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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2004
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on June 30, 2004
Over the past few months I have begun watching the Battlestar Galactica televison program for the first time. I was never much of a science fiction fan and had limited access to televison while growing up. I didn't see the Battlestar Galactica televison series until my husband purchased the complete series on DVD.
I became an instant fan after Saga of a Star World. I then began reading my husbands collection of Battlestar Galactica books by Richard Hatch. Both the books and the series have flaws (what doesn't?), but they also have wonderful characters, heart, imagination, and warmth. There's a special charm to Battlestar Galactica. Watching the episodes and reading the books has been five star experience for me.
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on August 14, 2003
NB: This review is in two parts.
Armageddon is not the best battlestar galactica book I have read, I feel that accolade should go to Robert Thurston/Glen Larson's original BSG novel. The reason, beside's that it is brilliantly written, is that it is the story of BSG at it's most raw. The novel was written directly from the original script as the first episode (Saga of a Starworld!) of BSG was being filmed, hence the reason why there are pre-production paintings of the battlestar and it's vipers displayed within the novel as opposed to actual FX shots from the episode. The story reflected how Larson originally envisioned the BSG saga to be, with the Cylons being scripted as a sort of cybernetic reptillian hybrid, plus Serina (Apollo's love interest) survives at the end of the novel as it was originally scripted. Though for the TV episode, at Jane Seymour's request, the death of her character was written into the final shooting script and filmed, only to have her death then edited out again of the episode when test audiences found it too upsetting. So I would recommend the Thurston/ Larson original novel to any fan of BSG who wanted to see how the story was originally envisioned.
The reason why I mentioned that novel in this review is because Hatch's Armageddon returns the BSG saga to this standard. I have read some of the unfair complaints here about how Hatch is only glorifying his character of Apollo at the expense of the others. This is untrue, actually the plot revolves around quite a lot of the original characters (some of whom merely served as window dressing in the TV series) as well as the new ones. Hatch actually creates an intriguing character out of Athena, turning her into a thoughtful but discplinarian individual who finds herself promoted to battlestar commander.
Hatch not only ressurrects the BSG saga but also adds a touch of much-needed revisionism to it's studio-induced faults. For instance Hatch completely ignores the final TV episode "The Hand of God" in his continuation (which I welcome because I always found the idea of Adama releasing Baltar just because he aides them in destroying a Cylon base ship absolutely ridiculous - I mean the presence of the base ship threatened Baltar's life as much as the Colonials, there was no need to make any bargains with the traitor!). Hatch most probably ignored this episode because at the end of the it the Colonials receive a transmission of the Apollo moon landing from earth which led way to the whole awful Galactica 80 concept.
The Cylons themselves also undergo some revisionism as Hatch reverts them back to their reptillian/cyborg origins. I think this is the most welcome change! I hated the way the studio execs interferred and had the Cylons rewritten as being robots (explained to us through an awful piece of exposition between Apollo and boxey which was added at the last minute to episode 1 befored it aired on TV. Thankfully the cinema version had no such interference!). Another character who gets a bit of a rewrite is Lucifer, the annoying "fem-bot" who was obviously modelled on C3PO and who spent most of the series involved in a "queenie" power struggle with Baltar. In Armageddon Lucifer becomes an evil and physically strong cyborg who lusts for the death of Baltar and the human race. He comes off as quite a scary character in the novel. Thanks to Hatch, he finally becomes a villain worthy of the name of "Lucifer".
Hatch also tries to explain some of the plot holes in the TV series that were caused by studio-interference. Hatch, for instance, explains why Baltar was promoted to Cylon commander in the TV series whereas in the movie/ original novel he was killed by the Cylons (according to Hatch the Cylons were secretly studying the logic traits of Baltar so they could create a Human Logic Function chip for their cyborg warriors. They planned to kill Baltar once it was completed!). It turns out the Cylons were only using Baltar after all, he never really was in charge of a Cylon base ship. Anyway I never liked that absured studio-induced plot device in the TV series which saw baltar being the main villain who leads the Cylon task force against the Galactica. I much preferred the poetic justice of him being killed off by his Cylon collaborators. I do like the way that Hatch has Baltar being a scheming prisoner (like some sort of Dr Smith from Lost in Space) of the colonials. I feel that this concept suits the Baltar character much better than the "primary villain" he became in the TV series.
As for villains, Hatch does reveal the origins of the Cylons :
****SPOILERS******!!! In the novel it is explained that the natives of the planet Cylon were a reptillian race who were visited by Count Iblis who gave them the technology to evolve themselves into cyborg warriors and conquer the universe. ******* END OF SPOILERS!!!!
Now although the above explanation for the Cylons is not exactly one that I would have preferred, it is however far better than the awful one conjured up by the studio-execs in that exposition delivered by Apollo in episode 1 (That the Cylons are actually meglomanical robotic servants of some long-exctinct alien race, who hate humans for getting involved in their affairs).
Continues in part 2....
