Gears of War: Coalition's End Hardcover – Aug 2 2011
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About the Author
#1 New York Times bestselling novelist, screenwriter, and comic book author Karen Traviss has received critical acclaim for her award-nominated Wess’har series, as well as regularly hitting the bestseller lists with her Star Wars, Gears of War, and Halo work. She was also the lead writer on the blockbuster Gears of War 3 video game from Epic Games. A former defense correspondent and television and newspaper journalist, she lives in Wiltshire, England.
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Top Customer Reviews
Great job Karen for all those awesome books!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Coalitions End picks up where Anvil Gate left off and takes you right up to the opening mission of Gears of War 3 (or so Karen Traviss is saying in interviews; game isn't out yet, so I can't say for sure). This book sets us up for the invasion of an enemy that is supposed to be worse than even the Locust; the Lambent. Within the book we are introduced to several of the new enemies that will face the Gears in Gears of War 3.
Superbly detailed with plenty of background for all of the characters means that you don't NEED to have a background with the games to pick this book up and read, though I would recommend at least reading through the other 3 books before starting here. I don't think there is enough character development for someone without at least the other books so you know the characters a bit better if nothing else.
The book is written in Traviss' typical Gears of War fashion. You have chapters of what is happening in the present with chapters full of what happened in the past interspersed. The plot vehicle works, but after reading 4 books like this now, I am hoping that the final book in the 5 book series shakes off this now cliched writing technique.
One thing different about this book is that instead of going right to paper back, as the other novels have, this one has been released in a hardback book format. The sleeve is nice and the cover art isn't bad.
Good book that fills in a lot of cracks, but as I've stated in my other reviews for Gears books, one star is subtracted for what I deem a tired writing style in terms of all the flash backs and flash forwards.
Unbeknownst to most people, A LOT of stuff happens between the games GoW 2 and GoW 3, which may leave you scratching your head in confusion at the storyline in GoW 3. That's because THREE WHOLE BOOKS worth of storyline happen between the end of 2 and the beginning of 3. The story, in chronological order, is as follows:
Gears of War (game)
Aspho Fiels (novel)
Gears of War 2 (game)
Jacinto's Remnant (novel)
Anvil Gate (novel)
Coalition's End (novel)
Gears of War 3 (game)
The Slab (novel)
As you can see above, Coalition's end is a large piece of the puzzle, and essential reading for GoW fans.
Karen Traviss knows the GoW franchise perfectly and doesn't mess with the cannon. In fact, the characters we know from the games are enhanced with deeper exposure.
AUDIOBOOK: The reader (David Colocci) is absolutely AMAZING; he is able to impersonate each of the characters so perfectly that you'll see them in your head as you listen. Everyone from terse Marcus to boisterous Cole to gruff Hoffman to accented Bernie, and more. I honestly believe David Colocci should win an award for his voice work in the GoW series.
The Gears of the Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG) destroy what is left of civilization though they defeated their insidious foe and another powerful adversary at one hellish cost (see Jacinto's Remnant and Anvil Gate). The survivors take refuge on Vectes, a difficult to reach isolated island. As the COG begins to argue, haven turns to hell when the mutilating Lambent begin a deadly assault which explains why the Locust left the underground to fight on the surface. Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago know a last stand on Vectes is suicide as the polyps make the tickers and berserkers look benign; the only place left for the dwindling few humans are the equally suicidal Wastelands.
The fourth Gears of War tied to the games is a terrific entry as Karen Travis provides a fascinating spin to the military science fiction saga with the motive to the recent global war of destruction. The story line showcases the desperation humanity faces as the remaining two survival choices will remind readers of Joshua playing Tic-Tac-Toe in WarGames as each solution facing humans leads to total annihilation. Although there is somewhat a similar tone to Anvil Gate, fans of the Gears of War universe will enjoy action-packed Coalition's End as things have gotten dramatically worse enhanced by a major betrayal for the human race.
Like Anvil's Gate, this switches back and forth between current events and flashbacks. The flashbacks focus primarily on the various characters around Emergence Day, which is interesting and sheds a lot of light on the Gears history. The current events pick up where Anvil Gate left off and set things up for Gears of War 3. It doesn't get around to answering really any of the big outstanding questions some of the other books have raised, and actually adds a few more to the pile. Hopefully Gears 3 takes care of wrapping these up.
Overall, an enjoyable read, and a good addition to the Gears universe.
For those that have played the video games you're already going to have an idea of what happens in this book because of A)the name of the book and B)Anya's monologue at the beginning of GOW3 when you're in the title screen. I really can't imagine just reading the books or just playing the games. They go so well hand in hand with each other and totally play off of one another. The games and books each give you different looks into the characters and their lives. That being said, if you're looking for just non stop violence, this isn't the series for you. The games take care of the violence and battles for the most part because, well, hello! That's the stuff that folks want to play! But for the books we get a serious look into the lives of the heroes as their characters get really fleshed out. Anyone can look cool as a character when they are thrown into a fight all the time but take the fight out of it and we get to see real character development, which is what the books are for.
I only have one more book left to read in this series which is The Slab and I've been waiting very anxiously to get that one under way. We get to learn so much about the other characters and their relationships throughout the series and we get to hear about why Marcus when to The Slab and how he got out. We also know being in there isn't exactly Willie Wonka's chocolate factory but we don't really get any details so I'm excited to complete this series the way it is. I will say after playing GOW3 I think they did a great job and taking this story as far as they needed to go and I truly appreciate the detail and emotion that Karen Traviss brought to these stories.