Transformers: Exodus: The Official History of the War for Cybertron

( 17 )

Overview

 For twenty-five years the colossal battle between Megatron and Optimus Prime has captivated Transformersfans around the world. Now, for the first time, here is the thrilling saga of Optimus and Megatron before they were enemies, before they arrived on Earth, before they even knew each other.

On the caste-bound planet of Cybertron, Megatron, an undefeated gladiator, gives voice to the unspoken longings of the oppressed masses—and opens ...
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Overview

 For twenty-five years the colossal battle between Megatron and Optimus Prime has captivated Transformersfans around the world. Now, for the first time, here is the thrilling saga of Optimus and Megatron before they were enemies, before they arrived on Earth, before they even knew each other.

On the caste-bound planet of Cybertron, Megatron, an undefeated gladiator, gives voice to the unspoken longings of the oppressed masses—and opens the mind of Orion Pax, an insignificant data clerk who will become Optimus Prime. What happens between Orion Pax and Megatron forever changes the destiny of all Transformers. This gripping, action-packed novel reveals all the loyalties and treacheries, trust and betrayals, deadly violence and shining ideals, as well as the pivotal roles played by other well-known characters.

Discover how meek disciple Orion Pax becomes the fearless leader Optimus Prime; follow the tantalizing clues about the lost Matrix of Leadership and the lore surrounding it; find out why the two allies fighting a corrupt regime suddenly turn on each other, and what triggers their epic war. Transformers: Exodus provides everything fans ever wanted to know about one of the fiercest rivalries of all time.
 
Transformers © 2011 Hasbro Inc.  HASBRO and its logo, TRANSFORMERS and all related characters, are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Transformers: Exodus is precisely the origin story that the franchise needed. It’s entertaining, filled with the sort of epic battles Transformers lend themselves to, and keeps the reader breathless with anticipation even though we already know how it ends.  [I]n the framework of a political revolution and the civil war that overthrows a system that had practically calcified, there are terrible fights, friendships made and broken, and the beginnings of a genuine epic; above all, it’s fun to read.  —Booklist
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345522528
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/2011
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 220,728
  • Product dimensions: 4.00 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex Irvine’s novels include Buyout, The Narrows, A Scattering of Jades, and the novelization of the film Iron Man 2. He also is the author of nonfiction books including The Vertigo Encyclopedia and John Winchester’s Journal, as well as the comic series Daredevil Noir and Hellstorm, Son of Satan: Equinox. A past winner of the Locus, Crawford, and International Horror Guild awards, he teaches at the University of Maine.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Hall of Records in Iacon was closed to the public. In the archive stacks, at a workstation where he had been installed following the tradition and practice of his caste, sat a monitor named Orion Pax. He was tapped into the Communications Grid that invisibly spanned all of Cybertron, monitoring and recording every communication that passed through the Grid. Those that met certain criteria, he listened to, annotated, categorized, and saved in a different sector of the DataNet.

Like much of the rest of the great city of Iacon, the Hall was constructed of a golden-hued alloy that lent itself to the curving architectural style that predominated elsewhere in the city. The architects of Iacon had favored towering, monumental buildings topped by conical structures that looked as if they might take off. The entire city was a monument to aspirations . . . only there were no aspirations among Cybertronians anymore. They were born into a caste, a place that they would maintain for their entire lives. The civilization of Cybertron existed in a perfect stasis. It had been that way for millennia. Iacon was in some ways a memorial of a Cybertronian culture that had not existed in the memory banks of any existing Cybertronian.

Inside the Hall of Records, another kind of stasis existed. The history of Cybertron, from the mythical ages of battles among the Thirteen Primes across the billions of cycles, to the latest transmissions on the latest bands Orion Pax was charged with monitoring-all of it was here. All of it was categorized, cataloged, stored, indexed, and cross-indexed. After that, save for when the High Council or another authority got interested in a threat to civic order, the ever-growing collections in the Hall of Records were ignored.

