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August 1, 2013 / minusbar

Book Review: Mass Effect: Ascension , by Drew Karpyshyn

Book Review: “Ascension” by Drew Karpyshyn

Please resist the urge to stone me when I say that I have not played Mass Effect. My hours are often taken up by work and reading as I enjoy them more than prolonged stints on the couch with a video game. However, I do have a healthy respect for the game and the game developers behind it. It’s because of that respect for BioWare that I am an avid fan of Drew Karpyshyn. Although I know it’s misguided to jump into a game-based novel without an understanding of the original material, I dove into Ascencson head first anyway. Caution be damned!

First, I’ll admit that some more background knowledge of the Mass Effect universe would have been preferable as I felt a bit lost at times. It was never really too bad though as the author does a good job of simplifying things, like the Biotic power system, that I suspect is a lot more complex than what lies on the surface. The plot was decent, I really didn’t find myself blown away by any of the twists, but it was definitely an entertaining and quick read. I’d definitely recommend this to a budding sci-fi reader who needs a good introduction to the genre.

The real star of this novel is Grayson, a member of a secret organization called Cerberus. He’s a good competent character that had just enough strength not to be a pushover, but weak enough to feel genuine. He also shows the best range of emotion and growth, in my opinion. Basically, he’s an example of Karpyshyn writing at his best, the grey areas. Good and Evil just don’t cover it all, and he understands that.

If you’re a fan of the games, this is definitely a must-read. If you’ve not played the games (you and I are probably one of the few), well, there is still plenty to enjoy here as a standalone story. Nothing beats Karpyshyn’s Bane Trilogy for me, but I definitely think this is a worthwhile addition to the reading pile.

This book has been available for a long time now, so you can grab it pretty cheap. You can pick it up at most book stores for about $7. A good book is definitely worth at least that.


A Daily Dose of R&R


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