Review of 'Terminator Salvation: Trial By Fire'

Terminator Salvation: Trial By Fire by Timothy Zahn

trial_by_fire.jpg Following on from the events of the Terminator Salvation film resistance fighters Barnes and Blair are sent to recover the body of their fallen friend in the dessert where they discover mysterious data cables leading into the mountains. In these same mountains a man called “Jik” struggles to stay alive as he is tracked by Terminators. Baker's Hollow is home to a small number of Judgement Day survivors who live by hunting and staying together as a group but when Barnes and Blair track the cables to their community their tiny world will be shattered forever.

A decent enough film-tie-in novel by the well-established SF author Timothy Zahn (also known for his Star Wars spin off novels) which manages to encompass the spirit of the films not only in the background story and characters but also in the fast paced action scenes that feature throughout. At the heart of “Trial by Fire” is a mystery: Who is this “Jik” and, more importantly, what is the Terminators' plan? All of the different story threads weave amongst themselves and eventually tie together in a dramatic finale.

“Trial by Fire” is quite easy to read particularly for fans of the franchise and those having at least a passing familiarity with the Terminator Salvation film though the later is only required to fully appreciate some of the early story elements. It is certainly not high literature but good, light, escapist fare that manages to tone down some of the more extreme violence of the films and continually keeps the reader engaged with interesting characters (including several of the big names from the film franchise). I can't say I will be picking up any other “Terminator Salvation” books but it is by no means terrible.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2020-05-15

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Titan Books

Publication Date: 2010

ISBN: 9781848560888