By brukaoru 10 Comments
Author: Karen Travis
Publisher: Del Rey
Publication Date: October 28, 2008
MSRP: $13.00 (Amazon: $10.40)
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.