Book: The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters



Godzilla: King of the Monsters: The Official Movie Novelization Audiobook

English Book Title

Godzilla: King of the Monsters: The Official Movie Novelization Audiobook – Unabridged


Greg Keyes
Michael Braun


Blackstone Audio, Inc.
8 hours 59 minutes


MP3 Cover - MP3 Discs



By: Noah Percival

Continuing the tradition of the movie novelization Godzilla once again returns to print with a novel based on the new film Godzilla King of The Monsters. While Godzilla has received this treatment before with novel adaptations of the 1998 and 2014 films this new release brings with it a welcome first for the franchise, an unabridged audiobook. Outside of a Wonderlands release of two audio dramas and an abridged audio book of the 1998 movie novel Godzilla hasn't been well represented in the audio book space. Thankfully Blackstone Publishing has unleashed the King of The Monsters onto the modern audiobook space with fantastic results.

Godzilla: King of The Monsters The Official Movie Novelization is written by Greg Keyes a prolific author whose works have included novels set in the universes of Pacific Rim, Independence Day, and Planet of the Apes. The audiobook is narrated by Michael Braun who also read the very well received Alien The Cold Forge audiobook. This title is available on physical disk as well as multiple formats across multiple platforms including Audible, iTunes, Google Play, and Blackstone was kind enough to send me a physical copy for review! The physical copy comes in a plastic case which houses the eight individual disks on a single stand. I could see some scratching happening to the disks because of this stacking so be careful when handling the disks.

The presentation of this audiobook is terrific! A key deciding factor for me in choosing an audiobook to listen to is the narrator's voice and thankfully Blackstone's choice is spot on. Michael Braun delivers a fantastic reading of the book. His voice is arresting but not overwhelming or too soft. He is also able to demonstrate a wide vocal range as he provides different voices for each of the characters. Male voices and female voices are identifiable from each other and every main character such as Emma, Mark, Serizawa, and Jonah all sound distinct from each other as well. Some side characters do blend together but I blame this on King of The Monsters's stuffed script and a lack of visuals to help identify each character rather than Michael Braun's performance. If I had any nitpicks it would be that many of the chapters begin with notes from Dr. Serizawa, Dr. Chen, Dr. Ling, and Dr. Brooks and usually include samples from many sources including the Egyptian Book of the Dead, The Avesta, and even The Epic of Gilgamesh. While adding terrific detail to the themes of the story when listening to them it can be slightly confusing when the notes stop and the chapter proper begins. In the print book these notes are italicized and are separated from the chapter's text by space. These tells are missing from the audiobook but that's an issue caused by the purely audio nature of this presentation and I am only mentioning them for the purposes of nitpicking.

For as long as I can remember I've been an avid reader of movie novelizations. The added depth to the characters and plot that the author provides as well as the elements that were in the original script but cut from the film's final edit being included in the book are why these novelizations are so beloved. Godzilla King of The Monsters excels in this area with a great deal of background information into the world of The MonsterVerse as well as its inhabitants. If you've seen the movie you may think that you won't gain anything out of this audiobook but you'd be very wrong. Greg Keyes does an amazing job adding some terrific sequences into the already packed narrative of the film. One of the highlights of the novel is the sequence where King Ghidorah summons all the Titans and asserts his role of Alpha. Perhaps the most important new scene in the book occurs during this moment. King Ghidorah's cry reaches as far as Skull Island where Kong himself makes an appearance. He hears King Ghidorah's calls but is uninterested in his war cry and instead wants his home to be left alone. However King Ghidorah's call does arouse the Skull Crawlers deep inside Skull Island and the segment ends with Kong preparing to go to war with them again. It is also implied that Godzilla has traveled close to Skull Island but never landed. We get to see an underwater base destroyed by the Titan it was watching known as Kraken. We also get to see a new character who is a Monarch agent swayed by Dr. Emma Russell's speech and who then sabotages the Monarch Base containing the Titan Behemoth releasing him on the world. The novel refers to Monarch as a cryptozoological agency and Greg Keyes takes this description and runs with it in a delightful way. Famous cryptids such as Mokele-Mbembe, the Loch Ness Monster, and the aforementioned Kraken are incorporated into the novel as other Titans. It really feels like Greg Keyes had a blast adding these bits into the story and if so then his enthusiasm comes across in the book.

Another thing I appreciated was the incorporation of the other MonsterVerse literature into the novel. Shinomura from Godzilla Awakening and Jinshin-Mushi from Godzilla Aftershock are mentioned multiple times. The added bits of character background for Emma Russell and Serizawa that these graphic novels revealed is also expanded and this serves to enrich both the novel and the graphic novels even more.

A great deal of depth for the characters is also included in the novel. A highlight of this is some much needed context for Alan Jonah and his hatred of mankind. More details of Emma and Mark's relationship and their separation emerge from this as well. Admiral Stenz appears briefly during the battle of Washington D.C. in a submarine leading the fight but his fate is left unclear. Vivienne Graham's death happened way too fast for me to notice on my first viewing of the film but is much better described in the book. The impact of her death on Mark and Serizawa is also explored a lot which I greatly appreciated as I felt her death had little impact on the characters in the film. Further depth is added into the side characters most notably with Dr. Houston Brooks making an earlier appearance into the story before his onscreen appearance. The book is also a good deal darker than the movie. We learn that Mark, Emma, and Madison found Andrew's body in the ruins of San Francisco and while gorier details are withheld we are told that his body was found "broken". In the film we see them searching for Andrew but we are left to wonder as to how they learned of his death which is a lot less violent than the book's reveal. There's also a lot more instances of cursing in the book which may make the audiobook inappropriate for very young G-Fans.

For many years I've been dreaming of a proper unabridged Godzilla audiobook and Blackstone's release fulfills that dream perfectly. I really can't recommend this audiobook enough! For G-Fans or casual audiobook listeners you're definitely getting your money's worth with this title. Now I'm not only hoping we get another audiobook next year for Godzilla Vs. Kong but I'd love to see the Godzilla 2014 and Kong Skull Island novelizations get audiobook releases. Regardless of what the future brings Blackstone's work here has done the King proud!