Titan Books, out now
“A powerful story of human courage and reconciliation in the face of titanic forces of nature, when the awe-inspiring Godzilla rises to restore balance as humanity stands defenceless…”
That’s the official back cover description of Greg Cox’s very enjoyable retelling of one of the first of this summer’s blockbusters, which you might not want to read straight on top of seeing the movie, but which does a great job of recreating the story – and adding some nice touches along the way.
It’s a tale told over three time periods – the 1950s, 1999 and “present day” – and Cox gives us a neat prologue which incorporates the material from the film’s title sequence for the first of these, as well as providing an appropriate symmetry for the very end of the book. He chooses his point of view characters well: we often see things through the eyes of the children experiencing the events (whether it’s Ford as a youngster, his own son, or indeed other witnesses), and doesn’t undercut any of the character reveals prematurely. He also doesn’t shy away from the less pleasant aspects of the story, and the many, many deaths involved.
Bearing in mind that effects sequences were still being worked on while he would have been writing this, Cox has to use his imagination to flesh out the script details. While there are bound to be some moments which don’t track precisely with the final version (and that of course won’t become really evident until the home video release in September), he captures the feel of these moments, and ensures that the reader is never unsure as to which giant monster is battling which.
Verdict: A good novel which brings out the human side of this monster tale. 7/10