Battleship (Movie Tie-in Edition)
by Peter David
Review by Steve Sawicki
Del Rey Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780345535375
Date: 24 April 2012 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Aliens land in the Pacific near Hawaii. What they want is unknown except that they've thrown some kind of force field up which keeps everything out, and everything in. On the inside is the USS John Paul Jones. On the ship is Lieutenant Alex Hopper. Hopper comes from a family of Navy men; his brother is on a ship in the same theater.
Hopper's not sure he's cut out for the military. He's thinks with his fists and would rather be sleeping than sailing. Except for the cute Admiral's daughter he's met and wants to keep meeting. He figures the only way to do that is to shape up while he's shipped out. And then the aliens land. In force.
Soon enough, the John Paul Jones, on military maneuvers with a range of Japanese ships, finds itself in battle and Hopper finds himself in command, at least until they pull a Japanese officer out of the water and Hopper turns over command to him. While they do manage to take out a few small ships and one large one, the aliens are too numerous and too technologically advanced and the John Paul Jones is soon sinking, Hopper and the rest of the crew making their way back to Hawaii--there is one battleship left, the USS Missouri.
Okay, so this is a book based on a movie based on a board game and a pretty silly and simple one at that. But,it's written by Peter David who has some experience with writing and they've taken only the basest premise of the game--that of trying to find a ship in the vastness of the ocean--and turned it into an action movie. The book lacks the plot holes of the film although the characterization, which I imagine David was stuck with--is a bit wonky at times.
So, time for big admission. I actually enjoyed the book and read it in two sittings. This speaks to the simplicity of the plot as well as the pacing of the action. It's a pretty good read. I did read it before seeing the movie however but I can tell you that it keeps all the good parts and explains some of the dumber ones. It is worth picking up if you are looking for a fast entertaining read. Recommended.