4 out of 5 stars | Goodreads
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
If you know me, you know the Mass Effect series of video games is one of my favourite things. You may also know that I’ve been slowly working my way through all related books and graphic novels, and so far have been sadly disappointed. So it is with great delight that I proclaim this particular volume my favourite Mass Effect related book so far!
This is, in a similar way to Mass Effect: Homeworlds, an origin story. Whereas Homeworlds focused on Tali, Garrus and James Vega, Foundation takes a look at the original companions of Commander Shepard: Ashley Williams and Kaidan Alenko, as well as featuring other well known figures such as Kai Leng, the Illusive Man and Wrex (Wrex, I’m so sorry…). Continuing Mass Effect‘s brilliant streak of tough, bad-ass female figures, Foundation opens with a mysterious red-head (yay!) who is not quite as she seems – but neither is her young companion. A shocking and surprising first chapter sets up the rest of the book.
One thing I really liked about Foundation was how it tied into the first Mass Effect game. Remember the very first mission on Eden Prime, where you find Ashley? On the way you encounter some of her team – well here you find out exactly how they managed to get themselves into that situation. It was really fun recognising all these minor characters and tying the plot pieces together. The artwork was generally of a great quality, although there were a couple of frames where I had to wonder whether the artist had really considered the angle – the character faces looked a bit odd. Ashley didn’t look quite like her virtual counterpart, although admittedly her image does change a little between games – but she was wearing her classic pink and white armour! The full pages at the beginning of the book were absolutely gorgeous, wonderfully dark and fitting for the series – and to me the characters even looked like they could be a variety of Commander Shepards (for all that have not played Mass Effect: you can customise Commander Shepard to look how you want. Also, for all that have not played Mass Effect: do it NOW!).
Overall, definitely a recommended read for fans of the Mass Effect series. I always love reading origin stories, and Kaidan’s even made me feel a little sorry for him – and normally he’s one of the characters I don’t really care about all that much. The artwork was generally of a very high standard, with some really standout pieces and perfect colour scheme.
Back in November, as part of Sci-Fi Month, I wrote a post about my love for the series, and also featured a guest post by Mass Effect Story Doctor John Sutherland.