The Gears of War novels, a series of five based on the Xbox 360 game Gears of War. The story takes place in a planet called Sera and begins 14 years after Emergency Day ,when The Locust Horde begin to appear from the underground tunnels. The Locust Horde are ruthless and first appear from underground tunnels. They begin to destroy entire cities and kill off the humans. As the population decreases, the human civilization realizes that the Locust have no other motivation but to kill.
Sera is governed by Chairman Prescott of the COG, or Coalition of Ordered Governments, and resorts to the last of their army to keep the human civilization alive. The story focuses on an army regiment called Delta Squad that includes the main characters of the game and novels: Marcus Fenix, Dominic Santiago, Damon Baird and Augustus Cole. Marcus and Dom are known to be close friends since childhood.
Delta not only has grubs (Locust) to worry about, but also they have to watch their backs from the Stranded. The Stranded are people who decide to live outside COG protection and rely on their own basic skills to survive against the Locust.
The game as well as the novels give insight on each character, their struggles, and their motivations to keep figthing, if any. The characters slowly grow and die a little with each day that passes. While pain and secrets plague these characters, finding out exactly what is going on keeps you turning every page.
The first novel in the series starts off with Delta Squad in the present day fighting off the Locust Horde. It was difficult for me in the beginning to keep up with the story because there are two story lines presented. While each chapter/section has a subtitle of the time and days, it may be a little confusing, but I got the hang of it.
As the story progresses, the second story line is when the time shifts back to the past when Dom had recently enlisted to the COG, Marcus and Dom’s older brother, Carlos, had enlisted a little earlier and therefore are in a different squad. Two different squads, including Dom’s and Marcus’, are given the news that they will be on a mission to invade a place called Aspho Fields.
Both story lines involve many different small battles, because of this it takes a while to get to the actual climax of the story. Dom’s squad is given instructions to go into a facility in Aspho Fields to take out scientists who are creating a weapon of mass destruction and get out before the enemies find out. The other squad (Marcus and Carlos’) stay outside and keep a lookout for any enemies who might intrude. While the gears thought they were going to be successful, unexpected enemies appear. A battle unfolds and in a desperate attempt to defend Aspho Fields, Carlos makes a tragic decision.
The entire plot moves kind of slow for my liking. I felt that it could have reached to the climax faster. Then we find out that this is only the beginning of Dom’s bad luck. The description of the battle fields, the weapons, and every soldiers’ position gives you a mental image, almost a movie scene.
Overall the novel is filled with difficult decision making, battles, and many conversations with every character and their relationships with each other. This book isn’t just for boys or ‘gamers’, I guarantee the book in itself is a great story for anyone. A warning though, if you can’t take a little cursing, then skip over the f-bombs and keep reading.
The novel revolves around the time when Prescott decides to use the Hammer of Dawn to destroy the last standing cities in Sera. He gives the people of Sera three days to evacuate to the only city considered safe, Jacinto. He hopes to catch the Locust Horde off guard before they overrun the entire planet.
This part of the story intrigued me because these decisions push the limitations of the human race. Where is the line between animal and human behavior? What is right to do and what is wrong? Do the rules change when all of humankind is at stake? Boundaries are pushed and the moral grounds of these characters lower.
The second story line, which in my opinion is a lot more interesting, takes place days after Jacinto was flooded. Jacinto’s Remnant, or the last remaining population, moves to an island just off shore and tries to begin a new life. While the gears are gaining hope for a new beginning because the Locust appearances are declining, a new enemy gives the gears a fight to look forward to.
Later in the story we learn of a veteran gear, Mataki, who has a score to settle with a group of Stranded. She does not give too much detail but she mentions that she skins two of the Stranded men, and has a really good reason for it. As a girl, I really enjoyed this part of the book because it gives empowerment to a girl in a male dominated environment.
The Stranded community, in particular the men, are perceived as insolent jerks who have no respect, but also do well in surviving on their own, so for them to get a beating every once in awhile is satisfying in itself.
These books make you think about how savage humans can be and if their actions are justified because of the situations around them. I recommend this novel to anyone who has played the game and wants a great read full of action.