Aspho Fields (Gears of War, Book 1)

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He did women okay, too. It just felt like he should be narrating something very different, not a military science fiction novel set in such a depressing world. I guess I should cut the narrator a little slack with that in mind.

Aspho Fields

However, I may just read the subsequent books instead of listening to them. I think that would allow for a better overall reading experience for me. Much of this book is as intense as the games, following the characters through tense situations and battles. The tone and pacing of this book fits very well with its game counterpart without sacrificing the story.

Even in those moments that seem like nothing but nonstop action, you learn so much about these characters.

Mar 29, Jemma rated it it was amazing. It encompasses such a strong variety of themes, there is something for everyone; to coin it purely as an action would do it no justice. The book is set in the same universe as the games, a world called Sera which has been at war with a hostile species the Locust for 14 years, who one day emerged from the ground and initiated combat with the humans. We follow the main familiar faces from the franchise, Marcus and Dom, as well as a whole host of other characters as they battle for their very right to survive against a race which seeks domination.

The story switches from the present day in a Locust infested world, to 26 years earlier when a young Marcus Fenix meets his best friend Carlos Santiago and his brother, Dom.

The author advances the plot at the same brisk pace as the game, revealing the tragedy and mystery surrounding the elusive events at Aspho Fields, and the shattering effect it has on the characters. This book totally captures the essence of the game, so much so in fact that it has inspired me to replay the games for the hundredth time. The world is so immersive, the writing elegant despite the gritty circumstances it describes — who knew that the game would translate so well into literature?

Traviss has really gotten into the characters heads; the dialogue and decisions are extremely convincing — it filled in so much of the backstory that the game tauntingly hinted at and gave us more insight into the characters. It felt comparable to hearing the thoughts of a reserved friend, and experiencing a stronger bond as a result — playing the games from now on will be an entirely new experience. Just like the game, the book launches you straight into the action — blood, guts and all.

And alongside the carnage of combat, we have the undeniable undercurrent of camaraderie between the soldiers. Woven into the plot is a huge amount of tragedy, and Traviss writes it so flawlessly that you would have to be made of stone to get through it without your heart breaking a little. The constant juxtaposition of violence and affection makes gripping reading, leading us on a rollercoaster of emotions which seems never ending.

I recommend this book to those, who like me, are huge fans of the games; but also to anyone who enjoys an action-packed sci-fi thriller. Dec 18, Stuart rated it liked it. However, this has not stopped book shops now having a section dedicated to novels based on games and this includes Karen Traviss Aspho Fields , a novel set betwe 'Deep down into the guts of the Gears universe' Does the publishing world have much chance with a novel when adapting content from a video game?

However, this has not stopped book shops now having a section dedicated to novels based on games and this includes Karen Traviss Aspho Fields , a novel set between the first and second games in the series, but also reflecting back on the Gears Universe before the Locust broke the surface. For all intents and purposes Aspho should be an empty and vacuous novel similar to the meathead writing of the Gears games, but that is not the case.

Aspho is a sensitive portrayal of friendship during combat, the hurt of loss and the futility of war. All heavy concepts, but all elements that Traviss seamlessly weaves into a tale about Marcus and Dom swearing and chainsawing aliens. There is certainly juxtaposition between the violent action and the sensitive portrayal of the men.

Whilst the second and third Gears games tried to explore heavy subject matter, as a gamer it all felt a little heavy handed and embarrassing. In Aspho it is done with far more sensitivity, without skimping on the grisly details the fans like. The story of how Dom loses his brother is a powerful one and explains to some degree why Dom and Marcus are like they are in the games. Aspho also fleshes out the world of Gears and gives you a better understanding of the relationship between the army and those that decide to stay stranded outside.

No bull-necks here.

