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Renaissance (Assassin's Creed) Paperback – 23 Feb 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 181 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 486 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books (23 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441019293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441019298
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.5 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,251,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Oliver Bowdenis a pseudonym for an acclaimed novelist."


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
I didn't really know what to espect when I decided to read this novel. I have never played the game Assassin's Creed II (Xbox 360), which this is based on, and only had a slim idea of what the game is about. I didn't have high hopes for this book, being a game tie-in I just hoped for a quick action packed read, and it did deliver on that score, and indeed was much better than I had expected.

The story takes place between 1476-1503, thus proceeding over a number of years, indeed during 'interesting times'. The renaissance was in full swing in Italy when this story takes place. Our hero, Ezio Auditore witnesses the hanging of his father and two brothers and swears vengeance. It is then that he starts learning things, such as that he is descended from the Order of Assassins, who are out to prevent those descendants of the Templars from gaining their goal of world domination. Whilst learning the Assassin's Creed Ezio must overthrow the Templars.

What follows is a grand romp through the Italian renaissance, taking in the de' Medicis, the Borgias, da Vinci, Machiavelli, the Sforzas, and Savonarola and his 'bonfires of the vanities'. Whilst locating pages from a Codex, battling foes and helping others, Ezio makes friends and allies to help him on his what has become a quest. With loads of swashbuckling and derring-do, and some romance, will Ezio be able to prevent the Templar conspiracy from obtaining its predominance, and will we also find out who the prophet that has been foretold really is?

A good historical tale this also incorporates a little bit of sci-fi/fantasy, and should appeal to a large number of readers.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For those who stumbled onto this book by accident and are intrigued by the cover the Assassin's Creed series is actually a popular video game franchise which follows different Assassins through various periods of history.

Renaissance is the first of many novels based off the series, most specifically it focuses on a young man from Assassin's Creed II called Ezio Auditore. The plot follows the almost never ending war between the Assassins who believe in freedom with the creed "nothing is true, everything is permitted" and the Templars who believe in control for the benefit of the masses.

Set in the Italian Renaissance it follows Ezio's journey from a cocky young street punk to leader of the Assassin order which is essentially a series of revenge killings with no real depth. As a computer game with voice acting, gameplay mechanics, side quests and atmosphere this worked perfectly well. As a book however it lacks depth and is simply formulaic, the names change but other wish each section of the book is the same.

The problem is that this book is simply Assassin's Creed II almost exactly. I really expected a deeper look into the characters, and more of a side story companion to the game, instead it's almost the script written down.

The other problem in regards to that is although a book aimed at English speaking peaple there are random Italian words thrown in here and there which once again kind of worked with the game but is just a pain to leap to the index for translations for words here and there, it just doesn't work.
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Format: Paperback
I actually bought this book from the Penguin Books website as soon as it came out. I was excited about the Assassin's Creed novels, ever since The Invisible Imam had been announced. Just think how much could have been told with the books that could not fit into the games! In my imagination the stories told on paper would let you revisit the beautiful, but limited scenes of ancient times depicted by the games, set the historic decorations with more authenticity than a game ever could, and trace the story of assassins through it. Of course, I didn't expect an instant classic, but I had no idea that something offering as much freedom for creativity as Assassin's Creed series could be made into a book so... awkwardly.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a gamer, I can handle l33t and even lolspeak (not that these were used in the book, don't worry), but I'm also an avid reader; so even though I do prefer classics to anything else, a little bad dialogue and historical mistakes generally can't put me off. In short, I normally wouldn't judge a game-based book too harshly - especially if it's about the game I loved.

However, Oliver Bowden's creation really managed to annoy me to hell. I frankly don't even know where to start - the poorly depicted characters, the bad dialogue, modern swearing, or the use of Italian language in and out of place, similar to use of sprinkles on a really bad pie. (Or, better illustrated in this comic: [...])

I had to come back to the book a few times to finish it, merely because it almost made me hate the game, exaggerating all the little things that could tick you off - and it's not just the conveniently-random use of Italian.
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