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Mass Effect: Annihilation

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An official tie-in to the hit video game Mass Effect: Andromeda. As the Quarian ark Keelah Si'yah sails toward the Andromeda galaxy, it carries 20,000 colonists from several races including the Drell, Elcor, and Batarians. Along the way a routine check reveals that many of the Drell colonists have died in their cryopods, and a pathogen is discovered. It begins to jump spec An official tie-in to the hit video game Mass Effect: Andromeda. As the Quarian ark Keelah Si'yah sails toward the Andromeda galaxy, it carries 20,000 colonists from several races including the Drell, Elcor, and Batarians. Along the way a routine check reveals that many of the Drell colonists have died in their cryopods, and a pathogen is discovered. It begins to jump species, then the ship's tech begins to fail, making it clear that this is no accident. It's murder, and the perpetrator is still on board. The ship's systems rapidly degrade, and panic spreads among the colonists. To make matters worse, the virus yields a terrible swelling of the brain that causes madness, hallucinations, and leads to violence. If the ship's crew can't restore their technology and find a cure, the Keelah Si'yah will never make it to the Nexus.


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An official tie-in to the hit video game Mass Effect: Andromeda. As the Quarian ark Keelah Si'yah sails toward the Andromeda galaxy, it carries 20,000 colonists from several races including the Drell, Elcor, and Batarians. Along the way a routine check reveals that many of the Drell colonists have died in their cryopods, and a pathogen is discovered. It begins to jump spec An official tie-in to the hit video game Mass Effect: Andromeda. As the Quarian ark Keelah Si'yah sails toward the Andromeda galaxy, it carries 20,000 colonists from several races including the Drell, Elcor, and Batarians. Along the way a routine check reveals that many of the Drell colonists have died in their cryopods, and a pathogen is discovered. It begins to jump species, then the ship's tech begins to fail, making it clear that this is no accident. It's murder, and the perpetrator is still on board. The ship's systems rapidly degrade, and panic spreads among the colonists. To make matters worse, the virus yields a terrible swelling of the brain that causes madness, hallucinations, and leads to violence. If the ship's crew can't restore their technology and find a cure, the Keelah Si'yah will never make it to the Nexus.

30 review for Mass Effect: Annihilation

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    AHHHHHHH! My favorite author is writing a book about my favorite video game series. Life is beautiful.

  2. 5 out of 5

    marilyn

    I'm a big fan of the Mass Effect and Dragon Age games so I read all the related books as soon as they come out. My four star rating is based on loving the games, having played them over and over, knowing the lore, and wanting more content in the games, and if not there, in books. I don't see how the books could be really enjoyed without the background of the games they are linked to but in the case of this prequel, for a series of games that I love to play, I was very happy to be able to indulge I'm a big fan of the Mass Effect and Dragon Age games so I read all the related books as soon as they come out. My four star rating is based on loving the games, having played them over and over, knowing the lore, and wanting more content in the games, and if not there, in books. I don't see how the books could be really enjoyed without the background of the games they are linked to but in the case of this prequel, for a series of games that I love to play, I was very happy to be able to indulge in more ME. The first part of the book introduced us to the characters on a ship to Andromeda that had a big problem. We'd meet a character and then they would go into a long memory of the past that gave us an idea of what the character was like, and this could be pretty tedious at times. At the same time, we did need to care about the characters and I began to do that with several of them. The second, shorter part of the book, then provided the satisfactory "fixing the problem", as best as it could be fixed, with the limited resources and time that the ship leaders had to do so. I do wish we'd get to see these characters in the next ME game but I'm not sure another ME will ever come out and even if it does, they may go a completely different direction. For all I know, this may be the last new ME content. I know we hear rumors of this or that, but I'll believe there will be another game when it actually comes out.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    I ask you: what's not to love about a wise-cracking, Shakespeare-quoting Elcor ear nose and throat doctor?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carien

