Now reading: Star Trek: Vanguard: Reap the Whirlwind by David Mack
Transformers: Exodus: The Official History of the War for Cybertron by Alex Irvine, and Transformers: Exiles by Alex Irvine.
I was the biggest Transformers fan. I watched the original TV show religiously after school, I bought the Marvel Comics series, and I even owned a few of the toys. You may not be surprised to learn that I was one of those that was not impressed by the 2007 movie.
When I saw Exodus at a Borders close-out, I assumed that it was probably meant to tie into the movie trilogy somehow. But the back cover promised that it would tell the story of how the Autobot-Decepticon war began. I figured that I’d give it a chance out of curiosity, and the half-off price was right. If I hated it, I could always swap it on Paperbackswap for something else.
And then I read it.
Exodus seemed to be an attempt to somehow unify the histories of the various TV series, comics, and movies. Unfortunately, the backstories are all so contradictory that the end result is yet another alternate continuity that doesn’t particularly agree with any of them.
If my only gripes were in the field of fannish nitpicking, I’d be happy. Unfortunately, the story itself felt a bit rushed. I don’t mean in pacing. It read as though the author were in a hurry to meet a deadline. The story was inconsistent with itself. Scenes would contradict one another, the narrator might present a piece of information at one point and then seem to forget about it at another, and things of that nature. Maybe this is a nod back to the animated series of the 80′s, which was known for gaffes such as having dialog come from the wrong character’s mouth. Probably not, though.
Obviously, I didn’t hate this book. There were some interesting ideas thrown in. For example, there was an explanation as to why the Decepticons have such a rapacious thirst for energy while Autobots seemingly do not. (Tainted Energon, apparently.) I was still rather disappointed, but not quite disappointed enough to turn down the next book.
Exiles continues just after the end of Exodus, with the Autobots wandering the galaxy searching for the source of all Cybertronian life, the Allspark. They encounter planets full of alien Transformers, search for ancient relics that they didn’t know they were supposed to be looking for, and of course, battle Decepticons.
This book had all of the problems that Exiles did. For example, some mystery characters appeared, then, in a later scene, they were referred to as pirates, and in a third, they dramatically revealed themselves to be pirates.
If there are any future books in the series, I suspect I’ll skip them.