Saturday, July 30, 2011

Transformers: Exodus

Okay, this is off my blogs normal theme, but I'm endulging in a little guilty pleasure of mine: my inner nerdiness. I love Transformers, the movies and the cartoons. So now I'm reading the novels too, and subjecting everyone else to my nerdiness. I hope you enjoy.

This appears to be based in the Transformers movie universe. I haven't read any of the comics (although I plan to rectify that once I find where to start), and only barely remember the old TV shows, but I don't remember any of the events mentioned. The book specifically mentions events and characters from the movies (the Allspark being launched into space, Bumblebee's damaged voice, and the Transformers cast, mainly the Autobots). There were other Transformers mentioned, but the ones that appeared in the movies were more prominent. I haven't seen the third movie yet, so it'll be interesting to see what new characters (to me) play a role in the new film.

Overall, I enjoyed most of this book, although it had it's dry spots. One chapter, an archivist is describing the early battles in the war. What could have been intense battles sequences, bitter loses, emotional trauma, all that good stuff, read like a history lesson. I wish the author had taken the time to explore those battles, although it would have been a much longer book.

My favorite part of the book was the interaction between Megatron and his underlings, especially Starscream and his plotting. It was a side story, but it added extra depth to the story, and let us see different aspects of the Decepticons, besides their desire to blow everything up. They had their own personalities. Shockwave, and his constant experiments, were distrurbingly amoral, even to his fellow Decepticons. Starscream was fun to read; not the sniveling coward from the old cartoons, but a cunning planner always looking out from himself. Soundwave was the spymaster, watching everyone and with his fingers in everything. By comparison, Megatron seemed kind of one dimensional, once he started the war. The Autobots had their own strengths, but for some reason they didn't seem as interesting.

Transformers: Exodus became more interesting once the war started. The first part dragged a bit, although I found Megatron's character intriguing. I was interested in his and Optimus Prime's early history, but I didn't really see how they came to rely on each other before the war. The first part of the book had too much "telling," and not enough "showing" why they became friends.

After reading this, I'm even more interested in reading the original comics and seeing how true this is to them. I think people who enjoyed the movies will enjoy this. I would assume that the comic/TV show fans would also enjoy it as well, but I can't say for sure, since I'm fairly certain this is for the movie universe.


Lan said...

Hey Lisa! Welcome back. I didn't even know they wrote books about Transformers! I love the cartoons as a kid and I went and saw the 3rd movie last weekend. It got panned by critics and fans alike but I personally loved it. Clearly I'm not hard to please. This sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the review.

Lisa said...

Thank you! I want to see the third movie, but we rarely see anything in the theater.

There are a few Transformer books out. The first two movies each had a prequel novel and a book for the movie itself. I really enjoyed the prequel to the first movie. There wasn't a prequel per se to the third movie, but it does have a movie novelization. Since this one appears to be set in the movie universe, and came out just before the movie, I'm curious if this one's considered a pre-prequel, if that makes sense.

Shannon said...

You know, the Transformers universe has a surprising amount of lore behind it!

I also thought you (and your readers) might be interested to know that my new urban fantasy novel, The Millennial Sword, will be free to download from Amazon between now and Friday, Oct. 5. I hope you'll take a look--thanks very much!