I am a fairly large fan of the Mass Effect game, but I have to admit that I certainly wasn’t expecting Tolstoy (or insert any other good novelist here) when I got my hands on this book. It sold itself on a few things, that it was a prequel to the game. It would tell us how Saren came to hate humans so much, and why Captain Anderson failed as a Spectre.
If you’re boggled already then that sort of shows you a little of how the book is. As a stand alone novel, it’s a fairly throw away read set in a vaguely interesting world that we never really get to see in any depth. The characters are all pretty cardboard as the action nips along. The only real surprisingly development comes with Anderson’s divorce from his wife.
If you already know the world of Mass Effect you’re probably a little better off, but still have to wade through a lot of explanation as to what things are and why they are like that. And seriously, the reasons why Saren might hate humans, and why Anderson failed at being a Sceptre are pretty stock standard. There’s not a lot of imagination with either revelation.
All in all a very quick read, and vaguely entertaining.