Am I one of the cool kids now?
Always had a soft spot for James, nice to get a bit of his backstory. I wish it had been longer though, and covered other past events, such as the night Anderson convinced James to be Shepard's guard. It's a pretty short story. Showing James at the Citadel which I take to be when he was there at the start of ME3, then telling this story as a flashback, was a nice touch I think to tie the two together.
Although James is supposed to be a teen in this story, young enough to be referred to as a minor, old enough though to enlist in the military, he's drawn to look pretty much as he is later. A minor quibble, though.
Overall just a morsel for Mass Effect fans. Others will have no idea who this guy is, or why we should care, or maybe even what the heck is going on.
The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes (writer for Bioware on both the Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises) is a somewhat shallow but action-packed novel set in a magical fantasy world. Loch and Kail are former Scouts for the Republic who are planning to steal a priceless Elven manuscript back from the man who framed them…which would be easier if they weren’t in the jail that hangs from the bottom of a floating city. Thankfully that’s only a minor problem for Loch, and she quickly escapes and starts to gather your usual motley team to steal the thing.
The plot tumbles forward headlong from there, introducing the various players, including a unicorn, a Death priestess, an intelligent warhammer, a shifty illusionist, a farmboy, a martial artist from the enemy Empire, and more. There’s a lot of characters and Weekes isn’t too interested in going deep with all of them, but the book is genuinely funny and deals with some of the typical fantasy tropes in a unique way, so I’m good with it. The Ocean’s Eleven comparison you see a lot are apt – you’re just expected to roll with the characters after their little introductions. If that’s something that would bother you, just be aware.
The Palace Job is a fun adventure starring an eclectic cast of characters. It’s not more than that, but it *is* entertaining. You can read it for free via Prime Reading if you are an Amazon Prime member, or it’s $3.99 to buy.