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Mass Effect: Deception

Mass Effect: Deception

2.3 47
by William C. Dietz

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An all-new adventure inspired by the award-winning videogame from BioWare!

The universe is under siege. Every fifty thousand years, a race of sentient machines invades our galaxy to harvest all organic life-forms. They are the Reapers.

Two people who know the truth are desperately searching for a way to stop the cycle: Navy admiral David


An all-new adventure inspired by the award-winning videogame from BioWare!

The universe is under siege. Every fifty thousand years, a race of sentient machines invades our galaxy to harvest all organic life-forms. They are the Reapers.

Two people who know the truth are desperately searching for a way to stop the cycle: Navy admiral David Anderson and his partner, Kahlee Sanders. They have uncovered grisly evidence proving that the Reaper threat is real. But in so doing they have exposed the machinations of Cerberus, a secretive paramilitary organization, and its mysterious leader, the Illusive Man—putting David and Kahlee in mortal danger, for Cerberus will stop at nothing to protect its secrets.

But along the way, they find an unlikely ally in Gillian Grayson, a young woman with extraordinary powers. Once the subject of horrifying scientific experiments, Gillian is now free—and beginning to master her deadly abilities. But after learning that Cerberus was responsible for the death of her father, Gillian swears vengeance against the group and the Illusive Man—threatening to unravel everything Kahlee and David are fighting for.

From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Subjected in the past to terrible scientific experiments, Gillian Grayson falls under the influence of a dangerous group of radicals until she must choose between the greater good and her personal quest for vengeance. This is the fourth entry in Dietz's series based on the popular Mass Effect video game (Retribution; Ascension; Revelation).

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Random House Publishing Group
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Read an Excerpt

one The Citadel “I don’t want to go,” Nick said stubbornly. “Why can’t I stay here?”

David Anderson didn’t have any children of his own, and had the matter been left to him, the ex-­navy officer would have ordered the teenager out of the apartment with possibly unpleasant results. Fortunately, the woman he loved knew how to deal with such situations. Kahlee was in good shape for a woman in her forties, or thirties for that matter. As she smiled tiny creases appeared around her eyes. “You can’t stay here because David and I may want you to tell the Council what happened on the day Grayson invaded the Grissom Academy. It’s important to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again.”

Nick had been shot in the stomach during the attack and sent to the Citadel for advanced medical treatment. So he knew about Grayson firsthand. Nick, with shoulder-­length black hair and a relatively small frame for a boy his age, looked hopeful. “Can I go to The Cube on the way back?”

“Sure,” Kahlee replied. “But only for an hour. Come on—­let’s go.”

A crisis had been averted, and Anderson was grateful. As they left the apartment the door locked behind them. An elevator took them down to the first floor and out into the hectic crush of the lower wards. A monorail loomed overhead, the pedways were crowded with individuals of every species, and the streets were jammed with ground vehicles. All of which was normal for the huge star-­shaped space station that served as the cultural, financial, and political hub of the ­galaxy.

Anderson had been an admiral, and the Alliance’s representative to the Citadel Council, so he had spent a lot of time aboard the habitat. Everything was organized around a central ring. It was ten kilometers across, and the Citadel’s forty-­kilometer-­long “fingers” pointed from it to the stars beyond. The total population of the station was said to be in excess of thirteen million sentients, none of whom had played a role in creating the complex structure.

The asari had discovered the station 2,700 years earlier while exploring the vast network of mass relays put in place by a space-­faring species known as the protheans. Having established a base on the Citadel, the asari learned how to create mass effect fields, and made use of them to explore the galaxy.

When the salarians found the space station a few decades later the two races agreed to form the Citadel Council for the purpose of settling disputes. And as more species began to travel the stars, they had little choice but to follow the dictates of the technologically advanced Council races. Humans were relative newcomers and had only recently been granted a seat on the Citadel Council.

For many years it had been assumed that the protheans were responsible for creating the Citadel. But more recently it had been learned that the real architects were a mysterious race of sentient star- ships called the Reapers who conceived of the space station as a trap, and were responsible for annihilating all organic sentients every fifty thousand years or so. And, even though Reapers were trapped in dark space, there was evidence that they could reach out and control their servants from light-­years away. And that, Anderson believed, was a continuing threat. One the Council should deal with immediately.

The problem being that day-­to-­day interspecies rivalries often got in the way of the big picture. That was just one of the reasons why it had been so difficult for Anderson and Kahlee to get the Council to look beyond historical grievances to the greater threat represented by the Reapers. Anderson and Kahlee were certain that the Reapers had been in at least partial control of Grayson when he invaded the Grissom Academy, but they were still struggling to convince certain members of the Council. And that had everything to do with the presentation they planned to give. Hopefully, if they were successful, the Council would agree to unify behind an effort to counter the danger that threatened them all. Otherwise the Reapers would do what they had done before—­wipe the galaxy clean of sentient life.

