Natural Order: Team Retribution

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If you take sexual advantage of her you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater. Joey ate my last stick of gum, so I killed him.

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Do you think that was wrong? That is so not the opposite of hiding someone's underwear! I'll kill a man who dares to, like, invade my personal space. You cost me my job! How am I going to pay my bills?! And you hurt my feelings, so now we're even! The red mist descends whenever I am confronted with ignoramy. It's from the Latin "we are ignorant", this makes it a verb, not a noun. What have I done? I know you knocked that exit sign down. Well I'm sure I can expect appropriate retaliatory response.

Maybe you could shoot me in the neck. I'm not saying I didn't kill you, But aren't you partially to blame? You gave me chocolate digestives, When you knew I preferred the plain. We need to kill them. And if you so chose that ending it created the possibility that Saren was actually as good as Shepard once was at one point in time.

Karpyshyn makes a habit of explaining too much sometimes so this isn't totally Retribution's fault. I like the idea of Mass Effect books. For the most part, they are fun and enjoyable and, in two out of three cases, they aren't simply throw-away media tie-in entertainment. These books appear, for the most part, to be canon to the universe but Retribution seems like a television episode while the other books and games feel like epic cinematic adventures.


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  • Mass Effect: Retribution (Mass Effect, #3) by Drew Karpyshyn!
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I'm interested to see where they go from here after the disappointment that is Retribution. But I do think that by trying to stay within the timeline of the games, which grow extremely complex as time goes on, I think the books will end up being dreadful. My real wish is to see the dense mythology depicted: An internal look at how the Genophage is effecting the Krogan? Prequels involving the Normandy and the Normandy II's crew? Mass Effect is too rich and deep for something as shallow as Retribution.

Hopefully this is just a bump in the road and not a forming habit. Sep 13, Sesana rated it liked it Shelves: Which, I suppose, makes it canonical that The Arrival is post-game, even if you can play it through in the middle of the storyline. But it always worked better, from a story perspective, as a post-game adventure than a mid-game one.

Retribution has a strong hook: The Illusive Man has infected Grayson with Reaper nanotech as revenge for the events of Ascension, the prior book Timeline note: The Illusive Man has infected Grayson with Reaper nanotech as revenge for the events of Ascension, the prior book. This is the most in-depth look at Reaper indoctrination we've gotten to this point.

The concept of knowing that you're losing control of your mind and your body and are unable to stop or even slow the process is pure nightmare fuel. There have been glimpses of what this looks like in practice, but always from an outsider's perspective. While Karpyshyn is a great hand at setting a scene, and he can create really memorable characters, he's not the best guy in the world for dialog and emotions. This is simply not as skin-crawlingly creepy as it should be, and as it would be with a writer who was better able to describe emotions, and details in general.

That didn't stop me from enjoying the book, by any means. It's still Mass Effect, the plot itself was still enough to keep me interested, and Karpyshyn is still a decent writer. It just could have been so much better by somebody else. Jan 20, Urania rated it it was ok. Well, purely in the comparative context of the Mass Effect novels, Retribution is all right and actually noticeably better written than Revelation. I haven't read Ascension yet. That honestly isn't saying much, though. If you're a fan of the Mass Effect game series as I am, it may be worth a read-through as a companion to the game.

As a novel, though, I can't really say much in praise of Retribution, I'm afraid. Many of the same problems plague Retribution as did Revelation. The dialogue is nat Well, purely in the comparative context of the Mass Effect novels, Retribution is all right and actually noticeably better written than Revelation. The dialogue is natural enough, but the rest of the book reads like a dry summary of what the novel really should have been.

For example, on page Why describe to the reader in such detail everyday technology that we are already familiar with and would expect to function? This is what I'm talking about. It's a whole book full of the obvious being tediously and unnecessarily spelled out, while very predictable characters play out their various cardboard roles, and events are described too many times from multiple perspectives that really don't add all that much to each other.

I wish I could trade in all that extraneous text for some meaty descriptions of the environment or more lifelike characters with actual personalities. That being said, if you're a Mass Effect junkie and prepared for the above, you'll probably be all right.

I'm just still hanging on to my wishful thinking for good franchised literature. Jun 05, Brendan rated it it was amazing. Granted I'm a little bias when it comes to Mass Effect so my review is more fan reactive. This book carries on from Ascension and the Illusive Man has a lot of wheels in motion. The book is something for the fans and it delivers on this front, Karpyshyn has a lot of the early novelist errors but this book starts with a lot of action and barely lets go. The Reapers are true unknown antagonists here and Cerebus are out to save mankind in their usual extreme methods.

If you have played game 3, you' Granted I'm a little bias when it comes to Mass Effect so my review is more fan reactive. If you have played game 3, you'll understand where this book is heading. This has a lot of name dropping moments, think a Marvel universe.

