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Publisher's Summary

As kids, the three of them were inseparable; as soldiers, they were torn apart. Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago fought alongside Dom's elder brother Carlos at Aspho Fields in the epic battle that changed the course of the Pendulum Wars. There's a new war to fight now, a war for mankind's very survival. But while the last human stronghold on Sera braces itself for another onslaught from the Locust Horde, ghosts come back to haunt Marcus and Dom.

For Marcus - decorated war hero and convicted traitor - the return of an old comrade threatens to dredge up an agonizing secret he has sworn to keep. As the beleaguered Gears of the Coalition of Ordered Governments take a last stand to save mankind from extermination, the harrowing decisions made at Aspho Fields have to be relived and made again. Marcus and Dom can take anything the Locust Horde throws at them, but will their friendship survive the truth about Carlos Santiago?

©2008 Epic Games Inc.; (P)2009 Tantor

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  • Overall
  • tomas
  • phoenix, AZ, United States
  • 06-17-11

LOTS OF DEPTH FOR GEARHEADS

obviously this book advances the story. but what it does even better is gives much needed background for the characters. finding out about dom's brother and the bond that marcus had/has with the brothers, seeing dom is as loyal as can possibly be.. hoffman, baird and cole! cole is a beast! good stuff all over this book. the only drawback is the reader doesn't capture is as well as he could've. a lil too monotone sometimes, not enough emphasis.......

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Don
  • CLEARWATER, FLORIDA, United States
  • 05-01-15

Be a careful listener complex storylines

This is the first book in the gears of war story line therefore it is covering a lot of ground. The story telling is not linear it is building background and current state situations for the characters as found in the game. Be Prepared to listen to some sections over again as the author intertwines historical situations. ( expository dialogue )fashion to build the familiar characters for the main story. It's a very good story. I have enjoyed this authors other books I look forward to the next chapter of the gears of war story line.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Novelation Bridging the first 2 games

You can get a pretty good sense of the kind of people these characters are in the game, but this book shows exactly why they’re the way they are. This exploration of their lives and character made me wish that I could’ve given this a higher rating than I did, but there were a few issues that I had with it. As a gamer who loves gaming lore, I really enjoyed the meat this story added, but as a reviewer, I have to think about other things aside from how much I love Dominic.

For people who are reading this book and haven’t played the games, this will be sorely lacking in some respects in regards to detail. The book assumes that readers already know what things, such as a “Boomer” or a “Grub,” look like and gives very little to go on as far as description. I only really saw a problem with her describing the Locust Horde. Well, I take that back. She was a vague with people as well. You might get some identifying details like knowing Baird is blonde or Marcus has blue eyes or Taliso has tribal tattoos on his scalp, but mostly, if you’re not familiar with the games, you’re left to your own imagination or Googling these people.

The author seems to assume that all her readers are people who–at the very least–know of the games, which is a fair assumption and I’m sure a large portion of her readers are familiar with the series. Still, a little description would’ve been nice, just to see how she’d describe some of these things with words, even if I can already picture them in my head. Also, there are some people who like to read about video games, even if they don’t actually play them, and some people just happen to pick these books up randomly without being aware they’re based on games. However, in other respects, her attention to detail is masterful, especially when describing firefights.

I think the blurb for this book asking if Marcus and Dom’s friendship will survive the truth behind Carlos’ death was a bit overdramatic, as well. I was expecting something earth shattering to surround the circumstances of Carlos’ death. However, that situation is very anticlimactic in terms of what I was expecting versus what the book eventually revealed. When it was all said and done, I felt deflated, thinking, “Really? This is the friendship breaking secret?” I mean, true, you never know how people will react to certain news, but fiction needs to make sense where reality doesn’t. And I just couldn’t see these “revelations” being the make or break of their friendship.

In fact, I don’t think that was limited to just Carlos’ role at Aspho Fields. It seemed like Traviss tried too hard to make things that feel insignificant in the grand scheme seem important. I feel like much of the tension that she tried to create between Dom and Marcus regarding Aspho Fields and even Marcus’ imprisonment was a bit grasping. These men have too much history together and too much brotherly love for one another for me to believe that the simple problems presented in this book could actually tear them apart. These things didn’t challenge their solid friendship, and any reader could probably understand from the history of their friendship presented here that these fears are really a nonissue.

The narration was just okay. I don’t think that David Colacci was the best choice for this book. His voice had a way of making things sound shallow, especially when he tried to voice characters like Cole. I absolutely could not stand the way he voiced Cole or the South Islanders. I had the hardest time not laughing during Cole’s dialogue while listening to this. I liked how he voiced the Pesanga, though. He did women okay, too. In fact, that’s when the narration felt most natural–while he was speaking as a woman. It just felt like he should be narrating something very different, not a military science fiction novel set in such a depressing world.

I think my mistake was “listening” to this instead of just reading it, so I don’t know if I can really fault the narrator. I already have a collection of voices in my head for each character because I’m familiar with the media it stems from, and of course, the narrator can’t sound exactly like the characters do in the game. I guess I should cut the narrator a little slack with that in mind. However, I may just read the subsequent books instead of listening to them. I think that would allow for a better overall reading experience for me.

I really loved that this book explored Marcus and Dom’s lives and the events that shaped them into the soldiers and people they are. Don’t take that to mean that this story is in any means slow. Much of this book is as intense as the games, following the characters through tense situations and battles. The tone and pacing of this book fits very well with its game counterpart without sacrificing the story. You learn about the characters, but you also get a good taste of the action they’ve had to live through for most of their lives. Even in those moments that seem like nothing but nonstop action, you learn so much about these characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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good book

the only draw back was trying to keep track of were in the gears line it came in.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Pedro
  • Aberdeen, SD, USA
  • 06-19-10

A book that fans can't miss

I'm a Gears fan and I can say that now I became a bigger fan. This story is funny, intence and emotional, here you will know why Marcus and Dominic are so close friends. The impersonation of the characters as the way they are in the games is really good and I have to say the voice he uses for Bernie is outstanding, is my favorite. Guys this is a really good book and I can't wait to listen the next one.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Add much depth to the game.

Karen Traviss does a terrific job writing as does David Colacci narrating this book.

I played the video game and then found out about the book and got it simply for more background to the story. The only negative point about the book was the bouncing around from present to past, as the listener can become confused.

I can only hope that Mr. Colacci narrates the second book as well, as he did a great job.
Can hardly wait for the next book to come out is Audio Book form.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great story! David Colacci on the other hand...

I don't know if it's just from playing the games and hearing how the voice actors handle their characters or what, but Colacci made it hard to listen to at times with his monotone voice and terrible attempts with accents. Especially tough when he makes everyone sound like little girls regardless of age and gender. Other than that the story was fantastic and Traviss did an excellent job at writing based just off concept art for the games. Great book nonetheless!

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10/10

Fantastic book brought to life with a wonderful performance! I am so impressed with how great David Colacci is.

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Not bad at all!

I read the novel years ago and loved it. The only gripe I have is that the narrator mispronounces "Jacinto". It's a hard "J". But other than that, he did a great job!

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wow. just wow.

finished all the games. just finished the 1st book. on to the 2nd. narrator was great. was awesome learning want what happened to Carlos and Helena. The detail was phenomenal. hats off to you Karen traviss.