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Renaissance: Assassin's Creed, Book 1 | [Oliver Bowden]

Renaissance: Assassin's Creed, Book 1

Betrayed by the ruling families of Italy, Ezio Auditore embarks upon an epic quest for vengeance. To eradicate corruption and restore his family's honor, he will learn the art of the Assassins. Along the way, Ezio will call upon the wisdom of such great minds as Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolò Machiavelli, knowing that survival is bound to the skills by which he must live.To his allies, he will become a force for change in his fight for freedom and justice.
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Publisher's Summary

Betrayed by the ruling families of Italy, Ezio Auditore embarks upon an epic quest for vengeance. To eradicate corruption and restore his family's honor, he will learn the art of the Assassins.

Along the way, Ezio will call upon the wisdom of such great minds as Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolò Machiavelli, knowing that survival is bound to the skills by which he must live. To his allies, he will become a force for change in his fight for freedom and justice. To his enemies, he will become a threat dedicated to the destruction of the tyrants abusing the people of Italy. So begins an epic story of power, revenge, and conspiracy.

©2010 Ubisoft Entertainment (P)2012 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (190 )
5 star
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 (57)
3 star
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1 star
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3.7 (170 )
5 star
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Story
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Performance
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  •  
    Jason PICKERINGTON, OHIO, United States 05-22-12
    Jason PICKERINGTON, OHIO, United States 05-22-12 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    85
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, Great Narration."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Renaissance to be better than the print version?

    I don't own printed books.


    What other book might you compare Renaissance to and why?

    Sadly, I can't think of anything. Which is good. I think of this as unique in a way.


    Which character ??? as performed by Gildart Jackson ??? was your favorite?

    All of them are excellent.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Anxious. Ode to no more credits!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great adventure. The book is longer than I'm used too but the action is constant and driven. The action is always leading to something greater. The author thankfully drops all illusion of grandeur and moves from place to place with pertinent descriptions only. This is actually fantastic to me, I grow tired of authors who describe surroundings and laundry lists that bare no meaning to the characters overall actions or results. Overall thoughts are described in actions not long winded monologues. Fantastic!

    The narrator is brilliant! I enjoyed all of his representations of characters and his ability to pronounce proper Italian names and places (granted I am not Italian and have never been to Italy) but his talent helped with the immersion process. I thoroughly enjoyed his work and will buy the other books in this series partly due to him.

    The only negative I found and this could be nitpicking, is the mass of Italian places and random Italian words used in place of English. I only had one year of Italian in college and it didn't always help here. Also, there are so many places involved they should hand you a map of old Italy when you buy this book.

    This was originally a video game. Excellent. Since I am blind I do not have the ability to enjoy it as such. However, this is a fantastic adventure story on it's own and I highly recommend it! I only wish they would make more books out of video game story lines, it beats listening to my friends playing them. Maybe they'lll do Bioshock next!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael New Orleans, LA 07-01-12
    Michael New Orleans, LA 07-01-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1904
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    246
    142
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1222
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Alternate History, Machiavellian Plots, & SciFi??"
    Where does Renaissance rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Having ready a good number of books, this ranks fairly well. This tale is set against the rich history of the era of the Italian Merchant Princes, and if the story alone was simply historic, you'd walk away wanting to read more. It was an era of unobstructed larceny coupled with a sudden flood of wealth to fuel even the darkest ambitions. Family politics (Think mafia), clandestine societies, cults, and plans within plans within plans were the norm of this fantastic period in history. Now, couple this with a fantastic scifi premise, along with ancient artifacts, and you have a GREAT story. Of course, this is a series of books taken from the "Assassin's Creed" series, and there's always a concern about whether or not the plot, writing, substance, and flow is worthy of any good listener's (or reader's) time. Rest easy, this one is, and you'll be glad you've read it. I will NOT give the plot's detail away in this review, nor character studies, NOR key turing points in the story. That being said, I WILL definitely tell you that the assassin's guild concept is based on history, and bringing it to life is no casual thing. No it's not as deep as the DUNE novels (I love them, but let's save that kind of deep thinking right now for solving world peace.), but machiavellian plans within plans are this society's "cup of tea," and the author will thrust you into into this dark, foreboding, fascinating era with no regrets.


