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on 11 November 2012
Assassin's Creed Forsaken is the fifth novel to be written by Oliver Bowden that tie's into the Ubisoft video game series of the same name.

Unlike previous books which were the game in written form this one is half and half. Told through a series of personal journal entries,reflections and traditional prose it tells the story of Haytham Kenway from his early life upto when we meet him within the Assassins Creed III game and through the game to it's conclusion.

The book is as with all of Oliver Bowden's previous books well written, the story is entertaining and is a nice accompanyment to the game.

If you're a fan of the game series then this is definetely worthing putting on the shelf

***Spoiler Warning***

Read after playing Assassin's Creed 3
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on 7 January 2013
I always read these novels from cover to cover, they're great fun to read. The author this time has chosen to include a lot of backstory not shown in the game and it explains so much more of the storyline, it covers Haytham Kenways childhood, from the tragedy that results in him having to abandon his house and be taken under the wing of Reginald Birch, to all the events of the videogame, and yet more backstory in the years in between where the game jumped ahead 4 years or more at a time. It gives you a richer understanding of the complete events of the game, and also it portrays Haythams character in a very human light the whole way through, which wasn't the case in the game. It follows Haytham through the story from start to finish, there's barely any mention of his son Connor, and it's a better read for it, I much prefer Haytham over Connor, even if it is only the accent that does it. If you've bought the other Assassins Creed novels, this one is the best by far because there's a ton of original writing for once, the previous novels were more or less ripped word for word from the game, this time that does still happen in some places but overall there's a wealth of new content here. Highly recommended.
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on 6 June 2014
I am late into this 'legend'.
My grandchildren have lived this series, as has my 'gamer' son (not his children).

I have to recommend any enquiring mind (that has time to) explore this series x
3 of the 6 I have read certainly seem of the same hand, whilst another 3 offer perspectives that are entirely challenging, yet 'real'?!.

There are 3 definite 'questions' in this novel that marred it's due joy; proof reader faults or software glitches?!
Either/or are significant faults and sadly cause me to wonder at my 'support'?!

This could be the narrative that enables many to embrace 'others' ideals without prejudice OR . . . affirm else.

If this is truly one author; All hail to you x Such wealth of acceptance and delivery has to be exhausting, but you need to kick your publishing house in the butt as they are letting you down!
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on 4 December 2012
Just love Oliver Bowden's writing he brings characters to life in front of your very eyes, more of the same Oliver. These books are easy reading, for those who might think reading is boring you will find that there is much more in Oliver's books and I hope that he will be consulted when Assassin's Creed goes to the BIG SCREEN.
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on 3 February 2014
I really love the Assassins' Creed games, but had very low hopes for this book. I couldn't help but assume that a spin off novel from a video game, even one as well plotted as AC, would be predictable and badly written with one-dimensional characters. I bought the book for my boyfriend, but one bored afternoon I couldn't resist picking it up myself, and I was pleasantly surprised.

For me, Haytham was by far the most intriguing character in Assassins' Creed 3. Until then, it had all seemed a bit black and white, with evil Templars and good Assassins, then suddenly, there's this mysterious and sympathetic Templar who frees slaves, allies with Native Americans and stops the worst excesses of his colleagues. Plus, he's posh, English. well-dressed and from the eighteenth century - four big ticks in my book.

So firstly, I think the author made an inspired choice in focussing on Haytham rather than Connor, the games official hero. He really fills out the character with an intriguing personality and inspired back story. The writing and characterisation is pretty good throughout, and much better than I was expecting. It's told through Haytham's diary, and it mimics the style of eighteenth century diary writing quite effectively. While I'm sure this will be read almost universally by fans of the games, it could almost stand on its own merits as a general historical fantasy.

The book is at its best when the author is given free rein to create his own plot within the AC universe. I particularly loved the scenes in which Haytham is a young child in London in the 1730s, living with his very rich and respectable father, who fans will recognise as Edward Kenway, the pirate hero of the fourth game. The family dynamics are touching, and eighteenth century London is surprisingly accurately portrayed. I also enjoyed the later scenes of Haytham training with the Templars, which give a whole new perspective on everyone's favourite evil organisation.

Conversely, I thought the book was at its weakest when it rehashed scenes from the game. Firstly, I already knew what was going to happen, and secondly, the need to stick to canon seemed to diminish the author's imagination. Also, in a video game, it's easy to kill twenty people in quick succession and think nothing of it. When a book depicts the same scene and describes how many people the hero has killed or how quickly he recovers from terrible injuries, it feels quite bizarre and unrealistic. On the other hand, the later chapters worked quite well where they filled in the blanks and/or gave Haytham's perspective on Connor's adventures.

