Mass Effect Novels To Bridge Gap Between Andromeda

Last week I wrote about how Mass Effect: Andromeda [official site] wasn’t chained by the choices you made at the end of Mass Effect 3, and how that left a lot of questions unanswered. Well, answers are coming next month in the first of four Mass Effect tie-in novels published by Titan Books that aim to bridge gaps between Andromeda and the events of our own Milky Way.

“The novels will act as prequel and sequels to the events in the games and will become part of the overarching Mass Effect saga. They will focus on key characters and answer the many questions fans have been asking,” explain publishers Titan Books.

Right now, only two of the novels have confirmed authors. The first one is being written by N. K. Jemisin, a great author whose debut novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was nominated for both Hugo and Nebula awards. The fourth novel is to be penned by Mac Walters, creative director over at Bioware.

Video game tie-in novels are largely forgettable, so I wouldn’t blame you for skipping these in favor of seeing what Andromeda has to say for itself. But you probably shouldn’t trust my judgement either. I have copies of the first three Halo novels and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed them. Probably too much, like, sometimes I’ll spout trivia I learned from reading them in front of friends and then immediately realize what a grave mistake I just made.

Anyway, if you have burning questions, these books might be a decent place to start. The first one is due out in August, with two more arriving in March and September of 2017 and Walters’ book coming even later in 2018. Andromeda itself is due in “early 2017.”


  1. RedViv says:

    No cornflakes-eating ninja assassins, no sale!

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    Aerothorn says:

    I mean, two of the first three Halo novels are by Eric Nylund, who is a fantastic author, so there’s no shame in enjoying them!

    • XxBrentos9xX says:


      Both of those books were fantastic, especially after the first Halo game captivated me. The fight scene between Spartans and Hunters for the first time is still in my head 13 years later.

  3. Keios says:

    So is this going to be like the Halo franchise, where any complaints about a lack of characterisation, plot points appearing out of nowhere and no narrative continuity are answered by the fans with “Read the books! It’s all in the books!” then? Because, while I’m not averse to reading books, I can’t help but feel it’s a bit of a cop-out to cram all of the actual storytelling in there so that you can have a game as brainless as possible while still leaving your designers free to bang on about “lore”.

    • Don Reba says:

      Or will it keep being like the Mass Effect franchise, where complaints of the same are answered: “you’re just sore at not getting a happy ending.”

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        FhnuZoag says:

        If your argument is that it’s not about the ending, maybe you shouldn’t bring that up again.

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      FhnuZoag says:

      I assume it’ll be exactly like Dragon Age Inquisition, where it didn’t terribly matter at all.

    • Nuzzy says:

      “Is this the most interesting point in the Protaganist’s life? If not, then why are you not telling us about that?” It’s less that you NEED to read the books to understand, although if you’re as thick as most people that play games you might NEED to, but that if you want an expanded explanation of what went on you CAN read the novels. Everything that you will NEED to know will most likely be explained in short within the game, maybe similar to how it’s explained how Humans went from dicking around in their own system to fighting a war with the Turians. Althought I don’t see people complaining about HOW THAT isn’t in the game for some reason. Or the appearance of KAi Lang in three. Everything that you NEED to know about him is explained right there in the game. You don’t need to know his backstory.

  4. newguy2012 says:

    Nope, never again.

  5. Wagrid says:

    Look forward to reading synopses of these novels the week after they come out and going “well that sounds dumb as fuck” like I did with all the previous Mass Effect tie in novels.

    • LexW1 says:

      Won’t happen with the first one because it’s written by a proper SF writer. She’s very good.

      The others… maybe. The last one, which is written IIRC by the actual writer of the game? Probably awful. Writing really fun game stuff doesn’t seem to translate into novels (nor vice-versa, I note).

  6. yusefsmith says:

    I found The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms absorbing and alien in its vignettes, but confusing as hell in terms of plot and how the world the author built actually tied together.

    Quite similar to my feelings about Mass Effect actually.

  7. Ur-Quan says:

    Man I hate it when companies do this!
    I don’t want to read a bunch of hastily written, crappy tie-in stories just so I understand what’s going on.

    Between this and the fact that Andromeda is shaping up to be “Colonialism: The Game” I’m quickly losing all interest in this game.

    • Distec says:

      You can do what everybody else does and just read a wiki synopsis.

      Unfortunately, there’s no solution for your second problem. Condolences.

    • LexW1 says:

      Poorly-written? NK Jemesin is one of the better SF writers out there today, what the fuck?

  8. Syt says:

    Just as long as Drew Karpyshyn isn’t writing them. I have a lot of respect for his writing and design in games (including BG, KotOR and ME).

    But I tried reading the Mass Effect novels (and some of his Star Wars novels), and I just couldn’t get beyond the frankly amateurish style and horrible (often stupid) characters.

    • LexW1 says:

      Fortunately they got a real writer – NK Jemesin, so no worries there.

  9. Gibs says:

    crap, I’m gonna read this

  10. Solidstate89 says:

    My guess is that they leave for the Andromeda galaxy before even the events of Mass Effect 1. Or perhaps they leave after the events of 1, but before 2 when they realize what grave threat the Reapers might pose, so as a “backup” option, they send a group of people to a different galaxy.

    • brucethemoose says:

      An high ranking Asari mentioned something about “putting certain plans into motion” in ME3, if I’m not mistaken.

      It makes sense, as they’re the only civilization advanced enough to rally other races and put something like that together.

  11. Yontevnknow says:

    One of the books will be a choose your own adventure. This adventure will be seen as a giant leap forward in storytelling. It will even have three endings. The three endings will each have their own special font. All three will lead to the same page containing an address that the reader can send cash or check to, in order to unlock the PostageDeliveredContent bonus chapter.

  12. fiasco says:

    Day 297: Everyone still asleep.

    Day 7296: A rock flew by. Everyone still asleep.

  13. gummybearsliveonthemoon says:

    Day 14648: Ship passed through a sentient gas cloud that sang songs about Carteisan dualism. Everyone still asleep.

  14. Jay Load says:

    Day 123556556: Mass Effect-Andromeda released. Writers still asleep.

  15. TheSplund says:

    Yawn. I’d rather keep my books (and films) and my games separate if it’s all the same. Fan fiction, comics, graphic novels, that have all been spawned from games have no place in tying two games together – it also reeks of laziness/cheapskatedness (how much does it cost to commission a freelance author to write a book these days? not as much as to develop a game I’ll bet)