    What other book might you compare Renaissance to and why?

    This doesn't compare to many sci-fi or historical books, as it actually fits into an ALTERNATE REALITY genre. I'd compare not the style, but the scope, to Newt Gingrich's Gettysberg series, where the South eventual won the Civil War, but with more emotion and definitely more machiavellian in-fighting. Also, if you like Harry Turtledove's writings, his work may be a more apt comparison, but you'll decide this, once you've read the first audiobook in the series.


    What three words best describe Gildart Jackson’s voice?

    Jackson' s narrations are, by the way, quite enjoyable, and set the stage for the era. The dialects used seem extremely genuine, as I have a GOOD number of Italians and Sicilians on my wife's side of the family.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were too many excellent moments in this audiobook to focus on, without giving away key points to the story. That cripples a review, but so be it. I WILL say that it has the depth and emotional content expected of a good listen/read, and you'll walk away ready to move on to the next audiobook in the series.


    Any additional comments?

    Audiobook listeners, just like book readers, are both varied in opinion, yet passionate for a good listen/read that will hold their attention, leave them wanting more, and cause friendly but heated arguments around a dinner table. Well, this is one of those reads. If you like rich history, dramatic depth, a superb plot, and a scifi twist thrown in to move the story even further down the road, stop reading my review, and get this audiobook. Enjoy!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Pickerington, OH, United States 05-22-12
    Jason Pickerington, OH, United States 05-22-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, Great Narration."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Renaissance to be better than the print version?

    I don't own printed books.


    What other book might you compare Renaissance to and why?

    Sadly, I can't think of anything. Which is good. I think of this as unique in a way.


    Which character – as performed by Gildart Jackson – was your favorite?

    All of them are excellent.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Anxious. Ode to no more credits!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great adventure. The book is longer than I'm used too but the action is constant and driven. The action is always leading to something greater. The author thankfully drops all illusion of grandeur and moves from place to place with pertinent descriptions only. This is actually fantastic to me, I grow tired of authors who describe surroundings and laundry lists that bare no meaning to the characters overall actions or results. Overall thoughts are described in actions not long winded monologues. Fantastic!

    The narrator is brilliant! I enjoyed all of his representations of characters and his ability to pronounce proper Italian names and places (granted I am not Italian and have never been to Italy) but his talent helped with the immersion process. I thoroughly enjoyed his work and will buy the other books in this series partly due to him.

    The only negative I found and this could be nitpicking, is the mass of Italian places and random Italian words used in place of English. I only had one year of Italian in college and it didn't always help here. Also, there are so many places involved they should hand you a map of old Italy when you buy this book.

    This was originally a video game. Excellent. Since I am blind I do not have the ability to enjoy it as such. However, this is a fantastic adventure story on it's own and I highly recommend it! I only wish they would make more books out of video game story lines, it beats listening to my friends playing them. Maybe they'lll do Bioshock next!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marvin R. Taylor Oakland, CA> 10-01-12
    Marvin R. Taylor Oakland, CA> 10-01-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Twice the listen......much to enjoy!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Renaissance to be better than the print version?

    Unexpected delight of entertainment,the story, the voice the overall was just too cool!


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was so clear to imagine and I did! So glad there are more to this series...


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The quickness and precision of the acts of defending and violence of the Assassins.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I liked the description of the weapons, their precision of use and the agility and quickness of the need to act and kill!


    Any additional comments?

    Too many to count....

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Portland, OR, United States 08-10-14
    Emily Portland, OR, United States 08-10-14 Member Since 2012

    Estate planning lawyer and mom to two boys. My older son liked audiobooks as an infant, and I've listened to a lot since then.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    67
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    49
    48
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "12 year old loved it; Mom not so much"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I found the story trite and boring. Certainly there is a lot of potential in the Italian Renaissance setting that wasn't realized. My 12 year old son loved it, but he plays the game -- he must be the target audience, since I certainly wasn't!


