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Aspho Fields (Gears of War #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  2,838 Ratings  ·  192 Reviews
As kids, the three of them were inseparable; as soldiers, they were torn apart. Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago fought alongside Dom's elder brother Carlos at Aspho Fields in the epic battle that changed the course of the Pendulum Wars. There's a new war to fight now, a war for mankind's very survival. But while the last human stronghold on Sera braces itself for another
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Published May 25th 2009 by Tantor Media (first published January 1st 2008)
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Dirk Grobbelaar

I was drawn to this by two things: firstly, the author is Karen Traviss, and secondly, I’ve read some very good things about it. It is based on a video game, but don’t let that put you off.

Aspho Fields didn’t disappoint; I have no idea what the Gears of War game is like, but the story that Traviss tells here is pretty darn good. This is a prequel to the events in the game (apparently).

In the light from the APC’s instrument panel, [his] face looked like violence personified.

The story so far: see
I'm not sure there has ever been a good novelization of a video game. If such things exist, this isn't one of them.

Total rip off of Starship Troopers, with humans fighting giant superintelligent bugs and losing. This is a sort of prequel to the game itself, telling the tales of various space marines.

Didn't grab me at all.
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
It's pretty odd that I read this as I have not played Gears of War and have never read anything else by Karen Traviss. And while this didn't make me want to run out and buy a Play-box/X-Station 5000 game console and team speak with a bunch a people I don't know, it very much made me want to read more by Karen Traviss. She writes very well, with a great balance between story and detail, and I was turning pages quickly the whole way. This is a very entertaining military science fiction story that ...more
Nov 19, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
My favorite video game in the history of ever and I never knew it has books about it. Marcus Fenix grunts in disappointment. Dominic Santiago falls to his knees screaming Maria. Cole Train shouts Woo Baby! Damon Baird says "and you call yourself a gearhead".
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2011
Review from Badelynge
Karen Traviss does a great job of bringing some Gears of War goodness to those of us who like to relax our trigger fingers once in a while. Traviss admits herself that she's worked on a lot of stuff in her day, tie-ins and the like and that not all of the varied franchises and projects have been particularly worthy. But Gears is different. She thinks it's special. I'm inclined to agree. Working on something you really love rather than it just being the latest meal ticket has
Nov 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gamers/Sci Fi readers
Marcus Fenix...Dominc Santiago....if these names are unfamiliar to you, then you probably have not played Gears of War on the Xbox 360. If that be the case, this book will introduce you to some memorable characters as well as a world plagued by war against humans as well as the creatures they call the Horde.
I was introduced to this game from Epic by my gamer hubby and have fell in love with the characters as well as the story. Liken alot to Halo, Gears brings out a story line that is rich witho
TL; DR Review:

3.5 stars, but I'm feeling generous so the better part of 3.5 stars. Much better than I was expecting. Feelings everywhere. Just let me get myself together. I shouldn't be feeling like this about a GoW book. LOL.

More reviews @ The BiblioSanctum

Long Review:

What I love about Gears of War is that it’s teeming with tension. As much as I love Mass Effect, nothing ever feels really urgent in those game despite there being an intergalactic war against an almost unstoppable force going on.
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a huge fan of the ‘Gears of War’ games and an avid reader, it seemed only natural I would stumble across this gem, a book which incorporates two of my favourite hobbies - reading and gaming. ‘Aspho Fields’ is that rare oddity of a story which absorbs you from the start, and never releases its emotional grip on you, even after you have turned the last page. 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.

Dec 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
'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? On the surface you would not think so, as despite the insistence by games developers that they include great stories in their games, they rarely do (let’s not includeMass Effectuniverse here). 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
Mike (the Paladin)
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's based on a computer/video game (which I've never played by the way). It has it's flaws but on the whole I think it deserves a 4 star rating....maybe not the highest 4 star rating, but a 4 star rating.

First unless you've played the game I doubt that the fact this is based on a game sy
Margaret Fisk
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 thi
First off I don’t play computer games, especially war games, and I don’t read military SF... except for maybe Tanya Huff and Karen Traviss. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I love Traviss’ Star Wars Republic Commando books I would never have looked at this twice let alone picked it up... and if that had been the case I would have missed out because this book is good. It’s hard to compare because – as I say – I don’t have much Mil-SF in my reading repertoire to compare it with, but as a book a ...more
Adam Bogert
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. Yet Gears 3 managed to reverse all my opinions about the franchise, delivering a memorable story (which I've played half a dozen times) and leaving me wanting more. And so I took the plunge.

