Tuesday, 12 June 2007

'Mass Effect: Revelation' - Drew Karpyshyn

I've read loads of 'movie tie-in' books but have never read a book about a computer game until now. 'Mass Effect' (for the Xbox 360) has apparently been doing great things at various computer game awards and the novelisation is a good way to get to grips with the universe before forking out your hard earned cash for the game itself.
'Mass Effect:Revelation' is a short and snappy story set in a galaxy where (aided by ancient alien technology)Mankind is beginning to make his presence felt amongst the stars. Alliance operative David Anderson must solve the mystery of why a research base was utterly destroyed by alien mercenaries. Tailed by a duplicitous alien agent and an unstoppable bounty hunter, Anderson will uncover a secret that will greatly influence the future of all sentient species (and probably events in the game as well).
This isn't a bad little read and it certainly ticks all the 'space opera' boxes; big space ships, intergalactic chases, vicious bounty hunters and beautiful heroines. While it is entertaining, it does tend to ply the reader with too much background information (about past history and alien races) and this is what let it down for me. I wanted to feel like I was reading a story, not having various alien factions introduced to me so I would know what to expect when I play the game (which I probably won't as I don't have an Xbox). Maybe this is what a computer game tie-in should be like, I don't know, but I was after something a little more subtle than that.
Buy it if you're into the 'Halo' series or if you're planning on getting the 'Mass Effect' game. I'd be interested in knowng where the story goes from here but I won't be searching out the next book in the series.

Five out of Ten

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