Thursday, 8 February 2018
BOOK REVIEW: MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA INITIATION
Mass Effect Andromeda: Initiation
Author/s: NK Jemisin/Mac Walters
Publisher: Titan Books
Reviewed by: Sandra Scholes
As an official prequel to the hit video game from BioWare, Mass Effect Andromeda: Initiation has Lt. Cara Harper who has come back to an Earth she doesn't recognize, joining the Andromeda Initiation as Alec Ryder's second-in-command. Cara's mission is to find stolen tech before it gets into the wrong hands.
For fans of the video game, this is the ultimate tie-in novel as it contains official accounts of events that lead up to the game Mass Effect: Andromeda. It is written by Hugo Award-winning author NK Jemisin and the Mass Effect: Andromeda Creative Director Mac Walters. Mass Effect is considered one of the most successful and critically acclaimed game franchises and is the largest licenced brands from EA. As Titan has a few video game tie-in novels under its belt, this will add to the collection nicely. Bear in mind Titan's best to date; Halo, Resident Evil, XCom2 and Dishonored.
From the very beginning, Cara finds she is in dangerous territory. At first she thinks she is doing something good for the people and also gaining some recognition for being part of the Andromeda Initiation, but others do not share her enthusiasm, seeing her as a part of the system and not to be trusted. A reporter tries to tear up her resolve and conducts an interview she does not approve of, though as a reader, you can feel for Cara as she is trying to make a difference in a harsh world where other alien cultures want to blend in.
Cara feels unprotected and ill at ease with her mission, especially after Al-Jilani's report has gone live, doing nothing for her reputation. When she thinks all might get worse, she has an ally in Kin who understands and shares her concerns about the mission. And once she finds the tech, there is already someone around who is willing to destroy her and put her comrades in peril for the credits alone. Annoyed at being used by a colleague who is obviously out for her own gain and is linked to Al-Jilani. She sees her running her story was a way of tricking her, so from now on, she has to keep her wits about her after her treachery as she risks her life to evade her potential killer's wrath.
Mass Effect Andromeda: Initiation is a book comprised of action, tension and world building and world expanding. You would think that the world would be a better place for the many species around, but mainly humans and the pitfalls they have of trying to interact with non-human society.