The next epic Monsterverse chapter sees legends collide as Godzilla and Kong, the two most powerful forces of nature, clash in a spectacular battle for the ages. As a squadron embarks on a perilous mission into fantastic uncharted terrain, unearthing clues to the Titans’ very origins and mankind’s survival, a conspiracy threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the earth forever.
Title: Godzilla vs Kong: The Official Movie Novelisation | Author: Greg Keyes | Publisher: Titan Books | Pub. Date: 6 April 2021 | Pages: 320 | ISBN: 9781789097351 | Genre: Science Fiction | Language: English | Starred Review: No | Source: Publisher
Godzilla vs Kong: The Official Movie Novelisation Review
As a child of the 80s I have read A LOT of movie novelisations. Back in my formative years I was a dedicated film fan and a voracious reader. I also lived in a house without a VCR. I’ve discussed this with my son, and as a child of the noughties he finds it unfathomable that if I missed a film at the cinema I probably wouldn’t see it until 4 years later when it turned up on TV, and even then only if I was in and awake when it was broadcast. Novelisations became my way of experiencing films I couldn’t see any other way, and also of delving into the world of horror cinema in a way I’m pretty sure my parents wouldn’t have approved of.
I’m sure I wasn’t alone. Novels of movies made a lot of sense in the 70s and 80s in a way that isn’t true today. Now that films are so much easier to access, I suspect that it’s only die hard fans who pick up the books based on them. With that in mind, how does the novel of this year’s first blockbuster (if that term can still apply in the socially distances, streaming premier, COVID world we live in)?
Well you know what? It works pretty well. It’s worth noting that I haven’t actually seen the movie (but Shawn has, and you can read his review here). There are inherent problems with translating into prose a film that sole purpose is action and special effects, but Greg Keyes does a good job of turning a cinematic spectacle into an enjoyable page turner. The first half of the book is a bit slow and preoccupied with bringing up to speed anyone who hasn’t seen the previous films in the franchise (or read the novelisations, I guess). Fortunately, that slog pays off in the second half when the action starts and then doesn’t stop until the book ends. Keyes has the kind of light prose style that works well for an action-oriented book, and he does a decent job of bringing to life the characters, both human and monster. In fact, Godzilla and especially Kong, are as engaging and interesting to read as there smaller counterparts. Their motivations are clear and it’s not hard to root for them, even when they are destroying entire cities.
So in summary, this is a fun enough book. If the idea of reading the book when you could just as easily see the film appeals to you, then I’m sure you’ll have a good time with it.
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