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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

cover of Serenity

I don't know if I have ever read a novelization of a movie before (when I see a movie based on a book, I usually try to read the book first), but I am enough of a fan of Joss Whedon's "Firefly" and "Serenity" that I wanted to read DeCandido's novelization of the movie. It was an enjoyable experience, and this is a story worth experiencing more than once-- of danger and adventure, a young girl experimented on and turned into a fighter and a psychic, an unnamed assassin, and a captain who has lost his faith in God finding something to believe in.

Early on, I wasn't too sure about reading a novelization of a movie that I've already seen-- many of the chapters are almost exact descriptions of scenes in the movie, with the same dialogue and everything, although with some insights into the thoughts of the characters (which is, I suppose, exactly what a novelization of a movie should be). Having all of the dialogue written down is nice, because I missed some of the lines when I saw the movie in the theater-- particularly those lines just after someone says something hilarious, and the entire audience is laughing. Here, some parts of the story are supplemented with history revealed in the TV series, but as the book goes on, there are more and more extra components: lines that didn't make it into the movie, back stories for characters like Mr. Universe, scenes that we didn't get to see-- including the destruction of Haven, which gives even more support to the theory that Book must have once been an Operative himself. The book is written from third-person perspective, but each scene is sort of filtered through a particular character's consciousness, jumping around from person to person for various scenes, which adds some nice variety and insight.

Sometimes, I wasn't sure if the lines or the story would have the same effect if I hadn't seen the movie first, and in particular I'm uncertain whether or not the humor would be conveyed-- many of the lines are so great because of the way the actors deliver them. However, even after seeing the movie twice in the theater, reading the culmination of the story was still an incredibly moving experience.

I love Mal's line at the end, and the insight that all of the characters (but specifically Wash) each love Serenity in their own way.

Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take a boat in the air you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughtta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

Author:Keith R. A. DeCandido (based on the motion picture screenplay by Joss Whedon)
Date published:2005
Genre:Science Fiction
Number of pages:260


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