It's worth noting that Karen Traviss, author of the novelizations -- Aspho Fields i
So pretty much the only reason I want to read these is because I love Gears of War, I do have both the Gears and Locust symbols tattooed on me, so that's all the proof you need. I won't sit here and describe the games to you, but I will say the even the game itself had a really great storyline and as it continued into a trilogy of games it became an absolutely epic story. It is so good and I would think it'd make a great movie but at the same time it could end up being something really corny wit ...more
Jon Cole
While Karen Traviss was certainly a known quantity when diving into this book, I had little to draw from as far as the Gears universe is concerned. The story in the games never blew me away by any means, but this novel managed to fill in the gaps beyond my initial expectations.

The book offers two major plotlines in a parallel fashion - the story of Aspho Fields and the aftermath of the Lightmass Bomb at the end of Gears of War 1. Aspho Fields was a black ops push to obtain key technology during
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fried Green Grubs

While this books is presented as something of a hard-boiled military fiction novel (based on the popular game, which I haven't personally played), I found that not be the case.

In my opinion, this book is really about the horrors of war and its traumatising effect on the main characters. Each one of them is a walking casualty with loads of baggage they are unable to deal with. The reader is allowed to steep in this trauma throughout the entire book until the the characters are
David Dalton
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: monsters, eotw
I really liked this sci-fi action thriller. I am not a gamer, and knew nothing about Gears until I read this book. But I do enjoy reading action-packed stories. This story had lots of man v locust and man v man action.

It features two storylines, one in the current timeline (14-15 years after the Locust first emerged) and another from about 15 years ago. There is plenty of background info on the characters, especially with the two brothers Dom and Carlos and their best friend Marcus (main shooti
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The reason why I chose this book is because I was looking through the book store and I saw the book and I said, "why not". The genre of this book is science fiction. The setting takes place in a broken down society on the verge of extinction.

The main character for this book is not described in the book. Former knowledge of the game helps here because the character is based on the game. From the game I know that the main character is Marcus Fenix. On the front cover of the book there is a pictur
Phillip Dimarzo
At first I thought the Gears of War series would not transfer well into literature. The game was very vivid and the action/violence was what either hooked you or left you disinterested. I, however, was wrong.

While the book lacks the constant threat and worry of the game, it does a marvelous job portraying the characters. Making your heart beat when their's does and breathing relief when a situation is escaped with few to no casualties. In the game, I was Marcus Fenix. From the book, I knew him.
May 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first I thought the Gears of War series would not transfer well into literature. The game was very vivid and the action/violence was what either hooked you or left you disinterested. I, however, was wrong.

While the book lacks the constant threat and worry of the game, it does a marvelous job portraying the characters. Making your heart beat when their's does and breathing relief when a situation is escaped with few to no casualties. In the game, I was Marcus Fenix. From the book, I knew him.
Phillip Nguyen
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karen Traviss is one of my favorite authors. She excels in writing militaristic novels and after reading her work in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, I've really begun to love her books. Aspho Fields adds a good chapter to the Gears of War story. It takes place right after Gears of War and it really adds on and embellishes the characters from the game. In particular, Colonel Hoffman, Marcus Fenix, and Dom Santiago. What I liked most about this book was the flashbacks in which you meet a young Ma ...more
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To begin I will say that I am a big fan of gears of war, but for that review I will just base on the book and not taking my fan thought be in the way....

