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Review – Terminator Salvation Novelization by Alan Dean Foster

Before Sarah Conner’s life was turned upside down by a creature of implacable will and deadly determination, before even the birth of her son and the knowledge that he had to live so that the world could live, a man named Marcus Wright was executed by the State of Texas, and a man named John Conner fought to keep the remnants of humanity alive.

Confusing? 🙂 Don’t’ worry – every time I try and wrap my head around the time-travelling aspects of the Terminator mythos I also start thinking, “What the hell?!”

But that’s only because the story of humanity’s fight against Skynet is so entertaining that I don’t give myself time to think about anything deeper than what I’m watching or reading. 🙂

After reading Alan Dean Foster’s novelization of the soon-to-be-released Terminator Salvation, I find myself becoming a fan, once again, of the Terminators (only because they’re so damn cool, of course), of John Conner, and even of Sarah Conner: I will be watching all the movies again and going through the first two seasons of Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles before buying my tickets to watch Salvation. 🙂

You see, Alan writes damn good books. Whether he’s writing his own novels (and by that I mean non-franchise) or novelizations, Alan knows what makes a good book work, and gives that to us in spades!

Case in point: if the first chapter of the book doesn’t hook you, nothing will. As I said to Alan himself, that first chapter (wherein we meet Marcus) could very well be a story on it’s own – Alan takes us right into Marcus’ head while also giving us a brutal view of what it’s like to sit in a cell and wait to die for the crimes you’ve committed. Another character is also introduced that will make a surprising appearance later, but none of that, don’t want to spoil you! 🙂

One of Alan’s greatest strengths as a storyteller, too, is his ability to make the characters live and breathe in their worlds. Whether that character is a Resistance fighter with the ground troops, a field-doctor battling to save the wounded and dying, a pilot tasked with giving air support to whichever mission needs air support, or kids trying to stay alive in the shattered remnants of cities, Alan brings them all a measure of life and living that helps you sink even deeper into the story.

The action sequences are incredible, too! Even though you’re holding a paperback in your hands, it feels like you’re watching the events unfold on a wide, wide screen with an incredible sound system; sure, Alan probably worked from a script for this novelization, but hell, you try translating the very-cut-down scenes of a screenplay into the action-scenes that populate this novelization! It’s nowhere as easy as it seems – believe me, I’m engaged with a screenplay project myself – but Alan makes it seem effortless! 🙂

Is this a Terminator story? Definitely! (And no, not because it’s titled Terminator Salvation) Alan really sinks us into the world of the Resistance and what they’re fighting to preserve. Not only are the descriptions of Skynet-tech very cool, with plenty of T-600s and H-Ks, but Alan also uses events and what characters say to refer back to the previous movies – the characters that have made the Terminator movies so cool are all there, some in spirit, and Alan has written the book in such a way that you’ll find yourself flashing back to scenes from the previous movies without realizing it, deepening your submersion in the story.

The next thing I s’pose I should tackle is: Why read this book when I can watch the movie? Well, I’m going to be standing in line for my tickets – but only in June! Terminator Salvation only reaches our theatres then- and I’m still going to enjoy the hell out of the movie! You see, I’m pretty sure that’ll I’ll understand the characters better, that their motivations will make more sense, that all the little details we miss when watching a huge action movie like this are missed because Christian Bale or a T-600 are on the screen. You’ll enjoy the movie more because of this book, and then you may just find yourself tracking down other novelizations that Alan has done (and will still do) so that you can read them and then re-watch the movies. 🙂 It’s almost like having special features available to you that open the world of the story even wider! 🙂 So, I’m pretty sure that you’ll love this book, and then enjoy the hell out of the movie, too!

Last words: Marcus Wright is awesome, and John Conner is not going to disappoint!

8/10

To check out more of Alan’s work, follow this link to his site, and to order your copy of the book, follow this link. 🙂

And don’t forget, the prequel to the movie is also available and is written by Star Wars EU-Creator (in my opinion) Timothy Zahn! 🙂 Check out Titan Books for more Terminator goodness! 🙂

Be EPIC!

foster-terminator

 
5 Comments

Posted by on May 20, 2009 in Reviews

 

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Big, Cool Star Wars News!

First thing, check out this cover for the first Imperial Commando novel, written by Karen Traviss, 501st:

star-wars-imperial-commando-501st

Doesn’t that look cool?! And here’s the official blurb for the book, taken from this post on the official site:

The Clone Wars are over, but for those with reason to run from the new galactic Empire, the battle to survive has only just begun….

The Jedi have been decimated in the Great Purge, and the Republic has fallen. Now the former Republic Commandos — the galaxy’s finest special forces troops, cloned from Jango Fett — find themselves on opposing sides and in very different armor. Some have deserted and fled to Mandalore with the mercenaries, renegade clone troopers, and rogue Jedi who make up Kal Skirata’s ragtag resistance to Imperial occupation. Others — including men from Delta and Omega squads — now serve as Imperial Commandos, a black ops unit within Vader’s own 501st Legion, tasked to hunt down fugitive Jedi and clone deserters.

For Darman, grieving for his Jedi wife and separated from his son, it’s an agonizing test of loyalty. But he’s not the only one who’ll be forced to test the ties of brotherhood. On Mandalore, clone deserters and the planet’s own natives, who have no love for the Jedi, will have their most cherished beliefs challenged. In the savage new galactic order, old feuds may have to be set aside to unite against a far bigger threat, and nobody can take old loyalties for granted.

Pre-order your copy here for those in the States and here for those in Europe!

Next up, the incomparable Timothy Zahn returns to the Star Wars Expanded Universe!

Bestselling author and fan-favorite Timothy Zahn will return to the Expanded Universe of Star Wars novels with a new full-length story to be published by Del Rey Books in 2011. The new tale of intrigue and action is set in the time of classic Star Wars trilogy, not long after the events of his previous novel, Allegiance. The legendary heroes return — Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Chewbacca — along with some of Zahn’s most popular creations: Thrawn, Mara Jade and the Hand of Judgment stormtroopers.

The book is as yet untitled, but is slated to debut in fall of 2011, the year that marks the 20th anniversary of his first Star Wars novel, Heir to the Empire, the blockbuster book that launched the modern era of Star Wars publishing.

Taken from this post, this is also great news! Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy were the first EU books I ever read, and probably what led me to having over 110 SWs novels in my collection so far. 🙂 The man knows Star Wars, knows the characters, knows the themes – in short, he’s one of the best EU writers working today, and his books are always entertaining and true to the galaxy that George Lucas created. 🙂 You can be sure I’ll update you on any further information and will post the cover as soon as it’s available. 🙂

And last but not least, some cool Fate of the Jedi goodies! Want some peeks into the 9-book series opener, Outcast? Follow this link. 🙂

Be Fantastic!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 3, 2009 in Announcements

 

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