Transformers

OUR WORLD. THEIR WAR.

They once lived on a distant planet, which was destroyed by the ravages of war–a war waged between the legions who worship chaos and those who follow freedom. In search of a powerful energy source that is essential to the survival of their race, they have now come to Earth. They are among us, silent, undetected, waiting to reveal themselves, for good or evil.

The Decepticons will stop at nothing to seize the coveted prize, even if it means the destruction of countless human lives. The only things standing in their way: the Autobots and a handful of determined men and women who realize that when it comes to this advanced race of machines, there is much more than meets the eye. With forces mounting for the ultimate showdown, the future of humankind hangs in the balance.

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3 Responses to Transformers

  1. Jeremy Deats says:
    25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellent story, ok novel., June 1, 2007
    By 
    Jeremy Deats
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Transformers (Mass Market Paperback)

    When I was growing up in the 80’s, Transformers were my favorite toy line and the Tranformers cartoon was my favorite cartoon. As an adult, I find my kids are still into the current iteration of the toy, so I hold this film franchise (that’s actually what Michael Bay has called it) to be quite a bit more sacred than other comic movies such as X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spiderman, etc. To me those are great action flicks, but for me Transformers needed to be something more. If the movie follows this book as it should, then I will certainly not be disappointed; but I could see how long time fans might be a bit let down with certain details.

    So beyond this point I’m writing a “spoiler free” section and then below that I will detail some more specific info. In neither section will I give away: the ending, who dies, any major turn of events in the plot, etc… However, in both I will talk generally about: flow, character development, general comparisons between what’s in this story and what was in the story of the 80’s Transformers cartoon.

    Before getting into content, I will say that I’m not a huge fan of Alan Dean Foster. I will go light on him because he was given the task to transform a screen play into a novel. He is the reason I give this 4 stars and not 5. I realize his task required him to write inside a box, and to be fair I don’t think I’ve found a novel based on a screen play that I would give five stars to. Still, I felt as if here just as in Alan’s prequel Transformers novel “Ghosts of Yesterday”, the book seems quickly written and often goes a bit stale in creating imagery. There were times when I just wished I had a copy of the screen play. That’s all I’m going to say about his writing style. So on to the review.

    First, the book is full of action, but if you’re wanting action every five minutes with no plot, then you may be let down. While I’m not sure how the movie will be (Bay might be going after a completely different style here), if the movie follows the book it’s going to flow very much like other Michael Bay blockbusters such as Armageddon and The Rock. I feel Michael Bay does an excellent job at blending character development with action, and keeping a consistent pace, but if you don’t like Bay’s past work, my guess is you will not like the flow of the Trasnformers movie.

    If you take the number of pages to this book: 291 and calculate it out for a two hour and twenty minute film (that’s a rough guess) there will likely be a very detailed action sequence happening once every 10-15 minutes in the movie (think: Independence Day in term of pace) with the last 30 minutes of the film most likely being almost non-stop action.

    Comparing the general story in this book to the Transformers television show, the biggest difference is that the story is told here from a human perspective. While I’m sure this change will upset long time fans, the truth is it makes for much better story telling to relate to people through human characters, this is true of all good science fiction writing. In terms of movies, Spielberg certainly lives by this rule and it works and it works here as well. In a cartoon geared for kids, it’s easy to tell the story from the robots perspective, but the cartoon never tried to pull off what this story does, that is (within limits) make you believe Transformers are real for its duration and regarding personality: the Transformers most certainly have it in the book. It’s expressed not only through what they say, [LIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD] although there is a good bit of English language communication between Transformers and their dialog is not dry. They are treated as non-organic alien robots with greater than human intelligence able to communicate with us and with full understanding of our technology and how to manipulate it.

    As far as the story goes: there are essentially three sets of characters that are apparently not connected in any way (at the beginning of the story anyway) that the story follows and in the movie I assume (in Michael Bay style). We’ll see a lot of transitions between these three sets of characters as the three story lines become one. So you have a military group stationed in desert of Qatar with a lead character. You have another group at the Pentagon in Washington with a few lead characters and then you have civilians: Sam “Spike”, his friends and family. The most character development goes to Sam as he is really the lead in this story and it’s with Sam and his friend Mikaela that we find character growth in this story. We also find a bit of growth (although less pronounced) in Optimus Prime and Bumblebee).

    Essentially three plots start out independant and sort of weave together, but it’s handled very well. It works and it makes for a real page turner, which I think will translate into a very fast paced movie. If you imagine the grander of Independence Day in terms of special effects…

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  2. Evan the Dweezil says:
    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Not bad for a tie-in, August 8, 2007
    By 
    Evan the Dweezil (A Place-Sort Of, Montana) –

    This review is from: Transformers (Mass Market Paperback)

    As far as movie tie-ins go, this one isn’t bad. There’s no rambling internal monologues or shocking details about the characters that are missing from the screen and the integrity of the story is intact. This novel compliments the movie quite well.

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  3. K. Ammon says:
    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    4-star sci-fi tale, plus 1 star for managing to do it with awful source material, July 26, 2007
    By 
    K. Ammon (Silicon Valley) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Transformers (Mass Market Paperback)

    Did you see the “Transformers” movie and feel an overwhelming sense of disappointment? Did you think that a story with giant alien robots from another planet should be a bit more… cooler? Were you wishing they would have cut a lot of the useless scenes and spent more time on the dialog and characters and interactions? I did, and this book was the story I wanted to see.

    The jerky pacing is smoothed out, the multiple story lines (which didn’t get enough screen time in the movie to be useful) are detailed out here and actually serve a purpose. The characters have more depth and better senses of humor. Things that frankly did not make sense in the movie are given reasonable, coherent explanation by the author. And that laughable technobabble which had my programmer boyfriend groaning in the theater was simply cut. In short, Alan Dean Foster took a really bad screenplay and made a really good sci-fi yarn from it. (The only thing I miss is the fantastic ILM transformation effects which get scant description in the book, maybe because the author didn’t get to see what they looked like?)

    I don’t know how it will play to the Transformers fanboys, since I never was one (I was playing with My Little Pony at the time), but I highly recommend that people give this a try. Hey, it cost less than my movie ticket and I enjoyed it a lot more.

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