Sunday, 26 August 2012

Anvil Gate

The third book in the Gears of War series by Karen Traviss follows on directly from events at the end of the last book Jacinto's Remnant and is still building up to the finale of the video game Gears of War 3. Delta Squad and remaining Cog Forces have settled alongside the inhabitants of a sheltered naval outpost at Vectes. They maintain an uneasy truce with a group of Indie refugees who hold a valuable source of Imulsion. The two sides struggle to bury an enmity that burned for generations during the Pendulum Wars. Bands of Stranded pirates nibble at the order that both sides crave. And if that wasn't enough, boats are going missing or found bereft of crew, mysterious holes punched through the hull.
For all you lovers of Damon Baird (there must be someone out there...don't all holler at once) you'll love this one as Traviss has a good go at poking around in Baird's uber-cynical smarty pants noggin.
Possibly less effective are the flashbacks featuring a young Adam Phoenix pining over lost reliquaries while fighting in an urban hell of war theatre. In the same timeline a young Hoffman commands the defence of Anvil Gate and resorts to questionable though pragmatic tactics that will haunt him forever. I did love the story of Bai Tak, the Pesanga volunteer with his team of grinning machete wielding hill men. You'll remember him from the Aspho Fields flashbacks in book one.  The main timeline moves along a bit more with the CoG learning how to combat Lambent and that data disc from Gears 3 finally turns up to wallop an even bigger wedge between Hoffman and Prescott.As ever the characterisation is superb, with great dialogue alongside more introspective examinations of the main players and the effects of war on human morality.   Oh and there's a fair bit of backs to the wall Gear on Glowie action... and with Lambent involved that means plenty BOOOOOM!!!!  Enjoyable stuff.

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