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2.7 out of 5 stars
2.7 out of 5 stars
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on August 3, 2003
Although the books typos (athough I am the last person to complaine)was a bit bad. The book as far as imagination and depth is really well done. Well due to be able to write a book about Transformers for the fans who are now all grown up might have been a hard task due to the fact that the Transformers were created geared toward children in the first place. Being older when Transformers were on the air and my paretns rule no toys after 10 I never owned a Transformer toy yet my collection consited of comics and anything I could sumuggle in and hide. I also enjoyed watching the show with my younger brother. What happened I think is the show and comic started having problems when the cast got way too big and you really couldn't get into depth much. Although you could feel for the charicters who did. Of course one thing intrested me the most in this book and that was yet another story of Prime's past show, comic now this one. All different although I must say I like this one the best.
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on July 30, 2003
Excitement and optimism were my initial reactions when I saw this book on the shelf. Disappointment and confusion are my reaction as I return Hardwired to the shelf. The greatest weakness of this "work" is the plotline - or lack thereof.
The author skips erratically between at least 3 distinct plot threads, none of which are particularly engrossing or solid. To be blunt, the story reads like a traffic accident involving "Gladiator", "Con-Air", "Ocean's Eleven", "The Hulk", any of a number of Star Trek episodes, and childish glee after opening Optimus Prime as a birthday present. The story thread involving Las Vegas and the Autobot attempt to save the city is devoid of continuity and convoluted. The disappearance story concerning Prime, Megatron, and 200 citizens of earth is brutal but poorly contrived. This is but another "alien abduction story" and is unoriginal in premise. The arc involving Spike and Franklin is uninspired and plays more like an "X-Files" knockoff than anything involving Cybertronians. The writing style is reminiscent of child action-figure play: "and then this happens, and pretend that Soundwave didn't see that coming..." The story degenerates into stream-of-consciousness story telling as opposed to well crafted fiction.
Death abounds, gore persists, and sexual innuendo appears in unnecessary places. An "adult" Transformers story need not involve "language, sex, and violence" - what it needs is plot depth, an engrossing story, and good overall characterization. The characterization of Optimus is a good start, although in the final analysis, it also fails to present him as anything more than a two-dimensional action hero. The combat sequences are cliche' and uninspired - in essence, fighting breaks out whenever the author writes himself into boredom.
The audience that reads this work will do so out of nostalgia and hope. The responsibility of the author, then, is to carefully craft an entertaining fiction worthy of returning to the "good-old days." Unfortunately, this book fails to deliver as a coherent, meaningful, "adult" reinterpretation. I loved Transformers as a kid, and I am diappointed that an attempted return to that world was actually less than met my eyes.
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on July 28, 2003
This is a really cool book. Sure it has violence, sexual themes and typos here and there but other than that it's one of the greatest books I've ever read. The best part about it is it builds the characters to a level rarely seen in the comics or TV. I can't wait to get the 2nd and 3rd books.
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on July 18, 2003
As a devoted fan of the Transformers for the past 19 years, i can say unequivocally that this book is the bottom of the barrel in Transformers literature. From the beginning, this book is unnecessarily violent, describing in far too much detail the way humans die in a Transformer battle. Sexuality comes into play in chapter 2, where Spike's sexual relationship with a woman is described in far too much detail for good taste (especially the little line about Spike implying that the two of them were "doing it" in the backseat of a Transformer). In addition to being disgusting and out of character for the Transformers in all their incarnations, the relationship does not fit in with the established relationship between Spike and his girlfriend/wife Carly, who were pretty much together from 1985 on according to all other sources. Buy a Furman book instead. Maybe the next books will be better, if the author uses a mature writing style directed at mature readers rather than sixteen year-olds wishing to be mature.
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on July 7, 2003
Let me state right off the bat that I love Transformers in all of its incarnations, from G1 through Beast Wars up to the current line, Armada. I'm also an avid reader, and a fan of sci-fi franchise novels like Star Trek, Star Wars, and X-Files. So "Transfomers: Hardwired" seems like it would be right up my alley, right?
Well...not really, it seems. There are so many things wrong with this book, I couldn't possibly list them all under the 1,000 words alloted for this review. Here's a taste, though: (1) This book was not edited. The typos average about one PER PAGE from misued apostrophes to missing spaces, quote marks, and the occasional missing word. There are also many instances of switching tenses in the same sentence, and similar mistakes that would have been caught had this book been proof-read. But it obviously was not. (2) The Transformers characters are dull and uninteresting, for the most part. With so few characters actually appearing, you'd think the characterization would come through. But it doesn't. Prime and Megatron get some, and Bluestreak gets a little more. But that's about it. Besides Starscream, and perhaps Soundwave and Grimlock, the rest of the cast is virtually interchangeable. (3) The human characters are all very cliched and uninteresting. Franklin is the typical tough-guy gov't operative. Spike is your everyday angsty anti-hero hero. (4) The plot itself feels vaguely familiar, as if its many components have merely been rehashed from old TF comics and cartoons. (5) The "mature" feel the author tries to give the book is possibly the biggest letdown. The unnecessary profanity sounds weird and forced, especially coming out of the mouths of giant alien robots. And there's a large amount of pointless blood and gore that turned me off to the book practically from the get-go. It's also fairly disturbing how casually the author kills off Transformer characters -- especially since most of the "deaths" serve no real purpose, storywise.