    Has Renaissance turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes, if the genre is novelizations of video games. On the other hand, I will continue to read historical fiction/mysteries which is I believe how Audible has this characterized.


    Have you listened to any of Gildart Jackson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I was not aware of this narrator before and he was fantastic. His performance was the only thing that enabled me to tolerate this. And my son's enjoyment of his performance has inspired him to sign up for Italian lessons! I hope to hear Jackson narrate something I like better.


    Do you think Renaissance needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Not for me!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a somewhat bizarre title. It seems to have much appeal for my 12 year old and his peers, though there is a fair amount of borderline inappropriate content (other families would probably say *completely* inappropriate!). I'm not so bothered by that when I perceive works to have other good qualities, but it is hard for me to see much artistic merit here. From an adult perspective, there are a lot of other, better books out there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Davis 05-03-14
    D. Davis 05-03-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hope this doesn't develop into a popular trend"
    Would you try another book from Oliver Bowden and/or Gildart Jackson?

    Nope. They appear to have no actual talent for writing. They should do very well writing dialogue for future video games though.


    Any additional comments?

    I was interested in seeing how a book might build on the world created by a video game. It didn't, it just recapitulated the video game. SPOILER ALERT! Save yourself 14 hours. Ezio needs to go to a certain place and kill a particular guy...Ezio goes to a particular place and kills a particular guy...repeat.
    Buy the game and play the game. The book is more predictable and the game more fun.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sjjnks 02-17-14
    sjjnks 02-17-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "12+ hours you'll never get back"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If this story weren't written like a 12yo boy's wet dream, it might have been tolerable. Should've known better than to try a book based on a video game. Shame on me.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Oliver Bowden again?

    Never ever ever.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The last sentence of the book.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Gildart Jackson was outstanding. He read with passion and and verve despite the tiresome storyline, the repetitive analogies, and the cumbersome Italian phrases. He should be applauded.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought this book would be great for my son, who likes the video game. I figured there would be bloodshed, killing, cursing and sexual undertones, and I didn't expect much for a storyline. Nonetheless, I thought he might enjoy it. But with the complicated Italian character names, the lengthy descriptions of places with weird-sounding Italian names, the smattering of Italian phrases, and the 15th-century references, you really can't expect a teenager to stay engrossed. Yet with the ridiculous storyline, the predictability of events (indeed the very phrases, since they're so overused!) and the lack of any plausible conflict for the protagonist (every encounter goes swimmingly), makes this unbearable for anyone older. So....to what demographic is the author writing, exactly?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan San Diego, CA, United States 10-15-14
    Alan San Diego, CA, United States 10-15-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    80
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    381
    100
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    1
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    Story
    "Not for me"

    The book failed to capture my interest and seemed a little shallow. I agree with the review from D. Davis only I couldn't finish the book, thanks for letting me know the ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Slidell, La USA 08-31-14
    Amazon Customer Slidell, La USA 08-31-14 Member Since 2014

    kimber

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bowden's Assassin's Creed is One Awesome Ride!"
    What did you love best about Renaissance?

    Renaissance open's up the world for the reader and really sets the scene for an epic ride through time and place. It is a captivating and exciting tale that is told so well you simply can picture it in your mind as you get lost in the tale.


    What did you like best about this story?

    There is so much to like about the whole package it is difficult to pick a favorite bit out. I think the rich characters and the rich descriptive writing style captivate the reader so well that all you can do is sit back and enjoy the ride.


    Have you listened to any of Gildart Jackson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Jackson is very talented in his narration, he brings the listener in and keeps them enthralled through the entire tale .. He is a natural story teller and a pleasure to listen to.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No spoilers here .. you GOT TO OPEN THE PRESENT! Because I am telling you .. this package is a GIFT! ;)


    Any additional comments?

    Can't wait to listen to more!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marla 05-27-14
    Marla 05-27-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding performance"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I was curious enough to find out how it would end, so I did listen to the whole book.


    Would you recommend Renaissance to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. Story was kind of trite. Just an assassin killing people over and over Not much character development.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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