I thought it was an interesting take on things. Certainly didn't fit with a lot of previously established canon which would have been fine, had it only been contradicting G1 or Unicron Trilogy or whatever continuities, as those are already established as alternate universes to the Prime one. That it has so many inconsistencies with the rest of the Aligned continuity grated on me quite a lot once we got to those sections, but it's just another example of how presumably no-one at Hasbro knows what the word "aligned" means. Seriously, you know you're in trouble when there's stories from the G1 comics, cartoon and toy bios that mesh together better than the Cybertron games, Prime show and this book.
That it is vaguely based on the Prime show is a bit of a disappointment in the first place. I hadn't really picked up from solicitations that this would be the case. I'd been under the impression it was all going to be along the lines of the first few chapters and not tied to one specific incarnation of the franchise. But hey, I just suppose this is a reason for them to be able to do another one later on for any new continuity they come up with.
The product itself is pretty cool as a physical object. The case is really silly, but a big selling point for me, and the book inside is nicely put together. The artwork inside is mostly great.
Its not the best written book I've ever read and a lot of the decisions made in the story itself are not ones I'd have either chosen or agreed with were I either writing it for fun or Hasbro okaying it as the supposed true history of this current continuity that they're supposedly promoting, but the prose is never so bad that I was turned off. I usually only put it down at the end of a chapter to take a break (mainly from holding it, it's pretty heavy) but despite the page-count there's not a huge amount of content in it.
Huge timejumps relegate thousands of years to throwaway comments as we get big epic pictures painted in our minds of the grand things happening, then we'll spend half a chapter following some uninspiring characters around as they stumble through potentially exciting events. I definitely wasn't a fan of how it was paced, and it felt like a lot was missing. I certainly never cared for any of the characters like I have sometimes after only a few pages of some of the recent comics.
The Earth 2 retelling of the Prime series put me off as well. I ended up mostly skimming through that thinking "but he wasn't there when that happened!" or "they must have run the episodes out of order in whatever universe this was made", but I suppose at least it tried to tie things together with the story of the 13 at the start of the book.
All in all, I'm not sad I got it, but when it was announced I expected much, much more.
assembling a Neo-G1/TF:TM cast. Please PM if you have (or know of) the following at a reasonable price: Classics or Henkei Astrotrain, Sunstreaker, Sideswipe, or 3rd Party iGear Ratchet and Ironhide.
Also looking for Universe Repugnus and Overbite, Frostbite and Longhorn and any Webdiver toys.