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Novels

 

Mass Effect: Retribution

 

 

Released July 27, 2010, the third novel in the Mass Effect trilogy brings back Anderson, Kahlee, Grayson and the Illusive Man for a final - and brutal - confrontation.

 

Like the previous novels, Retribution expands on the ME universe, fleshing out the setting and providing background on some of the key characters in the Mass Effect video games. However, it isn't necessary to play the games in order to understand and enjoy the novels.

 

Available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You can learn more about the novel from the official Del Rey listing (contains minor spoilers!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star Wars: Dynasty of Evil

The third novel in the Darth Bane series hit shelves on December 8, 2009. (Which also happens to be my motherís birthday Ė so Happy Birthday, Mom!)

 

I know thereís a lot of confusion about the ending for this book. I was trying to be subtle and imply something; unfortunately, a lot of people are inferring something completely different than what I intended.

 

Thatís okay in some ways Ė it makes for good debate on message boards. However, if you want to know what REALLY happened with Bane and Zannah, then click on the SUPER SECRET SPOILER link. (But be warned Ė this gives away the ending! So donít look until you read the book!)

 

Available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

 

Mass Effect: Ascension

 

Released in July of 2008, the second Mass Effect novel is set a few months after the events of the first Mass Effect game. It brings back the character of Kahlee Sanders from the first novel, and digs deeper into an organization known as Cerberus Ė a radical pro-human military cabal the player can encounter in the first game.

 

The story also takes a closer look at the quarian species, biotic ability in humans, and introduces the setting of Omega Ė the Terminus Systemsí dark, twisted counterpart to the Citadel.

 

Mass Effect: Ascension helps lay the groundwork for the ever expanding ME story and setting, but it wonít spoil anything from the upcoming second Mass Effect game. It does have some things that might be considered spoilers if you havenít read the first novel or played the first gameÖ so check those out before you buy it.

 

Available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You can learn more about the novel from the official Del Rey listing (contains minor spoilers!).

 

 

Star Wars: Rule of Two

 

The sequel to my New York Times bestseller Path of Destruction, Rule of Two continues the story of Darth Bane and his apprentice, Zannah. This may be the darkest novel Iíve ever written Ė I was actually shocked at some of the stuff my editors let me get away with in the Star Wars universe. This book is definitely not for kids: itís a mature, serious and hopefully compelling look at morality, evil and the dark side.

 

Rule of Two hit the shelves December 26, 2007 in hardcover, and was on the bestseller lists for several weeks. It didnít quite crack the top 10 on the NY Times list, though, topping out at #11.

 

The paperback came out in October of 2008. Available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

 

 

Mass Effect: Revelation

 

Released in May 2007, Revelation is a prequel to BioWareís Mass Effect game. Set 18 years before the events of the game, the novel focuses on David Anderson - a soldier with the human Alliance military - and delves into his history and backstory. The novel also sheds more light on Saren Arterius, the main villain in the Mass Effect game, giving readers a deeper insight into what makes him tick. (Thatís him on the cover.)

 

Iím very excited about Revelation. Because itís a prequel, I wasnít locked into a simplified retelling of the story we present in the game. (See my write up on Throne of Bhaal below for reasons why this never really works.) Instead, I was able to focus on fleshing out the universe of Mass Effect by telling a story that will give readers a deeper understanding of the setting. I also give you a closer look at some of the key characters from the game, adding to the overall experience.

 

It isnít necessary to play the game to read the novel (or vice versa), because both the game and the novel tell their own unique story with enough details about the Mass Effect universe to stand on their own. I was also careful to avoid major spoilers so it wonít matter which story you encounter first.Iím confident Revelation will provide the kind of story Mass Effect fans will want in a novel Ė something that doesnít negate their experience playing the game, but adds to the overall universe.

 

Available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

 

 

Star Wars: Darth Bane Ė Path of Destruction

My first hardcover novel, it was published in late September of 2006 and released as a paperback in June 2007. The hardcover spent 5 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller lists. Set 1000 years before the movie, the novel looks at Darth Bane, a pivotal figure in the history of the Star Wars universe. It was Bane who first proposed the Rule of Two Ė one master and one apprentice Ė followed by the Sith during the time of the movies.

 

The book has been well received by both fans and critics. It spent 5 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list, reaching as high as #11. It was also selected by the School Library Journal as one of the Best Adult Books for High School Students of 2006.

 

Also available in paperback at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

 

 

Temple Hill

This novel was the first one I wrote, though it was published simultaneously with Throne of Bhaal (below) in September of 2001. I think the novel is a great example of a stand alone Sword and Sorcery adventure yarn, and Iím very happy with how it turned outÖ and with how it was received by the fans.

 

 

 

 

Baldurís Gate II: Throne of Bhaal

This was the second novel I wrote, though it was published at the same time as Temple Hill in September of 2001. Unfortunately this novel never really clicked with fans. It was the third novel in a trilogy, but the first two books were written by a different author. That meant I was somewhat limited in what I could do with the characters because I had to stay consistent with what had come before. However, neither of the first two books really connected with fans, either. Throne of Bhaal is an entertaining story, but it just wasnít what fans expected.

 

I believe the problem with the whole Baldurís Gate trilogy was that the novels were based directly on the story of the BioWare computer games (which I also worked on). Basing novels directly on BioWare games is difficult. The games allow players to create their own main character, but in the book we have to select a character for you. Players could be male, female, elf, dwarf, wizards, thieves Ė but in the book they were locked into a male human fighter. Obviously this makes it hard for them to identify with the main character. In the game up to a dozen different side characters could join with the player and share their adventures. In the book we had to select 3-4 side characters at most, and inevitably we left out characters players liked. One more problem - the game was 30 hours long and had over 500,000 words of dialog. Condensing all that into an 80,000 word novel is bound to leave players feeling let down.

 

As if all that wasnít bad enough the book had four different editors as Wizards of the Coast was going through a shake-up at the time, and Iím sad to say that is reflected in the quality of the novel. As a writer youíre too close to your own work to effectively edit it. You need a good editor to push your work to the final level of quality, and that didnít happen with Throne of Bhaal.

 

I still donít think itís a bad book: it does give a deeper look at all the various villains players will encounter in the Throne of Bhaal game. But the novel never become what I had hoped it would.