Another book cleared from the reading backlog! It always feels so good to finish a book.
This one was on my list for a while and it was the only Andromeda novel that I was interested in reading since the game ended with a distress call from the Quarian Ark being picked up by Ryder.
This book dives into what happened to the Ark Keelah Si’yah during its voyage to the Andromeda galaxy.
Not only does it carry quarians, but also batarians, drell, hanar, elcor, and volus, so it was cool to read a Mass Effect novel centered around the alien races that don’t get enough love. (With genuine honesty: I am quite fond of the elcor.) But, I feel like the book ended in a way that I thought would be so typical for what the antagonist was trying to achieve.
The Ark has different Sleepwalker teams who are awoken from stasis at different times to make sure everything on the Ark is fully functional during its one-way trip. It also highlights some common things that these races are known for.
This time when the latest team is awakened, they discovered that a pathogen is on the loose on the ship and seems to be killing mainly drell. Ironic that I read this book considering we are going through a pandemic of our own right now.
I think my favorite character is Anax Therion the drell detective, she somehow manages to keep her cool despite her people dying, plus we’ve never seen much of the drell in the original trilogy to begin with. The drell are also a cool race on how they are able to recall memories of others too. Many of them sadly, get Kepral’s Syndrome due to mainly living on the homeworld of the hanar that is far too moist for their lungs to handle. Thankfully, Anax is not one of those who has it.
The elcor doctor Yorrik would be my second favorite, so I was sad when he became infected.
The only thing I didn’t get in the book’s plot is what caused the other colonists to suddenly be awakened from their pods, especially when the disease gets worse.
At the end, it is revealed that the quarian captain was responsible for the creation of the virus and she planned to use the drell as carriers to infect the Council races: humans, turians, asari, and salarians in Andromeda so that her race and the others would be the top dogs of Andromeda instead of the Council races. From that viewpoint, I can understand such motives because I always see quarians get ridiculed in Milky Way, like that one quarian who was on her Pilgrimage at the Citadel and she was harassed and falsely accused of theft by a volus and the human C-Sec officer refuses to help her in the second game. If she were an asari instead do you think that officer would have defused the situation? The other races are no different, constantly being marginalized, like not all batarians are pirates, smugglers, or other types of criminals. Even though Borbala was considered a retired smuggler, still you get what I mean.
The captain also wanted to do it because of a prank that the salarians played on her during her own Pilgrimage, which was pretty nasty to be honest. But she pays the price her own way as a walking cure! Ah…if only we could cure this virus in the same way!
Anyway, a decent read, not perfect but still enjoyable since it focuses on races in the Mass Effect universe that don’t get enough love from the fans.