Characters from the games drop in and out while establishing further backstory into the Mass Effect lore. The book does lack that final polish but it is fun and delivers everything a fan could want. If you're book 3 and know nothing of the series, stay well clear to avoid pointless reviews. I really enjoyed Drew Karpyshyn's Mass Effect series of books that tied into the games. This third book in the series wraps things up and leads into Mass Effect 2. This gives readers more information on The Illusive Man and how Cerberus works.

It also provides more information on Kahlee Sanders and David Anderson and there is even a brief mention of Shepherd. All good stuff for Mass Effect fans. Now that Andromeda is out, it was kind of nice to listen to some of the old school Mass Effect stuff. I highly recommend both the games and the books. Although the fourth book is not written by Karpyshyn, so I don't know about that.


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  8. People don't seem to like it as much as the three he wrote. Dec 19, Christopher rated it did not like it. Surprisingly, this one had the barest glimpse of potential at being an interesting story. Squandered, but there was the gem of an idea here. However, the writing was awful.

    Once more, nearly every line of dialog is accompanied by a phrase telling us the internal mental state of the character in question. And the paragraphs of prose in between dialog blocks are merely transcriptions of what the characters are thinking, what their base motivations are, punctuated by clumsily written actions. Show, Surprisingly, this one had the barest glimpse of potential at being an interesting story. It is better than the previous two, although the bar has been set so low that isn't difficult to accomplish.

    Aug 12, Luke Waldron rated it really liked it. The reapers are coming and only Cerberus is doing anything about it so to get a upperhand they install our anti hero paul grayson with reaper tech to see the affects. And to me that was the most interesting because throughout the games you have met people who have been indoctrinated or had reaper tech in them and the games just say his evil kill him which you don't disagree with because its the reapers.

    In this book it's more than that you finally get to find out what these people go through not having control over there body there throughts even speech it's all taken away and for the charecter it's like being locked in the trunk of the car with someone else at the wheel. All that to me was just fascinating and makes me feel bad now i think of it of all those people i killed now knowing they didn't want to they where forced makes me wish the games explored this more but never the less still a great game.

    Also in this book you get to meet Kai Laing the best assassin that Cerberus has and killer of my best drell friend thane which im still sad about but hay he still got his ass handed to him by a dying man so not so bad. I went off there into the games im sorry I'll try and keep it to the book sooo as well as meeting kai lang the book also meet kahlee sanders and anderson again which is always a welcome edition.

    Always liked this author. The Mass Effect universe makes for great video games and fiction! Jun 27, Q. Mar 01, Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali rated it really liked it Shelves: They continued on with their mundane existence, too weak and too stupid to acknowledge the horrific destiny awaiting them. But the Illusive Man had devoted his life to facing unpleasant truths.

    Grayson, a former Cerberus operative, is living incognito on Omega. In Ascension he was a drug addicted father of an autistic biotic girl. Against the wishes of Cerberus, Grayson removes his daughter from the experimental clutches of the Illusive Man and sends her to live unmolested among the quarians, untouchable amidst their enormous flotilla.

    The Illusive Man wants him, but not dead. Grayson is now a trusted foot soldier of Aria and he has kicked the red dust habit. He keeps in tenuous touch with Kahlee Sanders who still lives and works at Grissom Academy in an effort to ensure her safety per a deal he made with the Illusive Man that she would not be harmed. But the Illusive Man is not to be thwarted and he learns of Grayson's whereabouts. If you're familiar with the ME games then you already know who Kai Leng is, a former Alliance officer hyped up on Reaper tech who acts as the Illusive Man's top assassin.

    He's ruthless, patient, and utterly deadly. Kai Leng is also mentioned by Anderson in ME3 wherein he mentions not being one of Kai Leng's favorite people because he once shot out both of his legs. You get to see how that happens in Retribution. For those of you who know the beloved Captain Anderson, he can be just a ruthless as Kai Leng and we get to see him here in rare form. Retribution is the saddest of the books thus far. Grayson, poor man, can never catch a break. His life is a long series of bad choices and worse outcomes and what eventually happens to him, thanks to the Illusive Man, is probably worse than death.

    What happens to him also screams "borg" to me. Borg as in Star Trek. Like the others, this book is fast paced and well written with a crisp concise story line that does not wander away from the original ME story but runs parallel to it. There is no pretended happy ending here though, so as much as one might root for Grayson to finally have some peace in his life, you won't be satisfied.

