Albert's Babylon 5 Book Review Page

Babylon 5 Novel Series

My comments are available. Read the reviews only if you have seen enough episodes, although there are only real spoilers for the series in the reviews of books 7-9. Also, don't read the books before you have seen the episodes that are mentioned for each book.

#1 Voices

My Rating: 5

The events take place after "Points of Departure" and before "A Race Through Dark Places".

#2 Accusations

My Rating: 6

The events take place after "The Coming of Shadows" and before "All Alone in the Night".

#3 Blood Oath

My Rating: 4

The events take place before "The Coming of Shadows".

#4 Clark's Law

My Rating: 8

The events take place during/shortly after "The Long, Twilight Struggle".

#5 The Touch of Your Shadow, the Whisper of Your Name

My Rating: 6

The events take place in early 2260, before "A Day in the Strife".

#6 Betrayals

My Rating: 7

The events take place during the Narn-Centauri war.

#7 The Shadow Within

My Rating: 9

The events take place before "Shadow Dancing".

#8 Personal Agendas

My Rating: 8

The events take place in 2261, before "Falling Toward Apotheosis".

#9 To Dream in the City of Sorrows

My Rating: 10

The events in the book are mainly taking place during the time from "Chrysalis" upto "Matters of Honor".

Psi Corps #1 Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi Corps

My Rating: 9

Some revelations, some things we suspected, but all too many people to handle comfortably. However, this can not be avoided as the book goes way back into the history and covers a whole lifetime.

Psi Corps #2 Deadly Relations: Bester Ascendant

My Rating: 9

When I think about the book now, it has no other major plot than to follow the main character's development. In a way, the book consists of short stories, which is also reflected in the way the book is divided into four parts. Some things are answered, some we knew, some I would've left to the imagination. Why? Because a character easily loses interest if you've got it figured out completely.

A handful of events and/or references tie the book to the series and to the other books.

Contains spoiler material upto "Phoenix Rising".

Movie Novelizations

Peter David: In The Beginning

Although the movie is intended for first-time viewers, it offers in my opinion way too much advance information for a person having not seen at least the first two seasons. The novelization is no different. One odd remark point to fourth season's "Rumors, Bargains and Lies", and another to "Rising Star" even. I strongly urge you to watch at least three seasons of the series before even contemplating watching or reading In the Beginning.

Now that the spoiler-warnings are given, I can really recommend the book to even those who have already seen the movie. In fact, I think it is the best order to "consume" them, i.e. see the movie first. The text is very fluent and has a lot of explanations and rationale that the movie didn't have time to delve into.

My Rating: 9

Robert Sheckley: A Call to Arms

A very standard novelization. The book follows the movie more closely than would be advisable, upto the scene cuts. On the other hand, it still offers new scenes that never were in the script or were cut from the movie. Some of these are very interesting while others seem somehow detached. IHMO works better as a movie, although is not a total waste of reading.

A couple of references to "Sleeping in Light" should make you wait until you've seen the whole series. I would also watch the movie first because the book hints to one fact in a bit too obvious way that is only revealed in a later stage in the movie version.

My Rating: 7

Other Books

David Bassom: Creating Babylon 5

Contains wealth of high-quality color pictures, background information about the Babylon 5 and its history, long and small interview snippets, short character introductions and an episode list for the first four seasons. Contains spoilers upto third season's "Ship of Tears" (as far as I could notice).
Reviews by