Gears of War: Anvil Gate Paperback – Aug 31 2010
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About the Author
Karen Traviss is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of three previous Star Wars: Republic Commando novels: Hard Contact, Triple Zero, and True Colors; three Star Wars: Legacy of the Force novels: Bloodlines, Revelation, and Sacrifice; as well as City of Pearl, Crossing the Line, The World Before, Matriarch, Ally, and Judge. A former defense correspondent and TV and newspaper journalist, Traviss has also worked as a police press officer, an advertising copywriter, and a journalism lecturer. Her short stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Realms of Fantasy, On Spec, and Star Wars Insider. She lives in Devizes, England.
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Top Customer Reviews
The other thing that really started to annoy me is Traviss' insistence on making her pet character seem so important. Apparently every single person on the face of the planet is in awe of Bernie Mataki, and apparently every single person feels the need to bring up Mataki in reference to something they've seen or done. Traviss has all these great characters from the Gears universe to work with, and she still finds it necessary to make her's so central to the plot.
Another minor issue I had was with the terms she used. The characters from the games all spoke with American accents. They used American lingo and jargon. Yet Traviss had a lot of them talk like Brits. "Mates" isn't a term North Americans really use to refer to friends or comrades. Yet Traviss had characters from the games talking as though they just stepped off of Coronation Street.
If you're a Gears fan, I'd recommend the novels just because it does flesh out the backstory. But otherwise I'd recommend to stay clear. They're not very entertaining novels if you aren't a diehard Gears of War fan.
Great great book !!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This one picks up right where Jacinto's Remnant left off. The survivors of the sinking of Jacinto continue to struggle with the Stranded and other concerns that have arisen due to the sinking of Jacinto.
Once again Karen Traviss provides a snap shot of the lives of the Gears we've all gotten accustomed to while also digging into the history of the Pendulum Wars and what has formed the two survivors of that bloody battle.
The complaint I leveled at previous Gears novels still stands. You will begin reading during the current time period and then when Karen wants to visit the past, the next chapter or two will be devoted to the past. Then you're handed back into the current time, rinse repeat. It can become slightly disjointed but not really all that difficult to follow. Sometimes you just find yourself wanting to know what is happening, be it in the past or current time and the suspense is taken into a chapter from a different time frame.
Over all the story is really good. Epic did a fantastic job choosing Karen to "own" the Gears story. I just wish she focused on past or present and maybe write a book specific to the past and specific to the present. Of course, some of the past pertains to what's happening in the present, but as this is the third book to be written this way, it just feels like it has become a cliched story telling vehicle.
This book will take you right up to the follow up novel, Gears of War: Coalition's End. Coalition's End will take you right up to the opening of Gears of War 3, which is why I'm going to finish reading (and hopefully review soon), before Gears 3 is released next month.
The Bad: Not much action, Delta Squad takes a back seat, the ending has no meaning, no significant plot twists
The siege on Anvil Gate has always been a mystery to Gears of War fans. Mainly because the Pendulum Wars are never talked about in the games. The Pendulum Wars was a 70 year war between the Coalition of Ordered Governments and the indies or independent nations. They didn't want to be ruled under the COG so they fought for it. The book jumps between just before the events of Gears of War 3 and a few decades prior as Colonel Hoffman during the siege of Anvil Gate. The recent events are the continuing survival of humanity, the search for more Immulsion, and the discovery of polyps and Lambent stalks (seen in Gears 3).
I have to say that Anvil Gate doesn't really go anywhere. It's more descriptive narrative than anything else. There's not as much dialog as other Gears books and that's a shame. The book doesn't really focus on Delta Squad as much but mainly Hoffman and Baird. All the events seen in Gears 3 are told here in this book which is great insight. The constant shaky line between the COG and Gorasnaya (the COG's main enemy during the Pendulum Wars) is interesting to see as well as how they deal with the indies wreaking havoc and making things harder for everyone. I honestly can just say that Anvil Gate really shows you how hard it is to survive in the Gears universe. Not something the games can really portray. Sure it looks hard to survive, but the day to day stuff isn't really talked about.
There really aren't any new characters if you have been reading all the Gears books, which is fine by me. The relationship between Hoffman and Mataki as well as the occasional quips of Dom thinking about Maria are interesting. We also get to see more about Marcus' childhood and how Anya Stroud's mother, Helena, and Marcus' dad, Adam, served together. It kind of brings all the little strands together and ties the knots. All the little questions that you get from playing the games are answered here in a nice cohesive tale.
I just wish there was some more action and some more shocking twists. The story just kind of ends and is really just a tale that puts all the pieces together for you, nothing spectacular or complex, but non-Gears fans won't appreciate the novel at all. If you really love the Gears universe and want more insight on the Pendulum Wars (besides Aspho Fields) then give this a gander.
Hoffman is one of my favorite characters in GOW so this book was easily absorbed by me given that roughly half of the book goes back in the past to tell Hoffman's story of the siege at Anvil's Gate. It really is so fascinating to me to really get to see how things that have happened to these people 30+ years in the past have affected them so drastically in the present. In both negative and positive ways.
In this book we are introduced to the Lambent (unless of course you've played GOW3 already then you already know about it). Having played the games prior to reading the books I already had an idea of what was going on but I found it extremely interesting to actually get to see how they discovered the Lambent and learned about them. It's crazy to me how much time lapses between the 2nd GOW game and the 3rd. These books definitely pick up the missing pieces and I would highly recommend doing it in order. It truly adds so much to the experience. Gears of War can be done in chronological order as follows:
Gears of War (Book1): Aspho Fields
-Gears of War: Game 1
-Gears of War: Game 2
-Gears of War (Book2): Jacinto's Remnant
-Gears of War (Book3): Anvil Gate
-Gears of War (Book4): Coalition's End
-Gears of War: Game 3
-Gears of War (Book5): The Slab
I just finished this one today and I can't wait to start reading Coalition's End! I think it's going to be awesome to get to see the final piece of the puzzle put into place regarding the lapse between the 2nd and 3rd games and once I'm done with the 4th book, I'm going to play the 3rd game since that's their order. I've already played the games so its not like I don't know what's going to happen but now that I've gotten so much background into the characters and their lives, I'm looking forward to a renewed excitement in seeing the end of their journey.