Transformers: Exodus is the title of the prequel novel for the Transformers: Prime series. Published in 2010. It is meant to tie in with both that series and Transformers: War for Cybertron. Its full title is Exodus: The Official History of the War for Cybertron.
There is a sequel novel, Transformers: Exiles. A second sequel novel, Transformers: Retribution was released in early 2014.
This novel provides examples of:
- Ass Kicking Equals Authority: This is how the gladiators, and eventually, Decepticons, run things.
- Because Destiny Says So: Orion Pax becoming Optimus? Megatron starting a global war that would destroy Cybertron? Yeah, the Covenant of Primus predicted it all.
- But Now I Must Go: Inverted. Alpha Trion opts to stay behind on Cybertron, while the rest of the Autobots evacuate the planet.
- Combining Mecha: The Combiners, of course.
- Composite Character: Some of the Autobots and Decepticons appear to combine elements of their various portrayals throughout the years. For example, Optimus is a data clerk much like Dreamwave's War Within Optimus, while his preference for using swords in battle harken back to movie Optimus.
- Continuity Snarl: Though intended to be a backstory for War For Cybertron and link it to Transformers: Prime, Exodus contradicts both in several areas, and it even contradicts itself on a number of things. Alex Irvine explained at BotCon 2010 that differences between the novel and game were not due to miscommunications but, rather, resulted from deliberate choices as both products moved in slightly different directions; Hasbro was aware of and approved all of them.
- Corrupt Politician: The Senate is actually a subversion. In future stories, the Senate would be a bunch of racist, power-hungry assholes looking to benefit themselves, while here they're just out of touch. In many ways they're like Cybertron itself, once brimming with potential and progress, now a shell of their former selves, going through the motions until stasis. When Megatron and Optimus approach them to advocate for change... they actually listen to the two, and the head senator, Halogen, feels that they should reorganize society and bounce back from their complacency. Him electing Optimus to be the leader of change enrages Megatron to the point where he murders the senator and all hope of debate vanishes.
- Crippling Overspecialization: At the start of the war the Decepticons were a bunch of gladiators organized together as a fighting force, able to outfight and brutalize their enemies... at close combat. After the initial surge the Autobots manage to counter and regain ground by shooting them. The greater number of marksmen in the Autobot ranks lead to several key victories over the more melee based Cons. As the war waged on the Cons got better at ranged weaponry and the Bots got better at unarmed combat.
- Cyber Cyclops: Shockwave, as per tradition. Though you wouldn't know that from the book alone, as there isn't any reference to it.
- Feet of Clay: This is how Cybertron comes to view Sentinel Prime. Inverted in that at the end, after being imprisoned for long time, he returns to some of his badass days in a battle with Megatron, where he fights well enough to earn a sincere salute from the Decepticon Leader.
- Fight Clubbing: Megatron and a majority of the Decepticons were originally fighters in underground coliseums.
- Flat-Earth Atheist: Jazz doesn't believe in the Thirteen, seeing them only as abstract concepts to guide Cybertronians. To his credit, it's been a while since the Thirteen were around, and he most likely isn't alone in this belief.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Megatron started out as just another nameless industrial worker/gladiator.
- Info Dump: The first chapter is immensely guilty of this. It takes information that could definitely be introduced later and throws it all into the intro. We don't need to know what the city looks like, when Orion Pax is sitting at a desk, and he's not even looking out a window — or even thinking about the city at all.
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Mythology Gag: Before the Decepticons leave, Shockwave promises Megatron that Cybertron will remain "exactly as you left it." Megatron instructs him to be more progressive than that.
- Retcon: A pretty huge one for the franchise; Alpha Trion is actually one of the Thirteen Primes.
- Shout-Out: An extremely obvious one to the Six Flags amusement parks, with Six Lasers Over Cybertron. Six Lasers itself is a nod to Beast Wars.
- The Starscream: Three guesses who, and the first two don't count.
- Debatably, and interestingly, Megatron seems to see Orion Pax/Optimus Prime this way.
- Megatron also sees Shockwave this way, thinking that Shockwave can and would eventually turn on him.
- Stuck on Band-Aid Brand: Apparently, Transformers don't "transform" into their robot modes, they "proto-form."
- Token Black Friend: Jazz for Optimus. Though he technically isn't black (being a robot), he fills the character role and takes some cues from his G-1 and live-action movie incarnations, who spoke in slang and showed other black stereotypes.
- Ultimate Universe: Like the rest of the new Aligned Continuity, the book combines elements of past incarnations of Transformers and combines them into one universe. For example, Primus and Unicron exist, but Primus used the All Spark to create the Cybertronians. At some point, the Quintessons invaded Cybertron, only to be fought back by Sentinel Prime.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: This is how Megatron starts.
- While Rome Burns: While Cybertron descends into chaos and civil war, Sentinel Prime decides to attend a comedy show under the protection of his armed guards who, unfortunately for him, turn out to be undercover Decepticon agents who take him hostage.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Subverted. The Autobots and Deceptions can go home... but only after home has had enough time to heal.