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Posted by brukaoru
Gears of War: Aspho Fields
Author: Karen Travis
Publisher: Del Rey
Publication Date: October 28, 2008
MSRP: $13.00 (Amazon: $10.40)
ISBN: 9780345499433
Pages: 385

Gears of War: Aspho Fields, written by Karen Travis, tells the story of the tide-turning battle at Aspho Fields during the Pendulum Wars, the seventy nine year war that took place on the planet Sera before E-Day. Marcus Fenix, Dominic Santiago and Dom's elder brother Carlos all fought together at Aspho Fields. Sixteen years later, humanity now fights a new war that threatens to end their very existence against the Locust Horde. With the arrival of a former comrade, the memories of that unforgettable battle are resurfaced for both Marcus and Dom, and a haunting secret that Marcus had sworn to keep is in danger of being unraveled.

Despite being called a prequel, the novel also ties events between the first and second game. The book shifts back and forth from past events to the present, providing a unique way of giving more insight and depth to the characters. In this way, character development is handled extremely well. Readers who are familiar with the main protagonists (based off the games) will not be disappointed in their characterizations because their personalities are kept completely in tact. 

The writing is fluid and concise, there's just enough information presented without being too little or too much, and the right balance is maintained throughout the book. Everything is worth paying attention to, even the tiniest little tidbits of information, nothing is worth skipping over. There is always a situation taking place that engages readers, even non-suspenseful sequences.

Different points of view are taken throughout the book, switching from a first-person to a third-person perspective with various characters. By using a combination of these two perspectives, readers can better understand the current emotions the characters are going through and develop a more personal judgment of the plot.

The amount of build up to the culmination is just right and the events after it fulfills the story very well, all the way up to the conclusion. Although the book ends in a slightly abrupt manner, it sets up the events for Gears of War 2 appropriately.

Any fan of the Gears of War franchise should be interested in reading this, and once they pick it up, they'll have a hard time putting it down. Even though it is relatively short, readers will definitely want to read it over again several times. EPIC Games have already planned for two more novels, all officially tying into the Gears of War universe. If this novel is any indication of what to expect, then the next novels will be a worthwhile wait.
Posted by Sweep

Nice Blog! I ordered a copy of the book yesterday Bru, after you told me it was awesome. I should have it early next week - will let you know what I think. =)

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Posted by AttackedCamo

I feel like I'm all gears-ed out... But I'll atleast check the book out.

Posted by albedos_shadow

I saw this in a bookstore a couple days ago and almost picked it up, I'll probably check it out.

Posted by MasterSplinter

I find it interesting how well video game books are turning out such as the Halo and Mass Effect ones. I'll certainly consider it. Thanks for the recommendation.

Posted by ThomasP

Hopefully the public library will have a copy or one I could order in.

Posted by Tanuki

Reading sucks, just FYI.

Posted by RenegadeSaint

I've never read a game novel, but this sounds interesting.  I'd also like to pick up some of the Halo novels at some point.

Posted by bekern

The only video game books I've read were the first two Halo books, and I surprisingly liked them quite a bit. I think video game books are interesting because they make both reading the book and play the game more fun. It makes the game's story feels more engaging and personal to you because you've become so attached to the characters of the book, and now that you can actually act out these characters it adds a bit of something more fun to the game. That said, I've been looking for some new books on my Christmas list and your review makes this book sound pretty good :). Do they talk about E-day in the book a lot? The most interesting part of zombie stories I think is when the infection first breaks out, and I think that this can have that same sort of appeal.

Edited by Pleasureizmine

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