Pacific Rim Uprising - Ascension by Greg Keyes
This might be the most unneeded review I’ve ever written, I mean how many people actually enjoyed the first Pacific Rim movie enough to read a book that chronicles the events taking place between it and the sequel. Well from the looks of the Goodreads page I’m the only person, not only to read but to show any interest at all!
Let’s get something out of the way - I loved the first film. It was so bad it was amazing. The clunky script complete with terrible Australian accents, the outlandish action with delayed introduction of the most basic weaponry, actors like Charlie Day, Idris Elba and Ron Pelrman running the show, it all worked. I even saw it on a plane for the first time, which as you can imagine is a terrible place to see a movie about giant robots but for some reason it filled a popcorn shaped hole in my heart. Anyway I’m very excited for the second movie and am looking forward to them improving on some of the lesser elements of the original. Sadly that is one of the reasons this book was pretty diabolical.
Focusing on two new cadets at the Jaeger training school named Jinhai and Vik and their first few weeks, the story involves the sabotage of a Jaeger, and the administrations and students attempts to discover the responsible party. Was it a dangerous and unpredictable Kaiju worshipper, a student who has been compromised or a once loyal pilot who has lost his way? You’ll find out but it doesn’t really matter. Nothing in the book matters to the story and I get the sense the writer was given absolutely no information about the events of the second movie it just all feels so inconsequential.
After looking at the author’s page it is obvious that this is something he ‘specialises in’ as there are countless movie novelizations, prequels, adaptions etc. I hate to say it but when you have to wonder if someone who wrote books covering Thor the Dark World, Independence Day 2 (or 1.5), and a number of Planet of the Apes tie-ins really has a story to tell that will enhance the original material or is just fulfilling a contract and collecting a paycheck.
It is also horribly edited with the story jumping between current day and multiple flashback time lines like a two year old on kids youtube. Several times the final page of a chapter seems to have moved to near the end of the book to create a sudden culmination of events that brings everything together but it just feels manufactured and I read it more to get it finished than anything else.
I would not recommend this book to anyone. It gets a two because of the Gravity Sling which was kind of cool.