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Mass Effect: Ascension Mass Market Paperback – Jul 29 2008

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (July 29 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345498526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345498526
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.4 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #48,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hive Mind on Sept. 13 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
N.B. If you're looking at this book purely from a Mass Effect storyline perspective, and not from a general SF PoV, add another star to my rating.

Maybe I've been reading too many books by really great SF authors, but I found this book underwhelming. The story is decent, but if you read much SF none of the ideas here will seem all that original. Descriptions of the universe seemed a bit blah, too. It is a quick read, if you like that. Oh, and Kahlee Sanders returns from the first book. This time she's in the biotics business. She just can't seem to stay out of trouble.

Of course, you probably won't bother with this unless you've played Mass Effect and are wondering where it's going next. That's the interesting part. Given the connections between the first ME book and the game, I spent much of my time reading this one wondering how it will relate to the next game. I don't have an answer for that, but there certainly were a lot of quarians, biotics, and alien-hating humans in this book. Oh, and mysterious aliens who live behind an unexplored relay and collect sentient beings...

There are a number of interesting directions set up here for the second game to take. Too bad for me I won't be playing it unless EA/Bioware change their DRM policies. At least I can, and probably will, keep buying the novels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Head Injured on Aug. 9 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gotta say it took me much longer to read than the first one. Light on plot, great on descriptions and really passable on dialogue, this little video game novel is a gem in itself in the sense that it achieved its purpose wonderfully, that is fleshing out the Mass Effect universe. I played the game once, read Ascencion again and on a replay I must say that I see Tali the Quarian completely differently. The Quarian race has been excellently introduced in this novel and has me looking forward to more. This novel served to pique my interest in the Mass Effect universe and in the end I think that that was what it was intended to do. Though Drew has written dialogue for Bioware's Knights of The Old Republic and IMO it is better, I expect more from a third novel, if ever there would be one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Guillaume Royer on April 14 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read the book before Mass Effect 2 was out, so I enjoyed the fact that the book was kind of an introduction to many new element in the world of Mass Effect. Otherwise the story is unrelated to the main story of both game. It was still somewhat fun but nothing outstanding.

I would recommend this book only to the hardcore fan of the series.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Detra Fitch TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 24 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It has been twelve years since scientist Kahlee Sanders survived the Sidon massacre. And it was thirteen years ago that a toxic disaster exposed thousands of pregnant human females and their unborn children to a deadly cloud of element zero on the Yandoa colony. Some of the human children were born with biotic abilities. All of them are now at the Jon Grissom Academy, orbiting the planet Elysium. Sanders works with these kids in the Ascension Project. She helps them adjust to and harness their extraordinary powers.

Twelve-year-old Gillian "Gigi" Grayson is borderline autistic. Her mental condition makes her emotionally distant, yet she is still the program's most promising student. She has also become the favorite of Hendel Mitra's, chief of security. But unknown to Sanders and Hendel is that Gigi's father is part of Cerberus, a radical pro-human terrorist group led by one known only as the Illusive Man. When Grayson visits Gigi, it is to help Cerberus perform illegal experiments on her.

When the Cerberus plot is revealed, Grayson takes Gigi away. Sanders and Hendel convinces Grayson to take them with Gigi. Cerberus is hot on their trail as the trio search for a way to save Gigi. Help comes from a totally unexpected source.

**** If you are playing the MASS EFFECT computer game, know that this story takes place AFTER the game ends. If you have not played the game as yet, but plan to, wait until you finish the game before you begin reading this story. This story reveals spoilers by mentioning things that happen in the game.

You do not have to read the first book, REVELATION, to fully enjoy this story. Both seem to be stand-alone tales.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 92 reviews
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Really good read! July 30 2008
By David D. - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
But for those wanting to continue where the game left off, you will not find it here. Any reference to the ending of the game is done in the first chapter and vague at that, not in detail as you see it since the game allows for multiple choices and events to occur depending how you played.

This book tells another story, but there is a returning character from the first book, which you end up wondering what ever happened to her after Revelation. The book revolves around the extremist band of Cerberus and their recent project. Readers who played the game and completed most of the side missions might have tangled with this group and may know of and what they are capable of.

I don't like to spoil stuff in reviews and like to keep them short. Ascension is a great read, and even though you might want to continue where the game dropped off with Shepard, it is worth you picking up and reading. I read it in 2 days because it really hooks you in with the plot and you can't help but wanting to devour it asap. If you liked Revelation, you will like Ascension, and if you only played the game and never read the novels, I recommend you do so.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Middling Mass Effect Misadventure March 20 2012
By Xavier - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kahlee Sanders is back from the first book, and now she's working on the Ascension Project at Jon Grissom Academy, a project for training human biotics. Gillian Grayson is one of the most promising students at the academy. Her father, Paul, works for Cerberus and has an interest in Gillian's success. Hendel Mitra is the Security Chief at the Academy and cares deeply for Gillian. Cerberus's interest in Gillian's biotic potential will take these characters and others across some of the Mass Effect universe's most interesting locations.

