Mass Effect: Retribution – Review

Title: Mass Effect: Retribution

Writer: Drew Karpyshyn

Publisher: Del Ray

Release Date: July 27, 2010

Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages

ISBN-10: 0345520726

ISBN-13: 978-0345520722

MSRP: $7.99

Drew Karpyshyn has done it again! He has weaved another great tale from the Mass Effect universe. He has an awesome writing style that gels well with the Mass Effect stories. It damn well should too since he was the lead writer for Mass Effect and co-lead writer for Mass Effect 2. So yeah, you couldn’t pick anybody more qualified to write some awesome novels to help expand upon the story behind Mass Effect. He does an excellent job with pacing in Retribution. There’s a nice mix of action and story to keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.

From a gamer’s standpoint, Retribution helps flesh out the characters, Captain David Anderson, Aria T’Loak, and the Illusive Man. This is a good thing as it helps bring the Mass Effect universe alive. Reader’s will realize that there’s a lot more going on than just Commander Shepard and the crew flying around space, kicking Reaper ass. If you have read the previous two Mass Effect books (Revelation and Ascension), then you will also be familiar with Kahlee Sanders and Paul Grayson as this continues their struggle with Cerberus and the Illusive Man.

The following is the description found on the back cover of the book:

Humanity has reached the stars, joining the vast galactic community of alien species. But beyond the fringes of explored space lurk the Reapers, a race of sentient starships bent on “harvesting” the galaxy’s organic species for their own dark purpose.

The Illusive Man, leader of the pro-human black ops group Cerberus, is one of the few who know the truth about the Reapers. To ensure humanity’s survival, he launches a desperate plan to uncover the enemy’s strengths—and weaknesses—by studying someone implanted with modified Reaper technology. He knows the perfect subject for his horrific experiments: former Cerberus operative Paul Grayson, who wrested his daughter from the cabal’s control with the help of Ascension project director Kahlee Sanders.

But when Kahlee learns that Grayson is missing, she turns to the only person she can trust: Alliance war hero Captain David Anderson. Together they set out to find the secret Cerberus facility where Grayson is being held. But they aren’t the only ones after him. And time is running out.

As the experiments continue, the sinister Reaper technology twists Grayson’s mind. The insidious whispers grow ever stronger in his head, threatening to take over his very identity and unleash the Reapers on an unsuspecting galaxy.

I honestly do not have anything negative to say about Retribution. It is a great read and will get you even more excited about Mass Effect 3. It would be nice to see more of Commander Shepard in the book, but I also understand why Drew keeps his mention to a minimum. Which brings me to another highlight of his writing, he writes Shepard into the story so he will fit whether you played him as a paragon or a renegade. This is a nice touch that will make the story even more believable for the fans of the game.

Brian’s Overall Thoughts: If you love Mass Effect, then you will love this book. It’s an amazing look at some of the supporting characters in the game and adds even more depth to the Mass Effect story. It’s cool to see inside the mind of the Illusive Man. See what he thinks, how he operates. So little is known about him from the game. It’s also nice to see Captain Anderson is still a man of action even though he’s not a spry Spectre contender anymore.

Retribution is a must read for any Mass Effect fan out there, whether you are Human, Turian, Asari, or Salarian!!

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