Two things to bear in mind for fans of Assassins' Creed 3 who are debating whether this is worth their time. Firstly, as I've already alluded to, it's very much focussed on Haytham. If you're mainly here for Connor, don't bother. Haytham doesn't even meet his mother until nearly 300 pages in, and his son gets barely twenty pages in total. Fine by me, but it might annoy some people.

Similarly, the games always have three interwoven story lines: battles between Templars and Assassins in some historical period, present day conspiracy theories and people using the animus, and all the weird flashbacks to "those who came before." The plot here is much more straightforward - it's a clear cut eighteenth century adventure story, told in diary form, with just the merest hint of fantasy, and no present day plot or ancient flashbacks. Again, I think that was probably the best approach, as I'm mainly a fan for the historical elements (it helps that Renaissance Italy and eighteenth century England are my two favourite periods), but if it's Abstergo and the pieces of Eden that really capture your imagination, you're going to be disappointed.

In conclusion, if you're a fan of Assassin's Creed 3 and want to fill in the blanks, and especially if you're a fan of eighteenth century history, this is a lot of fun and well worth a look.
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on 27 December 2013
well I must say I never read much before hell I have tonnes of books that I haven't touched but when I received this novel I read and enjoyed it gives allot of information too what happened before assassins creed 3 and much insight into haythams life things I didnt see in assassins creed 3 really enjoyed it and ended up buying the black flag one after reading it ::) if you are a fan of AC I would recommend reading theres lots of things I didnt know about haytham until I read this book. brilliant stuff. love assasins creed A+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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on 30 December 2012
I have to preface this with the fact that I do love all of Oliver Bowden's Assassin's Creed books and am a huge fan of the games so I am biased.

However unlike others have that have said this book is not as good as it does not follow as closely to the game plot; I disagree to me this makes the book better and the mythos of the games so much deeper. Which is why I enjoyed it so much that I found it hard to put down, it didn't hurt that I also really liked Haytham in the game; even if he was a Templar.

The story follows Connor understanding his father through his journals from a boy to the Grand Master Templar of the Americas. The underlying theme of the game from Connor's perspective and the books from Haytham's is why can't they all get along? That although the Templars and the Assassins go about things in different ways at the heart of it all they want the same thing. Peace everlasting. As naive as that simple want is.

I liked the idea that Bowden took with this book that he didn't centre it on the main character of the game, but instead explored his roots and the roots of his father further, because as much as it is explained in the game it is never truly given much depth and this book managed to show a "what if" side to the ending chapter of the games.

Some have said that Haytham was constantly going between being in a sticky situation on one page and the next being out of it, but how is that any different to the other plot lines? This is the sort of book you do not read for realism, but for the sheer joy of escapism in to a beautifully rendered and described landscape, where one moment you are in the High Society of London the next The Frontier and then The Middle East saving your long lost sister.

Through the journal entries you become engrossed in a characters life that was fully lived, if not always happily. Which is just like real life and even with some of the seemingly unrealistic plotting; gives the reader something to relate to.

I would recommend this book to anyone that appreciates Bowden's writing and the games in general, or anyone that wants an action filled piece of escapism. However I learnt the hard way being at memory sequence 9 when the book came out and reading it in a matter of days that it would have been better to read Forsaken after finishing the game.

If you are easily moved to tears like I am, you will need a few tissues.
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on 6 July 2013
This is probably the best of the Assassin's Creed novelisations, mainly because it focuses on Haytham's life history, rather than essentially being a transcript of the game. The story is interesting, and it gives another dimension to one of the major characters in the game. However, Bowden's writing style still feels a little too sparse, and the parts of the novel which focus on events that we see in the game feel a little stiff and awkward. Still, it's a valuable read for an Assassin's Creed fan and I enjoyed reading it.
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on 20 February 2013
This book is a great companion to the Assassin's Creed 3 console game, as it gives the character Haytham Kenway much more depth and really helps create an understanding behind his motives: it also covers events not included in the main game, so it works very well as a standalone historical fiction book.

Bowden's writing style is very dynamic and suits the Assassin's Creed series well: the attention to detail and atmosphere make it very easy to visualize the environments and characters, but not overly so that you lose too many pages on just descriptions.

The book's length at about 500 pages is not too long or short, and the chapters are broken down into perfect reading chunks if you are short on time. I personally really enjoyed the 'journal' perspective of the books, but this may not be to everyone's liking...

A great read if you loved the game, or even if you just love historical books in general!
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on 28 August 2013
i played the games and people said that i should read the book, now i don't actually like to read, but when i started it took me ages to put the book down, really enjoyed it and cant wait for the next book to come out, fast delivery
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