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Book Review

Book Cover

Terminator Salvation
Trial By Fire


Author: Timothy Zahn
Titan Books
RRP: £6.99, US $7.99, Cdn $9.99
ISBN: 978 1 8485 6088 8
Available 23 July 2010

Following the events in Terminator Salvation, the resistance, under John Connor have scored an important victory against Skynet, but the war continues...

Terminator Salvation: Trail by Fire (2010) is a new tie in novel from Timothy Zahn, which takes up the story immediately following the film. Zahn is a well known genre writer and Hugo award winner, having penned more than thirty-nine novels including the influential Thrawn trilogy for the Star Wars universe.

Although the book is generally well written it may come as a disappointment to some Terminator fans. The book's central story tells of the continuing rift between Barnes and Blair as they head off on a personal mission to bury Barnes's brother. Having completed that part of their mission they discover that there is a cable running from the destroyed Skynet base into the mountains, the question is what is at the other end?

After a tussle with a HK, Barnes and Blair find a group of surviving humans who are successfully living off the land. Preston and his group have taken in three scientists on the run from Skynet. Neither Barnes nor Blair are convinced by their story, a story which becomes increasingly more unlikely when a man comes into town claiming to be John Connor.

Some readers may be disappointed to discover that John Connor only makes a fleeting appearance at the beginning and end of the book. The action cuts between the surviving humans and a story about Kyle and his group foiling a plan by the terminators to tunnel under the resistance compound in order to kill Connor. This part of the book is superfluous to the main action and ends up as little more than a throw away journey.

The story succeeds in explaining something of Marcus’s birth as well as the terminators evolution towards the Arnie we all love.

So, what we really have are two stories in one, as the action is unconnected. The book is written to Zahn's high standards and the pace and action of the Barnes segments should keep Terminator fans very happy.


Charles Packer

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