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Mass Effect: Retribution Paperback – 19 Aug 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (19 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841499846
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841499840
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 2.4 x 18.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 196,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Book Description

The third official tie-in novel to MASS EFFECT, the award-winning videogame.

About the Author

Drew Karpyshyn is a writer/designer for games company, Bioware, and is one of the lead writers on the Mass Effect videogame. He lives in Alberta, Canada.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Drew Karpyshyn has done it again with his third book in the Mass Effect series!

Mass Effect Retribution seemlessly continues the stories of Kahlee Sanders and Paul Grayson from Mass Effect Ascension, and the ongoing story of the Illusive Man and the Reapers from Mass Effect 2, bringing the storyline of the games and the book together for the first real time.

The book is set two years after the events of Ascension and shortly after the events of Mass Effect 2. As with the second book, the storyline cleverly references the story of the game without giving a definitive outcome of the choices made, meaning that players of the game can incorporate their own story, whatever that may be, into the universe where this story is set and it still make perfect sense.

Retribution offers tantalising insight into the predominant stories throughout the Mass Effect universe; from the vulnerability of the seemingly untouchable Cerberus and their leader "The Illusive Man", to the true effects of Reaper Indoctrination and the effects of the synthetic "repurposing", as well as setting up the storyline which will lead into the third and final game.

I couldn't put this book down. Karpyshyn has the talent and ability to give you just enough story to keep you reading on and on, desperate to find out what happens next. The characters are emotionally involving and deep and the locations are well imagined.

You must read this book!
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It may not be a fashionable opinion, but I do like a tie in novel, be it based on film, TV or in the case of ‘Mass Effect: Retribution’ by Drew Karpyshyn, a game. I like the fact that I can pick up a book and know the characters instantly, therefore dispensing with the slow character building bit and get into the action. However, in the case of Mass Effect the hero of Shepherd is different for every player; therefore the character would be hard to write in any novelisation. Therefore, this spin off uses some new characters developed from the first two books in the series, plus some side characters from the game.

Karpyshyn is the lead writer for the original Mass Effect trilogy and his knowledge and skill is plain to see in these books. His sense of place is excellent, deftly balancing the locations seen in the game with new inventions (that went on to feature in the third game). It is perhaps the characters that are a little poorer. The most interesting protagonist from the earlier books is Grayson, but in ‘Retribution’ he is altered in a way that changes him completely and makes him less appealing. Karpyshyn’s choice of side characters is also annoying; the inclusion of my least favourite in a Cerberus assassin, Kai Leng, is a good example. Knowing the fate of certain people in the book already meant that I felt no fear for their safety (or in the case of some, hope for their end).

‘Retribution’ is a fun action science fiction romp that flies off the page, but it seems to lack the depth or intelligence of the games or earlier novels in the series. It is almost too quick and willing to partake in action sequences. This may reflect the way the later games played, but I like a little more depth with my literature (even in a tie in novel). A dip in form for Karpyshyn, which I hope is not permanent.
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Set after the events of "Mass Effect 2", Retribution starts with the leader of the terrorist pro-human organization Cerberus, The Illusive Man, in a fight against time. The Illusive Man knows the Reapers are coming and he will stop at nothing to save humanity. Eager to study the process and effects of reaper indoctrination, he has the perfect subject for the terrible experiments needed. Paul Grayson, the only man who betrayed him and got away. But no one can hide from the Illusive man forever and after Grayson is captured by Kai Leng, a ruthless and brutally efficient Cerberus agent, its up to Kahlee Sanders and Captain Anderson to deal with the situation! As Grayson fights against the reapers influence in his mind, Anderson and Kahlee must uncover The Illusive Man's plans, deal with Aria and her thugs and survive Kai Leng.
This is the third and final "Mass Effect" book written by Drew Karpyshyn and he goes out on top. While Retribution never quite reaches the heights of Mass Effect: Revelation , the first book, its a great adventure and provides great insight into the "Mass Effect" universe and plot. This is the first time we meet Kai Leng, later seen in "Mass Effect 3" and he is the highlight of the book. He is cunning, dangerous and very threatening with a mysterious aura and it truly is a shame to see what happened to the character in ME3. In this book he is portrayed as a worthy adversary for the coming duel with Shepard and even though things just didn't come together in the game, its a pleasure to read the character written by Karpyshyn and wonder what might have been.
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The plot is childish and the characters often make decisions which make absolutely no sense. For example why would Kahlee Sanders not tell anyone that Grayson worked for Cerberus after the events of the last book!? This is a man who allowed his daughter to be experimented on for years, something which Kahlee was angry about in "Accension" but which she no longer cares about now? as with the last book the characters make absurd choices to move the plot forward to where the writer wants it.
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