Transformers: Exodus: The Official History of the War for Cybertron (Transformers (Del Rey))

 
For twenty-five years the colossal battle between Megatron and Optimus Prime has captivated Transformers fans around the world. Yet the full story of the conflict between the two most famous Transformers—everything that happened before Optimus and Megatron arrived on planet Earth—has always been a mystery . . . until now. Here, for the first time told in its entirety, is the thrilling saga of Optimus and Megatron before they were enemies, before they even knew each other.

“Freedom is every Cybertronian’s right!” After Megatron utters these immortal words, the caste-bound planet of Cybertron is rocked to its foundations. Megatron, an undefeated gladiator thug, gives voice to the unspoken longings of the oppressed masses—and opens the mind of an insignificant data clerk to possibilities previously unthinkable.
Long before becoming the honorable Optimus Prime, Orion Pax is a mere office underling, an unlikely candidate to answer an outlaw’s call to revolution. But Orion is determined to meet this defiant enemy of all that Cybertron stands for, no matter what he has to do, or how many laws he has to break.

What happens between Orion Pax and Megatron forever changes the destiny of all Transformers. This gripping, action-packed novel reveals all the loyalties and treacheries, trust and betrayals, deadly violence and shining ideals, as well as the pivotal roles played by other characters, including Starscream, Sentinel Prime, Omega Supreme, and one of the thirteen original Primes, the last link to Cybertron’s glorious Golden Age.

Discover how meek disciple Orion Pax becomes the fearless leader Optimus Prime; follow the tantalizing clues about the lost Matrix of Leadership and the lore surrounding it; find out why the two allies fighting a corrupt regime suddenly turn on each other, and what triggers their epic war. Transformers: Exodus provides everything fans ever wanted to know about one of the fiercest rivalries of all time.
 

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3 Responses to Transformers: Exodus: The Official History of the War for Cybertron (Transformers (Del Rey))

  1. Steven Croy says:
    22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    The potential was there…, July 6, 2010
    By 
    Steven Croy (New York, NY USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    I was excited when I first picked this book up over the weekend. I love origin stories, and was interested how this one would tie in with the various continuities.

    What I ended up reading was only a few steps away from being a jumbled mess.

    Here are my main complaints:
    1.) There is no sense of when events occur in relation to each other, other than that events in later chapters occur after those that occur in earlier chapters (for the most part). It was annoying trying to figure out if eons had passed or just days (or if events are occurring at the same time).
    2.) The number of references to different continuities can get annoying. “Project Generation One”? Really? It felt like all the continuities got mixed up in a stew, but not everything mixed together properly.
    3.) Did X transformer really just get thrown in for a random 1 paragraph mention? Why? How does this advance the plot? Does it reveal any new character motivations? Or is it just fanboy service?
    4.) Alpha Trion’s role as Yoda seemed ill-conceived. If he really was one of the 13 primes, shouldn’t he have known all about Omega Supreme and how to activate him? Why didn’t he reveal all about the Matrix, Vector Sigma, et al to Optimus in order to assist in the war? He seems eternally shackled to a caste that he was forced into by Sentinel Prime (who was the best character by far… actual character development!!! Shocker!).
    5.) There’s little indication after the early part of the book which character is being focused on. The points of view seem to jump around quite a bit, to the point where you’re like “Megatron sounds like a good guy!” “Oh, wait, maybe that’s Optimus…”

    If the book were interspersed with vignettes of Sentinel Prime’s thoughts, showing his development from a stagnant, cowardly leader, through his imprisonment and torture, out to his realization and subsequent redemption and death… that would be a much-stronger book.

    I wanted to like this book. I really did. I just wish it was better-edited.

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  2. Seven Kitties "7kitties" says:
    26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    This is a joke, right?, July 18, 2010
    By 
    Seven Kitties “7kitties” (Blue Point, NY USA) –
    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)
      

    I’ll start with the positives about this book:

    1. It was not written by Alan Dean Foster.
    2. It was not written by Simon Furman.
    3. There are NO humans at all in this book. (Yes, Hasbro, it’s true: we want *robots* in our robot stories, fancy that!)

    That’s….uhhhh, about it.

    Problems with this book, in random order–I am keeping anything potentially spoilery to within the first 50 or so pages:

    1. Editing is non-existent. The prose was flabby and there’s no real sense of conflict or scene. Scenes will ‘happen’, set off with hard-hiatuses, but will have no conflict or resolution in them. Things are repeatedly restated, taking up pagespace and time that might have better gone to setting, characterization and plot development.

    2. Pacing is s-l-o-w. It’s a bit over 250 pages but it seems to last forever (not helped, of course, by the flabby prose).

    3. A lot of the characterization makes no sense. Alpha Trion is some spooky dude who keeps the entire history of Cybertron. We’re told he can’t read the future clearly, only glimpses. Yet he’s…regularly befuddled by actions that have already happened–that should, technically, be in his little magic book. Orion’s emotional shifts are laughably volatile–he’s suspicious, but then he’s chumming it up. And in a ‘canon’ that says (*several times*) that new mechs sort of wash up by the Well, why does Megatron keep calling Orion ‘brother’? What does that even mean in this? (Worldbuilding fail!) Megatron, who is allegedly uneducated, is a rhetorical genius with an extensive vocabulary. Orion is a lowly clerk who gets away with internal sabotage without even getting punished by his boss, much less having, oh, like an internal qualm? And for those who love Optimus? Yeah, one of his big psychological turning point moments is that he wants to go to an amusement park but can’t. The angst! The pathos!! Wait. This is the guy who becomes Optimus Prime?

