FF’s Star Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
When I got this book, I felt like the kid who got the optimum Christmas present of all his friends. As of yet, I haven’t gotten around to watching this much anticipated movie adaptation of Assassin’s Creed yet, but shoot it, I’m a reader. So read Assassin’s Creed: The Official Film Tie-In by Christie Golden I would. I would, perhaps like Aguilar de Nerha, leap into a tale of a centuries-old war between the Templars and the Assassins.
Thirty years after Callum Lynch returned to his home to discover his mother’s dead body, he is executed by lethal injection. To his complete wonder, he is still alive and not “in Kansas anymore”, but in a rehabilitation center somewhere in Madrid. His captors soon connect him to a device known as the Animus which somehow places him inside the body of an Assassin who lived a couple of centuries ago. This Assassin also happens to be his ancestor.
Readers won’t see Callum walking about in the outside modern day setting much; unfortunately, he is mostly a prisoner throughout this book. First as a regular old murderer on death row, then as a lab rat inside a building in Madrid owned by the Abstergo Foundation Rehabilitation Center. A good deal of the book is set in the early 1500s as this is the time that Callum is sent back to with the help of the much detested Animus.
After Cal’s first experience with the Animus, he experiences vivid hallucinations. Sofia Rikkin, an “angelic-looking” beauty that seems to be in charge of things in that rehabilitation center, informs Cal about his murdering ancestor and his importance to an artifact known as the Apple of Eden. It becomes quickly clear to Cal that Sofia is stubborn and strictly a scientist: she believes that violence can be eradicated from the human race as if mankind wants her to.
Golden paints vivid fight scenes, reminding readers of specific Templar enemy attributes that come in to play more than once. Ojeda, specifically, is one large adversary of Aguilar’s who moves uncannily quick for his bulky size. Having faced him before, Aguilar cannot help but forget how quick this man can move when he engages him in another battle. Meanwhile, the author takes care to remind us that what we are plowing through are but memories courtesy of the Animus.
At this point in my review, I’ll take it that you already know more or less what the Animus is and what its capabilities are. Cal is undergoing certain changes every time he comes back from a little jaunt into his ancestor’s memories. Sofia Rikkin speaks to a character named Lin of “neuro-muscular” facilitation”. Though this gave me an idea of what was happening to Cal, this particular term should’ve been brought up long before Lin’s little flashback.
Though author Christie Golden uses some rather cliché references like “the rabbit hole” and “you’re not in Kansas anymore”, she has breathed life into this marvelous depiction of this famous video game franchise. Though we don’t get to see the Assassin Aguilar in a lot of action, we do see ancestor and descendant becoming one to face off against a rich madman with his goals directed at genocide. Golden builds to one mighty conclusion coupled with a few twists.
Free paperback received from Penguin Random House SA.
Date Published: December 21, 2016
Genre: Time Travel