    I loved Mass Effect Andromeda and for a long time after finishing the game I held hope there would be DLCs. One of those could have been about the Quarian ark, as at the end of the game it is revealed the Keelah Si'yah is in trouble. Alas: EA decided to pull the plug and I didn't get a Quarian ark DLC. So you bet I preordered this book as soon as I knew it was about the Keelah Si'yah. And this is a really great book. Even better than Nexus Uprising. The Quarian ark is travelling through space, all I loved Mass Effect Andromeda and for a long time after finishing the game I held hope there would be DLCs. One of those could have been about the Quarian ark, as at the end of the game it is revealed the Keelah Si'yah is in trouble. Alas: EA decided to pull the plug and I didn't get a Quarian ark DLC. So you bet I preordered this book as soon as I knew it was about the Keelah Si'yah. And this is a really great book. Even better than Nexus Uprising. The Quarian ark is travelling through space, all its occupants in cryosleep when three sleepwalkers (specialists who wake up once in awhile to check the ship) are woken up off schedule, because the ship detects an anomaly. The three of them soon realize there is trouble and they need to act fast or the whole ark may be lost. The three specialists are the viewpoint characters in this book, and I especially loved Yorrik: an Elcor doctor who dreams of being an actor once the ark reaches Andromeda. He has to work on finding a cure together with a Hanar who doesn't like him. Yorrik's chapters were my favorite, and I rooted for him to save the day and realize his dreams. Then there is Senn, a Quarian who loves machines and VI's. He's not your typical Quarian, and I very much liked him as well. He is levelheaded, and open to change and creative solutions. The last viewpoint character was a Drell detective and she was the least interesting to me. Most probably because she keeps lying and adapting herself according to who she is talking to, so you don't really get to know her. Luckily the characters she gets teamed up with - a Batarian and a Volus - are interesting. The story is suspenseful and tense. I couldn't put the book down, I had to know if they could catch the culprit and save the ark. There were some really heartbreaking moments, and the ending was bittersweet. If it was impossible to get this story as a DLC, this book is certainly the next best thing. I might need to do another playthrough of the game soon.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lucía

    Contained emotion: this book was amazing. With cautious excitement: I’m looking forward to hearing news of ME:A2

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Kihara

    I pre-ordered the book months before it came out because i read the first two Mass Effect Andromeda novels, and I loved them. More than the game even. The writing in the first one was really good. It's told from the perspective of a few of the characters from the game, mainly Sloane and the writing reflected each different character's personality, which i thought was a nice touch. I loved the second book because the story turned out to be a lot more captivating than I was expecting and it also p I pre-ordered the book months before it came out because i read the first two Mass Effect Andromeda novels, and I loved them. More than the game even. The writing in the first one was really good. It's told from the perspective of a few of the characters from the game, mainly Sloane and the writing reflected each different character's personality, which i thought was a nice touch. I loved the second book because the story turned out to be a lot more captivating than I was expecting and it also provided an in-depth look at one of the characters in the game. The writing of this book was alright, nothing really stood out about it. The mystery was what kept me going but, I do feel like there was a lot of unnecessary padding which only served to make the book longer without really adding anything to the story. It doesn't really progress smoothly and the conclusion, though unexpected, didn't really seem like it was reached through any progression of the story. I don't want to elaborate on that because it might spoil the story. I initially got it because of the cliff-hanger that the game ended in and i wanted to find out what happened. The story itself I loved and i remember literally gasping when I read the blurb. When I heard the distress signal from the Quarian ark at the end of the game, I immediately thought that it was probably an issue that we could solve by going in guns blazing. but I was pleasantly surprised. It's a great book for fans because it helps tie up one loose end from the game so I definitely recommend it. For people who've never played the game, I don't think you would get the full experience but I think you would understand the story nonetheless. The characters and different species from the game are explained well enough that it paints a good picture for newcomers to the series. You also don't need to have read the previous books to understand it so I still recommend

  7. 4 out of 5

    Adam Maloney

    Catherynne M. Valente's Mass Effect: Annihilation is so freaking good you guys. It's hilarious, horrifying, riveting, and stuffed full to bursting with Mass Effect deliciousness. The looping space-noir narrative starts off with a bang and doesn't let up until the closing pages. In addition to the aforementioned, Valente masterfully fulfilled the long running promise/gag of Elcor Shakespeare that never materialized in the games. Now, I will admit that I am someone who loves the labyrinthine, lyric Catherynne M. Valente's Mass Effect: Annihilation is so freaking good you guys. It's hilarious, horrifying, riveting, and stuffed full to bursting with Mass Effect deliciousness. The looping space-noir narrative starts off with a bang and doesn't let up until the closing pages. In addition to the aforementioned, Valente masterfully fulfilled the long running promise/gag of Elcor Shakespeare that never materialized in the games. Now, I will admit that I am someone who loves the labyrinthine, lyrical forests of words and phrases with which Valente normally constructs her books. In this novel, however, she decided to take a more straightforward approach to verbiage and metaphor that still somehow manages to retain the poetic and unique tone that is unquestionably Valente. She flat out nails it. Having played any of the Mass Effect games will definitely enhance the reading experience of this book - there is no two ways about it. In-jokes like Elcor Shakespeare pepper the script. That should not, however, stop a newbie from checking this out. Valente weaves enough descriptions and histories throughout the dialogue and narrative to bring newcomers up to speed on the fundamentals of the races/universe without feeling like they're sitting through a lecture, and they will assuredly be able to enjoy the ride. Hell, even calling this "Book #3" is silly as it can be read as a standalone story. So strap on your omni-tool, settle into your cryo-chamber, and blast off toward the Andromeda Galaxy with Annihilation.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Luke Waldron