Once-or so Orion Pax understood from reading in the older records- Cybertronian civilization had maintained links with other planets that surrounded other stars. Via a network of Space Bridges constructed with technology long abandoned, populations of Cybertronians on far-flung planets had stayed in contact with Cybertron. Gigantion, Velocitron, even the Hub, all were once part of a greater Cybertronian culture. Now the Space Bridges were all long since collapsed and degraded. The last of them, which hung in the skies between the two moons and the Asteroid Belt, had not been used since a long, long time ago. Even Orion Pax, who could ordinarily dig anything out of the records of Teletraan-1 and the DataNet, was not sure exactly how long it had been.

Now a Cybertronian like Orion Pax would not go to the stars. He would not fight nobly for the great ideals of the Primes. A Cybertronian like Orion Pax would monitor, assess, and catalog transmissions on the Grid because that is what Cybertronians of his caste did. Other castes built and engineered, governed, made laws . . . or fought in the gladiatorial pits.

From there, oddly enough, came some of the more interesting transmissions Orion Pax had heard lately. He was not a great follower of the arena, but even he knew of the most recent champion Megatronus. Quite a bold action, to assume that name-it was not just any bot who could carry the weight of one of the Thirteen Primes, whose deeds still echoed across the megacycles of history. This Megatronus had not lost a match since the early days of his career in the arena. The gladiators began with no names, and most of them ended that way as well; Megatronus had claimed not just a name, but a name that could not help but capture the attention of even those castes who pretended to pay no attention to such degraded entertainments as gladiatorial combat.

The sight of two-or more-Cybertronians tearing each other apart was something that few would admit enjoying. Yet the pits in the lower levels of Kaon were one of Cybertron's most popular tourist destinations, and the Grid was alive with broadcasts and rebroadcasts of the various tournaments that were constantly going on. The only industry in Kaon that could rival gladiatorial entertainment was recovery and reconstruction. The mechasurgical engineers of that city- and its gladiatorial rival, Slaughter City-were without peer. Arena combat was illegal across Cybertron, but the High Council in its wisdom understood that a population confined by caste needed certain outlets. So the pits in Kaon, which had begun long ago as a diversion for the workers in the great foundries there, were now entrenched, even if technically outside the law of Cybertron. In Slaughter City it was much the same.

So it was odd that from Kaon and Slaughter City, Orion Pax should be hearing and seeing arguments he could only call philosophical. And they were coming from the greatest of the illicit champions of Kaon's pits: this Megatronus.

The transmissions were fragmentary and distorted, originating as they did from deep inside the metallic bowels of Kaon. Between those lower levels and the Grid receptors, they picked up enormous interference from the industrial processes that drove Kaon . . . and, Orion Pax knew, the civilization of Cybertron. Nothing could be created without the raw materials first being refined. That happened in Kaon and the Badlands that stretched between it and the Hydrax Plateau. As long as those Badlands fueled the needs of Cybertron, the High Council would keep turning a blind optic to the gladiator pits.

Orion Pax wondered how long that would continue. He listened to the most recent of Megatronus's transmissions, fingers hovering over the interface that would determine where he cataloged it.

"Are Cybertronians not all made of the same materials? My alloys are the same as those in the frame of a High Councilor; my lubricants are the same as those that lubricated the joints of the Thirteen themselves!" Megatronus's voice scraped and rasped like one of the great machines in the factories of Kaon. Orion Pax looked up and down the row of other Cybertronians of the same caste as he. All of them would spend their careers monitoring and cataloging, feeding the vast databases of Iacon. This was the way the civilization of Cybertron had been since long before the creation of Orion Pax.

And yet they were made of the same materials as the Archivist Alpha Trion, or any member of the High Council.

Would a Councilor spend his life monitoring transmissions?

"We are individuals! Once we were free!" Megatronus's voice scraped through Orion Pax's head. What would his fellow monitors think if they could hear?

