James's Reviews > Star Trek: Movie Tie-in Novelization

Star Trek by Alan Dean Foster
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's review
Jul 27, 11

A somewhat positive novelization of an outstanding film. For the record, I rate "movie tie-ins," or books that have been written subsequent to a motion picture, based upon two conditions additional to the composition's quality: faithfulness to the film, and adding or detracting background information. If I rated movies as carefully as books, Star Trek (2009) would still earn a rare 5 star rating. This made me want to rate the book a half-star higher initially.

Alan Dean Foster affects moderate changes in the storyline: many are deleterious, a few are not. The former involves vast modification of the film's incisive dialogue into profitless verbosity on the written page. The worst such change was one of the most profound lines in the film, around which Captain Pike enters as Kirk's replacement father figure, regales him with his dad's heroic 12 minutes as a starship captain, and throws down a gauntlet to change his insignificant, carousing lifestyle: "I dare you to do better." A message that, when properly delivered, impacts men of character. In the book, Kirk mocks him.

Two of the positive changes include a better argument between Kirk and Spock at the "cheating" trial, and a more scientific and detailed tactical preparation for the covert maneuver to Titan before the final battle. A handful of Naval details pepper the narrative, adding verisimilitude. Recommended only if one is more than a casual fan. Otherwise, in this instance, the movie far outshines in the spirit of Star Trek.
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