As a fan of the Final Destination film series, I have been reading the books, looking for something to hold me off until the third movie comes out in a few months. "Dead Man's Hand," the fourth book released, is by far the worst. At a little over 400 pages, the book takes 200 pages until the main accident occurs. The author of the book devotes the first half to establishing and developing his characters. Now, I have no problem with character development; it allows the reader to feel something when Death comes calling. However, the author wastes too much time giving mundane details about the characters, and then repeating them over and over so that the reader actually ends up thinking that the author is setting up something for later. How many times do we need to hear the main character enjoys sex? Do we really care that her boyfriend is a Star Trek fan, and obsesses about his girlfriend dressing up as one of the characters? Does telling the reader what each character had for dinner have anything to do with the story?
With all the time his spends describing the characters up until the accident, one would think that the author would devote the same attention to the death scenes that have made the Final Destination series famous. But no; instead of carefully setting up each death scene with little hints and twists as each of the previous films and novels have done, the author just kills his characters out of nowhere. The second half of the book has more pages devoted to police and FBI agents yelling at the characters than the kills. The one time that there are clues to a death scene, there are so many that the reader is beaten over the head with them, making it painfully obvious what's about to happen. And as farfetched as some of the deaths in the movies and other books are, at least they had some creativity behind them.
And then there's the unnecessary and somewhat offensive numerous references to the events of September 11th, terrorism, and AIDS. By the way, does a book like this really need any criticism on the state of the US government?
The Final Destination books are by no means incredible works of literature, but at least they have creative deaths and some neat twists and surprises. The author of this book ruins what could have been a fun and quick read with 200 pages of boring and gratuitous character development, unimaginative deaths, and unneeded political commentary. Skip "Dead Man's Hand," and read the other books, or just watch the movies again