Godzilla vs. the Robot Monsters
 Marc Cerasini
Language: English Release: 1998
Publisher: Random House Pages: 279
Genre: Fiction ISBN: 0679888284

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Andrew Nguyen (submission)

In 1996, Random House, an American publishing company based in New York, began to publish, with permission from Toho Studios, several series of novels based on the Godzilla series. The company would assign the novels to different authors for the many different age groups. In the case of teenagers and above (which can be considered the main customers of Random House's Godzilla series), Marc Cerasini, a lifelong fan of Godzilla and experienced with writing about techno-thrillers would work on five planed novels.

The first one arrived on bookshelves in 1996 under the title Godzilla Returns with a second novel called Godzilla 2000 in 1997. In 1998, Cerasini would publish two novels in the book series in 1998 with Godzilla at World's End arriving in the spring and the fourth book of the series Godzilla vs. the Robot Monsters hitting bookshelves in July.

Godzilla vs. the Robot Monsters opens alongside that of Godzilla at World's End for the first two chapters then skips to three years later. In the intervening time-period between the two novels, the nations of the world have developed huge robots to take on directly Godzilla and the other kaiju that roamed the Earth. The robots are none other than Mechagodzilla (created through a joint American and Japanese project and piloted by a man who is surprisingly enough a paraplegic) and Mogeura (created by Russia).

Unknown to all three countries, the damaged body of King Ghidorah has fallen into the hands of a fearsome Mongolian warlord. Using advanced technology acquired by his underlings and the connection that a mysterious girl has with the three-headed space monster, the Mongolian warlord transformers King Ghidorah into Mecha-King Ghidorah.

While the number of monsters in this particular book is fewer than in the previous novel, there is still a large group present. Alongside the monsters already mentioned, Rodan, Anguirus, and Baragon also join in the carnage unleashed on humanity.

Though the plot is a nicely crafted one as always by Cerasini, it seems a bit weak in comparison to his previous three novels. The carnage that Baragon and, to a lesser extent, Anguirus create takes up a good portion of the book and Rodan doesn't really do much in this novel at all. As for Godzilla, when you read the novel, he barely seems present at all (he only appears in four scenes, both major and un-important ones). Despite that, he does a mostly excellent job as always in creating battle scenes between humanity and the kaiju. Several battles in the novel deserve notification like other major conflicts in the book series. The first one is when Anguirus tears up Moscow before Mogeura confronts the beast. The second one is Mecha-King Ghidorah tearing through the aerial and ground forces of the world. Finally there is the battle in Tokyo where Godzilla and Mechagodzilla fight side-by side against Mecha-King Ghidorah (Mogeura also participates, but its loyalties eventually turn suspect during the battle).

As in the previous three novels, Cerasini puts in a mix of old characters alongside new ones in this story. While the interaction of the characters is fine in most cases, there are interactions that seem odd and feel out of place in a Godzilla novel, particularly when dealing with Baragon and its victims.

After the novel's conclusion, there is a small section of the book that lists information about the monsters that appear in the novel. This information is somewhat similar to what was found on the Random House book The Official Godzilla Compendium.

As always, the book has excellent cover-art done by Bob Eggleton and for each chapter, there is the designated symbol of each Toho monster in the book so as to indicate that the particular monster will play an important role in the chapter.

Surprisingly this would be the last novel produced before Random House lost the license to writing novels about the Godzilla series. As a result, this would be the final book in the series. Despite its problems, Godzilla vs. the Robot Monsters is a nice spot as any to end the book series.