Sensational novelization of Matt Reeve’s heartbreaking, epic masterpiece “War for the Planet of the Apes”, based on the outstanding screenplay by Mark Bomback and Matt Reeves.
There are three things that make a novelization work.
Number one, extra scenes and possibly even plot threads not in the movie. Most novelizations have this because the writer often works from an early draft of the screenplay, or even if it was written late in the process, a very rough cut of the film before the final edit. Author Greg Cox gives us plenty of these extra goodies, and a few of them are very significant to the plot.
Two, a novelization has to be a novel. And by that I mean it must read like a novel and feel like a novel, not a re-typing of the screenplay in a different format. This book does indeed read like an epic novel, full of wonderful visual descriptions that present a strong sense of time and place.
And finally—and most importantly—a truly great novelization has to give us a lot of strong, insightful, revealing character interior monologues with precise and clear narrative viewpoints. This is where Greg Cox really excels, taking us into the mind of the characters and their thoughts, especially Caesar. All of those harrowing, intense emotions that we felt when watching the film, we feel them here too. On top of that there is a wonderful sense of what came before as characters muse about the people no longer with us such as Will, and we find out what happened to Malcolm.
Bottom line: “War for the Planet of the Apes” is the best film of the year and this novelization does it justice. A must own for any fan. Also recommended are the two prequel novels by Greg Keyes. “War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm”, as well as Alex Irvine’s novelization of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”