When reading a tie-in novel, I expect a few things. I want to better understand the IP's universe; I want interesting characters, both new and familiar; I want a fun adventure; and I wouldn't mind if the author threw in a little fan service. I don't expect literary masterpieces. I don't think my expectations are unreasonable. That said, unlike the first Mass Effect book, Mass Effect: Ascension doesn't deliver like a tie-in novel should.

By far the most interesting parts of Mass Effect: Ascension are the locales. Omega was and still is one of the most interesting places in the game, and Mass Effect: Ascension helps add more contours to its dark and seedy shape. I'll keep the other major location in the book a secret, but I will say that it'll be a pleasant surprise for fans of the game. It adds some needed life to one of Mass Effect's most mysterious locations. Unfortunately, that's about it for the locations. There's Grissom Academy which is your everyday biotics training academy, but Mass Effect: Ascension doesn't planet-hop as much as the first novel did. This wouldn't be a problem if Mass Effect's world wasn't interesting, but it is, and I wanted more from Mass Effect: Ascension.

The characters are the book's weakness. While reading Mass Effect: Revelation, even though I knew the fate of Saren from the first Mass Effect game, I held my breath every time he was in a scene because he was a great, unpredictable character. There wasn't a single character in Mass Effect: Ascension that made me smile or perk up whenever he or she would appear. The novel's characters are bland and uninspiring.

While Mass Effect: Ascension's adventure wasn't a complete bust, this is one of those stories that's merely going through the motions.
22 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Well written, but doesn't add to Mass Effect series Aug. 1 2008
By Zeph Greenwell - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you're a fan of Mass Effect then you're probably picking up this book hoping for some insight on what's next for the series. In that regard, this book fails to deliver. Though it is a well written and enjoyable story, it doesn't give any information on our favorite Mass Effect characters. Commander Shepard is only mentioned briefly once, and Captain Anderson is brought up on a couple of occasions. Ambassador Undina is also mentioned once. The main character the book focuses on is Kahlee Sanders, who was the prominent character in the first book.

As much as I was disappointed to gain no new information on Shepard, I was still enthralled by the book. Like the first Mass Effect novel, there is plenty of action and its exhilarating to read. The story never feels flat or boring so I should be any easy book to finish, for even the less than avid reader. Another thing the book does really well is developing its characters. Given the lack of familiar faces the book makes a lot of introductions and does so well. Every character fits into the story and is developed to a level where you understand their motivation.

As well written as the book is, it is still hard to recommend. Its hard to imagine that anyone looking to buy this book have not had some other encounter with the Mass Effect Universe. If you had only read the first novel then it would be better to take the money you would spend on this title and put it towards the PC or 360 game (if you don't have a 360 or a nice PC I'm sorry). For people who have played through the game and are undoubtedly looking for clues to Mass Effect 2, the only insight you gain is that Mass Effect 2 will focus a lot on the criminal organization Cerberus. Don't be waiting for an appearance of Wrex, Garrus, Liara, or even Tali (despite the fact the book focuses on the Quarians), they're not even in there in cameos.

Its possible that this could be more of an introduction to Mass Effect 2 than I realize. Obviously it is hard to tell since the game isn't out yet. The book fails to live up to ending of the game though, and really fails to live up to the ending of the first book. Unlike those stories, it doesn't leave you wanting more. That was the greatest success of the first two stories, their ability to close out open plot-lines while leaving us knowing there's more to come. Its obvious this book was released to tide fans over until the next game and it does not do that.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good. Much better than the first novel. Oct. 5 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is excellent and in my opinion significantly better than the first Mass Effect novel. You can tell that Karphyshyn has really grown comfortable with authoring novels as he continues to write them. I'm hoping he writes another one following the story of the second game.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Just as Good as the first? You Bet! July 5 2009
By ~KG~ - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Mass Effect: Ascension takes place directly after the Mass Effect Video-game. As this novel first starts out, things are slow, gradually pulling you into the story surrounding our previous novel main character, Kaylee Sanders; who is a teacher/advisor in a school for Biotic youngsters newly exposed to Element Zero. After a few chapters of environment, a background story to places, people and objects the story begins to pick up the pace. You will be introduced to new villains and allies to this already massive universe, in turn creating a very interesting setting for Mass Effect 2 to continue off where this book ends. During the climatic chapters, you may find yourself hard-pressed to putting the book down and taking a break as it tends to keep you on the edge of your seat. The ending was good, the only bad part being that it ended at all. As good as the first Drew Karpyshyn Mass Effect novel, in my opinion; maybe a little better. Having played the game, and reading the first novel is probably a great perquisite to checking this out, as without both, you may not be as attached or familiar to some characters or places.

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