Big news! Novelizations are still a thing! Here’s the one you’ve no doubt been looking for, because, like any reasonable person, you just know that your time would be well spent reading a cheap-o paperback rewrite of the nonsensical script story of the new movie remake of an old movie and its sequel that themselves retold the story of comic books and TV shows that had already been around for the better part of a century.
That is what reading is for: to help us kill those sad moments before bedtime when we are briefly not staring at images of licensed characters.
Anyway, not everyone has the 45 free minutes it would take to read Greg Cox’s Man of Steel. To help you decide if you should drop $7.99 at Walgreens, here’s how it holds up to the key test for any mass-market paperback: How good are its end-of-chapter keep-you-reading hooks?
Here’s the last sentences of each of its 36 chapters. Reading them is something of a confounding, familiar experience, not too far removed from watching Man of Steel.
“Take him away.”
“Home,” he instructed H’Raka.
“Concentrate fire on the main doors!”
But perhaps someday, a new battle might be waged …
Or so Lara prayed.
Finally, the capsule came in for a landing, bearing an alien gift …
What the devil?
“What’s wrong with me, mom?”
It looked like a capital “S.”
Clark stuck out his thumb.
All right, Joe, she thought. Let’s find out just what you’re up to.
She wondered what she missed.
Looks like I’ve come to the right place after all, she thought.
What was she going to do with his secret?
“I’m not going anywhere, Mom. I promise.”
And how far did he have to go to earn their trust?
“Do what you have to do, then.”
He fought to stay conscious, for Lois’s sake, even as darkness encroached on his vision.
The Kryptonian scientist set about his work.
She wondered how long that door was going to hold Car-Vex.
She knew what she had to do next.
But he heard something else as well–the whirr of approaching helicopters.
“All players, Guardian’s going off the net–“
Now he wondered what she had in mind.
Godspeed, the general thought.
Now all I need is your son’s blood.
“But it wouldn’t be the last time he’s risked his life for us.”
The blast from the Engine’s demise knocked Superman from the sky.
What was it doing here–and why was it attacking them?
His calculation did not spare him–or any of the others.
It seemed that he and Zod still had business to settle.
A fiery glow enveloped both men as they reentered the atmosphere like falling stars.
He wasn’t alone at all.
“Glad to be here, Lois.”
Worth noting: It takes six chapters to get Kal-El to Earth, and chapter 32’s great concluding question–“What was it doing here–and why was it attacking them?”–is one that you may well have asked during the movie itself.
Those are so good that we’re inspired to try crafting a couple that could close chapters in some book about us watching Man of Steel: “And the Kryptonian scenes continued, long into the night.”
“All this Kansas stuff was going surprisingly well.”
“Would they let Amy Adams smile already?“
“Even with that endorsement from Superman himself, the Kansas City Royals languished four games below .500.”
“Surely it was all just about over, right?”
“And it went on like that.”
“Please no epilogue please no epilogue please no epilogue.”