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Book Review

Book Cover



Author: Alex Irvine
Titan Books
RRP: £6.99, US $7.99
ISBN: 978 1 84856 531 9
Available 27 September 2011

With the war on Cybertron continuing, following the launching of the Allspark into unknown space, Optimus Prime and the Autobots board the Ark Spaceship in pursuit, but not far behind them is Megatron. In their quest they discover lost colonies and groups of Cybertrons who have been cut off from the home planet for millennia...

Transformers: Exiles is a new novel and a continuation of Alex Irvine’s first book of Cybertron history, Exodus.

If you’re going to make up a history for the Cybertronians, then there is some sense in getting a single author to do the work. In terms of both vision and style, this new novel is very similar to the first. For a genre novel, which attempts to put meat on the bones of the story - which is essentially about a bunch of toys - the book serves its audience fairly well. I know that sound like I’m damming the book with faint praise, but it is not without its problems.

Structurally and thematically the book borrows from the chase genre, similar to Wagon Train and Galactica. It essentially sets up a sort of planet of the week, though in the novel, we get to travel to both Velocitron and Junkion.

The first is a lost colony. When the Autobots arrive, via the Space Bridge, they find a society obsessed with speed, the whole planet has been given over to a set on interlinking race track and power and political office are won through racing. The arrival of the Autobots exasperates the already difficult situation, with Override taking side with Optimus and her rival, Ransack, siding with Megatron.

Ransak is aware of the events on Cybertron because unknown to Optimus, there is a traitor aboard the Ark, one which attempt to slow down, if not destroy, the Autobots and so stop Optimus from regaining the Allspark.

The Autobots leave Velocitron, on the eve of its own civil war and travel on to Junkion, a planetoid which is composed entirely of rubbish. Here the traitor is exposed, but not before Megatron catches up with the ark.

For the most part the book is well written, although Optimus’s musings become a little repetitive and the inclusion of the pirates at the end of the book make for a confusing and messy ending, although, no doubt, Irvine has some part for them to play in the next story. There is a fine attempt to bring the books in line with both the continuity of the television series and the films as well as a few surprises with cameo parts from a couple of the surviving thirteen.

It’s certainly not a classic, but should please fans of the franchise.


Charles Packer

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