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Gears of War: The Slab[1] was the fifth book in the Gears of War novel series.[1] It focused on Marcus Fenix's time in the Jacinto Maximum Security Prison and revealed more backstory on him, Victor Hoffman, Adam Fenix and many other characters.[2]

Product Description[]


Ten years after Emergence Day, the Locust Horde advanced on humanity’s last defended area, Ephyra in a bloody war that saw billions die. Marcus Fenix did the unthinkable: He defied orders and abandoned his post during a critical battle in a bid to rescue his father and a weapons scientist named Adam Fenix. But, Adam was buried in the rubble during a ferocious assault on the Fenix Estate and Ephyra fell to the enemy. Marcus, grieving for a father that everyone believed was dead was court-martialed for dereliction of duty and sentenced to forty years in the Coalition of Ordered Government's brutal maximum security prison, known simply as the Slab.

But, Adam was very much alive, snatched from the destruction by the elite Onyx Guard on Chairman Richard Prescott's orders. He was now a long way from home and in a prison of his own, a COG doomsday bunker on the tropical island of Azura, a place hidden from the rest of Sera since the Pendulum Wars. His own guilty secret was exposed: Adam knew that the Locust existed deep below the surface of Sera long before Emergence Day and are being driven from their tunnels by a lethal parasite known as the Lambent. Now, he had to find a way to destroy the Lambent while the dwindling COG forces fought to hold a growing Locust army back that was threatening to overrun the city.

As Adam struggled to find redemption in his comfortable island jail, Marcus seeked his own atonement in the squalid, closed world within the Slab’s granite walls. While Dom Santiago and Anya Stroud fought to get him released, ready to make any sacrifice to free him, Marcus gradually found unexpected kinship among Sera’s most dangerous criminals and a way to carry his personal war against the Locust on.[3]

Plot Summary[]

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The book first started ten years after Emergence Day inside the troop-bay of a King Raven occupied by Marcus Fenix, Dominic Santiago, Jace Stratton and Tai Kaliso who discussed the direction of the war. Piloted by a Gear named Rothesay, Bravo Squad's helicopter flew toward a team from the 3rd Ephyran Engineers unit who are finishing the last touches up on sealing a third Locust tunnel with cement. On the way, Bravo spotted a quickly-advancing Locust unit heading the engineers' way. When Rothesay made contact with the engineers and informed them about the incoming Locust, Captain Shaw (The leader of the engineers) explained the importance of his team's current assignment which would leave the Coalition of Ordered Governments' capital, Ephyra open to attack if left unfinished. Marcus prepared to physically drag Shaw to the King Raven, but Shaw accidentally stumbled into a rapidly-filling crater of liquid cement as the Locust started firing upon them. The liquid cement started filling the crater, threatening to kill Shaw. Despite his best attempts to save Shaw, Marcus was unable to save the Captain before he drowned in the cement, forcing Bravo to retreat.

Back at the Fenix Estate, Adam Fenix, Marcus's father decided that he would finally tell Marcus the truth about the death of his mother, his connection to the Locust and the threat of Lambency. Elaine Fenix, Adam's wife went missing in 10 B.E. and was never found. Adam discovered that she was the first to learn the existence of the Locust and died trying to make first contact. Years later, Queen Myrrah reached out to Adam to ask him to help develop a solution to the Lambent, a feverish mutation caused by a direct exposure to the fuel known as Imulsion. If Lambency could be stopped early, he could have prevented the Locust War. Adam never told a living person the truth of his knowledge of the Locust or their plan to invade the surface. No longer able to live with his guilt, he planned to tell Marcus when he returned home on leave. When Marcus finally came home, they spent their afternoon in relative silence which was normal for their distant relationship. When Adam attempted to begin discussing his work as a lead up to his confession, Marcus told him that he did not need to hear it, assuming that it was classified and could not be discussed. Adam, dreading and making Marcus angry and ashamed of him, relented and kept the truth to himself.

