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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

3.7 (159 )
5 star
 (44)
4 star
 (54)
3 star
 (36)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
3.7 (143 )
5 star
 (49)
4 star
 (37)
3 star
 (34)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (9)
Story
4.0 (143 )
5 star
 (55)
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 (51)
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 (24)
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 (10)
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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
    79
    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
    1716
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    232
    142
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1129
    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
    17
    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
  •  
    Marla New Orleans, LA, United States 05-27-14
    Marla New Orleans, LA, United States 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
  •  
    D. Davis 05-03-14
    D. Davis 05-03-14 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Reidsville, Ga, United States 03-09-14
    Melissa Reidsville, Ga, United States 03-09-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pretty Good Listen"

    Not at all what I thought it would be but still a very good book. I enjoyed a book written at a different POV from Templar heroes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sjjnks Kearney, MO 02-17-14
    sjjnks Kearney, MO 02-17-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    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?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhonda United States 02-07-14
    Rhonda United States 02-07-14 Member Since 2008

    I travel a lot! So being able to listen to a good book while waiting in an airport or flying on a plane is a great way to relax!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    111
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pretty good for being based on a video game"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I don't know if my friends would enjoy this book. I loved watching my son play this video game and I always thought the story line was really good.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration was pretty good and I liked most of the voices that he did.


    Could you see Renaissance being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I believe it is already scheduled to become a movie.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Green Cove Springs, FL, United States 01-17-14
    Edward Green Cove Springs, FL, United States 01-17-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A lot left on the table"

    This is a story that left a lot on the table. It's a really cool story that unfortunately reads to much like the lines you get if you were reading the lines in the game. So much wasn't covered that could have made the story so much richer and so much better. Granted you would have had a much larger book, but I think the author missed an opportunity to take a good story and make it into a great story. So if you're a fan of the game and don't mind reading the same basic lines from the game in this book, I think you'll enjoy it. If, however, you like books with a richer content, I think you'll be a little disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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