Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mass Effect: Revelation

by Drew Karpyshyn

Dedication: "To my wife, Jennifer

While I'm in the throes of creative madness, you never nag me to do my laundry. You never get upset when I forget to wash the dishes, or get mad when I forget to help out around the house. You're always there to read and review everything I write, and you always listen as I rant about all my crazy hopes and fears, even when I wake you up in the middle of the night to do it.

It's all these things you do to help and support me that make you so special. And that's why I love you."

First paragraph: "Approaching Arcturus. Disengaging FTL drive core."

Review: For anyone who knows me, even a little, you'll probably know that I play video games from time to time. Mass Effect is my all-time favorite video game, ever. This book was written as a prequel to that game.

After a classified Alliance research base is destroyed, lieutenant Anderson is sent after the only survivor - Kahlee Sanders. What he doesn't realize is that finding her will only result in more questions and very few answers. He has to figure out who attacked the base and what they're planning before time runs out.

Ben's dad read this book awhile ago and he seemed to really enjoy it, even though he'd never played the game. But my review is an opinion formulated on the book as an actual prequel to playing the game.

I loved that I was able to learn more about Captain Anderson and Saren Arterius. This book takes a look at the mission Anderson talks about briefly in the game; a mission that was supposed to be his big break into Spectre status but ended up being a betrayal. It also explains how Saren ever got involved with Sovereign in the first place.

It answers questions little questions you have like why the Volus wear their space suits constantly while playing the video game by putting it into a much more exciting action packed novel then the codex available on the game itself.

As for the writing style, I thought there were some parts that were a bit too excessive when it came to the description of the violence taking place and that in some ways it lacked the depth Mass Effect was able to establish. But I wouldn't dare say it made the book any less enjoyable. It just didn't compare to the original.

Finally, the characters in the book aren't really well developed but I think that's because, if you do play the game, you know more about them then the book could ever explain. Basically, you're given enough knowledge to know why the people are important and that's still plenty for a compelling, action driven, story.

So if you want to read this book without ever having played the game, I think you'll really enjoy it but I think you might enjoy it more if you have played, or are planning on playing, the game.

Click here for the official Mass Effect website.

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