As Anderson led the others aboard a public shuttle he was reminded of the fact that the Reapers had created the Citadel as bait for a high-­tech trap. One that had been sprung so successfully that now, two years later, some of the damage the sentient machines had caused was still being repaired.

The vehicle came to life as Anderson settled himself behind the controls. The contragravity speeder was powered by a mass effect field and would carry them from the lower wards to the vicinity of the Presidium where the Council’s offices were located. Kahlee was sitting next to him and Nick was in the back, fiddling with his omni-­tool. The device consisted of an orange hologram that was superimposed over the teenager’s right arm. It could be used for hacking computers, repairing electronic devices, and playing games. And that’s what Nick was doing as Anderson guided the shuttle through a maze of streets, under graceful pedways, and into the flow of traffic that ran like a river between a pair of high-­rise cliffs.

Ten minutes later the shuttle pulled into a rapid-­transit platform where they disembarked. A short, tubby volus pushed his way forward to claim the speedster for himself. He was dressed in an environment suit and most of his face was hidden by a breathing mask. “Make way Earth people—­I don’t have all day.”

They were accustomed to the often rude manner in which the Citadel’s citizens interacted with each other and weren’t surprised by the stranger’s contentious tone. The volus were closely allied with the raptorlike turians—­many of whom still felt a degree of animosity toward humans resulting from the First Contact War. And that was just one of the problems which prevented the races from trusting each other.

As Anderson, Kahlee, and Nick walked toward a bank of elevators they passed a pair of beautiful asari. The species were asexual, but to Anderson’s eye they looked like human females, even if their skin had a bluish tint. Rather than hair, waves of sculpted skin could be seen on the backs of their heads and they were very shapely. “You can put your eyeballs back in your head now,” Kahlee commented as they entered the elevator. “No wonder the asari get along without men. Maybe I could too.”

Anderson grinned. “Just looking, that’s all. I’m partial to blondes.”

Kahlee made a face as the elevator started upward and the salarian standing in front of them lost his briefcase. It had been tucked under his arm but suddenly slipped out and landed on the floor. Like all of his kind the salarian’s head was narrow and crowned with two hornlike appendages. As he bent to retrieve the object it scooted away from him.

“Nick!” Kahlee said crossly. “Stop that . . . Give him the case and apologize.”

The teen looked as if he might object, saw the expression on Kahlee’s face, and apparently thought better of it. Having removed the folder from the floor, he gave it back to its owner and mumbled, “Sorry.”

The salarian had seen biotic pranks before and wasn’t amused. “You have a talent,” he snapped. “Use it wisely.”

Nick was one of the rare individuals who could manipulate the gravity-­like force found in all of the otherwise empty spaces in the universe. The boy had been working to refine his biotic skills of late and the subtle combination of energies required to dislodge the briefcase and then move it around was quite impressive. It was also annoying and made Anderson frown. Fortunately for Nick, Kahlee was more patient. Maybe too patient.

The elevator doors opened smoothly and the passengers spilled out into a lobby that opened onto the Presidium. In marked contrast to the densely packed wards it was almost entirely open. There were artificial clouds in the blue sky, sunlight streamed down from above, and, as Anderson accompanied the others out onto a curving walkway, he could feel a light breeze touch his neck. The parklike area was home to a lake, clusters of trees, and a large expanse of well-­manicured grass. People representing various races were constantly coming and going. Some appeared to be in a hurry while others strolled along or sat on benches.

Anderson’s pace was more purposeful as he led the others toward the Citadel Tower, located at the very center of the massive space station. It was difficult to appreciate the structure by looking straight up at it, but Anderson knew it could be seen from many kilometers away, and was the most important landmark on the Citadel.

The Council Chambers were positioned toward the top of the spire and it wouldn’t pay to be late, so Anderson set a brisk pace. The Council’s agenda typically remained in flux right up until the beginning of each meeting. So Anderson had no way to know if their presentation would be first, last, or somewhere in between.

But before the threesome could enter the tower it was necessary to check in with the Citadel Security Services (C-­Sec) kiosk located outside the main entrance. The person in charge was turian. Bright eyes stared at Anderson from bony sockets that were surrounded by a tracery of scarlet tattoos. A flat, thin-­slitted nose was flanked by hard facial plates. The officer’s mouth formed an inverted V and wasn’t designed to smile. “Yes, sir . . . What can I do for you?”

