Mass Effect is the second literary fiction book in the Mass Effect series by author Drew Karpyshyn.
It’s humanity versus a race of machines that exploit organic life in this second official novel based on the BioWare video game.
Like the first book in Drew Karpyshyn’s Mass Effect novel series, Mass Effect: Ascension is set in the world of the Mass Effect video games. Unlike the first book, however, I felt that Ascension was more able to stand alone. It had far fewer “infodump” sequences and because the first Mass Effect game had already been released by this point (unlike with Revelation), it actually felt like more a part of the galaxy than its predecessor. In addition, while two of the three main characters of Revelation (David Anderson and Saren) were main characters in the first game, the only character from the games to appear in Ascension is The Illusive Man, the leader of Cerberus (and he wouldn’t appear until Mass Effect 2, released after this book).
The entirety of Revelation seemed to be hinting at plot points that would become important in the first game, but this book was able to stand more on its own merits with its own story. It also manages to tell a larger and, in my opinion, a more interesting story. The quarians, seen primarily through video game character Tali’Zorah, were seriously fleshed out in this book, a touch I particularly enjoyed. That said, while this book is more its own entity than Revelation and can be enjoyed for its science fiction action, it’s still not something I’d recommend for people who aren’t already fans of the video games.
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