There is a good chunk of time that takes place between ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘ and ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘. Ten years to be exact and if you want to know a little about what happens during that time then you need to check out the novel ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes: Firestorm’ By Greg Keyes.
The writing style matches the tone that was set by the first and presumably the second film and is a quick read to get through. Not because it is short, but because you’ll be wanting to know what happens next!
Just like in the films, we’ll be following both human and ape factions in the novel. On the ape side we see Caesar and his unintentional but necessary building of power. On top of this, we also see his close friend Koba, his queen Corrnelia, his best friend Maurice, another friend Rocket, and his daughter River.
On the human side we get some flashbacks of Will (his adoptive father and friend from the first film who was played by James Franco), a former police officer named Drefus who is played by Gary Oldman in the upcoming film as well as three characters who I don’t believe are in the next film: a reporter named David, his girlfriend Clancy who is an ape specialist that is meant to capture Caesar, and a skilled hunter named Malakai who is also working towards securing of one of the apes.
Just enough characters to keep things interesting but not too many to get you lost!
I haven’t read Keyes work before so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the writing style. He has written a variety of novels both from his own worlds as well as falling into the ‘Star Wars’ mythos (well, pre-Disney acquisition part of the mythos). His past work on writing within known mythologies as well as original stories seems to work well here.
In the novel on the ape side, we see the build up of Caesar leading his apes into the the area around San Francisco. The book does not start with Caesar having animosity with mankind. He wants nothing but to live in peace and is training his fellow apes on how to hide and misdirect humanity.
On the human side, the Simian Flu is turning into a full blown pandemic. The conclusion? They need one of the advanced apes who have benefited from it. The key to a cure has to be found within their blood, their DNA. Humanity needs a cure and they need one now or there won’t be a humanity left to save.
In the end we get some great closure from the first film that sounds like we won’t see on screen as well as setup of some of the characters and apes we’ll be seeing in ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes.’
This is a well written novel that at least appears to be a great transition between the first and second movies. I can only say appears as I haven’t had a chance to see it yet. If you thought the first film was entertaining and wanted to know a little more of the ‘Planet of the Apes’ mythos – I highly suggest picking this one up!