This is a reivew of the novelisation of the movie “Pitch Black“, the novelisation being written by Frank Lauria.
A rogue comet spears a commercial spacecraft, causing it to crash on an unknown planet. Other than three suns and a slight oxygen deficiency, a search party discovers that the planet isn’t much different from Earth… until they stumble across a ghostly settlement littered with the human remains of geologists who mysteriously perished exactly 22 years ago. A solar eclipse darkens the skies and with only hours before total blackout everyone must unite in a race to fix the geologists’ abandoned ship before the blood-thirsty monsters escape their underground toombs.
I am a big fan of the Riddick franchise, so when I found out that there was a novel version I knew that I had to read it at some point. This will also be quite a short review since I am going to focus on the novelisation rather than the movie itself.
So, first things first. This is a direct retelling of the movie, literally going scene by scene. It doesn’t really add anything to the world created in the movie, there is no sudden revealed depth to the story or the characters. In fact, several times the attempt to add depth to the characters feels more than awkward and actually manages to be detrimental to the characters themselves.
There are some odd skips in the writing. It is as if the author was trying to merge two scenes but skipped some of the dialogue, or just did an incredibly bad job segueing from one scene to the next. It was just awkward.
There were several spelling mistakes and even mix-ups about names – especially about the Chrislam pilgrims. Also, the leader of the pilgrims was referred to as Imam as if it was his name rather than actually the title it really is.
The one good thing that came out of the book was a little bit of extra information about Riddick’s past, and also about the bioraptors.
Generaly speaking this is a totally okay novelisation. It’s a quick read, and it doesn’t try to push depth on characters often enough to become annoying. It is an interesting way to relive the movie, and is actually worth the read for a fan. I enjoyed it despite its shortcomings.
I recommend this.