Mass Effect – Andromeda: Nexus Uprising Review

Photo of book cover to Mass Effect Andromeda Nexus Uprising
Picked this one up from EB Games

  • Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
  • Title: Mass Effect – Andromeda: Nexus Uprising
  • Authors: Jason M. Hough and K.C. Alexander
  • Publisher: Titan Books
  • Number of Pages: 475
  • Release Date: 21 Mar 2017

What is it

Mass Effect – Andromeda: Nexus Uprising is the official prequel to the 2017 game Mass Effect: Andromeda. The book was written by Jason M. Hough (former artist and game designer, turned New York Times best-selling author of "The Dire Earth" and "Zero World") and K.C. Alexander (a sci-fi/fantasy author who has written books "Necrotech" and "Nanoshock") and published by Titan Books a couple of days before the release of the actual game.

The book details the events on the Nexus prior to Ryder (the player character in Mass Effect: Andromeda) arriving in the Andromeda galaxy. Even before the first ark arrives at the Nexus (i.e. the Human Ark "Hyperion"), a calamity besets the Nexus resulting in critical damage to the station. Most of the story is described from the viewpoint of Sloane Kelly, Security Director of the Nexus (who eventually becomes leader of the Outcasts in the game). Nexus Uprising describes how Kelly attempts to restore order through all the chaos and how other key players on the station decide to take matters into their own hands.

How I got it

Being a fan of Mass Effect and seeing the book on sale at EB Games for $9, I thought it was a relatively inexpensive way to pass time and give me some insight on what actually happened on the Nexus prior to the game Mass Effect: Andromeda.

What I like:

History of the Nexus

Reading this book gives you insight into how miserable conditions were on the Nexus prior to the arrival of the Arks and why there are two offshoot factions by the time you start the game: the Outcasts and the Nakmor Clan.

Sympathy for the major characters

While playing the game, I developed a dislike for the Nexus leadership. Although I believed in the Andromeda Initiative, I felt like many of the leaders were pretentious twats. Nexus Uprising hasn't changed my mind completely but it does cast characters like Sloane Kelly, Jarun Tann, Foster Addison, even Nakmor Morda in a more sympathetic light. William Spender is still a slimy weasel though…

References to the game

Obviously, there are many references to the game but there are even some obscure ones, or ones that only true fans would remember like rifle names, corporations and even biotic powers.

What I dislike:

What happened to Kandros?

While we do find out what happened to Kandros in the game (he becomes security chief of the Nexus), the final chapters of the book (which act as an epilogue of sorts) doesn't describe what happened to Kandros, or the fact that anyone cares. Maybe a short chapter detailing what he had to deal with wouldn't have gone astray.


I actually don't mind this so much but the book does cover a lot of plotting and scheming performed by the Nexus leadership and the antagonists but lacks a lot of action that some readers might prefer (although there are a couple of memorable engagements that occur). If you're a true Mass Effect fan though (or at least a fan of the lore) I don't think is too much of an issue as at its core, the series is similar to "Star Trek" in that it's more about the learning of different alien cultures than it is about pulverising them to smithereens (although there is some of that too).

For fans only

Nexus Uprising is entertaining in its own right, but a lot of links it has with the game and the Mass Effect universe as a whole is going to be lost on those that have not experienced either.

Score – 7/10 (Good)

If you're a fan of Mass Effect: Andromeda or the Mass Effect series as a whole, I think you'll find Mass Effect – Andromeda: Nexus Uprising a worthwhile read thanks to its detailing of what happened on the Nexus prior to the arrival of the Arks and the fact it casts many major characters in the game in a more sympathetic light: they are no longer two-dimensional thanks to this book. If you're not well versed with Mass Effect lore or one who prefers your novels with a lot of action, this might not be the novel for you.

Is the game worth $11.39?: Yes. I managed to get the book on special for $9 but if you're a Mass Effect fan, it's likely you'll enjoy this book.

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[ LINK: Jason Hough's Website ]