Assassin's Creed novels by Oliver Bowden

This is a big month in video games, with major new releases for all the big consoles.  Call of Duty, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword... the list goes on.  I've talked about it before: video games appeal to guys.  And a good way to reach them is through the novelizations.

The Assassin's Creed series of games is great.  Rooted in historical fact and packed with significant historical figures and locations, all fairly accurately represented, the game is a feast for the eyes and could be even considered educational, even if the overall premise is... unlikely. For generations, even into modern day, the secret organizations of the Templars and the Assassins have been at each other's throats, fighting for world dominance and control over magical artifacts.  In the games, set mostly in renaissance Italy, you witness the life of Ezio Auditore as he works to bring down the Borgia family.  You play as viewers of genetic memories rather than the characters themselves; it's confusing to describe, but it makes sense as you play.

As for the books... well, they are terrible.  I've covered good game novels and okay ones, but this series is easily the worst I've read so far.  It completely drops the genetic memory aspect, which is the real plot of the game.  Rather than using the world and creating a new story,  it's a straight retelling of the events of the game, and I think that is where it fails.  It treats every event like an important plot point, even if in-game it was just a way to teach the controls for how to play.

It just doesn't work.  That said, because of the recognition factor, these can be a popular read.  I can't recommend them based on quality, but that is no reason not to have them.  Getting boys to read is more important, and if it takes something like this to get them started, then go for it.
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  1. mel said...:

    Agreed. I just spent a good 20 mins talking with one of the teens that comes in quite regularly. His eyes lit up when I mentioned we had the Halo, Mass Effect and Assassins Creed books. He said when he told his friends the library had video games they all wanted to come. He also said he wished we had M-rated games of course.

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