They would report this Megatronus in a nanoklik. That's what they would do, Orion Pax thought. As if in reply, Megatronus said, "The High Council, if they heard me now, would quietly render me into slag. Do not doubt it. They may be listening now. If I vanish, carry on my work. Soundwave, you and Shockwave will carry on. You are my trusted lieutenants."

A second voice came in. "Lieutenants? Are you now the general of an army, Megatronus?"

Orion Pax listened harder. He ran a check on the new voice-it was neither Shockwave nor Soundwave. He had heard them before, and had records and database entries for each.

But this new voice was not in the index he maintained to keep track of Megatronus's associates. Who was it?

It was not part of Orion Pax's job to investigate. He monitored, observed, recorded. Investigators were of another caste.

He could, however, report to Alpha Trion, the overseer. Orion Pax sampled the new voice and spent a few cycles compiling a report. It wouldn't do to present himself to Alpha Trion without a good reason, and proof of how good the reason was.

The Archivist of Iacon, Alpha Trion, was far older than Orion Pax, who had heard stories that he had existed since the great age of Space Bridge-fueled expansion, the high point of Cybertronian civilization. What that must have been like, to be able to ride the dimensional bridges to other stars . . .

"Orion Pax," Alpha Trion said. "What brings you here to interrupt my work?"

"I seek advice." Orion activated the recording of Megatronus. Alpha Trion put down the antiquated stylus he used to make entries in the single book that sat on his desk. The Archivist of Iacon had databases and endless hard-copy records of virtually everything that had ever happened in the history of Cybertron, yet he chose stylus and book as his interface. Like many of the older Cybertronians Orion Pax knew, Alpha Trion had grown eccentric.

When the recording had played out of a wall-mounted speaker and Alpha Trion had taken his standard moment to tap his stylus on the desk and think over various potential responses, the Archivist said, "Megatronus."

"Why has he named himself after a mythical being?" Orion Pax asked.

"If the old stories are true, Megatronus believed until the end that he would be vindicated," Alpha Trion said. "He believed himself to be doing what was right even if his methods destroyed much of what he professed to believe."

"Not much of an example if you're plotting a revolution," Orion Pax said.

With a dry chuckle, Alpha Trion stood. "Indeed not. But perhaps that is not the only example to be taken from the deeds of Megatronus. Who is this upstart?"

"He has been a gladiator in Kaon. Like all of them, he began without a name, a worker who took to the arena as a way to glory. He has never lost, and his fame has grown to the point that few other gladiators will fight him one-on-one. Now it seems that he is no longer content to be the greatest gladiator in Kaon; he has grander ambitions."

"Ambition," Alpha Trion echoed. "That is not a quality encouraged on Cybertron. As you know." He fell silent, and Orion Pax thought he had detected something of a wistful tone in the Archivist's voice.

He waited, and after several cycles Alpha Trion spoke again. "Go back to your post, Orion Pax. Continue to listen. When you know what this Megatronus is planning, return to me and we will consult further."

Chapter Two

After young Orion Pax had left him alone in the depths of the Hall of Records, Alpha Trion considered the situation. Unusual in one so young, he thought, to have such a sense of what has gone past, what may never return. But that was to be expected when Orion Pax spent all of his time in the Hall listening.

The High Council would have to hear of this gladiator calling himself Megatronus. But it was not clear to Alpha Trion what the best way was to present the situation.

"Covenant," he said softly. "What may we know of this Megatronus?"

The Covenant of Primus lay open on Alpha Trion's desk. He had created it in the aftermath of the War of the Primes. In the Covenant lay the entire history of the Cybertronians and the beings that gave them life, all the way back to Unicron and Primus. And the Covenant also contained the future-although that part of the Covenant remained mutable. Alpha Trion could see certain things that would happen because they became real as they appeared in the Covenant, but he could not always know whether what he saw would come to pass. The burden of knowing the future was Alpha Trion's, and his alone, but it was lessened because even what he knew of the future could change at any moment.

