X-Men: Days of Future Past by Alex Irvine
From Goodreads: In a dark and dangerous post-apocalyptic future, the mutant-hunting killing machines known as the Sentinels rule America with an iron fist. Almost all mutants, super heroes and villains have been exterminated. Only a handful remain to fight against their oppressive robotic overseers -and most of those are powerless, locked in mutant concentration camps. Now, Kate Pryde must travel back in time and warn the present-day X-Men of the coming danger – and hopefully prevent this horrible future from ever taking place! Experience the classic, genre-defining X-Men event like never before in this new adaptation!
First up, thank you so much to Titan for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I should point out that I’m not all that clued-up on the X-Men. I like Marvel, but I’m mostly knowledgeable about the Avengers side of the franchise. Still, this was the one X-Men movie that I’ve actually seen, and I thought it might be nice to review a book version of it.
I really liked that there were some artworks dotted throughout the novel during chapter breaks. They were in black and white to fit with the prose novel format, but I thought they worked well in accentuating the story and adding a nice little tie-in with the comics. I’m not sure if they are actually original images from the comic books or not, but they’re a nice touch to the book’s format and style.
In terms of the narrative, it is very, very different from the movie. I’m not too bothered about that, since I haven’t yet developed a favourite character, but it was interesting to see just how much the movie must have deviated from the comics (which this novel is based off, rather than the film). For starters, Logan isn’t the main protagonist. If I had to name the main POV character in this novel, I’d say it was Kate/Kitty Pryde, although we do get glimpses from other characters’ perspectives too.
The book was incredibly quick to get through. Baring in mind it was about 260 pages, I got through it in a matter of hours. The pacing is very quick, as you’d expect, and there’s a lot of fights and explosions and other cool superhero things to keep you entertained along the way. If you’re a fan of fast thriller-type books, this is probably a good novel to pick up.
There were some minor and major issues with the narrative, if I’m being honest here. The dialogue is a bit stilted and, at times, rather corny, although I can forgive that as a sin of the superhero genre in general. What was perhaps more problematic was the switch between past and present in this book. There’s no header or anything to warn the reader it is happening, and although there’s usually a line to denote breaks in the chapter, that’s also used to show a switch in perspectives too. So what happens is a bit of a jumble. Obviously, there are some scenes where it is easier to remember which time the characters are in, based on what is happening around them, and there is a clever use of Kitty in the present day, and Kate in the past, but I did sometimes find myself scanning through to try and figure it out. It’s especially difficult during some of the fight scenes. The book really doesn’t hold back on the death and destruction, and so trying to figure out who was alive in each timeline when they’re both focusing on the same dwindling group of people was a bit of a headache for me.
I think I’d probably enjoy another X-Men or Marvel prose novel. I’d definitely be up for trying more. This one was really enjoyable, and very quick to get through. It kept me riveted, particularly as it was so different to the movie, so I never really knew what was going to happen next. However, for anyone not incredibly familiar with the X-Men characters, I think the dual timelines and switching perspectives might complicate the book a bit.
Overall, I’d give X-Men: Days of Future Past a 6.5/10 stars.
If you want to pick up a copy, the book comes out on the 24th June in the UK.
Has anyone else read this book already or plans to? What do you all think of it? Let me know in the comment section down below ❤