I’ve been a major fan of BioWare’s games, and their associated tie-ins, since Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic in 2003. The games have stories tI’ve been a major fan of BioWare’s games, and their associated tie-ins, since Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic in 2003. The games have stories that are tightly coupled to their gameplay mechanics and this combination makes it nearly impossible for me to walk away once I’ve started playing them. The Mass Effect universe was a unique IP created by BioWare that has already spawned two mega-hit video games (with a third game due Christmas 2011). In addition to the game itself, there have been tie-in books and comics. Mass Effect: Retribution is a fairly direct sequel to 2008’s Mass Effect: Ascension (the novel) and also builds upon the events of Mass Effect 2 (the video game).
ME:Retribution is the first of the ME novels that contains the same characters as the previous novel. The other two novels took place in the same universe as the video game but introduced new characters for each particular story. This book centers on the two main characters from the previous book, introduces one major new character, and also contains appearances from two characters that players of the ME games will be familiar with. The ME Books have never been particularly rich on character development, however, and this one is no exception. The book moves at a quick pace, going from beat to beat without much time to reflect or to showcase the characters. It’s what I expected, but it doesn’t necessarily excuse that style of plotting.
One of the reasons I get so wrapped up in the BioWare games is their tight plots. They drive the player hard to an end goal. The first to ME books followed this kind of tight plotting. ME: Retribution, however, seemed to meander. The book seemed to have trouble finding its way at points and, were it not for its attachment to the ME universe, I might have set it aside for a bit. Ultimately, it’s the book’s attachment to the ME universe that is its biggest selling point. Even though the plot is only tangentially related to the games, seeing characters you’re familiar with from the games is entertaining. I was disappointed with the plotting in this book when I compare it to previous ME efforts, but I would still recommend it to ME fans. With the third Mass Effect game about a year away, it’s decent way to scratch that ME itch.
I almost liken this to the USA Network version of a concept. Sort of how Burn Notice has a little bit of lighter feel to it while still maintaining aI almost liken this to the USA Network version of a concept. Sort of how Burn Notice has a little bit of lighter feel to it while still maintaining a decent amount of grit. This book contains all of the classic tropes of a post-apolcalptic science fiction book, but something about it seems a little more polished than it should. Do not get me wrong, the book is still intense and I did burn through it, but there was much more hope and light than I'm used to in this type of story.
I will be reading the other books in the series at some point.
For a much more positive and much better written review of this book, I suggest you look to Jen: