BOOK REVIEW: Independence Day: Resurgence

IDRbookcover

Title: Independence Day: Resurgence

Author: Alex Irvine

Publisher: Titan Books

Published: 21 June 2016

RRP: £7.99

Hybrid fighters merging human and alien technology. Massive cannon emplacements on the Moon and Mars. A planetary defense force with the finest military personnel ever trained. For two decades we’ve known the enemy would return.

The nations of Earth have collaborated on a unified defense program designed to defend the planet. Yet nothing could prepare us for the immensity of their new assault, and only the courage and skill of a few brave men and women can hope to bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

Award winning writer Alex Irvine takes on the novelisation of this film with the same aplomb with which he has written for other titles including Batman: Arkham Knight- The Riddler’s Gambit, my review of which you can read here:

Riddler’s Gambit Review

I decided not to watch the film before reading this book so that I could experience the story in the way that the writer intends rather than the director. I wanted the images in my mind created by the pen rather than the camera. In some ways this made the reading of the book slightly harder. Irvine’s writing is as evocative as ever but he also writes with devotion to the script and action intended by the screenplay. In this sense one loses the arc of the narrative and the character development that would normally be associated with a novel.

Where one would allow the reader to gain a sense of momentum and a train of thought, instead one leaps from ‘scene’ to ‘scene’ even on the same page. Characters are introduced and withdrawn in a way that is jarring for the reader but which one would accept and discard when watching a movie, since the visual memory is easily triggered via face recognition. While reading, one has to create an image for oneself, hold the timeline and relationships in one’s head while keeping up with the storyline. This process is challenging for the first half of the book in which loose ends from the previous film are cleared up, and the story progression itself has not yet started.

It is a pleasure to get to know the characters who do form the main group of protagonists. Levinson makes an appearance alongside Steve Hiller’s stepson Dylan all grown up, and the President himself comes back in to fly once more amongst his soldiers in an effort to save humanity once again.

Once the second half of the book gets going, it really flies. The storyline establishes and the adventure really begins. Here the masterful nature of Irvine’s ability to translate film to page shows itself, and the adventure is just as gripping as it would be if one were watching it on screen.

I will go and see the film although I feel I already have experienced all that was intended and perhaps therefore attendance at the movie will become the equivalent of seeing Harry Potter put on screen. It is nice to see your imagination brought to life, but in most cases, the book is more fulfilling. This is certainly true in the case of this novelisation.

Rating: 4 /5

Reviewer: The Aviator

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