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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 5 July 2007
Having read all of the Halo novels and enjoyed them, I decided to buy Mass Effect: Revelation from Amazon seeing as I'm really looking forward to the forthcoming video game later this year.

This book initially focuses on establishing the backbone of the universe, explaining and detailing to the reader the situation in the galaxy, mankind's massive technological evolution and it's introduction onto the galactic stage that it shares with many other species. Once the groundwork is laid, it opens up into it's own narrative that concentrates on a few central characters and tells a story which is a small piece of a much larger puzzle.

It's a light and easy read, although it manages to be descriptive and interesting. It's not particularly emotional, although I thought there were some cool moments in it that will very much appease fans of the type of game it's based on.

I would recommend it to anybody who has enjoyed books based on video games before, or to those wishing to get a little bit of insight into BioWare's next massive fictional world. It doesn't take long to read, so it's not a major time investment and it's enjoyable and entertaining while it lasts.
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on 17 November 2012
"Mass Effect: Revelation" is meant for the hardcore Mass Effect fan! If you're looking for a good sci-fi novel, this is not the book you want. Its a simple story on a very interesting universe that sadly does not come alive in the book as it does in the videogame. To be perfectly honest for the non fan this book will hold little value or entertainment. However if you've spent hundreds of hours on the ME trilogy, as I have, this is very interesting and highly enjoyable. The book explores Saren and his "renegade" style deeply and we get to read how he came to know Anderson and found Sovereign! If you have no idea how important this is, again this is not the book for you. If you know what i'm talking about, read on! Also present is Kahlee Sanders who appears on Grissom Academy in ME3 as is Grissom himself. The book is filled with little treats to the loyal and fanatic ME follower and is the true start to the franchise, something any real fan cannot afford to miss! The writing is simple but effective and the action is plenty and bloody! The only fault I would point in the book from a fan's point of view is that Anderson is not really explored beyond a crush on Kahlee and his strong sense of duty! He comes across as a weak hero and severely lacking dimension and charisma. Of course my opinion is tainted by seeing Anderson over three games and already having a strong and very positive view of his character which only makes the Anderson from the book suffer even more by comparison. Saren is the real focus of the book and his road to Sovereign the payoff for the reader and fan. As a fan ME: Revelation was an enjoyable, compulsive read, giving me exactly what I wanted as a completely hardcore, obsessive ME universe lover. Looked at as a literary work this is a simple tale without much to recommend which probably wont even make someone unfamiliar with the franchise to go out and find the game! For anyone who knows what destroy, synthesis and control means, it is unmissable!
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on 24 May 2017
Great book :)
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on 9 August 2015
The only reason i finished this book is because i am a huge Mass Effect fan, but now that i have i wished i hadnt. The writing is quite juvenile, horribly overdescriptive (you could problably drop 100 pages of it) and quite lackluster. It feels more like a screenplay rather than a novel, trying to "describe" huge action set-pieces of falling debree against what everyone who knows this universe are complete 100% plot-armored characters completely destroying the illusion of danger. DO NOT READ.
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I don't recommend reading the book before finishing the videogame because it will ruin the last plot twist but, if you've just finished it, it gives some explanations about Captain Anderson and Saren's past.
It also gives more of what we already like in the game: the description of the Citadel, the combat sequences, they have the same pace. Specially the first part reminds me of the mission where I had to rescue Liara.
About the writing style, maybe it is not the best or most elegant I've seen in a book, but it works for entertainment.
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on 4 May 2012
Every advanced society in the galaxy relies on the technology of the Protheans, an ancient species that vanished fifty thousand years ago. After discovering a cache of Prothean technology on Mars, humanity is spreading to the stars, the newest interstellar species struggling to carve out its place in the greater galactic community.

On the fringes of colonized space, Commander David Anderson investigates a vicious attack against a covert military research base. The prime suspect is one Kahlee Sanders, a researcher that went AWOL shortly before the assault.

Forced to work alongside a violent alien agent he knows he can't trust and pursued by a deadly biotic assassin, Anderson is going to have his work cut out just to survive.

Mass Effect: Revelation is a prequel tie-in novel to the Mass Effect computer game series, expanding on the back story to the first game in the series. The novel is written by Drew Karpyshyn, the lead writer on the game itself, so part of the canon for that universe.

I must admit I was looking forwards to reading this book, being a fan of the Mass Effect games. Unfortunately the book was not all that I had expected. I'm not familiar with any of Drew Karpyshyn's other novels, but if this drivel is anything to go by I don't think I'll be picking them up any time soon. Bizarre really, as the games themselves are very well written.

The villains are terrible. We have a Krogan biotic assassin named Skarr (I know, pretty weak, eh?) - you know, the hulking lizard guys that are as stealthy as an angry dinosaur in a china shop and lets not forget the rather cowardly gangster (so how does he lead?) with a really tedious line in exposition and saddled with hopelessly ineffective goons.

These misfiring characters pale into insignificance compared to the horrible hatchet job done on Saren, the antagonist in the first game. Instead of the complex and conflicted individual we know, we get a poorly written cipher that hates humans because his brother died in the First Contact War, with a fondness for pointless torture. He doesn't develop any further than that in the entire book.

Don't expect to learn any more about David Anderson than you learnt in the first game either, he simply meanders from scene to scene as a placeholder carried along by the plot devices. The same for Kahlee Sanders - she is a nonentity that is so underwhelming she still seems like a new character when you finally encounter her in the third game.

