Book Review: The X-Files–Fight The Future, by Chris Carter (adapted by Elizabeth Hand)

We’ve got another first today! This is the first book I’ve read based on a screenplay. There were some good things and some not so good things. This book is only 220 pages so it was a quick read.

Fight the FutureFrom the publisher:

Beneath the tranquil surface of a North Texas town, the future of the human race waits.

After forty years, members of the global conspiracy known only as The Project are finally nearing the completion of their plans. Only FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully have a glimpse of the nightmare that lies ahead for the rest of the world: an alien invasion fueled by the most devastating virus in human history.

And only they know that the Truth isn’t out there anymore—

It’s already here.

Fight the Future is the first — and highly anticipated — X-Files feature film. And this book, based on the hit movie, is the first novel penned by X-Files creator Chris Carter. Both movie and novelization pick up where the previous season’s cliffhanger left us, with Mulder and Scully sleuthing to stop alien colonization of Earth.

Special Agent Fox Mulder wants to believe…

Despite its petite size, Fight the Future is decent book. Did it win any awards? No. Will X-Files fans enjoy it? Absolutely.

Let me be clear about something up front: I’m not a huge X-Files fan but am familiar with the series and both films. My sister is the X-Files fanatic who once belonged to the official fan club and has the complete series on DVD. Much of what I know of X-Files came from watching with her. I own, and like, the Fight the Future movie and figured I’d give the book a shot.

The best thing about this book are the characters. I easily believed Fox Mulder was there with his snark, outside the box thinking, and dark sense of humor. Scully was spot on too with her rational thought process and attention to detail. It was easy to tell the guy who created the show penned the book. Great job.

I’d also like to point out that I believe this isn’t simply a book. It reads more like a screenplay and book hybrid. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. There is plenty of head hopping mid scene and stretches of omniscient POV which melds into standard third person. While it doesn’t happen all the time, it can dampen your reading experience.

There’s even a few pages of photos from the film halfway through the book which is a nice touch. I’m sure X-Files fans loved seeing the characters they’ve grown to love in full color. My sister has every X-Files book, episode, and film. She even has an X-Files coffee mug and t-shirt. Any excuse to re-live Mulder and Scully’s adventures is a good one in her book. And I think that’s the target audience for this book. The fans.

What I liked:

  • At only 220 pages, this was a quick read.
  • The characters were spot on. You looking for Mulder and Scully to have heated and passionate exchanges about conspiracy theories and aliens? You’ve come to the right book.
  • Since this was adapted from the screenplay, it follows the movie plot. If you liked the movie, you’ll probably like this book too.
  • The pacing is quick like a bunny. Since this book is so short, there weren’t any lulls in the action.
  • Fans of the show will recognize some of their favorite supporting cast. The Lone Gunmen, Skinner, and the Cigarette Smoking Man all make appearances in the book.
  • The mixing of genres. You’ll find elements of Science Fiction, Thrillers, and Action/Adventure in this book.

What I didn’t like:

  • Head hopping. The POV can shift at the drop of a dime in this book which can be frustrating.
  • The screenplay, book hybrid feel. There are some sections that read like a screenplay, where there is general description setting up a scene. It reads like God is describing the world instead of any one character. It feels out of place and makes it tough to slog through certain scenes.
  • If you aren’t a fan of the show, you may be a little lost. Anyone familiar with the television show should be able to piece together what’s going on fairly easily.
  • Since it’s based on the screenplay, it didn’t add anything new, or different from the film.

Overall: I’m giving X-Files: Fight the Future three out of five stars. Fans of the show can easily pick this book up and follow their favorite characters as they seek the truth about a grand cover up. Aliens, spectacular chase scenes, and witty banter between our main characters makes for an easy read. The 220 page count makes for a quick read. If you’ve got a few hours and are a fan of the X-Files, you’ll probably want to read this book if you haven’t already. If you don’t know anything about the X-Files, you’re probably going to want to skip it and watch the movie instead. Whatever you do, remember: The truth is out there!


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