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Gears of War: Bloodlines by Jason M Hough #BookReview

The new novel set 
within the action of the Xbox Game Studios video game Gears 5 , by New York Times bestselling author Jason Hough.


In the aftermath of Settlement 2’s destruction, Kait Diaz reels from the near loss of a close friend amid utter defeat at the hands of the Swarm. To move forward, she must choose either to walk the Outsider path of her mother, or rise to her beckoning duty as a Gear, as her father did. As Kait grapples with her circumstance, an unexpected ally illuminates secrets from the past that offer a new perspective.

Over four decades before, the two superpowers of Sera – the Coalition of Ordered Governments, and the Union of Independent Republics – wage a bitter, worldwide conflict known as the Pendulum Wars. For nearly a century, the two have fought to wrest control over Sera’s most precious energy resource: Imulsion.

On the 79th year of the Pendulum Wars, Gabriel Diaz is a decorated Lieutenant Colonel serving the Coalition, assigned to Vectes Naval Base – a fortress that’s seen little action despite its close proximity to UIR territory. The island’s relative quiet is disturbed when a COG special forces team known as Ghost Squad arrive with a mysterious mission to the nearby island of Knifespire: an unforgiving rock of seemingly no strategic value.

When the Ghosts send out a distress call, it’s up to Gabe to evacuate them – and what he discovers on Knifespire could change the very course of the Pendulum Wars. There, the Battle of Gatka Ridge will define Gabe’s legacy, and shape the future of his daughter, Kait Diaz.

Gears of War Bloodlines by Jason M Hough book cover

Title: Gears of War: Bloodlines | Author: Jason M Hough | Publisher: Titan Books | Pub. Date: 21st April 2020 | Pages: 352 | ISBN: 9781789094787 | Genre: Science Fiction | Language: English | Starred Review: No | Source: The publisher provided a copy for review consideration

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Gears of War: Bloodlines Review

I started ‘Gears of War: Bloodlines’ with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. I was in the mood for some lightweight, kick ass military Sci Fi, but equally I’m always a bit wary of books based on something else. I’ve read ‘em all: comic books novelisations, movie novelisations, TV spin offs, and often they’re less than perfect. Hollywood has totally mastered the art of taking a book or a game or a plastic toy and turning it into an entertaining movie, but the publishing world seems to have had less success.

The good news for ‘Gears of War’ fans is that Jason M Hough has done a bang up job with ‘Bloodlines’. I’ll confess it’s been a long time since I played one of the games (it was probably the first one in the Xbox 360 days), but my memory of it tallies perfectly with the gritty vibe on display here. The book acts as a lead in to the latest game (‘Gears 5’) and I think devotees of the series will find a lot to enjoy here.

The book comes in two halves – one part the story of Kait, a young female COG soldier fighting the Scourge and trying to rescue civilian survivors. The other is a flashback to the career of her father (Gabe) in a human on human war before the invasion. Both sections are fun. Kait’s feels more like the Gears I remember, full of huge guns and hideous marauding aliens. Her father’s plays more like a classic war story, with Gabe leading a squad of soldier’s trying to take some occupied islands and secure essential resources for the war effort. It’s two-fisted stuff, full of derring-do and daring adventure.

The blending of the two isn’t seamless (to be honest apart from the family relationship I couldn’t really tell why the two stories were being told together), but that doesn’t prevent ‘Bloodlines’ being a gripping and enjoyable SF thriller. It makes good use of the Gears universe and I had a lot of fun with it. If you’re a fan of the games (or even if you aren’t) and you like the idea of a light, action-packed SF adventure then you might want to give it a try.

You can find this book at many retailers via clicking on the appropriate link on Goodreads (Buying direct from retailers is a good way to support indie authors); however, in the spirit of supporting literacy programs, we would like to point out that you may be able to purchase this book through BetterWorldBooks.

Published inScience Fiction Book ReviewsUnstarred Reviews
©Sci-Fi & Scary 2019
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