On the positive side, it fits into the continuity of the current Transformers comics by Dreamwave. In fact, one of the book's best points is the characterizations of Prime and Megatron -- very much their DW comic selves, but expanded slightly. Also, Bluestreak gets quite possibly some of the best characterization he's EVER received. I also must admit that the last half of Hardwired is much better than the first. Though I found the first chapter or two to be very good, the next 150 pages or so turned me off so much that picking it up to read at night actually became quite a struggle. But the last half I actually {gasp!} enjoyed somewhat.
Still, the whole thing reads like a fairly weak fanfic. I'd give it a star and a half if I could, but I'll settle for rounding that score up to two.
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on July 6, 2003
I am all for The Transformers being brought into the adult realm of Sci Fi Novels. Its perfect science fiction. Now it isnt the greatest book i have ever read but Its a great start. Hopefully after this trilogy more TF novels will come out. Sex, Gore, Violence. etc.. are all parts of the book but it just sums up the adult theme. I for one, will be glad to have less human interaction in future TF novels, and focus more on the charecters.. As we get a glimpse of classic charecters personalities. Soundwave, Starscream, Megatron, Grimlock, Optimus Prime, and a few more..are among the main Tf's involved. I personally found the Soundwave and Starscream alliance interesting..since this plays into the Dreamwave universe. Well have fun reading this one, I did.
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on June 28, 2003
The only reason this book even gets 2 stars is because I'm happy that there are finally Transformers books for adults. The thing is, this is quite possibly the worst book I've ever read. First off, there's a typo on every other page. And what's with all the blood and gore? I know this isn't for kids, but the level of violence in this book is pretty disgusting. The writing style is horrible--it's just about all exposition--much of which is boring and repetitve--and hardly any dialogue. And when the characters do talk, they aren't portrayed well. Bumblebee sounds like an idiot and Prowl is like an army grunt. I've been a Transformers fan for a long time, and I hope the next 2 books in this series will be better.
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on June 26, 2003
A great book to read but lacking in the proofing department. I have not read many books but the ones I have read don't make these kinds of mistakes. There are quite a few although they do not necessarily take away from the story. This story picks up shortly after the G1 volume one comic and ties in some of the gap between volume one and volume two. It also gives some explanations as to the what and why of the volume one comic. I am writing vaguely but I don't want to ruin the story for anyone. All in all a great read. After years of not even thinking Transformers I get back into the series with great stories such as this. It is a little gory but seems like it is geared toward adults more so than children.
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on June 25, 2003
Like many, I was excited when I learned that those beloved giant robots from Cybertron were being printed in a novel. Being one to never go anywhere without a book in hand, this was blessedly welcome news. Then I started to read the book. While I applaud the intention, and love the fact that it happened, I find it irritating to come across so many grammatical and typographical errors.

I can forgive a few mistakes, but when so many spaces and important pronouns are left out, it tends to be a little too muchto ignore. One sentence really caught my attention: "Unfortunately for you, my dad and have never gotten along." (172). This is the kind of thing a middle school English teacher would never let go unnoticed.

The descriptions tend to go a little long, such as the tour-guide take on the Hoover Dam, and after a while I get tired of reading "the plucky yellow Autobot." I could use a little less of the extensive and repetitive detail and perhaps a bit more dialogue if it didn't feel so mechanical, even from the humans, to me.
On the whole, I enjoyed the concepts and ideas this book presented, but the tedious faults of the little things in editing almost drove me wild after a while.
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on June 23, 2003
Transformers novel. Hmmm. You figure, at worst, it's bland, but maybe you'll get a few precious nuggets of entertainment out of it, right?
Imagine the surpise when the novel is actually interesting, entertaining, and original!? Well, not that original, I mean, come on, but for a licensed property novel...? Better than we deserve. The portrayal of the Transformers as giant alien intruders on our fragile world is not a fresh perspective of the popular characters, but here it was developed to a previously unseen depth that I dug.
The book is split into several plotlines that range from the science fictiony (Prime, Megatron and others forced to battle for mysterious omnipotent aliens) to the sadly bland (Spike and a psuedo-cyborg on a hunt for a decent thriller plot) to the terrific (Prowl and Bumblebee doing a buddy cop thing) and my favorite, Starscream finally getting a shot at the big time in Sin City. There are enough clever ideas and smooth writing to make it worth the [$$$] and week it takes to leaf through it.
Only thing knocking off that last star are an enormous amount of typos. Jeez! Try editing the thing! Every 10 pages it was something else, from a misspelling to a mixed up paragraph. Really tossed me from the experience, you know?
I eagerly anticipate the next two novels in this series, and heartily recommend this book to ANY kind of fan of the Transformers. Really.
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