    Kahlee Sanders isn't as annoying in this book as she was in Ascension. In fact, she's quite a trooper, even if a little soft around the middle. Anderson, who we know is a bit of a badass, but only from rumors and attitude, shows us exactly why he can be counted among the Shepards in the ME universe. He isn't just the deep voiced on point soldier with a commanding attitude. He's a calculating and dangerous opponent even without Reaper cybernetic implants, a bad attitude, or indoctrination.

    I understand that it was authored by someone other than Drew Karpyshyn and reviews are somewhat lackluster. Having read all three Mass Effect novels written by Drew Karpyshyn, I have to say they are very much three of a kind. Same style of writing, same ideas about the plot in all three. Each book seeks to flesh out the Mass Effect universe without directly touching on the main plot of the games. This is really a double edged sword. For me, the next biggest bad point after the tangential plot is the writing — the style of it, the language used and so on.

    When I look for five star quality writing, I expect writing to have a bit more flair and creativity to it, a bit more expressiveness and imagination. The writing here is merely functional. So that would be my biggest criticism outside of the tangential nature of the story. Those two fairly substantial points against the novels, they do have good points in their favour. Feb 26, Nikolai rated it it was amazing Shelves: Nothing about this book I didn't like. Karpyshyn is one of my favourite writers for Bioware, and I was sorely sad to see him leave the team, and this was definitely my favourite book of his.

    For those who haven't read the novels, it's easy to wonder "Where did TIM get the idea to implant his troops with Reaper technology? Where the heck did Leng come from, and why is he suddenly everything I want to destroy? As per Karpyshyn's usual, the pacing was excellent, the characterisations were phenomenal- if anyone could make you respect someone like Kai Leng or at least see and respect their redeeming qualities , it's Drew-the interactions and thought processes between the characters were compelling, and the plot itself was straight forward, but with subtle twists and surprises that pleased but didn't overwhelm.

    All in all, it's something I think every Mass Effect fan should read. Mar 04, William Ristau rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The illusive man knows about the reapers and their attack. He wants to find their weaknesses for when they attack.

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    He sends his agent Kai Leng to go get his former Cerberus employee. That way Grayson can be studied, when the illusive man puts implants in him. Kahlee finds out that Grayson is missing and asks Anderson to help find out what happened to him. Kahlee Sanders is a lead scientist of humanity. Anderson is one of the top military soldiers for humanity. The Council is made up of three spe The illusive man knows about the reapers and their attack.

    The Council is made up of three species that govern the world and their actions. The illusive man is the leader of a pro-human black ops group called Cerberus. One of the many settings takes place in the Grimson Academy. That's where they help kids with their biotic powers. Another takes place at the Citadel and that's where all the species meet with really important information of what's going on.

    Another takes place on Omega which is a crime world with no police. One takes place at a Cerberus research lab and that's where their doing experiments on Grayson. This takes place in the year I think ages should read this book. Both genders should read the book. It was a very interesting. This book was filled with adventure and action. Feb 23, Peter rated it really liked it Shelves: This is the third novel in the series, and it once again goes in a slightly different narrative direction. The focus seems to be more on action than the previous two novels, and it achieves an exciting pace while also giving readers further insights into the Mass Effect universe.

    Kahlee Sanders and Paul Grayson are at the heart of the story, and even David Anderson is back in the thick of things this time. The plot picks up a couple of years after the end of the second novel, and pivots around Ce This is the third novel in the series, and it once again goes in a slightly different narrative direction. The plot picks up a couple of years after the end of the second novel, and pivots around Cerberus' relationship with Paul.

    The Illusive Man conducts some gruesome experiments in the name of learning more about the Reapers, but everything gets out of hand. Another aspect of this novel which differentiates it from its predecessors is that it feels like it is much more closely involved with the games' plot.

    This makes it particularly engaging as we gradually approach the release of the third game. As always, this book will likely only appeal to fans of the Mass Effect universe. The writing seems to have improved somewhat, and it is again a well told story which I thoroughly enjoyed. The third book in the Mass Effect series, and the first time I actually felt a twinge of disappointment. I felt the story was sloppier than the others, filled with plot points that jarred me out of my reading, distracting me from really getting into the book.

    It almost felt like the author was rushed. Also for the first time, I started to get very irritated with Kahlee Sanders. Characters in the book even made it a point to remind her she's not the best judge of character, but seriously, how many The third book in the Mass Effect series, and the first time I actually felt a twinge of disappointment. Characters in the book even made it a point to remind her she's not the best judge of character, but seriously, how many more times must she fall for traps and enemy ploys?

    I also didn't really buy her "relationship" with Paul Grayson warning: Ascension ; like, come on, they were practically enemies in the last book, up until the very, very end when Grayson finally has a change of heart and sees the error of his ways. Even then Kahlee was bringing him in as a prisoner when he zapped her unconscious with a stun gun to escape. But now they're all buddy buddy with a "special" relationship?

