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A better than average tie-in to the film
on 9 November 2005
It is worth noting that by its very nature, a film tie-in is usually inferior to the film itself, practically the script turned into a novel, and usually very dependant on the reader having seen the film.
However, I was pleasantly suprised with this Serenity novel. Although it does follow essentially the same story as the film, it also adds in scenes cut from the final version of the movie and a few prelude chapters which definitely help to set up the premise of the film, which does help make the book accessible to viewers both to those who have not seen Serenity, and people who have seen it but did not see the TV series it was based on, Firefly.
The author, Keith R. A. DeCandido, does an admirable job of capturing all of the characters in the film, and is evidently a Firefly fan as there are several references to events from the TV series. He also uses the book as a chance to view events in the film from a different perspective, which makes for an interesting read.
Joss Whedon has said that Serenity is essentially Mal's story as seen through River, and several times in the novel we may see things from her eyes as she interacts with the other characters, which can add some extra depth to the story, as opposed to just repeating exactly what we see on-screen.
However, I do feel that this book is more for fans of Serenity than lovers of great literature, and to be honest seeing the film would be preferable to reading the book in order to ensure none of the major plot details are spoiled. I do think anyone who enjoyed Serenity should give it a go, although the Serenity Official Visual Companion is probably the first film related book you should consider buying, but this is also a great purchase.