    (And don’t even get me started on the forced cameos like Barricade, Blackout, Cliffjumper, etc.)

    4. What canon is this? It directly contradicts movieverse, though it involves elements of IDW’s Megatron Origin. One of my friends suggests it’s a prequel for the upcoming cartoon, another says it’s background for the recently released video game, but then admits it has nothing to do with the plot of the game other than the notion of ‘Dark Energon’. So…is this a microcontinuity? It seems to bill itself as game-canon. Is it it’s own thing? Why can’t I tell? (If this is a harbinger of the quality of the upcoming cartoon? Count me *out*.)

    5. It…contradicts itself at many points. I’ll give you just one example.

    Page 78. “Not even Starscream, who had spent much of his scientific career in the labs….”. Okay, Starscream = scientist, right?

    Then let’s go to page 158. “See what?” Starscream asked. Neither Starscream nor Megatron were scientists.”

    Wait, what?

    The real killer is that there are some really interesting concepts that could have been very cool if handled…better. The author clearly has no grasp, and certainly no love of the beloved Transformers characters, and it shows in every tedious page.

    Look, I’m a long time fan of Transformers–I was one of the original Generation 1 fans, back 26 years ago. I’ve stood by this franchise through a lot. But this book is turning me into one of those fans who will insist that this is not ‘my’ canon. This is like…some sort of tolerance test by Hasbro to see how much they can get away with or something. Either that or this is some Thanatos-drive cry for attention from the franchise.

    I’ve been led to believe that Hasbro’s pretty involved and controlling of their franchise. Yet they let the sloppy writing, the bad characterization, the internal inconsistencies go?

    In short? If you want to read some good Transformers fiction, and I *never* thought I’d say this, but you’d be better off looking at fanfiction than this hack drivel. I want my money back. No, heck with that: I want my Transformers back.

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  3. Ozphoenix says:
    21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Cold and sterile universe…, June 30, 2010
    By 
    Ozphoenix (Sydney, Australia) –

    I wouldn’t say Alex Irvine is a bad writer – he certainly knows how to write and construct a plot – but why oh why is there never any passion, emotion or even the vaguest description for anything ever included in mainstream Transformers novels? Is it because ‘Hey, they’re robots’?

    SPOILERS AHEAD! Stop reading now if you don’t want to know!

    I found the story to be so cold, sterile and emotionless that I was struggling to keep reading. There is no description or sense of how big powerful and awesome Optimus Prime is. Megatron fares a little better in that respect, since he comes across as the fearsome and mighty gladiator that he starts the novel as. The characters speak in short clipped sentences like a learn to read novel for children, with the occassional reference to someone speaking ‘quietly’ or ‘in anger’.

    When Orion Pax goes from being a lowly clerk/librarian to becoming Optimus Prime, it is in name only. This is at odds with what happens in the cartoon series or anywhere else in the various TF universes. He’s never described in terms of his huge size, body, shape, colour or anything else as changing. But then in this book, there was no description of what he looked like as Orion Pax to start with. That right there is a brilliant example of what is wrong with this book.

    The whole way through the story the characters come and go and we’re never told what they look like. They pop up, say something, and they come back again – or not. Because the Transformers are on Cybertron, they definitely do NOT look like what we know they are on Earth with their colours and alt modes. For lack of anything else for my imagination and brain to go by, by default I was picturing all the bots in their Earth forms.

    Jetfire is an essential part of the plot, but in TF:ROTF, he shows up as never having seen Optimus before! And that is another problem. The story is a strange melding together of original cartoon canon, Bayverse, Transformers Animated, and UK comics. If you’re reading this book (like I suspect most fans are) as a ‘before’ scenario for the Michael Bay movies, you will be very confused.

    As a female Transformers fan, I had hoped there would at least be the faintest mention of any female transformers, especially Elita One (even as a no-nonsense unit commander without the faintest trait of feelings between her and Optimus) but like other women, I have come to expect being left out in the cold when it comes to femmes. No females in this ANYWHERE. No Elita One, no Chromia, no femmes at all. With a male author this was a foregone conclusion. When men write Transformers, it’s war, war, and more war. No personal relationships and certainly no basic friendly emotions between the male characters either (and no, I’m not referring to homosexuality, just basic friends behaviour).

    Female Transfans and Male Transfans are always butting heads about this topic, but I’m afraid that the default reality for Transformers when it comes right down to it, is that there are no female Transformers because Transformers is 99% written by men for men. I think the original cartoon series episodes were amazing and incredibly bold in the first place to show Elita, Chromia, Moonracer, and the others. Especially by showing Elita as Optimus Prime’s girlfriend. Hang on to that notion ladies, because we’re not going to see that anywhere else in the official universe!

    On the whole, I found the book to be stiff, clinical and cold. I kept trying to love it or view it as an acceptably good story, but by the last half of the book, I gave up. I plodded on and finished it because I spent $35 for it, but it wasn’t even remotely enjoyable. Sorry Alex Irvine.

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