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Mass Effect: Ascension is a novel within the Mass Effect universe.
Mass Effect: Ascension provides examples of the following tropes:
- Big Bad: The Illusive Man.
- The Big Guy: Pel takes this in the psychotic larger than life direction. Hendel plays the gruff, stoic, but good-at-heart form completely straight. Though the big part is easy to miss, at one point he is described as half a foot taller than Grayson, a man who is himself described as tall, which puts him at least at two meters.
- Bittersweet Ending: Gillian is finally free from the Illusive Man's tests and is getting better. However, she's doomed to a life on the run, split off from her father and all but two of the people she ever loved. All of whom have managed to piss off a man with incredible power and drive.
- Boom! Headshot!/In the Back: Golo'mek meets his end this way after Grayson decides to change sides.
- Bullying a Dragon: A particularly choice example, as the kid doing the bullying was himself suspended earlier for using his telekinetic powers on a fellow student. Hello, karma.
- Call Forward: When you go to Freedom's Progress in Mass Effect 2, Prazza (the leader of Tali'Zorah's squad) mentions that Cerberus attacked the Migrant Fleet and tried to blow up one of their ships.
- Daddy's Girl: Gillian is completely devoted to her father, much to Hendel's chagrin.
- Dangerous Deserter: Golo'mek vas Usela. Considered by the quarians to have committed the worst sort of crime (betrayal of the quarian species as a whole), he manages to get more quarians killed during the course of the novel, seemingly as an act of revenge for what he sees as their betrayal of him.
- Disability Superpower: Gillian is a high-functioning autistic. She is also significantly more powerful than a military biotic with decades of training, and more powerful (albeit riskier, with nasty side effects) implants.
- The Exile: Golo'mek, and for very good reasons.
- Eye Scream: During a Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, Hilo'Jaa vas Idenna has an eyelid ripped off, letting it dehydrate into a prune. Horrific in its own right, but possibly preferable to the entry from Mass Effect Revelation.
- Fantastic Racism: Most obvious in Pel, yet present throughout. Sets up some conflict within Cerberus, between those ideologically motivated for a better future for humanity, and the racists that believe in human dominance.
- Going Cold Turkey: Grayson, by the end.
- Gut Feeling: Hendel has a number of these. They are all on the mark. Almost.
- Hurl It Into the Sun: How Grayson gets rid of the evidence of his first kill for Cerberus.
- I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: Red sand has heavy elements of this, especially in the symptoms presenting in Grayson, though perhaps quite not as addictive or strong.
- Ironic Nickname: Pel calling Grayson "killer", which also serves as Hypocritical Humor.
- It's All About Me/Never My Fault: Golo'mek despises his entire species for "betraying" him with exile. The fact that he was exiled for trying to hand his fellow quarians over to the Collectors doesn't seem to matter much to him.
- I Want Them Alive: The entire point of the Cerberus operation is to capture Gillian. Everybody else is expendable.
- Kill the Cutie: Seeto, who was probably the friendliest quarian you'd ever meet. He's killed by Cerberus when they attack the Idenna.
- Knight Templar: Cerberus.
- Morality Pet: Paul Grayson may be a drug addict and a Cerberus agent, but his love for his adopted, autistic daughter is genuine.
- Older Than They Look: The book notes that human longevity is a lot greater than it used to be, and many characters look younger than they actually are.
- Override Command: Two codes need to be entered simultaneously to defuse a bomb in the finale.
- Parents as People: Grayson gets just as much characterization as Gillian, which adds a level of depth to the seemingly Abusive Parents element (of the neglectful kind).
- Redemption Equals Death: Grayson seeks to avert this.
"I'd like to think I can atone without dying."
- Shout-Out: Features a brain-damaged teenage girl with incredible mental powers... taking refuge on a ship whose captain is named Mal.
- Smug Snake: Jiro is described as handsome and comes across as very cocky, two facts that don't help him when he turns out to be The Mole. His girlfriend ends up kicking his ass.
- Squishy Wizard: Gillian is an autistic girl on the cusp of puberty. Hendel averts this, also being The Big Guy.
- Straight Gay: Hendel is a badass, ex-military wall of muscle with a gruff personality to match. Who likes men, apparently.
- The Unseen: The Collectors, at least until Mass Effect 2.
- Wretched Hive: The Terminus "capital", a space station called "Omega".
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