Mass Effect tie-in novels

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#1 Posted by druv (158 posts) -

The upcoming novels that "will weave directly into the new game" got officially announced (though I've heard of the NK Jemisin novel for a while now, I think it was up on Amazon or Goodreads as releasing in November 2016 for some reason).

I love NK Jemisin, though I'm not sure how her style will translate to the Mass Effect universe. I do think her latest books have been her strongest and most approachable, so that's a good sign. The other authors I haven't read anything by, but Catherynne Valente's short-form work seems popular.

Seems like having a bunch of authors as fans of your series can pay off now and then. However, I think a real boon of the Drew Karpyshyn books for the first Mass Effect series was that he also wrote the two first games, making them more relevant for the game universe - good authors can sometimes be wasted on a book that's ignored by the rest of the canon.

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#2 Edited by meteora3255 (465 posts) -

I know nothing about the authors writing the new books however I really enjoyed the Karpyshyn books. Honestly I just love the universe of Mass Effect so much I will probably be pre-ordering these on Amazon today.

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#3 Edited by buttle826 (250 posts) -

That book cover they have on that page is ugly as sin. I'll almost certainly still read these books though.

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#4 Posted by Zirilius (1437 posts) -

That book cover they have on that page is ugly as sin. I'll almost certainly still read these books though.

Small logo on the bottom stating that is not the final cover. Looking forward to these despite Revelations being the only book in the series I enjoyed reading.

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#5 Posted by buttle826 (250 posts) -

@zirilius: Good catch! Thanks for pointing that out.

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#6 Posted by SkyShadowing (10 posts) -

I read the first two books, though I skipped the last two because I read Revelation and Ascension after Mass Effect 2 and my most enduring thought about Ascension was "wow, I'm glad I didn't read this before ME2 (a game to which I went in almost completely blind and loved it for it), this would have told me what I would be seeing (the Illusive Man, the Migrant Fleet, Omega)".

Sounds like, especially with the fourth novel (which was so bad continuity wise they pulled it from print and never put it back out), I dodged a big bullet.

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#7 Posted by aktivity (316 posts) -

I hope they do a better job this time of not letting that stuff influence the games in annoying ways.

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#8 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (2692 posts) -
@aktivity said:

I hope they do a better job this time of not letting that stuff influence the games in annoying ways.

The previous books didn't really influence the games all that much. For the most part, any events from the books that get referenced are summarized with in-game dialogue adequately enough to fill in the relevant details (Anderson's history with Saren, Cerberus attacking the Migrant Fleet). The worst contribution the books made to the games was Kai Leng, because without the context of his history he seems like a terrible character (and sort of still is because his in-game portrayal is far worse than the books). Other than that, I feel like they did a good job and intertwining events from the books with the games.

If you hadn't read the books, hearing Anderson tell you about his run in with Saren when he was young would seem like standard character backstory exposition. Having Tali and Miranda discuss Cerberus' attack on the Migrant Fleet is just one of many things you learn about that happened between games. Kahlee Sanders is simply a newly introduced character that happens to have a history with Anderson. These instances don't stand out as events from the books unless you already know they are.

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#9 Posted by Rebel_Scum (1234 posts) -

^ Good post.

Revelation was an ok book but Ascension is kinda boring. I've only got 20 pages left and I can't wait to throw it away tbh.

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#10 Posted by Zirilius (1437 posts) -

^ Good post.

Revelation was an ok book but Ascension is kinda boring. I've only got 20 pages left and I can't wait to throw it away tbh.

Exactly how I felt about it. Nothing really happens in Ascension and the characters are at best tolerable.

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#11 Edited by aktivity (316 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll: My problem was mostly with the book that had Anderson step down from his position on the council. I was kinda annoyed he lost his position, It's only because I was bored and flipping through the codex I found out why. When I found out a book gave context into the game disregarding my decisions, having both prior ME games make me choose him for the position only soured my mood more, .

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#12 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (2692 posts) -

@aktivity said:

@ll_exile_ll: My problem was mostly with the book that had Anderson step down from his position on the council. I was kinda annoyed he lost his position, It's only because I was bored and flipping through the codex I found out why. When I found out a book gave context into the game disregarding my decisions, having both prior ME games make me choose him for the position only soured my mood more, .

I agree that wasn't handled very well, but I don't see that as the books influencing the games, rather it's one of several unfortunate elements of ME3 where the realities of game development resources and storytelling clashed with the ambitious save import aspirations of the trilogy.

The Cerberus coup storyline only works if Udina is the councilor. To tell that story with Anderson as the councilor would have resulted in way more changes than were evidently feasible to implement. Obviously at some point in development the decision was made that Anderson would have to step down, one way or another. That the story of his resignation was told in a book feels less like the story of the books encroaching on the games and more like the story of the games dictating the story of a book.

I absolutely agree they should have done a better of delving into Anderson's reasons in the game itself, but Udina was going to be the councilor whether the story of Anderson's resignation was told in the book or not.

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