Titan, out now
The inside story of how the world prepared…
Greg Keyes has a little bit of a thankless task with this Independence Day novel, which picks up around the time of the original invasion – showing us what happened to some of the key characters from the new movie during that time – and going through to a few hours before Resurgence begins. A timeline of events has appeared in all the ID4-related publications of the last few weeks, and Keyes’ job has been to flesh this out, presenting a novel whose third act, effectively, is the new film yet still keeping it enjoyable as an entity on its own.
For the large part, he succeeds; there’s a lot of references in the movie to events in the characters’ back stories, all of which are explained here. The relationships between Dylan and Jake; Jake and Charlie; Dylan, Jake and Patricia Whitmore; David Levinson and Catherine Marceaux… they’re made credible, with one of the lacunae of the movie that I noted in my review (the total absence of reference to David’s wife Connie) explained. The gradual creation of the global community, and the way that the militaries come together is well thought through as well as the technological advances. The other novels and comic books are also mentioned in passing.
The film unfortunately precludes there being any other alien invasions or encounters during this two-decade period, which closes off one avenue for Keyes to explore, but the African ship does give a bit of a loophole for some human vs. alien activity.
Verdict: For those who enjoyed Independence Day: Resurgence, and what to know what happened between the films, then this is a fascinating read. 7/10