This book is really enjoyable to read for different reason.. first Karen Travis really seem do research and talk to EPIC (creator of gears of war world) when you read this novel you really have the feel that you watch a part of the world in the game.

second.. The exchange between Character are very well done either some are funny, some more serio
Dec 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While I'm not a "Gears-head", I did nonethless enjoy this book a great deal. Like most works based on a licensed property, this one really filled in all the character blanks of the characters of the ubbr popular Gears of War videogame on the XBox 360 console. Grant it, most of the fans of this game probably couldn't give a toss about character development, and see such things as nothing more then a lose string of excuses to beat the crap out of aliens. That being said, it does mean something to ...more
Mitchell Mcconnell
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vido-games
This book is amazing. In order to understand it you need to play the 1st game in the series. What this book talks about is the story between the 2 games and before the 1st game. the book talks about the 2 main characters in the game there names are Marcus and Dom. the book starts out with the queen of the locus giving us a little bit of there history. my favorite part of the book is when Baird charges all these grubs and kill the all by chain sawing them with his lancer. Thats all I have to talk ...more
Nov 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book offers a rich look at the world only hinted at in the Gears of War games. I found out about this book completely by accident and fell in love with it. THe only thing that I can say that comes close to being a criticism, is that the bouncing back and forth in time (indicated by headings at the beginning of relevant sections) was really confusing, right at first. But that didn't detract from a truly amazing work.
TK Keanini
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: video-games
I've been a big fan of the game and wanted to know more about the story line and a deeper understanding of the vivid characters of Delta squad.

If you are a fan of the game, this book is a must read. Soon, there will be a movie and lets hope and pray they do a good job. Combine a book, movie and a series of games based on this world and I personally can't get enough.

The author did a spectacular job adding so much more to the history and understanding of the Gears of War universe.
duane rygh
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, let me start with a disclaimer. I am biased concerning the Gears of War (GoW) franchise. The video games are among my favorites and the fictional world of Sera is intriguing. Video games can tell compelling stories and the Gears of War games prove this.

That being said, this book is really good. The video games contain a few references to past events responsible for shaping present day Sera. Aspho Fields expands on a few of those references basically laying out how close Marcus, Carlos, an
Michael L.
It took a little while to get into this book even though I am very familiar with the setting and characters because of the games. But I soon got on board with the story. I very much liked all of the backstory and filled-in tidbits to flesh out the entire story, making some of actions in the game have more meaning. I do plan on reading the other four books in this series, but I don't think I can read them back to back, even though I can play the games over and over. By the way (view spoiler) ...more
Janda Revans
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gears fans, this is a must read. This book takes place between Gears of War and Gears of War 2. Throughout the story, we see how the COG is doing after the events of the first game. Interwoven with that story is flashbacks of when Dom and Marcus first joined the COG and their history. That was my favorite part about this book. It gave some incite to Dom and Marcus. Reading about Maria and Dom's brother Carlos really make you more emotionally invested in the characters. I was in tears multiple ti ...more
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Only took me almost 10 years but I'm finally reading through the books of this series. I've been a big fan of the Gears universe and lore ever since it came out. Played all the games and loved most of them (you can probably guess which one I didn't).

If you're a fan of the series and want a more detailed personal look into the history of Aspho Fields and the trials, tribulations, and hardships that the COG endured; then give this a read. It gave me information I either didn't know or had forgotte
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English 11 4 A/C: gears of war 3 9 Oct 04, 2012 10:58AM  
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  • Gears of War: Volume One
  • Halo: The Cole Protocol
  • Gears of War: Volume Two
  • Dead Space
  • Firstborn (Starcraft: The Dark Templar Saga, #1)
  • Dead Space: Martyr (Dead Space, #1)
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#1 New York Times best-selling novelist, scriptwriter and comics author Karen Traviss has received critical acclaim for her award-nominated Wess'har series, and her work on Halo, Gears of War, Batman, G.I. Joe, and other major franchises has earned her a broad range of fans. She's best known for military science fiction, but GOING GREY and BLACK RUN, the first books in her new techno-thriller seri ...more
More about Karen Traviss...

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“I shall remain vigilant and unyielding in my pursuit of the enemies of the Coalition.
I will defend and maintain the Order of Life as it was proclaim by the Allfathers of the Coalition in the Octus Canon.
I will forsake the life I had before so I may perform my duty as long as I am needed.
Steadfast, I shall hold my place in the machine and acknowledge my place in the Coalition.
I am a Gear. ”
“Dom decided that when life returned to normal—even after fourteen years, he had to think that it could—he’d follow Cole’s example and treat money as easy come, easy go. People were what mattered. You couldn’t replace them, and they didn’t earn interest. They just slipped away a day at a time, and you had to make the most of every precious moment. When” 1 likes
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