    As the Quarian ark Keelah Si'yah sails toward the Andromeda galaxy, it carries 20,000 colonists from several races including the Drell, Elcor, and Batarians. Along the way a routine check reveals that many of the Drell colonists have died in their cryopods and a pathogen is discovered. It begins to jump species, then the ship's tech begins to fail, making it clear that this is no accident. It's murder and the perpetrator is still on board. A murder mystery in space with a joke thrown in at the sa As the Quarian ark Keelah Si'yah sails toward the Andromeda galaxy, it carries 20,000 colonists from several races including the Drell, Elcor, and Batarians. Along the way a routine check reveals that many of the Drell colonists have died in their cryopods and a pathogen is discovered. It begins to jump species, then the ship's tech begins to fail, making it clear that this is no accident. It's murder and the perpetrator is still on board. A murder mystery in space with a joke thrown in at the same time. "What do you get with an elcor, drell, hannar, barterian, and a quarian on a ship? A 8 hour read and disappointing end ok not a funny joke but everything leading up to this book is a joke. This was a story that was promised in game as DLC but now we have it as a follow up book which i can't really complain at least i now know what happend to my favourite gipsys and the rest of the crew. And the story is not that bad it's the best of the andromida series. The charecters are all intresting and have there own benifits to the team to figure out what has gone wrong. And it all pays off in the end there are happy and sad revelations to the mystery and some new knowledge about the qurians that i didn't know about the family VI disc which fits in well with the golden age of the qurians before the geth. Now the ending is intresting and a complete shock to me but still disappointing because i wanted more having to wait this long for this story. And still no revalation of who the mysterious benefactor is i guess I'll have the wait till ME:A 2 for that answer as well as few more. So overall i liked it dispite the bad ending it wasn't a bad story and im glad i now know the story of the legendary qurian DLC 😅 even if i rather have played the story instead of reading it hay ho this door is now closed. 5/5 stars on Goodreads 95/100 Ginger points

  9. 4 out of 5

    James

    Game tie in novels aren’t often great. With a game like Mass Effect, they have to jump the hurdle of players own head and game cannon. While I can’t say you can get the most out of ‘Annihilation’ without having played the Mass Effect games, Valente uses all the ME universe has to offer to give us a rich read. Set on a multi-species Ark traveling to the Andromeda Galaxy as things go horribly wrong. This is a great book, a must read for an ME fan.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Bone

    This is the best of the three Mass Effect Andromeda books and was well worth the wait. The story is Sherlock'esk in its detective sections but still very Mass Effect. There is a healthy amount of humour spread throughout as well as dark themes as the story unfolds.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Schmuhl

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. How do you review a book like this? I'm waffling between a 3 and a 4, but mostly because I can't decide. This book was clearly a labor of love, and after having read some of the post-Karpyshyn novels (by people who didn't know the universe from a hole in the ground), it was refreshing. Now, you'd better know the Mass Effect universe to read this, because the book just sort of assumes that you do. As a fan, that's nice. A non-fan would find it extremely confusing. So, I read the thing in two days. How do you review a book like this? I'm waffling between a 3 and a 4, but mostly because I can't decide. This book was clearly a labor of love, and after having read some of the post-Karpyshyn novels (by people who didn't know the universe from a hole in the ground), it was refreshing. Now, you'd better know the Mass Effect universe to read this, because the book just sort of assumes that you do. As a fan, that's nice. A non-fan would find it extremely confusing. So, I read the thing in two days... which is a pretty good clip. It was fun and kept me engaged throughout. I didn't find myself skimming or skipping around. I was invested in the characters... who seemed like real people, with flaws and stuff. Normally that's at least a 4 star, right? The problem is hard to put my finger on. It felt rushed... sort of like one of those medical dramas where they struggle for 45 minutes and solve the problem in the last 5. The actual resolution was unsatisfying, as well. Yeah, a crazy Hanar death cult may have been obvious, but it was incredibly more interesting than the actual ending. Part of the rushed feeling came from the fact that there were too few pages to justify 4 POV characters. I felt like some threads (like the ship not working) weren't given the attention that they deserved. "Nothing works around here... so it's very handy that I have this ancient Quarian MacGuffin in my footlocker!" My only real complaint was the 180 on the Batarian character at the end. Making her banished because she tried to improve her species seemed like a cop-out... That character being a smuggler on the run, who was kind of a jackass, worked pretty well. I don't want it to sound like I disliked the book, because I didn't. I pre-ordered it and don't regret that for a second. I just wish it had been longer to flesh out some of what was going on. All that being said, the lack of a Dr. House "eureka moment" was great writing. Seriously, way to not take the easy way out.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Renata Riva

