Ten years after Emergence Day, as the Locust Horde advances on humanity’s last defended area -Ephyra - in a bloody war that has seen billions die, Marcus Fenix does the unthinkable: he defies orders and abandons his post during a critical battle in a bid to rescue his father, weapons scientist Adam Fenix. But Adam is buried in the rubble during a ferocious assault on the Fenix mansion, and Ephyra falls to the enemy. Marcus, grieving for a father everyone believes is dead, is court-martialed for dereliction of duty and sentenced to forty years in the Coalition of Ordered Government’s brutal maximum security prison, known simply as the Slab.
But Adam is very much alive, snatched from the destruction by the elite Onyx Guard on Chairman Richard Prescott’s orders. He’s now a long way from home and in a prison of his own - a COG doomsday bunker on the tropical island of Azura, a place hidden from the rest of Sera since the Pendulum Wars. His own guilty secret has been exposed: Adam knew the Locust existed deep below the surface of Sera long before Emergence Day, and were being driven from their tunnels by a lethal parasite known as the Lambent. Now he has to find a way to destroy the Lambent while the dwindling COG forces fight to hold back a growing Locust army that’s threatening to overrun the city. As Adam struggles to find redemption in his comfortable island jail, Marcus seeks his own atonement in the squalid, closed world within the Slab’s granite walls. While Dom Santiago and Anya Stroud fight to get him released, ready to make any sacrifice to free him, Marcus gradually finds unexpected kinship among Sera’s most dangerous criminals - and a way to carry on his personal war against the Locust.
©2012 Karen Traviss (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
David Colacci is one of my favorite readers to listen to. He does such a great job with this book and all the others.
Management consultant, video game player, avid reader of all types of books, and happily married father of four. I'll read just about anything, from Fantasy and SciFi, to mysteries and ChickLit.
If you're a fan of the Gears of War game series on the XBox 360, you'll appreciate Karen Traviss' books to fill in the backstory and to fill the gaps between the games. Written primarily as a prequel to the games, this book fills in the blanks on just why Marcus Fenix was in prison, and what is the relationship between the Locust Queen Myrrah and Adam Fenix, that is alluded to heavily in GoW3. The book ends (unsuprisingly and without spoilers) shortly after Dom frees Marcus from prison, where the first GoW game starts off. How Marcus ended up in prison, how long he was there, and how he ended up there alone, are all answered.
Along the way, Traviss really humanizes these characters. She lets us really see the heart of the brotherly relationship between Marcus and Dom, the repressed feelings between Marcus and Anya, and the complex balance of power between Chairman Richard Prescott, Colonel Hoffman, and Adam Fenix. Along the way, we see the explanation of just why Azura exists.
Unfortunately, there are still many questions left unanswered - who are the sires? Where did the Locust come from? What really happened to Elayn Fenix? Who is Myrrah?
I've seen the internet theories, but I'd like to see this properly explained, the main game series is over now so perhaps its time to fill in the blanks properly. Then again, maybe we'll see some infill games now that will explain this better.
The biggest surprise to me was the humanization of Chairman Prescott. The games leave the impression that he's just a power-mad jerk, but this book really shows us that he's doing the best he can in an impossible and hopeless situation.
I like just about everything Karen Traviss writes - lots of infill, interesting and believable characters, gritty story, etc. Definitely a worthwhile purchase. I can't wait for the next one!
Towards the top.
Marcus. It shows why he is the way he is.
Better than the others.
Even in the Safest Prison in the World. You are still not safe.
This book is a great addition to the lore of Gears of War. I have always wondered what went on in the slab since the very first time I played Gears of War. This book really filled me in on those juicy details. In addition, so many other origin questions are answered in regards to Adam Fenix. This was a great book overall!
I initially was not happy with the narrator but he quickly grew on me, becoming the natural extension for the characters (putting aside the original voice actors).
It flows smoothly into the first game too. Now I find myself wanting to hear more of the story!
Absolutely one of my favorite series ever written, the only thing, and I know it's nit-picky, that I found jarring about the performance, was David Colacci's pronunciation of Jacinto.
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