Review of 'Transformers: Retribution'

Transformers: Retribution by David J. Williams, and Mark S. Williams
3rd book in the 'History of the War for Cybertron' series

transformers_retribution.jpg This is the final book in the “History of the War for Cybertron” series telling the story of the Transformers before they reach earth in the animated television series and the Michael Bay films.

The Autobots led by their new leader Optimus Prime have fled Cybertron in their ship, the “Ark” in search of the Allspark with Megatron and the Decepticons hot on their heals. They come across Aquatron, a planet that is mostly water, where they find a peaceful race that deals in Energon. The “Curator” seeks to have the Autobots and Decepticons meet to talk peace but not all is at it seems as he plants the seeds of discord with a number of the Cybertronians. Back on Cybertron, Alpha Trion is captured by Decipticon Shockwave, now ruling the planet with an iron hand, who wants to use him to access the supercomputer Vector Sigma to create a “Matrix of Leadership”. The Autobots and Decepticons soon learn they are being played by the “Quintessons”, a long-lost race claiming to have created Cybertron, who now wish to re-claim it…

Truly for geeks only, this surprisingly readable, light book covers some of the historical details that fans of the franchise will no doubt be interested in. Often the plot seems a bit too simple (Decepticons bad, Autobots good) though there is some attempt to make it a bit more nuanced (Decepticons only bad when working with the Autobots to save their race). In keeping with the canon, the characterisation in “Retribution” is captured quite clearly and accurately in line with the previous Transformer material though Optimus here is still coming to terms with his leadership and struggling with the matrix of leadership. Surprisingly the action works quite well in print, certainly easier to follow than giant robots bashing each other in elaborately choreographed mechanical mayhem on the big screen (though perhaps not as spectacular).

Perhaps not as amazing as the films, this is still a moderately entertaining, light read. Most definitely not up for the Booker but a bit of fun.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2020-11-28

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Titan Books

Publication Date: 2014

ISBN: 9781783290697