Neville Estrom, a research scientist with a doctorate in physics and who helped design the Hammer of Dawn with Adam Fenix was using Dr. Fenix's absence to catch up with the backlogging records so in the event of the evacuation, the files could be recovered. Neville while brain storming the ideas of new ways to kill the Locust discovered that the five photographs of a Locust autopsy are missing from a file. Neville also found a picture of an Emergence Hole, possibly taken before E-Day. Neville suspected the explanation to be incompetent record keeping and noted to ask Dr. Fenix about it. When Adam was late for work on the next day, Neville called to check up on him. While on the line, Neville asked Adam about the missing photos and the questionable date of the recon photo. Adam, having taken the photos and knowing all too well about the Emergence Hole. Adam made it to the R&D Department, but the building was ordered to evacuate due to the Locust pushing further into Ephyra. When Adam arrived, he spoke to Neville and blurted his early knowledge of the Locust out. Neville was shocked and angered by the news and resolved to tell Chairman Prescott what he learned.

Upon being told by Dr. Estrom what he learned about Dr. Fenix's early contact and knowledge of the invasion, Chariman Richard Prescott was stunned and bewildered to how a man could keep a secret for 15 years. Prescott contemplated whether his predecessor, Chairman Dalyell knew and not told him before his death in 1 A.E. Prescott told Neville that he would take him to Azura, a secret island research facility for the COG's elite in case of a crisis to keep this knowledge from becoming public. He also ordered that the Oynx Guard, the COG elite soldiers who served at the discretion of the Chairman should keep an eye on Adam in case he attempted to flee.

Inside the Fenix Estate, Adam attempted to communicate with the Locust Queen. Myrrah, unsatisfied with the progress that he made sent the Locust to take him back to the Hollow so he could be forced to work on a solution to Lambency. Adam threatened to shoot himself if Marcus died and Myrrah told him if he did, it would not be by her order. Adam waited for the Locust to retrieve him.

On the front lines of the battle for Ephyra, Colonel Victor Hoffman tried to keep the Locust advance back. Marcus and his squad got to rescue Lt. Anya Stroud who was trapped inside a bank vault being used a temporary CIC base. Unarmed, Anya prepared herself for a fight, but was saved before the need arose. Collecting the Hammer of Dawn target equipment from a pair of deceased Gears, they regrouped with Colonel Hoffman who instructed Marcus to take the King Raven and the Hammer targeting laser to destroy a bridge to deny the Locust a way into Ephyra. Suddenly, Adam Fenix came over the radio to tell Marcus that the Locust are approaching the estate and say goodbye. Marcus announced his intent to rescue his father. Hoffman demanded that he should go to the bridge and save the Gears stationed there. When the Colonel insulted Marcus's father, Marcus punched Hoffman to the ground and took his squad via a Raven toward his home. Marcus left the Hammer equipment, but forgot to leave a crucial piece for accuracy. Hoffman and Anya flew to the bridge, but with the piece missing are not able to destroy the bridge until it was too late. Marcus and Hoffman's fight was heard on all COG radios stationed in and the knowledge of his dereliction of duty was publicly known.

Adam waited for the Locust to take him away, but Marcus and his squad arrived first. Adam told Marcus that he could not leave with his research, knowing that the key to saving life on Sera depended on it.


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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
  2. Karen's blog: The fifth Gears of War novel is THE SLAB and it'll be out in May 2012 from gallery Books. Yes, it's about Marcus Fenix and his time in The Slab, the COG's maximum security prison, so we're flashing back to before Gears 1. Find out what really happened when Marcus slugged Hoffman. And it'll answer some questions left in Gears 3 about Adam Fenix.
  3. Gears of War: The Slab, Accessed on 2012-04-23

Gears of War series
Main Games: Gears of War () • Gears of War 2 () • Gears of War 3 () • Gears of War 4 () • Gears 5 ()
Other Games: RAAM's ShadowGears of War: Judgment () • Gears of War: Ultimate EditionGears Pop!Gears TacticsGears: Hivebusters
Books: Aspho FieldsJacinto's RemnantAnvil GateCoalition's EndThe SlabKilo Squad: The Survivor's LogAscendanceBloodlinesEphyra Rising
Comics: HollowBarrenA Pendulum Wars StoryDirty Little SecretsThe Rise of RAAMHivebustersStand-Alone Issues
Booklets and Guides: Destroyed BeautyBeneath the SurfaceThe Art of Gears of WarThe Art of Gears of War 3The Poster CollectionThe Art of Gears of War 4RetrospectiveThe Art of Gears 5Gears Tactics: The Art of the Game
Other Media: Gears of War (film)Gears of War: ExileGears of War: The Board GameGears of War: Tactics