Book Review – Assassin’s Creed Renaissance by Oliver Bowden

Title:  Assassin’s Creed Renaissance

Author: Oliver Bowden

Format:  Paperback

Published:  2009

 

I think my favorite part of any form of media is the story.  The point of most anything for me is the story.  I live and breathe stories.  I grew up being told them as a little girl reading books, having books read to me and even going so far as to tell and create my own.  With my love of the craft and a good story it was no surprise that I have found myself caught up in other story telling media such as comics which you have seen me review, as well as television series and movies (which I have not exactly reviewed at this point).  I love a good story in pretty much any form of medium and that includes video games.  I am one of those few people that play video games almost solely for the story alone.  One of the best stories I came across in the world of video games was that from Assassin’s Creed.

 

Of course there is more to a video game than just story and the game play was fun to me and I loved exploring the ancient worlds of old playing as an assassin stopping those who would seek to do evil and sail above the city and sneak around unseen.  It was a game that has left a lasting impression on me and none more than the story and character of Ezio Auditorie Da Firenze featured in Assassin’s Creed 2.  I ate the story up and went out and got the rest of his story in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed Revelations.  I love the games and have played them through multiple times.  Thus with my love for the story and the characters it should come as no surprise that when I learned that there were books to be read about one of my favorite characters that pass that up.

 

Without hesitation I went ahead and bought the first book in the series and I loved it, plain and simple, it was like playing the video game all over again only better.  For those not familiar with the video game or story of Ezio it is about a young man in the renaissance period of Italy.  Life for Ezio can’t be better at the start of the story, he is getting rather close and comfortable with one of the more beautiful women in Firenze, Christina Vespucci (cousin to Amerigo Vespucci) and his biggest concern is a local prick named Vieri Pazzi and his gang of ruffians but nothing that Ezio can’t handle and all part of him being young and getting into trouble.  Yet minor trouble wasn’t all that was in store for Ezio as his life is suddenly turned upside down when his father and brothers were arrested and then hung for crimes they did not commit.  Not to mention the price on his own head for the same crimes.  Ezio has to learn quickly how to survive and take care of his mother and sister.  Additionally he seeks out revenge against the man who set him and his family up, learning that there was more to his father’s life than it would seem, his father was part of an Assassin order and he learns how to complete the work of his father all the while avenging the death of those he loved as their deaths were part of a greater conspiracy.

 

It is a really good story and I love how the books gave more details to the story, it didn’t gloss over time and it gave a sense of reality to Ezio’s training (which I appreciated), it showed how something that took a few minutes in the game actually took days to accomplish, it gave added details, it breathed additional life into Ezio and the characters around him.  Additionally in incorporated some of the added games that are out there for gaming platforms I don’t own so I know the story of what happened to Ezio during the years that are skipped in the video game.  In short this book was a real treat for me to read and I quickly picked up the next books to read and now have them in my bag waiting to be read much like several other books that are on my e-reader, in my bag along with it, in my desk drawer and on my book shelf.  What can I say? I’m an addict to a good story, but find my time limited to actually read, watch or play said stories and then of course write a review.  (This one has been a long time in the coming for me to write it.) Over all I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars as it is a good read and fun to go through if you like action and you don’t have to know the game to enjoy the book.

Book Review – Red Robin: 7 Days of Death by Fabian Nicieza, Marcus To & Ray McCarthy

Title:  Red Robin: 7 Days of Death

Author/Illustrator:  Fabian Nicieza, Marcus To, Ray McCarthy

Format: Paperback

Written: 2012

After my first taste of Red Robin I knew I didn’t have enough, there was more to read and it had to be read because by far I have fallen in love with the character Timothy Drake.  I have always been a fan of Batman and the whole concept behind him and Red Robin is a branch off from the Batman story with a character that I can really sink my teeth into.  Tim is a character who is skilled in what he does and very cerebral and I love a cerebral character and thus Tim is my kind of character, particularly when you toss in a bit of a tormented soul which is what Tim is, but what Batman type character isn’t a little bit tormented?

Any way I picked up 7 Days of Death because it was simply sitting on the shelf with the other Red Robin comics that I have already reviewed and I picked it up and started delving in to find out half way through that I’m missing a whole collection that I need to read and might explain some things to set up for this book but it was still a good read all the same.  My biggest complaint is that the story jumped all over the place and one minute Tim is following X bad guy and his problems and then next thing I know he’s fighting Y bad guy and I was having trouble seeing connections save for maybe the idea that everything was loosely connected and this was a smattering of various adventures on the part of Tim.

Despite the jumping around I still enjoyed the read and the art work is strong and well done capturing the imagination and keeping my attention along with the words.  As I read through this book I found different directions I might want to travel in my comic reading.  I love the characters and they are what speak to me and hold my attention.  There are times when I found myself laughing and other points where I found myself wanting more to know more – where does Tim go next?  Sadly my last question I fear will not be answered as the Red Robin series that I have come to enjoy so much were some of the last comics produced before DC decided to transfer over to the new 52 universe – I have heard some bad things about it and would like to stay away from the new 52 at this time but I have a great deal of back log to read that will keep me entertained for hours.

I will advise that this comic book is not for children really as there is some partial nudity it grapples with various dark concepts as is the nature of batman along with a few other mature topics and ideas.  Overall, I would give this comic a three out of five page review and say it is best suited for Tim and Batman fans.

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