And he had some power over it as well. The Quill, that instrument young Orion Pax failed to understand, was one of the surviving artifacts of the Thirteen, and was one of the most powerful objects in the known universe. Using it, Alpha Trion could inscribe the future into the Covenant. This was a dangerous power to exercise, and there was never any guarantee that an alteration to the future would last. The Covenant itself had the final word. It was a book of pure destiny.

Alpha Trion flipped forward a few pages. One of the peculiarities of the Covenant was that the reader-who existed in a moment in time-had a difficult time understanding the book's language on its pages dealing with the future. Even Alpha Trion could read those pages only seldom. The further into the future the Covenant went, the more obscure and difficult the language became. Its first pages were written in languages that no Cybertronian had spoken in thousands of stellar cycles. On its last pages were words in languages that no Cybertronian had ever yet spoken.

Alpha Trion had written it all, even the portions written in languages that did not yet exist. Orion Pax did not know that. Nor did any of Alpha Trion's other underlings in the Hall of Records. None of them would have believed it if they had been told.

And not even the most credulous of the race of Cybertronians would have taken seriously the assertion that Alpha Trion was one of the Original Thirteen-the only one, he believed, remaining on Cybertron. He had seen the history of Cybertron from its creation. He had seen allegiances form and shatter among the Primes. He had observed firsthand the murder that had destroyed the Thirteen, sending them out into the vastnesss of the universe. With the Covenant, Alpha Trion had stayed behind-to record, to observe, to exert what influence he could without giving away the truth of his identity. Most Cybertronians no longer believed in the Primes, or else considered them semihistorical myths. That was fine with Alpha Trion. It was no longer an age for mythic personalities.

Or, perhaps, it was an age for new ones.

Alpha Trion wondered what it would be like to understand the Covenant in its entirety. To assimilate all of the knowledge, the consciousness of past and future collapsing together in his mind . . .

It was the doom of the Archivist to wrestle with what he would never understand.

Hearing the name Megatronus had put Alpha Trion in a frame of thought that could almost have been called nostalgic. The days of the War of the Primes were still alive in his memory; the Golden Age that had followed, as Cybertronians had ridden the Space Bridges to the stars, was one of the great historical periods in the history of the known universe. The magnificence of it, now passed, could only be harkened back to. Alpha Trion remembered the gradual rise of the caste system. He had spent much time talking to Sentinel Prime about the direction Cybertronian civilization was going. In the end, they disagreed. Sentinel Prime defined himself by actions and thought only about near- term goals and results. Alpha Trion had no need to define himself. He was one of the Thirteen, whether any sentient being knew it or not. And he thought about more distant horizons of consequence.

After their last argument, Sentinel Prime had dismissed Alpha Trion to the Hall of Records. Disappear into the stacks and let the dust cover you, Alpha Trion. Cybertron has no need of you anymore. Those had been Sentinel Prime's last words.

"Megatronus," Alpha Trion whispered. Now another had arisen among the anonymous masses of downtrodden laborers claiming the name of Megatronus.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wow!

    Being a fan of the series, not just the movies, I always jump at the chance to read more about the history of Cybertron. It was great from beginning to end. I almost didn't want to finish it. That's how good it was. It answered so many questions that I can't even put them all down here. If you are a fan of the series and the mythology, you have to get this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2010

    Hurrah. Giant robots.

    The pros? This book does a rather nice job of describing a Cybertron before the rise of the Decepticons. In that regard, it is rather well done, and starts off rather strong. Towards the end, however, it starts falling apart. However, there are several places where Irvine would have benefited from a better editor. He has a few cases of contradicting himself here and there. For instance, he describes how a group of one type of transformers defected to the Autobots and are out doing things, and then in the very next paragraph describes how a character from that group is the only one to defect. Little things like that.

