo waypoint, and you will be treated to an epilogue read by Greg Bear. This is a wonderful treat that provides further closure to the Forerunner saga, and offers hints as to what may come in Halo's future. However, it should have been included in print as not everyone will know to access this epilogue.
Overall, Halo Silentium is a wonderful piece of science fiction that fits perfectly within the Halo universe. While the story holds its own, reading the previous two installments, watching Halo 4’s terminals and listening to the epilogue will give the reader a much better understanding and fuller appreciation of the universe that author Greg Bear has created.
Halo Silentium released March 19th and is now available for perchance in Hardcover and ebook.