Mass Effect: Revelation (*) reads like low grade fan-fic with virtually no character development, a pointless and weakly constructed detective story that serves up an almighty slap in the face to any Mass Effect fans unfortunate enough to buy this obvious cash-in.

Avoid it like the genophage.
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on 4 September 2016
I'm not sure how this book is averaging four stars - except that it seems to me like it's attracted attention from people who probably don't read a lot of books outside the video game adaption genre.

It's not that Revelation is an especially bad story, it's just that... well, Drew Krapyshyn isn't a book writer, he's a video game writer, and Revelation is proof that being good at writing for one type of media doesn't make you good at writing for another.
The first thing that struck me about this book was how utterly, terribly poor the writing is. There's a lot of 'telling', as if Karpyshyn doesn't trust the reader to figure out what's happening or correctly gauge the tone of a scene so he has to explicitly tell us how shocked, happy, angry, ect the characters are at that moment. This gets done for characters as well; one of the first we're introduced to is a tired, gruff, worn down old officer and we're just flat out told that he's tired and worn down and why he's a gruff, old, tired and worn down old gruff, worn down, gruff and tired, gruff, worn down old officer because he's old and tired and gruff and worn down. He was in a war, so he's worn down. And old. And Tired. And Gruff. Because he was in a war. And wars are hard. So he's tired. And gruff now. And old. And worn down. Because war thing happen.
Basically, the writing feels like a mixture of stage directions, character profiles and desperate filler/random lore, which is probably what Drew is used to writing as a video game writer. This does not translate well into a novel.

Secondly - character interactions feel forced and jarring nearly every time. There's no nuance to anything; people seem to charge right in, say exactly what they think/feel and rarely last longer than four or five exchanges. The only interesting character in the whole book is Saren, who starts as a believably pragmatic and cold hearted Spectre, but ends the book as a pointlessly psychotic mass murderer who guns down civilians and destroys expensive and important military/civilian/economic buildings for no reason, with no fear of repercussion. This made me wonder how exactly he became a Spectre in the first place when he's clearly INSANE and was obviously a psychotic nut job with pointlessly questionable methods even before the Reapers got a hold of him, and made me wonder a lot about the Spectres and the Council in general.
Other characters are varying degrees of stereotype - gruff old officer (because he was in war thing), wise cracking/tough guy mercenary 1-93, cowardly business crook, slooty gurrl, obsessed scientist and so on. Even the character of Anderson falls neatly into 'optimistic good-soldier' and overall I didn't see a lot of coloration between the Anderson in this book and the one in the game. This gets compounded by his frequent assumptive jumps and coincidental stumblings which exist only because Karpyshyn can't imagine better ways for a story to progress. Again - this is fine in a video game, but it doesn't work in an actual novel.

In fact, the writing and characters are so poor I nearly gave up on this book after 20 pages. I literally felt embarrassed reading it. But I persevered, as the book was purchased for me as a gift. It did get better towards the middle, and I actually started warming towards it, with the odd hiccup. But then the quality swan dives again towards the end - I assume Drew's editor went to town on the book but gave up after a while and just left the last 40 pages in the same awful state as the first 40.

Despite it's failings though, there is a reasonably okay overall story hidden beneath the terrible writing quality, cliche dialogue and unoriginal characters. In the hands of a good writer, this would have been a good book. If you're reading range is mostly fan fiction or TV/video game adaptations and you like exploring these worlds but aren't too fussed about professional quality writing, then you'll probably like this just fine. Having said that, I also read the Dragon Age books 'Final Flight' and 'Stolen Throne' - neither is spectacular but both are vastly superior to Revelation.
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on 11 January 2011
This novel fulfils its purpose, as those who have played the first game Mass Effect, would or may have asked why is Saren so evil and why Captain Anderson despise Saren so much?

Not to give away too much, the character Saren before the game Mass Effect, I will described as a monster with a badge. Saren was always close to the edge, it seemed all Sovereign had to do is push him over. Saren is the kind of bad guy who likes to convince themselves that what they are doing is for the greater good, a conflicted individual unwilling to accept their true nature.

Overall the novel was very compelling as it fills in many gaps such as what happen during the First Contact war and even explaining technological breakthroughs in a very realistic matter. In fact the novel is far more realistic than the games. I have found a deeper appreciation for soldiers and the military mind, and the combat was realistic to a T, well as Scifi goes the author provided great detail. The detail on how biotics would actually be if it was real was utterly convincing. A realistic richness to combat was brought to live. However, I could not give it a full 5 stars because it was a bit anti-climatic. I expected a good guy turned bad, but got a bad guy turned evil!
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on 10 October 2010
This book is an excellent read i found and adds a whole lot more to the existing Mass effect sub-characters and the plots are gripping to say the least, very well written and very much worth a look if you are a big mass effect fan.
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on 9 February 2012
First of all I have to admit, I am a mass effect fan. So when I saw the cheap price and the delicious cover of Saren (You get to know him), it didn't take long before it was in my shopping chart and on its way. Shipping went fine and only took 3 days which was quite surprising giving I live in Norway and nothing arrives when it's supposed to.

Mass effect Revelation is a sci-fi fiction story that takes place before the happenings of the mass effect game series.

It's not heavily written and is quite easy to sink you'r teeth in and before you know it the book is over and the birds are singing outside.

Being a fan of the Mass Effect series it gave the book a huge boost, but it could be read of sci-fi fanboys aswell as someone just looking for a book containing well written dialog, appealing characters and interesting stories.

It keeps you hungering for more. Read the book in just 3 days, definatly worth the money.
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