    In “Mass Effect: Annihilation” five members of the quarian ship Keelah Si’yah are woken up because of a suspected problem. They found out that passengers in stasis have died but, while they investigate the unexpected deaths, the ship VI becomes unreliable. The five main characters belong to the five non-council species of Mass Effect and the author does a very good job to give them very different personalities that reflect the characteristics of the volus, drell, hanar, elcor and quarians species In “Mass Effect: Annihilation” five members of the quarian ship Keelah Si’yah are woken up because of a suspected problem. They found out that passengers in stasis have died but, while they investigate the unexpected deaths, the ship VI becomes unreliable. The five main characters belong to the five non-council species of Mass Effect and the author does a very good job to give them very different personalities that reflect the characteristics of the volus, drell, hanar, elcor and quarians species. There is also plenty of references to the video game story line. What I liked less is the tendency of all the characters to talk and think a lot, taking a long time to get to the point, which I couldn’t help finding frustrating. It also led to an unbalance in the structure of the novel, with a long part in which the problems are examined and the characters tell their personal stories, and a shorter part in which there is a resolution. Despite this, I found this book to be a great tribute to the Mass Effect universe.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    This is the rare tie-in book that actually gets the universe it's set in, and doesn't require jumping through several hoops to make it sit well with canon. And I don't just mean making the dates fit (in fact, being wholly set in the Quarian Ark on the way to Andromeda, Annihilation doesn't have that sort of problem), but getting the feel of the characters and the races right, the type of humor, the subtle touches. The character of Yorrik stands out in particular: what's not to love about an elco This is the rare tie-in book that actually gets the universe it's set in, and doesn't require jumping through several hoops to make it sit well with canon. And I don't just mean making the dates fit (in fact, being wholly set in the Quarian Ark on the way to Andromeda, Annihilation doesn't have that sort of problem), but getting the feel of the characters and the races right, the type of humor, the subtle touches. The character of Yorrik stands out in particular: what's not to love about an elcor throat doctor who really dreams about being a Shakespearean actor? On the ending: as others have mentioned, the revelation and resolution do come a bit abruptly at the end, and it makes me wonder how much of it was Cat's invention and how much had been imposed from above. But a single note doesn't change that this is overall a very enjoyable book, to be read all in one breath.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Janelle

    I just finished Mass Effect: Annihilation, and I firmly believe it is the best of the tie-in novels to date (with the arguable exception of the hardcover Hard in Hightown, which is really its own beast). Many of the “background” races seen on the Citadel in the OT get a fair amount of spotlight in this book, and they are all written well, with distinctive interests and povs. There is a lot of humor that had me laughing and reading bits to my husband. There is also a touch of nostalgia and some su I just finished Mass Effect: Annihilation, and I firmly believe it is the best of the tie-in novels to date (with the arguable exception of the hardcover Hard in Hightown, which is really its own beast). Many of the “background” races seen on the Citadel in the OT get a fair amount of spotlight in this book, and they are all written well, with distinctive interests and povs. There is a lot of humor that had me laughing and reading bits to my husband. There is also a touch of nostalgia and some surprisingly well-done pathos. Some of the turns were completely unexpected and others were right on target given the races involved. The action was quick-paced and I was burning through pages to see just how absolute that title was going to be.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brian Dassero

    I'm a sucker for all things Mass Effect and I'll defend Andromeda against anyone. I loved the game and was saddened to hear that the DLC was cancelled. Then I saw this, what is hopefully not the last visit to the Andromeda universe. I devoured this book. My only complaint about Andromeda the game was the lack of Drell, Quarian, Batarian, Volus, etc. I loved that this book gave us the story of what happened to their Ark. I fell right into the characters, with the Elcor Yorrick and Drell Anax bein I'm a sucker for all things Mass Effect and I'll defend Andromeda against anyone. I loved the game and was saddened to hear that the DLC was cancelled. Then I saw this, what is hopefully not the last visit to the Andromeda universe. I devoured this book. My only complaint about Andromeda the game was the lack of Drell, Quarian, Batarian, Volus, etc. I loved that this book gave us the story of what happened to their Ark. I fell right into the characters, with the Elcor Yorrick and Drell Anax being my favorites. I also loved the fast pace of this book. I hadn't read anything else by Catherynne Valente but I certainly will grab all of her other work now. Highly recommend for anyone who loves the Mass Effect series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sutton

