Book Review: Pacific Rim

pacific-rim-novelLike most readers I get nervous when I see Official Novelizations of Movies. I get downright frightened when I have to review them, so heading into the Novelization of the recently released Pacific Rim I felt like I was getting ready to start break dancing in a mine field, a horrible, painful end wasn’t an if; it was a matter of when. Imagine how surprised I was when not only did I finish the book, but in reading it had actually made a poor life choice to stay up much later than I should have to cross that finish line. I say poor life choice not because of the quality of the book, but because waking up at 5:30 AM on a Saturday requires much more sleep than the Novelization allowed me.

Before I get any farther into this review I guess I should give you my background with Pacific Rim. Until I saw the preview for this movie several months ago at a theater, the whole project wasn’t even on my radar. Sure as a geek I should stay on top of things like this, but with the large amount of really cool geeky things to follow out there, Pacific Rim just didn’t register. Combine the whole life thing with a, what I would call a less than intriguing title and I interest level dropped a bit further. Sure the previews looked cool enough, but lacked enough coherent information to make me want to spend the kind of money theaters are charging these days; the Novelization erased any doubts I had.
I grew up watching the Godzilla monster movies of yesteryear on Sunday afternoons. I remember manipulating the scale on the back of the Godzilla toy to make him “breathe” fire, so to say I have a soft spot in my heart for monster movies from the Pacific Rim might be an understatement. Pacific Rim is one of those stories and the novelization does a really good job of taking the reader into a not too distant future where these giant monsters called Kaiju have started appearing from the sea wreaking havoc upon the coastal cities of the world. Now there are scientific-fiction reasons for their appearance which is explained in the book, which with some suspension of disbelief (which you should really do anytime you start reading a book about giant robots fighting giant monsters) this book is an entertaining battle royal.

Character development is quick and the book starts with an epic battle. Actually based on the size of the combatants involved, every battle between the Kaiju and the Jagers (giant robots)is epic. I enjoyed learning about the mental impact the actual operation of these Jagers had on the operators and how the progression of technology made things better and ultimately worse for these brave souls. The author did a good job of incorporating the “science in this fiction, without coming off like an over indulgent college professor. I found the composition and concepts behind the Kaiju to be a bit of fresh air. In the past the monster movies that I saw never really got into the how or the why these creatures attacked, Pacific Rim did. Now in defense of those movies, we never really cared, but in this day and age it was good to get an explanation.

There were a few times when the characters lost their normal manner of speaking and slipped into improper grammar that seemed out of synch. This only happened a few times, but those few times did stick out. The author did a great job of getting us into the characters heads and even to an extent the Kaijus heads as well. I enjoy the shifting perspectives from each character and didn’t find the transitions between to cause me any re-read passages.

Pacific Rim is a really solid novelization of a movie that I actually now want to see. I’m guessing that having read this book before the movie I will still feel like the book was better than the movie, only because of a books ability to convey some thoughts in a way a movie just can’t match. The fact that the novelization has motivated me to actually see the movie should be telling. The book flows well and is worth checking out. If you are looking for some good entertainment that is well written and to be honest kind of fun, Pacific Rim is worth your time. If you are the fan of the genre then this novelization is a must have. Read Pacific Rim for what it is and rather than over thinking the science in this fiction, just enjoy the drift.

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About Cape Rust

Cape has led a life of adventure and excitement. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas he joined the Army where he served six years as a Military Policeman and six years as an All Source Intelligence Analyst. He served in such diverse places as South Korea, Germany, Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary, Croatia, Kansas, Alabama, Kentucky and Arizona. After leaving the Army he spent 4 years training African Soldiers for peacekeeping missions. After visiting ten different African nations (some several times) he developed training materials for counter IED training. He now builds web sites for the Army. He enjoys PC Gaming, Table Top RPGs, reading and shooting. He has been married to his wife Laurie for almost 18 years and has two daughters Mallie and Megan. He is currently the caretaker of one of the world’s largest corgis Truman and a clowder of cats that includes Midnight, Smokey and Tum Tum Monster Destroyer.