Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness - Alan Dean Foster



Title: Into Darkness
Author: Alan Dean Foster
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 2013
Formats: Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
Amazon
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

Review:
“Into Darkness” by Alan Dean Foster is a novelisation of the recently released Star Trek movie of the same name. I suspect most people reading this review will have seen the movie, but for those that don’t know the plot basically follows Kirk and his crew as they attempt to hunt down a man known as John Harrison who has committed an act of terrorism in London. Their hunt takes them from Earth to the Klingon home world and unearths a secret that some in Starfleet would rather be kept hidden.

As with the Foster’s novelisation of the previous movie the writing is competent enough and adequately captures the events seen on the screen without overloading the reader (who will normally have already seen the movie) with unneeded extensive descriptive details. I don’t feel I can really say much on the plot as Foster didn’t really have much of a say in it but the action, fast pace and fun are still there for the reader to enjoy.

However, there is very little new here and I can’t really identify any definitive reason why you should read this if you have already seen the movie. Yes, some of the conversations are expanded in a manner that better explains some aspects of the story such as transwarp transporting, the reason behind the abandoned sector of Qo’nos and how one volcano could seemingly be a threat to an entire species, but overall this is mainly just window dressing.

To be honest, the nature of novelizations does sometimes make it difficult to review books like this because whilst it is a well written and enjoyable story, it didn’t really inspire me to keep reading and I therefore found it very easy to put it down and do something else. There is another review on TrekLit Reviews by Dan Gunther that I think really captures the issues and potential positives with novelisations and would advise that people go give it a read.

Overall, “Into Darkness” is another competent movie novelisation by an expert in the field. Everything is captured well and there are at least a few sections of extended dialogue that helps refine the readers understanding of why certain things happened. However, I am not sure there is enough new here to make it a must buy for those who have already seen the movie. I suppose Foster will have been forced to work within the guidelines he had been set but I would have loved to see some additional elements to try and enhance the experience.