    View all 9 comments. Jun 05, Lukas Lovas rated it liked it. Another book in the series, that makes Mass Effect universe more real in my mind. Not a great book, but a good book none the less. It's hard to write in a universe, where all the main events have already happened and you are left on the fringes of the story, trying to make it interesting.

    Dec 19, Behnam Riahi rated it did not like it. The following review has been copied from http: Retribution , written by Drew Karpyshyn and published by Del Rey Press, is a third-person, science-fiction novel set in the Mass Effect universe, told primarily from the points-of-view of Paul Grayson and Kahlee Sanders. With great technological advancements, humanity has set foot into space and made many new allies by joining a council of other races. They commune primarily at the Citadel, a space station of epic The following review has been copied from http: They commune primarily at the Citadel, a space station of epic proportions that was thought to have been built by an extinct race of generous forerunners, the protheans.

    However, while these ancient aliens existed, they did not build the Citadel. In fact, like all the races that came before the protheans, they were swallowed up by those that did build the Citadel: Now, the reapers are returning to annihilate humanity and the council races. One secret, pro-human organization is bent on stopping them though—Cerberus. Paul Grayson, who formally betrayed them when they threatened his daughter, is kidnapped by Cerberus again for that very purpose.

    The only one who can save him is his old friend, Kahlee Sanders. Only, Kahlee may be too late to stop Cerberus, and Cerberus may be too late to stop the reapers. But really, Mass Effect is anything if not complex. Each game illustrates theoretical physics and hypothetical technological advancements, builds legends on galactic secrets and universal destiny, and requires several hours of exploration through uninhabited worlds and abandoned colonies.

    It even has a relationship dynamic built into the engine to develop characters based on your affections for them. Tommy, my older brother, pushed me into the Mass Effect series during one brief visit to see my family last year. He did everything but buy me the damn game, encouraging me to invest at least sixty hours with it because it was one of the most powerful, immersive fictions he ever experienced.

    But in more recent years, Tommy and I found one specific idea in common: Thomas Shepard and Behn Shepard never fought side-by-side—in fact, they looked and acted very differently throughout the game. But they fought the same fight to the very end. They made deep, thoughtful choices independent of each other to save the universe in tandem. I think he owes me that much for getting me glued into a new adventure. See the family resemblance? Retribution does a great job of taking us back through many of our old favorite characters from the Mass Effect books, including Grayson, Sanders, and Anderson.

    For Mass Effect fans, it really gets behind the scenes on Mass Effect as a series, opening the closed-doors that we were so desperate to peek through.

    It even illustrates the backgrounds of the natural satellite, Omega, and the school for psychics, Grissom Academy, while expanding organizations like Cerberus and other Terminus System gangs with more minutiae than made available in the games themselves. In Mass Effect 2 , I spent a lot of time fighting numerous gangs and blindly barreling through the streets of Omega, working on hints from Cerberus given by emissaries of the Illusive Man. Though we met the Illusive Man in previous Mass Effect books and games, Retribution also introduces one new character who becomes an important figure in the series: Kai Leng, a stealthy ninja with a penchant for killing.

    Through this introduction, Karpyshyn delivers additional character growth prior to his role in Mass Effect 3 , since it almost seemed like he sprung out of nowhere without taking this book into context.

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    This book offers, quite literally, nothing to a newcomer—not even an engaging enough science fiction story outside of the context of what Mass Effect already is. I had a thing for Miranda, Tommy liked Jack better. When I was a kid, Tommy was like any big brother—kind of a bully, kind of only saw me as a burden, kind of uninterested in playing the role of big brother. On a side note: Age gap or something, right? I probably would have tried to as a six-year-old though. Either way, Tom, as he preferred to be known as back then, may have been a lousy big brother, but he was a great son and got along really well with my father.

    But those two were as thick as thieves. As I became a pre-teen, I was jealous of the relationship Tom had with Dad—they drank together, they got high together, they even traveled together. He sat with me one night, after a couple of weeks of nonstop tears, and he and I just talked like adults about who Dad was, memories we had of him, whether or not he was or would be proud of us.

    It was the first time in my life that I felt like my older brother and I ever had a serious conversation.

    Mass Effect: Retribution

    Some people grow up in some ways, but stay young in other ways. Tommy and I still nerd out about all kinds of shit, including the Mass Effect games. Mass Effect , as a series of novels however, did not mature. I do, however, know that Kai Leng is not supposed to be Kail Leng. It happened in the blink of an eye; Orgun was moving so fast he seemed to be nothing but a blur. Karpyshyn, like most authors writing action thrillers, depends on his cliches as much as any other layman asshole. Just refer to the above quote: At least try to be creative with it.