Meet the Author

William C. Dietz is the bestselling author of Resistance: The Gathering Storm, HALO: The Flood, and Hitman: Enemy Within, plus thirty other science fiction novels, some of which have been translated into German, Russian, and Japanese. He grew up in the Seattle area, served as a medic with the navy and the Marine Corps, and graduated from the University of Washington. Dietz worked as a surgical technician, news writer, college instructor, television producer, and director of public relations for an international telephone company prior to embarking on a full-time writing career.

From the Paperback edition.

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Mass Effect 2.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
DEarnshaw More than 1 year ago
Leading up to the release of this book, I re-read all three of Drew Karpyshyn's novels. I've always enjoyed them in the past, and so I wanted to see the story continue. I was mildly concerned when I saw that Karpyshyn had moved on, but William C. Dietz had a decent track record, so I figured this book would probably turn out okay. Boy, was I mistaken. As soon as I opened the book, I could tell something was wrong. I like quality writing, but I'm usually able to enjoy pretty much anything. Unfortunately the writing in this book is of extremely poor quality. In places it makes it very hard to get through. The language is sloppy, the narrative is very confused, and it's full of poor grammar. Now if this was all that was wrong with the book, I supposed I would dock it a few points and leave it at that. But this is tie-in fiction. That's where it's biggest weakness comes into play. As I read through the book, I became more and more confused. The problem is simple: the book appears to have been written by someone who had no knowledge of the previous three books, or the subject matter in general. The timeline is impossible to reconcile with the other books. Numerous terms are misused. Characters lose important traits, and act out of character at seemingly every point. The book is full of these issues. It's very hard to understand how they made their way through quality control. Even setting these problems aside, the book has little to offer. The characters, both returning and new, are flat and uninteresting. The audience is asked to accept as fact various things that seems to make little sense. All in all, I'm extremely disappointed. Anyone who enjoyed the previous three books is going to be sorely disappointed when they reach the end of this installment. It really is a shame, because the series once held such promise. I hope this review is helpful in making an informed decision. There are also various excerpts available online, and I urge you to read them for yourself, so you can see the issues I've detailed, before committing your hard-earned cash to purchasing this book.
Maugrimm More than 1 year ago
I'd leave no stars if it were possible. From the extensive excerpts available it is obvious that no consideration has been given towards the quality of the writing. Apparently Mr. Dietz has not taken to heart the axiom of "Show don't tell." and inserts exposition into dialogue and intrusive parentheses. There are numerous spelling and grammatical errors as well. All of this could be forgiven or at least stomached if the writer didn't make it clear, via 80+ confirmed inaccuracies that there was no consideration for the lore of the universe as it appears in the games, books or other ancillary material. A sadly substandard book on all fronts, not even enjoyable if you are a fan and check your brain at the door. Do not buy this book for any reason. To check out the errors visit the go to Google and search: "Mass Effect: Deception Discussion Thread"
MJ_R More than 1 year ago
If you are not a fan of the Mass Effect series then this book is more than likely not worth your time. If you ARE a Mass Effect fan, then this book is definitely NOT worth your time or money. Read any public excerpts or fan reviews and you will know why. This book blatantly disregards its source material. It feels rushed, unedited, and like an attempt to exploit fan devotion for easy money. Do not buy this book, even for curiosity's sake.
ReadingInCanada More than 1 year ago
As a Mass Effect fan, I was actually looking forward to the latest entry in the novel series. The previous three had been pretty entertaining, not masterpieces, but good for fans of the series. After a nearly two year wait, I was hoping for another quality entry to the Mass Effect universe. I was profoundly disappointed. It feels as though it takes real effort to write a novel this poorly. To start, the writing style is simply amateurish and it seems Dietz, at many places, was attempting to boost his word count by adding in meaningless details. Some parts have to be re-read over and over to establish a clear chain of events. The plot is also very, very weak. Characters have gone through large personality changes. Details that should get focused, such as character deaths, are glossed over and needlessly tacked on. Some details are just strange altogether (Stealing cereal to prove you're an adrenaline junkie? What?) All of this says nothing of the errors, my god this novel is filled with errors. Some, as a Mass Effect fan, are little errors, nitpicking at best. Many others, however, are simply glaring. As a fan I couldn't help but notice these errors and it made me lose focus and took me out of the novel. Overall, somebody dropped the ball. Where does the blame land, however? At Dietz, who clearly didn't do enough research? At Bioware, who clearly didn't proofread it before release? I say it falls on both parties. Together they created a low quality and low effort entry to the Mass Effect series. Let's hope they never do so again. If you're someone looking to delve deeper into the Mass Effect universe, stick to Karpyshyn's novels and avoid Deception altogether.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
