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Mass Effect: Ascension (Mass Effect, #2)
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Mass Effect: Ascension (Mass Effect #2)

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  5,711 Ratings  ·  247 Reviews
When they vanished fifty thousand years ago, the Protheans left their advanced technology scattered throughout the galaxy. The chance discovery of a Prothean cache on Mars allows humanity to join those already reaping the rewards of the ancients’ high-tech wizardry. But for one rogue militia, the goal is not participation but domination.

Scientist Kahlee Sanders has left
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by Del Rey (first published 2008)
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(showing 1-30)
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Layla ✷ Praise the sun ✷
If you have ever wondered about how Quarians take a shower in or in spite of their enviro-suits, this is the book for you.

Mass Effect: Ascension plays around two months after the ending events of the first game and gives interesting insights into Quarian history, the Migrant fleet and Quarian social culture.

First and foremost, it tells the story of Paul Grayson, a Cerberus member, and his biotic and autistic daughter Gillian though.
Gillian receives training at the Ascension Project because Cer
Jul 16, 2012 Jason rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised with “Mass Effect: Revelation”, and planned on reading the rest of the novels. In fact, I hoped to read through them all before Mass Effect 3 was released. Unfortunately, the fourth novel, “Deception”, picked up some very bad reviews (I realize it’s from a different author), and I put further Mass Effect reading on hold until a week or so ago.

OVERALL: 3.6 out of 5
“Mass Effect: Ascension” is a great science fiction adventure complete with good guys who have hearts of go
William Johnson
Reprinted from my website Secure Immaturity:

When you step away from fiction for half a decade like I did and then immerse yourself back into it you realize how atrophied your brain comes to simple imagination. Whether we like it or not, the world has become obsessed with the visual medium. Why imagine something when someone can just show it to you. But even in the non-fiction reading world, where I have lived for most of the last five years, imagination is at a minimum and a premium: if you’re r
Dec 13, 2012 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
From what I read so far, the Mass Effect book series has the interesting gift of making the best possible endings. Don't worry, I won't spoil anything about this book, but I'll tell you something: I LOVED the Epilogue of this book. And another thing that makes this book pure awesomeness: ELCORS. Who on this universe would possible NOT like Elcors??

Now speaking more seriously, this book is pretty neat. Once again, we're following Kahleen Sanders in her journey, this time as a teacher at Grissom A
Brett Roller
Sep 12, 2012 Brett Roller rated it it was ok
So, I made a mistake. I’ll be the first to admit it.
I completely forgot to check out the second Mass Effect novel before I played the second game. I have a feeling it seriously hampered my ability to enjoy it.
Ascension is sort of an odd book. It doesn’t really pick up the main Mass Effect storyline where Revelation left off, but then again, that’s what the game was for. But it also doesn’t pick up where the first game left off.

It does return us to the world of Kahlee Sanders, mild manner scienti
Jul 20, 2016 Shaun rated it it was ok
Mass Effect: Ascension… Okay, I read this just coming off the heels of reading ME: Revelations. That book I liked pretty well, except for having what I thought to be a slow start.

“Ascension” I think was a less enjoyable read than Revelations. The story didn’t really seem to get going to me until about page 200, literally. More than that, the book just didn’t seem very Mass Effecty to me; there were some familiar names and all the familiar races and such of the Mass Effect universe, but it just
May 05, 2016 Sorina rated it really liked it

Buddy read with Layla at Buddies Books and Baubles!

Perhaps, objectively look at it, it's not really a four star book, but given that it's based on a video game and given that I liked it as much as I liked the first book, four stars it is!!!

As always, I found interesting all the background info that we got in the book, especially the bits on Omega, which is my favourite location in Mass Effect, second only to the Citadel. I mean check this out, it just feel like a place that is set in space:

P.C. Haring
Feb 10, 2012 P.C. Haring rated it really liked it
Taking place shortly after the events in the first Mass Effect game, Ascention picks up on Kaylee Sanders, a character first introduced in "Revalations" which was the prequel novel to the franchise. Kaylee has since been working on the Ascension project, an Alliance run program designed to train gifted children to tap into their biotic potential.

What Saunders doesn't know is that Cerberus has a vested interest in one of the students and when things go awry and Cerberus decides to separate that
Sep 13, 2011 Sesana rated it really liked it
Timeline note: Ascension is set almost immediately after the events of the first Mass Effect, and before the opening scene in Mass Effect 2.

