Customer Reviews: Assassin's Creed: Renaissance
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on February 23, 2010
I love the game so I couldn't resist buying the book. I'm sad to say that I am thus far disappointed in the book. I think the idea of a book or series of books based on the characters is a great idea, but maybe a different author would have been better. One of the things that first made me stop and say "really? did he really just use that phrase?" was the line in which the main character and his older brother are racing along the rooftops, and the older brother says to Ezio, "you went past me like greased lightening". Now I'm no author, but I'm pretty sure that they didn't use the phrase "greased lightening in renaissance Italy. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure they didn't. That coupled with a few of the character names, which sounded to me like the author just made them up by adding the letter o onto the end of them, well basically it just got to the point where I had to put the book down and walk away.

Great idea, bad execution.
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on July 19, 2011
The Good: Sticks close to the script, you really feel like you're in the game

The Bad: Takes a lot of the game out, relies too much on the script, secondary characters aren't developed enough, rushed in spots

Assassin's Creed is one of those games that is really tricky to put into book form and it didn't quite get pulled off right here in Oliver Bowden's adaptation of the second game. Assassin's Creed has two parts: One is a science fiction story where a man named Desmond Miles is captured by a secret government organization and stuck in an Animus machine to unlock the DNA of his ancestors and find the Pieces of Eden. The second part is whatever time period Desmond is throw in and in this case he is Ezio Auditore de' Firenze in 1476 Italy.

The book completely cuts out the science fiction part of the game and just concentrates on what's going on in the Animus, but dismisses this as well. This may be great for people who don't like the science fiction side of Assassin's Creed, but fans will miss this. Bowden also relies to heavily on the script of the game to drive the book, and rarely do you get to be inside the minds of the characters as much as you'd like to be. He rarely delves further than the games do and this is disappointing.

A lot of the secondary characters are built upon very well and you never feel for them except for Ezio. You always feel the other characters are just add-ons and not really important in the story. All of this is just more evidence that Bowden relied to heavily on the script. The book does include the story pieces from the DLC Bonfire of the Vanities and Battle for Forli, so you get some of that included that wasn't in the original game.

The bits of Italian are nice, but most readers who didn't play the game won't realize that this was because the Animus 2.0 had bugs in it that couldn't translate all of it into English for Desmond. There is, however, a nice dictionary at the back of the book that translates all the Italian phrases for you.

All in all the book is great for fans and non fans, but fans will be more disappointed than non fans will be. The book just takes too much away from the game and doesn't add anything back. It's a decent read, and feels rushed in spots, but there are better video game novels out there for sure.
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on March 13, 2010
I just finished the entire book and thoroughly enjoyed it. At first, my opinion was a little mixed because of how close the novel followed the game: sometimes down to exact quotations. But ultimately I enjoyed the rendering. The author also included the "bonus chapters" of the game with nearly stunning accuracy. My only real complaint is that the author specifically left out the "modern day" portion of the story of the game. It made the novel as a whole easier to understand, and appreciate Ezio`s story, but I was dissappointed. However, I was overall pleased, and would recommend picking it up.
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on May 14, 2011
Assassin's Creed is my all-time favourite game series; I am enthralled by it! Sadly, right now I moved to te U.S. (I am not originally from here) and thus I had to leave my Xbox behind; well it actually belongs to my brother. My point is, while I am saving up for a new Xbox and to buy the Assassin's Creed games again, reading this novel and the one from Brotherhood has been what has saved me from going insane. I don't know why several people haven't liked it. I had no problems whatsoever with the author's style, and actually this novel helped me to better comprehend what went on in ACII because honestly some assassinations had me a bit confused and happened so fast that I didn't understand who I was killing or why.
Great purchase, and I am currently reading Brotherhood! :)
Insieme per la vittoria! :D
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on March 6, 2013
This book is pretty good, pretty well written, and I flew through it with no difficulty. My only complaint is that it's basically a retelling of either the first or second AC2 game (I can't remember at the moment...) so there was no surprise for me, I didn't feel like I was getting to "spend more time" with some favorite characters or anything like that. I don't really think there's any value for someone who doesn't play the game either - as the story loses something without its modern day elements.
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on November 1, 2010
I may have just read the sample for this book, but I must say that this book has captured my attention, as did the xBox360 game did. yes, I agree that there's crude language, but the author was most likely using the script from the game; at least he was staying true to the game, right?
Sure, there was a few things that probably should have been revised (like that line about "greased lightning"; reminded me too much of Grease!), but nonetheless, I do think any person who enjoyed the video game or likes to read historical fiction, would like this book.
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on February 6, 2013
Four stars because the writer has bound the stories together with a strong framework of continuity and narrative. It was an engrossing story of sheer will power, heroism of both genders and pure fanaticism. I liked the character make-up and the different events revolving around the main plot of the stories time line. Great read for cold winter evening.
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on April 19, 2013
I purchased the book hoping it would be something completely new with Ezio, a unique story told by the author that was unrelated to the series. Sadly, it wasn't. This book was great in refreshing much of what happens in Assassin's Creed 2 and some of the memory assignments you can do in Brotherhood (and perhaps Revelations too, though at the time of writing this review, I've only barely dug into Revelations). But because I knew what to expect, I wasn't sitting on the edge of my seat to read it.

The one tidbit I didn't like was that it seemed the author sometimes used too many commas. It's minor, but I frequently had to re-read some sentences to ensure it wasn't a run-on. I do like that there's a glossary in the back for the Italian that's frequently sprinkled in.

All in all, if you've not played Assassins Creed 2, this would be great for quickly getting caught up (though I'd recommend the game instead for the visual/aural experience) or if you need a refresher. Otherwise, this might be a bit dull since you'll know what to expect.
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on May 9, 2014
Although entertaining enough, I did not enjoy the flow of the book. You can clearly see it is based on the game and as such it does not explore any character or situation to a satisfying degree. It stays on the surface - moving from one "mission" to the next.

In my opinion the book should provide rich and in-depth detail, bringing the characters to life - I did not get that from this book.
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on July 2, 2015
It took me a very long time to read this book. I only decided to read it because I loved the video games so much and I also love to read. I thought it would be the best of both worlds. But it just wasn't exciting enough to hold my attention. Eventually I finished the book after many months of avoiding it. It was ok, just very slow.
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