Book Review: Gears of War — Aspho Fields – The Page of Reviews

In the game, as I've said, there is no real room for anything other than some meat-head love. Aspho is basically full on cardio with a little meat-headness thrown in. There are issues with the book. I think non-fans of the games will struggle with some of the concepts as you rely on knowing some vehicles, people and places from the games, but why read a book like this?

Gears of War: Aspho Fields

Some of the battles also go on a little long and drag. However, as a game tie in novel it is by far the best I have read to date, an impressive read with more heart than you may expect. I realized recently that I often open my reviews with, "Well This usually indicates I'd like you and me to for that matter to pause and reflect a moment. This is obviously a military science fiction read. It has it's flaws but on the whole I think it deserves a 4 star rating First unless you've played the game I doubt that the fact this is based on a game sy I realized recently that I often open my reviews with, "Well First unless you've played the game I doubt that the fact this is based on a game system and a story from a game will jump out at you.

It tells a pretty good action yarn about some well set up characters. We are looking at a story told from two perspectives, one in the past the other in the present. There was no problem with the back and forth the transitions were crisp and the stories were complimentary. I found my interest waning at times which isn't good. You really don't want to be yawning in a novel that revolves around violence, mayhem, blood, gore and WAR.

Still it didn't happen often and the problem with that seemed to ease up as the book went on so either the story got more coherent or I got more interested. It's well done and the game tie-in doesn't cause a problem. Apr 24, Gwynbliedd rated it really liked it. Love the Game Series so I really enjoyed this book. Plenty of parts hit me in the feels and it's cool getting more insight on some of the side characters and the earlier years of Marcus and Dom.

Feb 06, Margaret Fisk rated it really liked it Shelves: reviewed. You might have noticed that I have reviewed a number of books by Karen Traviss. I am forever grateful for the publisher early reader program that introduced me to her second book. She has led me on a merry chase, taking me far from the sociological science fiction that drew me in the first place, but never so far as this book, which I believe is the first video game book I have ever read. I have not played Gears of War, and really have no intention of doing so. However, my younger son brought th You might have noticed that I have reviewed a number of books by Karen Traviss.

However, my younger son brought this book to me with not just the statement that the book itself, and those that follow, is worth reading, but that he could see her impact on the game itself. She is a master storyteller whether taking on her own worlds and the complex cultures she built within them, or working within another universe not of her making. Aspho Fields drops us onto a colony in the midst of outright failure. What had been successful and thriving was first torn apart by a war of human making, and then devastated by monsters from below.

Customer Reviews

No character comes to the page with a blank slate, no good character at least, but Aspho Fields take this challenge on with an interlaced narrative that shows both who these characters have become, and why. While flashbacks can be annoying to say the least, this is more a multiple time-stream novel than one using flashbacks.

You learn only so much as you need to know to continue forward, and if anything, the tension in the present grows as the past reveals itself. One of the aspects I found fascinating was not even the story of the main characters, Dom and Marcus. That is only a glimpse of this book.

Paperback Editions

Traviss is a talented author, and she shows that talent in whatever venues she pursues. This novel is no different, and despite my overloaded bookshelves, I plan to read the rest of the series. Mar 10, Jacey rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , military-sf , science-fiction , media-tie-in. But once I got into the pattern of this book and began to understand some of the world background it all fell into place. The backstory is of three boys growing to be men and soldiers during the last few years of an eighty year war between human factions pre alien menace culminating in the Battle of Aspho Fields and the death of one of the trio.

Traviss has a knack or putting a human face on war. The characters are, if not always likeable, compelling and — yes — I cared what happened to them, and what will happen to them, for though this book has a satisfying conclusion, Traviss has wisely not wrapped up all the loose threads. There are plenty more untold secrets out there, people left behind who still need to be retrieved, and a new threat developing for the ragtag bag of resource-depleted humans.

Feb 11, Adam Bogert rated it really liked it. I was hesitant to read the Gears of War books for several reasons, not the least of which being I found the story of the first two games rather lacking, filled with characters that were quirky at best and forgettable at worst.