My rating: 3 of 5 stars
WARNING: Spoilers for the book and movie ahead.
After falling in love with the movie, it was natural that I read the novelization. Irvine crafted an excellent tale with intriguing details that were absent from the movie due to the inherent limitations of film. However, what really ruined this novelization was one paragraph near the end of the novel that was different from the movie.
One of my favorite aspects of the film was the relationship between Raleigh and Mako. It is one of the few examples out there of a male and female working together without the need for romantic undertones. After the pair resurface from saving the world in the movie, they embrace as best friends drawn closer together by virtue of a shared experience. The novel has them kiss and provides an anecdotal thought from Mako that she had wanted to kiss Raleigh ever since she first laid eyes on him in his room. This lasted for only one paragraph, and I wish I had never read it.
It was as if the author had belatedly realized that he wanted there to be a romantic interest and tossed that in at the end. That he couldn’t have a complete book without some sort of romance. There was no buildup and no tension. If that paragraph were removed, the plot would not change. This was a novelization and was not the basis for the movie, and this change severely disappointed me. I enjoyed the deeper look into the world of Pacific Rim, but if I were to recommend this book to anyone, I would tell them to skip that paragraph. It has no effect on the plot, and ruined that moment of character development by turning Mako Mori from an incredibly awesome woman who could kick butt and run in the same world of robots with the best man into a ditzy female, consumed by her attraction to the protagonist.