- ISBN-10: 0345497996
- ISBN-13: 978-0345497994
Originally published: In the US by Del Rey Books
The book begins with the history of Cybertron's destruction at the hands of Megatron, and his quest to obtain the All Spark. Megatron discovers the All Spark on Earth, but crash-lands in the Arctic Circle, becoming frozen in the ice. Captain Archibald Witwicky and his crew of explorers stumble upon Megatron's body in the late 19th century. Megatron's navigational system is unintentionally activated, and Archibald's eye glasses are imprinted with the coordinates to the All Spark's location. Sector 7, a secret organization of the United States government, discovers the All Spark and builds the Hoover Dam around it to mask the energy signal. The still-frozen Megatron is moved into this facility, and is reverse engineered to further advance human technology.
In the present day, the rest of the Decepticons — Blackout, Scorponok, Frenzy, Barricade, Starscream, Bonecrusher, and Devastator — have already landed on Earth and assumed the disguise of Earth vehicles. Blackout and Scorponok attack a U.S. military base in Qatar in an effort to use the military database to discover the location of Megatron and the All Spark, but they do not succeed. A small group of survivors from the military base attack wander through the desert and are attacked by Scorponok. The Autonomous Robotic Life Form (shortened to "Autobot") known as Bumblebee is also on Earth, disguised as a 1977 Chevrolet Camaro, and looking for Sam Witwicky, the descendant of Captain Archibald Witwicky. As soon as he locates Sam, the two quickly begin to bond as Bumblebee helps Sam try and woo his crush, Mikaela Banes; Sam is unaware of the fact that Bumblebee is an alien, until he witnesses Bumblebee transform and send out a homing signal for the rest of the Autobots. After Blackout's failure, Frenzy infiltrates Air Force One and discovers that Sam possesses the map that will lead the Decepticons to the All Spark. Frenzy and Barricade begin tracking Sam's location.
Barricade confronts Sam, demanding Archibald's glasses. Bumblebee, who is following Sam, transforms and battles Barricade. Mikaela, who is also following Sam, is caught in the crossfire, and leaves with Sam and Bumblebee to rendezvous with the rest of the Autobots. The Autobots — Optimus Prime, Jazz, Ironhide, and Ratchet — land on Earth and take on the forms of several Earth vehicles. Sam, Mikaela, and the Autobots return to Sam's home to retrieve the glasses. However, agents from Sector 7 arrive to take Sam and Mikaela into custody. Bumblebee is also apprehended, against the pleas of Sam who assures the agents - to no avail - that he means them no harm.
Frenzy secretly accompanies the group to the Hoover Dam, and releases Megatron from cryogenic stasis. Locating the All Spark, he sends out an alert to the rest of the Decepticons. Megatron escapes, and Sam convinces the Sector 7 agents to release Bumblebee so that he can get the All Spark to Optimus Prime. The Decepticons chase the Autobots, who now possess the All Spark, into a neighboring city. An ensuing battle results in casualties for both sides, with Sam destroying Megatron and the All Spark when he rams it into Megatron's chest. The remains of the Decepticons are cast into the Laurentian Abyss. With no other home to go to - Cybertron having been destroyed by Megatron - the Autobots decide to stay on Earth, and Optimus sends out a signal across space in an effort to locate any surviving Autobots, while Sam and Mikaela begin a relationship. Starscream, one of the Decepticons that survived the battle, leaves Earth.
Several scenes differ between the film and novel. These include:
- Fig doesn't talk in Spanish during the Osprey ride and later dies on the plane taking Lennox and his men back to America.
- Sam's mom DOES NOT make any reference to a certain embarrassed boy masturbating. Which is a good thing.
- When Ratchet scans Sam and the hot chick with him, he reveals their undergarments. Weird.
- The lead good guy and bad guy actually call each other "brother."
- During the battle in some city, the energy released when the All Spark (called the Energon Cube) hit the ground caused lots of video game consoles to become transformers. Interestingly, guns can become transformers if in range of the cube's energy.
- Strangely, the novel had the final battle take place in Las Vegas instead of Mission City.
- Sam and Mikaela don't makeout on top of Bumblebee at the end, although they do kiss in the school parking lot.
- Starscream has a chat with Megatron at the dam where they seem to be on good terms. Later, he doesn't fight the F22s over the city and flies to space.
- Devastator appears out of no where during the city battle.
- Jazz has his spark ripped out by Megatron instead of being torn in half by him.
- Strangely, the movie nor its adaptations explain how global communications were restored or how long it took for it to happen (or anything that happened beyond the evenbts involving the Transformers). They all also assume that no one used a camera phone to record the battle and post it on the Internet after it was restored.
- The Autobots conversation before going to Hoover Dam explains why they were using English: Prime planned for Earth to be their new home, after destroying the All Spark.