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on March 11, 2000
I was highly anticipating the release of Pitch Black the movie. I decided to read the book based on the movie first to see if it would meet any of my expectations. All I have to say is that the book is great! Heck, the action/suspense sequences will probably play out better visually so the movie might be even better.
Frank Lauria wrote this adaptation and he did a fine job. The plot is about an interstellar space craft that crash lands onto a desert planet that's surrounded by three suns. Because of this the planet never turns dark except every 22 years during a solar eclipse. The only problem with this is the fact that underneath the ground lay thousands of alien creatures and they're hungry. There are 11 survivors of the ship crash, led by the pilot Caroline Fry. The group's only hope of survival is to move the fuel cells from their damaged spacecraft to another ship in an outpost. The only way they can do that is if they can rely on Richard Riddick, a serial killer who has been captured by a mercenary named Lawrence Johns.
I was surprised by how much character development there was in the book. Fry makes a very complex character as she is conflicted by her emotions. Riddick is perhaps the most interesting. There are two pages in the book that give a summary of his past. It's all very interesting. Apparently, Riddick worked for a company and helped clean out planets of aliens called Smokers. He eventually saw how evil this company actually was and gathered evidence against them. However, the company took away the evidence and put him in a prison. He escaped and stole a space freighter, now becoming an outlaw. It seems all of his kills are actually assassins and mercenaries who want him for the reward they can get. So, it seems Riddick isn't at all an evil person as the tagline might suggest.
The action/suspense scenes are very well written and it makes the book into a true page turner. The ending even slightly surprised and saddened me with a great character's unexpected death. By the way, I don't think Riddick killed this character as some readers of the book seem to think or wonder.
Because of how much I immensely enjoyed reading the book, I look forward to watching the movie. It looks like science fiction is making a come back this year after the atrocious Supernova. Now, what movie (possibly Frequency) will it be to take the bad taste from Mission to Mars out of our mouths?
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on June 5, 2000
Hello Readers. When I saw the movie Pitch Black I was like "WHAO! ". It's a intresting story with plenty of suspence and scary thrills. However the book is a little different. It gives a bit more details on the characters. I love that! Here you will find more background info on Fry, Paris and the unnerving anti hereo of the story, Richard B. Riddick, the felon with the ability to see in the dark due to his surgically altered eyes. It is becuase of this ability that the small group of suvivors from the crashed ship, the Hunter-Gratzner, follow him in hope of escape from the nightmarish monsters that inhabbit the planet they crashed on. A GREAT READ! I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL IT COMES OUT ON DVD!
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on June 26, 2001
If you're a fan of the film Pitch Black, I recommend you keep away from the book. One of the best parts about Pitch Black (movie) is the character development, however the book develops them in a completely different way. Frank Lauria is a talented writer, no doubt, but getting directly inside the head of the characters hurts the story. Explaining their backgrounds, hurts the story. Especially in the case of Riddick.
One of the reasons I enjoyed the film so much is that watching the characters, you can interpret their actions, dialogues, and facial expressions so many different ways. You can guess at what they've been through in life to mold them into who they are. The book tells you flat out what they're thinking and where they're from, which strictly forces the story to a single path of interpretation. Perhaps some will prefer this, but I personally found it extremely irritating.
Besides the characters, the book has essentially the same story as the movie. Its a short read, shouldn't take more than a couple hours. After reading it though, I'm left trying to fool myself into believing it was nothing more than unofficial fan fiction because I don't want to lose my own interpretations of the characters developed in the film. Again, if you're a fan of the film, I recommend you avoid this. Anything you're "missing" is for the better.
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on March 7, 2000
I was a little lost too. But I'd like to think that he was to busy being amazed she'd risk her life for him to notice the alien behind her. He did seem remourseful. He made it sound like he didn't want her to die for him. What do you think?
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on October 27, 2001
I would like to put in my two cents worth for this tie-in. I feel that this book is just as good....if not better, than the film. The book not only makes the characters multi-dimensional, but also keeps the action rolling page after page.
Frank Lauria's descriptive powers actually put visions in my head of what that planet looked like. Even if I wouldnt have seen the movie first, I would have gotten a nice mind's-eye view.
I could also almost feel the heat and squint at the 3 suns as the survivors trudged on. I felt enveloped in darkness after the planets aligned themselves shutting out all light on the planet.
One of the other things I enjoyed about this book was that you also got a glimpse into the horrific world of the hammer-head beasts. They're pure instinct and have a kill-or-be-killed way of life that Frank Lauria introduces to you. Makes you glad youre travelling along with the humans and not one of them!
The reason I didnt give it a full five stars was because of the shortness of the book (195 pages). However, it did keep pace with the movie and had a few more action shots than the movie did. Well done to Frank Lauria on this tie-in!
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on February 16, 2000
if Pitch Black the movie is half as good as the novel it will be a sensational box office smash. Frank Lauria ( Mask of Zorro, End of Days, Dark City) has written an extraordinary scifi thriller that grabs the reader from the first page and doesn't let go until the final sentence. A real scorcher of a story!
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VINE VOICEon September 7, 2013
The author recreates the film in an interesting way, but he doesn't vary much from the script. He's an expert at this, having done much the same for other movies and TV series. He writes well, presents the suspense and terror of the film as well as it can be presented in book form. He captures as much of the dynamic wonder of Vin Diesel as anyone could on paper as well. I enjoyed it, especially looking for little things I might have missed in the film. I didn't find many things I'd missed, however. So read the book before or after seeing the GREAT film; it doesn't make a difference. "The Chronicles ..." is also out in book form. Wonder if there will be a book version of "Riddick", the film released just yesterday? And you can bet I'm going to see it!
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on June 29, 2004
The book is VERY similar to the movie, and I should hope so since it was written after the movie. The one majorly annoying difference to me was that the character we know and love as Jack is named 'Audrey' in the book and is, of course, already known to be a girl which takes away from her character a bit. Otherwise the book was a super quick read because you could picture every scene from the movie perfectly. It helped to flesh out the characters a little more and give some more background which is the reason I bought this book in the first place.
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on February 28, 2000
I read this book to see if I could get some further insights to what the characters were thinking and feeling and I was rewarded in that regard. But it was mostly a carbon copy of the movie with a bit of a different twist on the ending which had me worried for a second. But enjoyable read nonetheless. If anyone knows of any other books with a similar storyline (people stranded on odd planet having to rely on someone they might not trust, to try and survive) Please e-mail me at thanks!
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on October 16, 2004
Pitch Black, Though based on a movie, is the tale of a group of intergalactic Earth bound pilgrims who crash land on an uncharted desert planet. The predicament is only made worse by the fact that an anual event of terror is about to take place. Despite the cliche plot and lackluster dialogue, I found the main charectors, Riddick, an escaped convict, and Captain Fry, the callow ship's pilot, along with the plot to be a roller coaster of turmoil both physically and emotionaly. If I had to rate this book on the scale I'd give it a 4 and a reconmendation as a "lieasure read"
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