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Four new Mass Effect novels will chart the path to ‘Andromeda’

Next year’s Mass Effect: Andromeda will act as a continuation of the popular sci-fi RPG franchise, set centuries after the events of Mass Effect 3. Now, there’s word that game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) has commissioned Titan Books to produce four new novels that will span the gap.

“The novels will act as prequels and sequels to the events in the games and will become part of the overarching Mass Effect saga,” according to a press release from Titan Books. “They will focus on key characters and answer the many questions fans have been asking.”

The first book of the quartet will be written by N.K. Jemisin, the author of Hugo and Nebula Award nominee The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. The novel will be subtitled Initiation, and is set to release this August — several months before Mass Effect: Andromeda is scheduled to launch.

Two more novels will follow in March and September 2017, although there’s very little detail on them at this point. No title or even an author has been confirmed at this point, according to a report from Eurogamer.

Related: Choices are ‘shades of gray’ in ‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’

The final novel of the four will be written by Mac Walters, the creative director of Andromeda and a writer for the Mass Effect series since its inception. Walters has previously worked on various comic book adaptations of the franchise, including Foundation and Evolution.

The fourth book will release in March 2018, a full year after Andromeda is set to hit shelves. Given this timing and the fact that Walters is at the helm, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this novel tease where the franchise is headed next.

After a few years out of the spotlight, it seems that EA is preparing to bring Mass Effect back in a big way. Here’s hoping that the content of these novels steers clear of the pitfalls that produced such a disappointing end to the original trilogy.