PLEASE NOTE I JUMP AROUND QUITE A BIT IN THE REVIEW AS I WROTE IT AT 3AM!
Before I begin with the book review I have to get a few things out of the way. When the news first hit that Transformers War For Cybertron hit I was super excited. It was to be a Transformers video game that existed in its own continuity. One that had nothing to do with the craptastic movie video games. I was overjoyed at every news item I read or videos I saw about the game. I even put the bug in Stan Bush’s ear to get his music in the game. Then came the news of a actual prose Transformers Novel. This is yet another first for the Transformers brand.
I’ve not had a chance to experience Transformers: War For Cybertron on any platform yet. I hope to soon. When I heard there was going to be I guess you could call it a prequel or a companion book to the game entitled Transformers: Exodus I was equally enthralled and intrigued with the potential of a Transformers prose novel. At the onset we get history of Cybertronian civilization. Then we get Orion Pax data clerk and Megatronus the gladiator. First of all Megatronus is a shitty name I hated reading it over and over until finally the character decided to just be MEGATRON. The first nod to any continuity that I noticed was the first time Megatron said I STILL FUNCTION!! When I say the first nod I mean besides the character names. The fact that Cybertron was made up of castes kinda bugs me. I know there is a “class” system here in the US and I’m sure other places in the world. However seeing that there was one of Cybertron I have no idea why it just bugs the hell out of me. The story goes that Orion Pax is intrigued by Megatron’s ideas and sparks ideas of his own of being free of caste life. The story shows of how they met and became friends. This reminds me so much of the origin of Lex Luthor and Superman being friends then enemies.
The characterization of both Soundwave and Shockwave is spot on. I think though they took a lot of Shockwave’s mad scientist personality from the comics. Which wasn’t a bad thing seeing as in the G1 cartoon he almost had no personality. I don’t like that they call Soundwave’s disciples minicons, but I can get over it seeing as all the major ones are present. Ravage, Laser Beak, Buzzsaw, Rumble, Frenzy, and Ratbat… who is a High Council member……? Yeah that was a WTF moment for me. There are a few glaring issues between the book and the game:
#1 The Book states the leaders name is Sentinel Prime, while the game calls him Zeta Prime. Apparently at Botcon 2010 Hasbro tried to make up for this by saying his full name is Sentinel Zeta Prime.
#2 The inside flap of Exodus claims that the book is the first time you will learn of the history between Optimus and Megatron pre Earth. We all know that isn’t true hello G1 cartoon episode “War Dawn”
While I can see why they are trying to redefine the history and make this the new cannon there are still some issues with it. Even though I’ve never read Wreckers I like how they included them in this especially that Ultra Magnus is their leader. Thank god I only saw Springer referenced once!! While another review I’ve read of this book stated that the chapter length after chapter 5 kind of hurt the book I have to disagree. I think that the more lengthy chapters give you a backstory from the eyes of Alpha Trion. The story as told by Alpha Trion I will say is very lengthy, but most of it is expositional. It’s recounts of the battles between the Autobots and Decepticons. The way the war starts is awesome though. Megatron feels betrayed by Orion Pax as the Council has named him the new Prime……….. Optimus Prime! The one thing that I really hated about this book is that they take the movie continuity of Bumblebee not being able to talk! However the fact that they make him a kick ass spybot is awesome. Another fact that I liked was that Energon came from Primus and Dark Energon came from Unicron. I thought that this was a very interesting plot point. Other references that I liked was that Soundwave and his minions were actively searching for The Matrix Of Leadership. Trypticon and Omega Supreme are definite advantages of either sides cause to win the war. Then there is the Plasma Energy Chamber reference awesome integration of the way it is used.
I bet all the fangirls reading this post are like why haven’t you talked about Starscream? Well there really is nothing much to say. He is basically his same old diabolical self. Plotting to take control of the Decepticons like every other continuity. We barely get any Thundercracker or Skywarp in the book. They are mentioned several times, but nothing is really done with them. I truly enjoyed seeing the evolution of Trypticon turning his third mode in to The Nemesis. Omega Supreme is still the awesome powerhouse that he has always been. The references to Crystal City and the Constructicons are great as well. Although I hate the fact that they used the movieverse number that comprise Devastator. I can get behind the fact that there are other Constructicons, Combaticons, AerialBots, and the like other than the original team. However changing the original teams I just don’t like. Megatron and Optimus constantly called each other “brother” after the war has begun just is stupid in my opinion. However Megatron explains it away well he says that once someone is family they always are.
A final few notes I loved how the Core of Cybertron talked to Optimus Prime. It reminds me of the Oracle from Beast Machines. The Oracle also bestows upon him The Matrix Of Leadership. Regardless of my feelings about Sentinel Prime from Animated the one portrayed here is a kickassery type when he is trying to atone for his lack of leadership. Another thing about Alpha Trion is that he is an original member of the thirteen Primes. They also mention Vector Sigma and they make it out just like the G1 cartoon that Alpha Trion is a part of it. The final thing I’ll bring up before I summarize my thoughts is the way they introduce Generation One. I loved that they called it “Project Generation One” and they build the Ark. As I said before with Trypticon’s third mode being the Nemesis you see where the two ships collide in space. Actually you see them going through The Space Bridge and ending up in a unfamiliar spiral arm galaxy. They get a beacon of the ejected AllSpark and so begins the search as the War For Cybertron continues…………………..
Overall the book is a good read. For the majority of the middle there is barely any dialogue. I felt while reading it that I was reading fan fiction but in book form. If you are a Transformers fan, toy collector or otherwise invested in the Transformers brand you should buy this. However get it from Amazon as that is where it is the cheapest. I’m very happy that this is a part of my TF collection now and I would rate it a 7/10 overall.
A big thanks to Baltmatrix for getting me the book. You can view his YouTube Channel Here: https://www.youtube.com/user/baltmatrix
Transformers Exodus on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/034551985X/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0Y4XH5SFEET6JFGTGFBZ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846
Sorry the following images are a little blurry.