Picking up the character of Kahlee Sanders from the first Mass Effect novel, Ascension is a Cerberus-heavy story that doesn't seem to have much of an effect on the overall Mass Effect universe. It can still be a very interesting story. Karpyshyn is a good enough writer, and he knows the setting. Maybe a little too much. There are parts of the book that read
Feb 18, 2011 Peter rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
This second novel in the series maintains a lot of the action of the first. However, it has less political/diplomatic intrigue, and has a much more personal edge. This is because the plot heavily centres around a young autistic girl in the Alliance's Ascension programme, and on the challenges being faced by those who care for her.

The Illusive Man features a number of times, but always at arm's length, much like in the second game in the series. The story also involves the quarians significantly.
Matthew Ardill
Jan 01, 2010 Matthew Ardill rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fans of the game
Where the first book was a servicable read this felt like a short story that never truly found it's footing. I constantly asked my self "why should I care about these characters?" Kahlee from Revelations makes a return in an improbable turn that feels more like a device to link this story to it's predecessor. The Illusive Man a major player in the upcomming Mass Effect 2 game is expanded upon and the nature of Cerebus the shadowy villianious organization hinted at and glanced over in the first g ...more
Mars Dorian
Dec 21, 2015 Mars Dorian rated it liked it
Ho-hum. 2.8 stars in total, but Goodreads doesn't allow for accurate ratings. Meh.

I've played only the first Mass Effect game, but I found there were more sci-fi elements than in this book. For a world being set hundreds of years in the future, it reads very contemporary.

Language is solid but not special. Author Drew likes his adjectives and dialogue tags. Characters and their voices are also pretty average.

All in all, a fun, solid read with nothing special going for it, apart for illuminating
Behnam Riahi
Nov 09, 2014 Behnam Riahi rated it liked it
The following review has been copied from

Mass Effect: Ascension, written by Drew Karpyshyn and published by Del Rey, is a third-person, science-fiction novel set in the Mass Effect universe and told primarily from the point-of-view of Kahlee Sanders, a woman in her early 40s acting as councilor at a joint military-civilian school known as Grissom Academy. Grissom Academy is a satellite orbiting a human colony on the outreaches of space—though they generally teach al
Syahira Sharif
Jan 07, 2015 Syahira Sharif rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
To be honest, I never felt myself called to Mass Effect series until after I played Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age 2 because I assume Mass Effect was another male-centric FPS/RPG game like Halo or Deus Ex. It was definitely targeted to that demographic audience (curiously enough the Shepard's gender was vague even inside their official canon such as its comic series, the movie and their book series) but I began to take notice of the game after watching video game tropes from FemFreq and a Mas ...more
Matthew Morgal
Jan 30, 2014 Matthew Morgal rated it liked it
Whereas Mass Effect: Revelation established itself as an effective prequel to the video game trilogy, the second entry into the series falls squarely into side-story territory. Although Mass Effect: Ascension provides an effective introduction to the Illusive Man and the Quarian's Migrant Fleet, both playing major rules in Mass Effect 2 and 3, no big steps are made to advance the plot of the games. A sensible decision, considering the myriad choices that can influence and shape each run through ...more
Gareth Lewry
Originally reviewed on Short Rambling Reviews

Here we have book 2 in the Mass Effect series built around the games. The events of this one take place approximately 2 months after the ending to the first game. It focuses on Paul and Gillian Grayson and their ties to Cerberus and the Illusive man as well as the Ascension project which comes up in the third game. Previous books Drew had written have been great however this one seemed a bit mundane, its not that it deviates from the lore established
Jonathan Beckett
Jul 15, 2014 Jonathan Beckett rated it really liked it

As I have stated in a review of the previous book by Drew Karpyshyn, I am huge fan of the trilogy which is why I am currently reading up on everything relating to the mass effect extended universe.

Mass Effect Ascension takes place after the events of the first game. The protagonist has shifted now from David Anderson- the former Captain of the SSV Normandy- to Kahlee Sanders. After the events of the previous book Kahlee now works for the Ascension program in Grissom Academy. A program tailored s
Vicenç Sanz
May 22, 2015 Vicenç Sanz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ascensión me ha sabido transmitir sensaciones muy parecidas a las que me transmitió en su momento Revelación. Y no es que se trate de una novela compleja o con multitud de giros. No. Ascensión es una novela sencillita, de esas para pasar el rato, pero que cuenta con una muy buena ambientación (no en vano el autor es uno de los creadores del universo Mass Effect) y un ritmo que atrapa, no por lo frenético, sino por lo bien medido que está todo.

