As an avid fan of Battlestar Galactica, I devour the series in several days, just as the same enthusiasm I had with this book actually. Usually I dislike movie-to-books adaptation and they usually a bad reincarnation of the screenplays or the author is extremely boring. The last adaptation book I read (The Dark Knight Rises) was plain awful and it doesn’t add anything to the enjoyment. However, despite all the subpar unglowing reviews that this book have, I felt this book does the miniseries true justice as a re-adaptation to the renewed series.
The book compromise the event in the pilot original miniseries of Battlestar Galactica that surround the lives of soldiers and civilians of the Twelve Colonies of Man in days before Cylons came and wipe out the entire human race except for those few in space.
As a character driven series, there are several main characters in the story such as Commander William Adama; a retiring officer on his battleship which will soon turn into a museum but was embroiled into the warpath brought down by the enemy Cylons, Laura Roslin; a secretary to the minister of education who was enroute from Galactica’s museum opening ceremony but on dire circumstance became the leader of mankind, Gaius Baltar; a genius scientist who have a destructive role that followed the Cylon’s attack, Captain Lee ‘Apollo’ Adama; Commander Adama’s son who came to Galactica to help with the procedures but remain cold toward his father after years following his brother’s death, Lieutenant Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace; one of the best viper pilot who had some issues and hot-headedness which lands her in the brig, Lieutenant Sharon ‘Boomer’ Valerii; a rookie pilot who piloted a raptor with her ECO Karl ‘Helo’ Agathon, Senior Chief Petty Officer Galen Tyrol, Dualla, Gaeta and the rest of the wonderful team of kick ass folks.
As the beginning of the series, the pilot/book introduce us several major plot of what to come in the subsequent series. One is the plight of all the characters and the war with the Cylons. In the beginning of the book, we were introduced to the idea of the world where there was peace in the colonies and Cylons was long gone after the war. In one of the annual diplomatic mission, cylons finally emerged from their long silence, showing off their advance models including human models and began their systematic destruction throughout the colonies. In Caprica, Gaius Baltar is having the time of his life, being known and respected among the Caprican society as the president’s advisor and consultant to the ministry of defense and also being in a long-term sexual relationship with a mysterious blonde woman, Natasi. A day later after catching Gaius cheating on her and booting the girl away, Natasi reveal to Gaius that she was not who he think she is. That she is a human cylon model number six and that he had let her infiltrate the military defense which allows the cylons to launch massive attacks everywhere and nuking the colonies. In space, the CIC began to report that the colonial fleet experience sudden attack by the cylons and all suffered tremendous power failure and defeat leaving Battlestar Galactica as one of the last remaining battlestar in the colonial fleet. Because Adama’s resilient stance against computer networking in the system and having older models vipers, this gave an advantage to the Galactica as they were able to defend themselves against the cylons even stripped from its fire power.
The story goes on following the tv series pilot just right but somehow the book adaption enable the characterization to work as well as the screenplay. There are also details and explanation on the technical aspect of Battlestar Galactica which are missed by me while watching the pilot but thankfully was expanded wonderfully by Carver himself. There are a lot of silent moments in the miniseries which I enjoyed reading and understanding even more in this story. I realize that there are a bunch of lines and scenes that the miniseries didn’t have like how Gaius Balter escape his house after Caprica Six protected him from the fallout and how Billy is actually more smarter than he looks and the significance of a lot of non-verbal scenes. Because of the series reliance on its characters and not much on the action, it made the story convincing and true to its nature as a story of humankind.
From the reviews I read, I notice a lot of readers didn’t even watch the renewed series but I hope folks who didn’t enjoy the book would consider watching it as they are a marvelous franchise to be seen and experience by anyone who love a good space opera. As an adaptation, I am surprised at how I come to appreciate the pilot more and began to take notice of the little details that Carver include in the book but not as much in the show. The book made me fangirling as much as the first glance I found the book in Big Bad Wolf Sale.
This is a series that span 4 seasons with a lot of stories between characters that are meshed in this book, so in a sense, I understand the gripes many readers had as the book is incomplete and you can get overwhelmed by all the stories and characters (did you see HOW I describe this book several paragraphs just now?). As a fan of the series, I do think this book is faithful as an adaptation among the many tv adaptations in the market.