New York Times best-selling author Karen Traviss is launching the next chapter in the videogame saga with

The book, published by Del Rey, goes on sale July 28. The story centers on events following the conclusion of the Gears sequel in which a remnant of humans led by hero Marcus Fenix struggles to survive in a war with the Locus Horde.

“Based on the blockbuster Xbox game, this is the stunning story of the men and women who stood between a planet and total destruction–and now have to face the consequences of their actions,” publisher Del Rey says.

Cary-based Epic Games already worked with Traviss, a widely praised science fiction author, on one book, “Aspho Fields,” that dealt with events between the original Gears game and its sequel. Fields was published last fall. A third book is planned for 2010, according to the publisher’s web site.

Traviss also has written several Star Wars novels as well as other books.

Combined, the Gears games have sold more than 10 million copies.

Epic also has sold movie rights for the gears story. A variety of other products, ranging from action figures and toys to comic books, also are available.

In the new book, Jacinto is mankind’s last city.

“Karen Traviss has outdone herself once again,” said Rod Fergusson, executive producer, Epic Games, in a statement. "Jacinto’s Remnant not only answers the question of what happens after the events of Gears 2, it also provides greater insight into the Gears of War universe and a deeper understanding of its characters. We hope players of the games and discerning readers alike will enjoy this ongoing tale of humanity’s fight for survival."

Release of the book is timed to coincide with new content for the video game. “Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection” includes recently released downloadable content as well as new scenarios and a campaign.