Como novela de franquicia videojueguil está a un niv
William Ristau
Mar 04, 2014 William Ristau rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Millard
May 18, 2014 Daniel Millard rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott Waldyn
Feb 02, 2017 Scott Waldyn rated it really liked it
I'm a huge fan of 'Mass Effect,' but I never bothered with the novels until now. I went into this book with low expectations, and it surprised me!

This is basically a "heist movie" that happens to take place in the Mass Effect universe. Yes, it relies heavily on Mass Effect lore. If you've never played the games, you might get bored with the heavy attention payed to Quarians and their culture. At the same time, this book is its own side story that is fun, pulpy, and exciting. In that vein, this
James Beach
Jan 31, 2016 James Beach rated it liked it
The book has some intense moments and solid characters. However, it feels like it didn't need to be nearly as long. Much of it feels like meandering around the plot or extending moments far past their due attention. Overall, it had the making of a good story with far too much fluff to be worth ever reading again
Sep 19, 2015 Linda rated it liked it
I found this novel slightly less interesting than Mass Effect: Revelation for 1) the story doesn’t surround familiar characters from the game series and 2) there’s no clear villain in presence. Plus, the ending was very predictable. That said, getting to explore the quarians’ Migrant Fleet was absolutely fascinating, and I quite like the writer’s matter-of-fact, efficient writing style.
Shaan Kayz
In my opinion, a poorly written story line in the mass effect universe.

A poor use of a character from the game, purely to elicit "familiarity" with the character.
The writing felt lackluster and the ending "Spoiler Alert" where Grayson manages to escape so easily and Kahlee just resigns to going back to the Academy is really just poor writing. There were scenarios of just coincidence, where all of a sudden a character slips up or changes modus operandi in an out of character fashion just to drive
King Haddock
Feb 13, 2017 King Haddock rated it really liked it
Another impressive installment of the Mass Effect novels by Drew Karpyshyn. He translates his writing of the games well into book form with an ever-progressing plot that never grows dull. There is constant intrigue, always something new happening and developing. This book, as with the first book of the series, is quite an enjoyable read and a welcome addition to the Mass Effect universe.

One thing that struck me about this story was that, in contrast to a lot of books that expand upon some other
Jun 27, 2017 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good points and bad points. I think of this Mass Effect books I've read to date, this one stands the most on its own. I feel like it wraps up the story it started rather than simply serving as a segue into the next game.

The part I find weird is that it's just an in-universe game with no real connection to game events. It does explain an early reference in Mass Effect 2 but I actually played the game well enough without knowing the details.

Overall, it does fill in minor information for the next
Sep 07, 2010 Adam rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
After reading the first novel and playing the video game, I was pretty excited to see they were going to continue with the novels. I'm kind of hoping that Mass Effect will branch out to a much larger universe because there is simply so much potential! By that I mean, I hope Mass Effect will garner interest from other writers instead of just having Drew Karpyshyn writing everything. I'm certainly not saying that Drew is a poor author, but I wouldn't want his ideas to burn out and there is simply ...more
Nicholas Taylor
Mar 08, 2017 Nicholas Taylor rated it liked it
I'm continuing to re-read the Mass Effect books. Ascension is still a good novel, much like the first one, but it signals a shift toward telling a specific story separated from the games. For me personally, this is less intriguing. The first novel sets up a major plot point for Mass Effect 1, while Ascension is a small story that is only even mentioned in one line of dialogue in Mass Effect 2. It's still a fun ride, but it's not exactly what I want.
Nov 06, 2016 Erica rated it liked it
I liked this one more than the first, but it still felt a little dull to me. I love learning more about the characters of Mass Effect though, so I for sure want to finish the series.
Dec 10, 2016 Faz rated it really liked it
It's a bummer Bioware decided to scatter important info about the games in novels, but it made me buy the thing, right? Not half bad.
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Drew Karpyshyn is a Canadian author and game designer. After working at a credit union for some time, he eventually became a game developer. He joined BioWare towards the end of the Baldur's Gate series, and wrote the tie-in novel for Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal. He stayed with BioWare, where he worked on Neverwinter Nights, and became the Senior Writer on the critically acclaimed Star Wars: ...more
More about Drew Karpyshyn...

Other Books in the Series

Mass Effect (4 books)
  • Mass Effect: Revelation (Mass Effect, #1)
  • Mass Effect: Retribution (Mass Effect, #3)
  • Mass Effect: Deception (Mass Effect, #4)

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