Monday, 20 August 2012

Assassin's Creed: Renaissance

The Assassins Creed games are well known for their deep and intricate conspiracy plots and intrigue.  Assassins Creed: Renaissance, is the first in a series of novels that feature the protagonist of the games Ezio Auditore.  The book is rather large at just over 500 pages in length.  Whilst this may draw people to the book, bigger is not always better.  The novel is by no means terrible but it does suffer from over padding and it could have been a lot shorter, about 200 words shorter.  The book is fun and Ezio is just as awesome and likeable as he is in the games and it was these two elements that kept me reading it.

Bowden's novel draws from a large array of Renaissance Italy, much like the novels counterpart.  The plot and setting are ideal, however this was all put into place by Ubisoft before Bowden began writing.  The novel ties in well with the game and Italian history well, and while there are some inaccuracies (much like in the game series) they can be overlooked, as the novel suspends disbelief. 

The book has been created it seems to fill in the blanks or improve upon aspects that are slight in the game.  Throughout the novel we learn a great deal about Ezio's back story, his love for Cristina and builds a lot of depth into his character.  It is important to point out as well that Ezio is the main character of this book, Desmond does not feature in the book or the Animus, the whole story is set in Ezio's world.

Being quite fast paced the novel spans over a rather large section of Ezio's life, it starts when he is eighteen and ends when he is forty-four.  The jumps in-between can be a tad confusing at times, forcing you to really pay attention, as Ezio jumps from on location in Italy to another.

While the book does pad out Ezio's background as a character he doesn't really develop.  From the age of eighteen to the end of the book he is very much the same person he was to begin with.  He may have gained skills in weaponry and his assassination abilities, knowledge and allies but he is still the same rogue his was beforehand.  This is also the same for all of the other characters in the story.  There is no extensive development of anyone and people remain as they were, despite the trails and experiences they get put through.

In short, the games are far more in depth and better in terms of both character development and plot, however the book is an easy light read and is worth the time if you are a fan of the series.  It is by no means a fantasy epic, or as deep and intricate as the games.  Assassin Creed: Renaissance is an easygoing, fun and relaxing read that follows the life of Ezio, nothing more.

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