By: Drew Karpyshyn
Lieutenant David Anderson of the Alliance Fleet has been tasked with tracking down a suspect in a recent terrorist investigation at Sidon. A lab was destroyed, all of the scientists are believed to be dead, and no one seems to be able to tell him why their research was so important. Kahlee Sanders fled off world hours before the bombs went off, and her previously spotless record has Anderson convinced she’s innocent. However, he may find that secrets quickly destroy relationships and that keeping Kahlee safe when everyone is out to kill her is a new challenge all its own.
Saren is a turian Spectre authorized by the council to seek out and destroy enemy threats with brutal force if necessary. After hearing about the destruction at Sidon, Saren is sent to investigate and hunt down the young woman deemed responsible. He is not above prying the information from her through torture if it will get him the answers he wants. Using stealth, manipulation, and his political clout, Saren quickly discovers that a Krogan by the name of Skarr has been sent to eliminate Sanders. In order to interrogate Kahlee, Saren knows she will need to survive her first encounter with a Krogan battlemaster. The question is, will he help keep her alive?
I want to start this review by first explaining my previous encounters with games that have been turned into books. They were entertaining…but the writing was horrible.
Mass Effect is one of my all-time favorite video game series in existence. I’ve played all the games, own the comics, and now am trying to read the books. Given I have an intimate understanding of the characters for this universe, if they didn’t live up to their character personalities from the games, I was going to be pissed. I didn’t get pissed. This book was surprisingly awesome and true to the integrity of the story in a way I didn’t expect. After I started reading the book, I found out that the author, Drew Karpyshyn, was actually the lead writer for the first two Mass Effect games. If anyone at all was going to write a good video game novel, I can believe it would be the man who helped bring Mass Effect to fame and glory.
Revelation is set as a prequel for the first game, years before Commander Shepard ever came into the picture. In case you think this story was somehow drawn from thin air, you would be wrong. There are references to the plot in the first game when your character talks to Captain David Anderson. He regales Shepard with the tales of his adventurous youth and his encounters with Saren. He expresses his complete dislike for the turian, and we spend the game trying to figure out why Saren is trying to help destroy organic life throughout the galaxy. However, the thing I always thought was strange about the first game is that while we learn WHY Saren does the things he does, we don’t learn HOW he came to be in his position. Revelation tells that story, and in a very compelling way. Readers finally get to fill in the missing pieces from the first game.
Now, was everything in the book perfect? No, there were times that I wanted to finish it and just get the story over with, but I would like to think that was due to my impatience and not because of the quality of writing. I’m looking forward to reading the next two books written by Karpyshyn, and am interested to see how the Mass Effect Andromeda books are handled because they do not have the same writer. I’m sure when the time comes, you will hear all about it.
Overall Rating: 4.5
PS. If you have never played the games and are interested in sci-fi space operas, please go play these games. I promise you will not be disappointed.