W.C.Dietz created this horrible book , but why did Bioware approve this garbage.This is money missed as far as I'm concerned and I hope in the future Bioware chooses a writer that cares about lore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
not good, dissapointment
TempestasAurum More than 1 year ago
While I usually don't like giving one stars, in this instance William C. Dietz aka the guy that wrote the terrible Halo: The Flood, has repeated his mistake again on the Mass Effect Universe. Not to spoil anything for the dedicated fans, but the main issue with the entire novel is that way that it ignores entire back story, a very primitive plot, spelling mistakes and pretty smells of a commissioned work motivated mostly by money. Besides that, it's so bad, so inconsistent with the entire universe of Mass Effect that I just have to scratch my head and wonder how it got published in the first place. So my advise don't fall for this deception, literally.
MayTheOdds More than 1 year ago
Very, Very disappointed. There are over 50 things wrong in Deception. Wouldn't even let my own worse enemy buy this book. Dietz obviously didn't ever bother to play the games or even watch a play through. I'm appalled Casey Hudson let this be published. This novel is an insult to all Mass Effect fans. Do not buy this book! Well, unless you're entirely ok with a series you know and love to be utterly destroyed. Other reviewers saying the people give it one star are trolls are obviously demented.
KLevine More than 1 year ago
Dietz completely ignores both game and previous novel-established canon to create his own amazingly bad interpretation. His sentences are dry, clipped and offer no insight into character development or even hint at the rich universe BioWare has created with the Mass Effect series; instead it is a slog of wince-inducing dialogue and dull descriptions better suited a five year old's scribblings than a professional author's work.
CORRBentOrgy More than 1 year ago
There's nothing to say that hasn't been said already; if you're a fan of the series, this "Novel," will only serve to confuse, irritate, and sadden you; its poor characterization and lack of any emotion aside, as other members have attested; its "Plot," is betrayed be being both moronic and lore breaking. Dietz does the Mass Effect community a great disservice with this gross attempt at literature, and makes no effort to reconcile at all. BentOrgy, at BSN.
CSSteele More than 1 year ago
This is terrible. Terrible, terrible. There's WAY too many things to go into. Google what's been said already if you won't take everyone's word for it here. It's just bad. Terribad.
sloth_4 More than 1 year ago
Perhaps if this were a stand alone novel, set in an original universe instead of the Mass Effect universe, it might be worth your time. But as it stands, this is a terrible entry in an otherwise stellar franchise. AVOID!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think the most telling thing about this book is the fact that Bioware and Del Rey have already publicly apologized for the content of this book and have pledged to re-release a new version that addresses all of the lore concerns that fans have voiced with the book. How it got published as-is, I have no idea, but there you have it.
Mimzel More than 1 year ago
A true fan of the Mass Effect series will notice the plot holes and inconsistencies right away. If you love the series, don't let this book spoil it for you.
DCAL31 More than 1 year ago
All I can say is that most of the other reviews are spot on. The book averages one mistake every three pages, the writing style is at a middle school level at best, and the plot serves no purpose other than to kill off characters that were lovingly developed over the past 3 books. If you need more in depth reasons, please see the other reviews, as they are much better worded and logically phrased than I am capable of. Actually, better than the book is capable of to be honest. If your a fan of the Mass Effect series, I would recommend checking out the graphic novels. They aren't the most amazing pieces of literature ever written, but the story is interesting and they add a lot of back story to the games.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This could have definatly been better, personally I think you should know what your writing about before you make a book and this writer obviously did't know the lore at all and this has no useful tips on Mass Effect 3 it just seems like aa complete waste of time to read this I mean if you want to read something pointless that has way to many mistakes then be my guest
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groberts1980 More than 1 year ago
This book is terrible. The first three Mass Effect books were written by a different author and were fantastic. Now I get to this one and it's just awful. Whole websites have been published to list all the discrepancies in this book. Don't waste your money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terrible in every way. The writing was bad, the plot made no sense, completely ignored well established canon and character traits. Errors all over the place. This is a shining example of how not to write. There should be college courses based on this book. It had pretty much everything you have ever heard of in regard to how not to write. I feel like I just read a bunch of short stories written by poorly performing middle school students. I will not read anything from this writer again.
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Henry_02 More than 1 year ago
I'm trying hard to finish this book...but damn is it boring! Sometimes it felt like the author was not introduced to the Mass Effect Universe. When is Karpyshn's next book out?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago