Yup, that’s right – that small collection of Mass Effect paraphernalia is indeed mine. Including the two books.
I’ve never really been much of a fan of this sort of thing. You can count me among the ranks who look down on the Halo novel crowd with disdain, and don’t even get me started on the horde of people reading World of Warcraft inspired librams. I may be somewhat of a geek at heart, but even I have to draw the line somewhere.
But now I find myself in possession of not only the Mass Effect game, but also the soundtrack, and two books. I’ve always been a bit of a game music connoisseur (a quirk that extends itself to the occasional movie soundtrack as well), but never a book guy. Novels based on games always seemed cheap to me – like milking a franchise and its fans rather than paying worthy tribute to any redeeming values the original work may have had. Not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t want to be spotted in public with my nose stuck inside a book with Master Chief plastered all over the front cover. Despite all this, however, I found myself in Barnes & Noble some months ago, and on recommendation from a few friends, walking out with a brand new copy of Mass Effect: Revelation in hand.
The novel didn’t take me all that long to finish, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had reading it. Revelation might not be as engrossing as a full-fledged, self-contained science fiction books like Ender’s Game (one of my favorites), but it makes a great companion piece to Mass Effect itself, and helps flesh out a lot of the backstory that was merely alluded to in the game.
My misgivings over game-based fiction are mostly gone now – Mass Effect: Revelation was a good read. I don’t want to say too much about it, in case anyone out there is planning on reading it in the future, but I recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the game and wants to learn a bit more about the characters involved.
As for Ascension, I’ve yet to read it. The book was only released a week ago, and between the two books, I decided I’d finally read one of the largest books I own (and one of the most famous): The Lord of The Rings. I got it as a Christmas present from my parents a few years ago, dug it out of my closet the other day, and began reading. I’ve got about 1,000 pages to go, and it’s all good stuff.
I’m sure though, that if Ascension is anything like Revelation, it’ll be worth the wait. Drew Karpyshyn did an excellent job with the first book, and I have no reason to believe the second will be anything less.
And with so much to read before I even get to start on Ascension, maybe we’ll be close to another book release by the time I finish with it!