    I was disappointed when the Quarian Ark DLC was canceled because of all the loose ends at the end of Andromeda. This book helped to tie up some of those ends. I'm generally not a fan of tie-in books, but was pleasantly surprised with this one. The characters were well thought out with excellent personalities and all are species that generally don't have a large narrative in the games (Elcor, Hanar, etc.). It's also an interesting look at interspecies interaction that isn't the general human/Asar I was disappointed when the Quarian Ark DLC was canceled because of all the loose ends at the end of Andromeda. This book helped to tie up some of those ends. I'm generally not a fan of tie-in books, but was pleasantly surprised with this one. The characters were well thought out with excellent personalities and all are species that generally don't have a large narrative in the games (Elcor, Hanar, etc.). It's also an interesting look at interspecies interaction that isn't the general human/Asari/Turian exchange. The entire book is essentially a mystery, which I loved and I was surprised by the ending. It doesn't address if the Quarian ark ever meets up with the Nexus, but if there are no further games for this, then I hope this author gives it a try.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dana Gricken

    With great pleasure: This was a fantastic tie-in novel. With great disappointment: I wish this were a playable DLC instead (but that isn't Catherynne M. Valente's fault. Bioware dropped the ball after the backlash from Andromeda.) Great characters (like a female batarian) and an engaging plot that kept me on the edge of my seat. Also, the references were great, too - like Batarian Shard Wine, Cerberus, Reapers, etc. You can tell the author did her research and was a fan of the video games. If you'r With great pleasure: This was a fantastic tie-in novel. With great disappointment: I wish this were a playable DLC instead (but that isn't Catherynne M. Valente's fault. Bioware dropped the ball after the backlash from Andromeda.) Great characters (like a female batarian) and an engaging plot that kept me on the edge of my seat. Also, the references were great, too - like Batarian Shard Wine, Cerberus, Reapers, etc. You can tell the author did her research and was a fan of the video games. If you're a true Mass Effect fan, you'll love this novel. I especially enjoyed the plot twist at the end.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really enjoyed the story and the characters involved. The author goes into great detail to give the main characters (all new) some depth. However, I could have sworn that the Mass Effect developers said that this book was going to resolve the problem of the missing ark that is presented at the end of Andromeda. That became important when all future DLC was cancelled for the game. It does not resolve the situation. By the end of the book, the ark is not even in Andromeda.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brenna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Ugh SO GOOD. She had so much fun with this. Srsly wish she could write a new ME game Best parts: - Yorrik the elcor (made me actually LOL!!!!) - every species’ native flowers floating in the fountain - inter-species brawl over said flowers - Borbala “I can make [insert plot crucial illegal contraband] happen” Ferank - how Valente writes about code - quarian villain with really interesting plausible motivations - i want Anax on my squad so bad

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I’ve never played (or even watched someone else play, as I’ve done with many other games) any of the Mass Effect games, but I love all of Cat Valente’s books. The good news is that having zero knowledge of the games didn’t inhibit my enjoyment of the story or the characters at all - it 100% stands on its own as a compelling mystery with characters I truly cared about.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wladiana Lendengues

    Gostei que o livro focou nas outras espécies do universo ME, mas alguns detalhes das espécies foram aumentados desnecessariamente e certos personagens pareciam caricaturas das espécies. Também tive a impressão de que faz mais sentido para quem jogou ME, apesar de ter explicações sobre as raças alienígenas.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Loren

    The best of the mass effect andromeda books, which is damning with faint praise alright. It’s a good book with a great story of the lost ark although I would’ve liked some tie in with the nexus itself. Still it’s a good novel for any mass effect fan.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I really enjoyed this more than I expected to like a book based on a video game tie-in. Will probably search down the other two.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

    Det känns fortfarande overkligt att Catherynne Valente, min favoritförfattare, skrivit en Mass Effect-bok. Så vacker! Nu vill jag bara spela alla Mass Effect-spelen igen.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Taavi Heinoja

    This is my favorite out of all the Mass Effect novels. I liked it even more than Ascension, which was previously my favorite. It just sucks you in and doesn't let go!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jai

    a science murder mystery on the Quarian ark, featuring a Shakespeare obsessed Elcor doctor. what’s not to love?

  27. 5 out of 5

    James

    Not just a good licensed novel but a good novel period. I had high expectations for a video game based novel by Catherynne M. Valente and she exceeded them.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Searska GreyRaven

    I loved this one. It was everything I could have ever wanted from a Mass Effect story, and so much more.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Valtier

  30. 4 out of 5

    Paula

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