Mass Effect: Retribution is a novel within the Mass Effect universe, written by then-lead writer Drew Karpyshyn.
Mass Effect: Retribution provides examples of the following tropes:
- Body Horror: What happens to Grayson when he's implanted with Reaper tech. The cybernetic implants slowly replace his flesh and the tissue looks like its dying. Anderson even compares him to the Husks.
- Boldly Coming: Grayson's relationship with Liselle. He enjoys it so much he even wonders at one point "How can [he] ever go back to humans?"
- Bowdlerise: A minor example. The narration states that the number one rule of Omega is "Don't cross Aria T'Loak". Everyone who's played Mass Effect 2 will know that her description of the rule is a bit more colorful.
- Continuity Nod: The friendly elcor ambassador from the first game, Calyn, makes a brief appearance while having lunch with Anderson. He's still complaining about the volus ambassador Din Korlack.
- Dying as Yourself: After Grayson's body is too badly damaged, the Reapers release control and he seems to be this in his final moments.
- Faking Amnesia: When a rescue squad recovers a kidnapped character and asks for his name, he is unable to answer and claims that amnesia is the cause. As it turns out, he (Grayson) has been implanted with alien tech by Cerberus, allowing his body to be remote-controlled by the Reapers. The claim of amnesia was used by the Reapers to avoid the question, as they were at that time unable to learn his name by reading his mind. It works horrifyingly well.
- Fantastic Racism: Kai Leng really doesn't like aliens. He regards Omega as the standard of what an alien-dominated galaxy would be like and seems to enjoy killing aliens.
- Guns Akimbo: Thanks to his Reaper enhancements, Grayson is able to effectively and accurately dual-wield assault rifles.
- Humorless Aliens: Anderson, while having lunch with Calyn, jokes about attacking Din Korlack (Calyn's office mate, about whom he had been complaining) and "watching the butterball roll out the door". Calyn finds this joke disturbing, and notes that he's unsettled by humanity's sense of humour.
- Raging Stiffie: Happens to poor Nick not thirty pages into the book, who probably advances one trope and narrowly subverts another while he's at it.
- Sadistic Choice: Kai Leng gives Anderson the choice of either arresting him or saving the fifteen-year-old Nick die from a gunshot wound to the stomach. Anderson tries to Take a Third Option by shooting Leng in both legs then going to help Nick, but Leng barely escapes.
- Token Romance: Subverting the one in Mass Effect: Revelation; Kahlee and Anderson are still close despite not having worked together after twenty-one years.