Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant picks up exactly where the Gears of War 2 game ends; Jacinto's been sunk by the lightmass bomb- err... lambent brumak more accurately. Cole, Hoffman and Anya are on one King Raven, Baird, Dom and Marcus are on another. They, along with the residents of Jacinto are evac'ing to the snowy safety of Port Farrel. Unfortunately, it's void of any human comforts, barely able to meet the most basic human needs. Gears have to keep the peace among the refugees as humanity tries to rebuild itself. Adding to the current story, Traviss flashes back to the days before the Hammer of Dawn was deployed, giving us a bit of back story into how that event molded the Gears Universe.
It was a very good read, although it was a bit tough emotionally at times (I'm a sucker, I really immerse myself in books when I read them and this one really kicks you around if you like the characters). Where the game only gives us a tiny glimpse into Dom's state of mind after he finds Maria in one of the slave cages, Traviss takes the agony he feels in his decision to put his wife out of her living hell and bubbles it right to the surface. She does this with all the characters; from Baird's obnoxiousness to mask his insecurity, Cole writing letters on scraps of paper to his dead mother to keep her spirit alive to Marcus' impenetrable veneer and what lies beneath. Traviss gives them dimension and roundness that the game can only hint at. She also gives us a bigger insight into Hoffman's personality (his personal life before, during and after the Hammer of Dawn deployment as well as during the current conflict) and Bernie Mataki, an Islander and female Gear. Mataki is introduced in Aspho Fields and is an integral part of Delta squad throughout the novels. She's a believable character, plus she's sturdy and tough--not a frou-frou wisp of a woman.Hopefully if there's an introduction of a female Gear into the game, they'll use Mataki.