Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) was a successful reboot of the Planet of the Apes franchise. Capitalizing on the box-office smash, the sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will open all across America this weekend. If you’ve seen any of the trailers you know that the San Francisco/Bay Area and the world is in a post-apocalyptic turmoil. How did it get this way? Well, it’s all explained in this official prequel “Firestorm” by author Greg Keyes.
“Firestorm” picks up right after the end of the Rise of the Planet of the Apes. During the memorable Golden Gate Bridge battle scene, where SFPD officers are fighting with the apes, Caesar leads his apes to escape into Muir Woods. We find out that their has been a media blackout of the Golden Gate Bridge ape incident. We are introduced to reporter David Flynn and his girlfriend primatogist Clancy. She tells David that she’s been brought-in to find the apes and it’s all hush-hush, but she leaves some computer files for him if anything goes wrong. David Flynn’s ex-girlfriend ER Doctor Talia Kosar finds herself with many patients with high fevers and sneezing up blood the past of couple of days. Her colleagues from another hospital email her about the same situation and Talia alerts the CDC. A mysterious military-style outfit has hired Clancy and hunter Malakai Youmans to find the apes in Muir Woods.
In just a few days, the mysterious disease spreads like wildfire as 100,000 people die across San Francisco and around the world. San Francisco becomes a Third World country with riots and looting. Reporter David Flynn digs deeper and finds out that biotech company Gen Sys was testing an Alzheimer’s cure on primates. The “Simian Flu” was supposed to heal brain cells, instead gave many of the primates greater intelligence. Testing went ahead with human trials, but one chimpanzee went crazy and testing stopped. Gen Sys tried to hide the research while paying Mayor House millions to cover everything up. As Clancy and Malakai become fully aware of the situation, they know that some want to just destroy all the apes. Clancy and Malakai will risk their own lives to save Caesar and his apes.
I’ve already been hearing rave reviews about the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes film as a summer blockbuster, so now after finishing “Firestorm” prequel novel, it’s gotten me a bit excited! I liked pacing throughout the book and really enjoyed that it was not a convoluted plot, it was a straight-forward read. Sometimes a writer feels the need to introduce to many characters in a book and you just can’t keep up in your head, I liked that it focused on a few characters that were developed just enough to make an impression like David Flynn, Clancy, Malakai, Talia and the apes Caesar and Koba. I’ve hear that the primate Koba plays a big part in the movie, so in “Firestorm” there’s a big back story on Koba. “Firestorm” is a great bridge between the Planet of the Ape films.
Paperback Title: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Firestorm
Author: Greg Keyes
Publisher: Titan Books