I never knew that they had novelizations of the Star Wars movies until a week or two after I saw The Force Awakens in theatres. But when I found out I immediately went looking for the novelization of The Force Awakens.
For this review, I will assume that you have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Note that if you have not this may contain some spoilers. However, it will not spoil the book for you, so do not worry about that.
This book was written by Alan Dean Foster and published by Del Rey. It basically covers everything from the movie along with a couple additional scenes. I cannot really critique this book the way I normally would, given that it is different in that it is a film novelization rather than a book being adapted into a film. If you want to see my in-depth opinions about the movie The Force Awakens, I would advise you to check out my post on the topic: Did The Force Really Awaken?
The writing itself is partially good and partially subpar. I say that because there are lines taken directly from the film, and they fit in terms of film dialogue and are well written, but I do think that other parts of this book lacks a quality to the writing that I normally love to see in a novel. The book itself lacks description and does seem “bare” as a result. I guess it is more comparable to a movie script rather than a novel, to be perfectly honest. It does have more description than the movie scripts I have seen, but it still does not hold the same enthralling prose as a novel.
However, I do think that it was an interesting read. The novel has some additional scenes that did not appear in the movie, such as describing how Poe made it off Jakku, and thus it fills in some plot holes. I sometimes have an issue with spotting plot holes in movies, and how Poe got off Jakku was a big one in this film. I think it was odd that we did not get an explanation, but from what I understand, Poe was originally supposed to die in the crash and so maybe that is why things just seemed off when he reappeared.
Regardless of the lack of description, I think that if you saw and enjoyed the film The Force Awakens, reading this novelization would be interesting. Just keep in mind what I have said about the writing. It is not an epic fantasy or science fiction novel—the world of Star Wars is better onscreen. However, this fills in gaps and I think gives a good base for watching the next film in the series.
Title: The Force Awakens (Star Wars)
Author: Alan Dean Foster
Publisher: Del Rey