Oh boy… Assassin’s Creed: Revelations was terrible.
On a gaming forum, I can imagine the reaction to that statement: something akin to “HOW VERY DARE YOU!”
But on a book forum, I’ll just get people clenching their teeth and nodding.
This book was just embarrassing to read. And you know the amazing thing? The author is supposed to be a professor at Cambridge! It’s kind of depressing when somebody who has quite a few academic credentials under their belt, as well as a few published books, writes so poorly that you have to let the little English teacher living in your head run wild with her red pen of doom. (Or maybe that’s just me.)
Firstly, the writing is atrocious. Ezio, who I’m told is a rather stalwart character, would never in a million years verbally castigate his enemies with such corny lines. And even if they’re in the game itself and sound badass at the time, they’re incredibly poorly delivered in the novel. Seriously, you could prepare yourself some apples, crackers and grapes while reading this book, it’s that cheesy.
And now as a complete non sequitur, we have Vanessa’s Top 5 Cheesiest Lines Uttered by Ezio Auditore da Firenze in Oliver Bowden’s Novel Adaptation of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations! Be sure to have a pair of sunglasses handy and your finger on the repeat button of ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ by The Who, because here we go!
# 5: “Rip and slit,” said the Captain in a hoarse voice. “I hook you in with the dagger and slit your throat with the sword. You’re as good as dead, Assassin.”
“It’s really high time you Templars joined the sixteenth century,” replied Ezio, raising his left arm and springing his pistol into his hand.
# 4: “You Assassin dog!” One of them spat, though his voice all but trembled. “You must be in league with the Devil!”
“If the Devil is anywhere, he’s with you,” snarled Ezio.
# 3: “Why will you not quit!?” The captain was calling, drawing his sword.
Ezio stood. “I never learned how,” he called back in a clear voice, raising his gun.
# 2: “Yield, Venetian dog!” The man snarled.
“Your first mistake,” replied Ezio. “Never insult a Florentine by mistaking him for a Venetian.”
#1: “Help, Effendi! I cannot swim!” The captain burbled as he surfaced.
“Then you had better learn,” Ezio told him.
And now we’re back, away from my impromptu glitzy awards ceremony. I hope you had fun.
So yes, what shall I turn my attention to next… ah yes, the writing style! Gods above, the dialogue in this is atrocious. For reference, this iteration of Ezio’s story is set in the early 1500s. Yet people use modern lexis every once in a while, and there are some absolutely awful clangers when it comes to sentence structure.
He tensed, rose slightly, head up between ducked shoulders. Then the arrow, coming from nowhere, whacked into his shoulder, through the body armour there.
The captain looked at him. “Your forebear Altaïr had the Apple of Eden in his control for sixty years, Ezio. He gained much more than what you would call wisdom. He learned… everything!”
The man was about Ezio’s age, but running to fat and not in the greatest shape. At the moment, he was trembling like an outsize aspen.
To be fair to Mr. Bowden, the story is quite interesting. Assassins and Templars and Janissaries and Sultans and all. It’s just very poorly executed over the 512 pages of this novel. The chapters are so ridiculously short that some only last one and a half pages. Hey, Mr. Bowden, do you know another author who writes like this? James freaking Patterson.
Several chapters that really annoyed me, however, were the ones where Ezio serves as an errand boy to fellow Italian and bookshop owner Sofia. He goes to get a painting back after she is robbed, he runs off to find various items for her… These are parts of the video game I do not need to know about. When the time comes for me to play the game, I will get through them, but they do not make for exciting reading in the least. More like 20-30 pages of padding.
I’m guessing these Assassin’s Creed novels are just contractual obligations, or just a nice pay packet for Mr. Bowden, but that still doesn’t excuse a terrible novel. I picked this up for £3 whilst waiting to be picked up from somewhere. Those first fifty pages I managed to get through were incredibly dog-eared for lexical and syntactical mistakes which I updated here on GoodReads the moment I got home.
I am never buying the Assassin’s Creed novels again. I’ve learned my lesson. After one okay novel (credited to Oliver Bowden but actually written by somebody else) and one abysmal novel, I’m no longer going to be touching the book adaptations with a barge pole. The games, however, will be played as soon as I can get around to it. Probably when Urag Gro-Shrubb decides he has more than enough books in the College of Winterhold’s library and I no longer have to look for Shalidor’s writings scattered throughout Skyrim. Ehehe. 2/5.