    Also, this is a prequel for the Michael Bay transformers movie, so, if you're a partisan for or against that versions of the series, be warned.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    For fans of the saga

    The planet Cybertron is populated by sentient mechanical beings; a place so stagnant that they know what they will be doing every moment of the day. Once put in a job, the bot gets the position for life. In the gladiator in the underground a champion arises who calls for freedom from the tyranny of the caste system that destroys freedom of choice and encourages the bots to work under a rigid schedule.

    Data collector Orion Pax hears Megatronus (later named Megratron) call for the end of the castes and a return to the glory days of Cybertron when freedom and the arts flourished. Megatronus incites a rebellion that splits the rebels between those supporting Orion Pax while some feet that Megatronus's methods will work. The two meet and form an alliance to visit the High Council in strength to state their opinions. When Orion Pax is named Optimus Prime and is given power tat comes with the title Megatron feels betrayed and declares war on those who support his former ally and the autobots who want their freedom. The war leads to a nasty stalemate as each side destroys the land; Megaton now a tyrant longer no longer about the Cybertronians and he is the one Bot who could destroy all life on Cybertron.

    Watching a gladiator rise to power by pretending to be a spokesman for freedom and a data collector turn into a planetary leader turns this Transformer tale into a good vs. evil war to control Cybertron. Optimus Prime is a born leader who proves the caste system fails as that society prevents talent fro rising above their birth spectrum. The characters are developed with feelings and thoughts that make sentient machines seem genuine. Fans of the saga will enjoy the Autobots vs. the Deceptions in "the official history of the war for Cybertron" for the right to choose as Alex Irvine captures the essence of the mechanical species, before they became movie stars.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2012

    Great read for Transformers fans

    I am a die hard Transformers fan who knows a lot about the original series and the various story lines of the shows and comics. This book was both a thrilling and interesting read. Not only do I feel Irvine wrote an exceptional book, but I feel like he did a good job of tying together much of the classic Transformers history and other series/versions into a single story. If you are familiar with the different Transformer stories you will identify several different elements of Irvine's story and enjoy the way he puts them together. Overall, the book kept me well-entertained and should offer fans of any Transformers story a good read that is friendly to many Transformer timelines.

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  • Posted January 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Are you in for the Thrill of a Lifetime.

    I really did love this book it was difficult to put down, especially during school. The beginning is kind of slow, but that is only to allow you to absorb all the culture of Cybertron before the war began, which to me is very much needed and shows Cybertron was very much like Earth before the War. The best way I can put it is that imagine the World during WWII. I cannot wait to read Exiles. The only complaint I have for Alex Irvine is that I wish he had included my favorite transformer, Jetfire, more often in the, but other than that it is great read for the history and if your a fan you'll love it. If not well I still think it is a very interesting book to read. Alex Irvine I salute you and hope you continue to write more Transformers novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2011

    Very good read.

    Surprisingly, "Transformers" was actually likable to me and i am very picky.

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  • Posted June 15, 2011

    A Must read for Transformer fans

    Give you the real history of how it all started and where some of the "phrasing" comes from. Very interesting to see the true origins of it all

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  • Posted July 22, 2010

    Oh Darn!

    I was so disapointed with this book. There were a number of errors that could have been fixed in editing (Confused locations and what characters where present or not). Then there were errors in story/setting cannon (When exactly was Unicron defeated and by who?).
    The next confusing part was which Transformer story os this a part of? Most of the story seems to be the story told by the animated series but then there are referances to items that come from the motion pictures. These are 2 seperate stories with the same characters and this book does not seem to be able to choose what story it wants to be a part of. I would suggest the author Alex Irvine become more familiar with his material and setting before he writes in this universe again.
    Overall I was very disapointed in the book.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted September 14, 2010

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    Posted April 21, 2011

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    Posted July 27, 2010

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    Posted June 29, 2010

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    Posted October 1, 2010

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