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on August 14, 2003
Revisionism aside, the story of Armageddon is a very good one, better than any episode of the TV series. There are many plot strands which are woven together very aptly. The novel is actually quite well written (for a TV series tie-in novel) and Hatch includes a glossary at the back of the novel for all the Colonial measurements and expressions. The plot of Armageddon revolves around a power struggle for the control of the Galactica in the wake of commander Adama's death. Both Apollo and Athena, along with various others are all fighting each other for the seat of command. This in-fighting soon leads to mutiny while Apollo finds he is developing new "extra-sensory perception" (ESP) powers which enables him to come face to face with Count Iblis, who in turn is trying to destroy the fleet. The story resolves itself quite nicely and sets itself up for the next novel.
On the negative side I did find that the novel "began" rather suddenly without any kind of prologue to explain the gap of nearly 20 years between where the series left off and where this novel starts. I also felt that the Cylons were introduced rather too quickly into the plot (given that they had not encountered the colonials for over 6 years). But I suppose we can put this down to the novel being written in the style of a TV episode of the BSG series, where everything develops rather quickly so as not to bog the story down. Although I would have preferred if there was a stronger buildup to the big battle in the novel, I felt that the battle came about rather too quickly.
Another fault that I did find jarring was the odd remark made by Hatch in the novel to the Cylons being awful, almost mindless warriors who are bad shots!. I felt that Hatch, who was doing good with his revisonism regarding the Cylons!, should not have made the Cylons appear so inept. I felt that Hatch had a wonderful opportunity to complete rewrite the studio-maligned concept of the Cylons so that they would reflect what they were originally scripted to be. The only reason why the Cylons were made to appear so slow and easy to kill in the TV series was due to studio pressure (the studio execs wanted human casualties to be kept to a minimum, and so Cylons became laser fodder to the colonials!). Hatch should have pushed his revisionism further to make the Cylons appear more like the "alien race who managed to wage war with humanity for 1,000 years before annihilating most of them in a cunning trap, and not to mention that they managed to create a powerful galactic alliance amongst other alien races, as well as successfully destroying any alien race who appeared to oppose them".
Despite this I still award the Armageddon novel 5 stars for the tremendous effort Hatch has put into trying to revive the series (which he actually does not own any rights to) via this novel and the subsequent trailer for the BSG: THE SECOND COMING. By the way if you have not seen Hatch's trailer for his proposed revival of BSG, then you would be pleased to learn that this novel is the blueprint for that trailer !.
Phew! well this review was almost as long as the wait which we fans had to endure for this great epic to be continued!! I definitely recommend Armageddon to either the casual or die-hard BSG fan. It is maturely written, has plenty of action and is quite violent as well. To put it bluntly, if this novel had been made into an episode of BSG back in 1978, it would simply be considered the best BSG episode ever aired!
By the way I would recommend to every BSG fan to stay clear of the proposed re-imagining of BSG by the "sigh!"-fi channel when it crashes to our screens this december. Just read these continuation novels by Richard Hatch and let your imagination create the SFX that will easily outshine the low-budget CGI that the remake will use.
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on May 11, 2003
The Galactica and its fleet are still out there looking for earth. Adama has died and the people of the fleet are greatly divided as to who they want to take command causing the pitting of brother against sister. At first it seems there are too many things going on at once, Starbuck is missing, the nomen are plotting, Baltar is being his usual nasty self, could that sneaky thing lurking in the background have to do with Count Iblis?, the Cylons are back with a new twist, and a new lifeform is discovered. I wondered how Richard was going to tie these pieces together, but, having faith in Mr. Hatch's knowledge of the world of BSG, I was sure he'd find a way, and he did. The story flows and all pieces fall into place. I greatly enjoyed this story. I have read the three other BSG books Richard Hatch has co-authored and have tremendously enjoyed the return to the dear ole Galactica and its people--plus twenty yaren.
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on July 17, 2000
I am a fan of Battlestar Galactica. This novel perfectly recaptures the feel of the show with a masterfully written plot, more details to the beloved characters of the series. Even Baltar is back. The action is brilliantly vivid and exciting. And the ending is just right. I definitely want to read the sequels.
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on June 26, 2000
Battlestar Galatica Armageddon is one of the best books I have read in long time , this book was written by Richard Hatch and Mr Golden it contiues where the tv serial left before battlestar Galatica 1980 it starts where Starbuck has been lost , it a true Battlestar Galatica story I recommend any fan of this Tv show will love the book.
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on April 19, 2000
Battlestar Galactica:Armageddon is to sci-fi reading what Indiana Jones was to movies; non-stop excitement and action. Multiple subplots are masterfully woven into the story for edge of the seat suspense. Wishing that the BG series could go on? Here's what you've been waiting for! If you buy even one book this year, make it this one!
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on February 6, 2000
Reading this book was like visiting with friends I hadn't seen in a while. The characters had grown and changed -- something that is bound to happen after 18 years -- and yet they were still the same people at the core that we got to know on the television series.
I would have found the story interesting even if I wasn't aleady a Battlestar Galactica fan. Now that I read this book, I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.
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on December 10, 1999
I thought this book wouldn't be that good because of the reviews on the site. BUT they were wrong! I like this book because it has alot of adventure! and flying vipers, I always love reading about flying in space battles, and the pure excitement! this book is in no way borring! I missed out for about a year when I didn't read this book. SO DON'T YOU MISS OUT and order this book right now! buy some excitment!
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