Read Serenity by Keith R.A. DeCandido Joss Whedon Online


This paperback original novel is based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon's screenplay for Universal's 2005 motion picture. The characters are based on the science fiction TV series Firefly, which has achieved cult status.Five hundred years in the future, Captain Mal Reynolds, a hardened war veteran (on the losing side), ekes out a living pulling off small criThis paperback original novel is based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon's screenplay for Universal's 2005 motion picture. The characters are based on the science fiction TV series Firefly, which has achieved cult status.Five hundred years in the future, Captain Mal Reynolds, a hardened war veteran (on the losing side), ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family -- squabbling, insubordinate, and undyingly loyal.When Mal takes on two new passengers -- a young doctor named Simon and his unstable, telepathic sister, River -- he gets much more than he bargained for. The pair are fugitives from a coalition that dominates the universe with unlimited wealth and power -- and that will stop at nothing to control River and her abilities. The crew of mercenaries, used to skimming the outskirts of the galaxy unnoticed, soon find themselves caught between the unstoppable military force of the Universal Alliance and the cannibalistic fury of the Reavers, savages who roam the very edge of space. Caught up in the fight to stay alive, they don't yet realize that their greatest danger may be on board Serenity herself.......

Title : Serenity
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781416507550
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 260 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Serenity Reviews

  • Nicole
    2019-04-21 01:24

    I became a fan of Firefly with the airing of the first episode and have loved it ever since. Even, sometimes, to my own amazement, since I’m not a fan of zombies (which Reavers basically are) and a few other elements of the SF/Horror genre. (The first time I saw the movie, I started to think Whedon was going to kill everyone off, possibly just to spite the FOX network for pulling the plug on the show. I still say what happened to Wash was plain wrong.) But most of the characters are so well-realised, the dialogue is so clever, and the acting is generally so good that I tend to overlook other things. I don’t know if there’d be any point to reading this if someone hadn’t seen and liked the movie and the series. Being a fan, I enjoyed it. I was impressed with the way the author managed to capture the tone and vocabulary choices of characters’ dialogue and within the narrative. There are a few welcome additions to the story, including references to events that occurred in the series, that are just enough to round things out a bit more. (I could’ve done without a couple of somewhat overwrought descriptions of Inara--but I’ve never been fond of Inara, anyway. At least in this story, she’s less irritating than I found her in the series.) This is definitely a worthy addition to any Firefly nut’s collection.

  • Angela
    2019-04-20 00:29

    You'd think I would have loved this because I love Firefly but this novel is simply awful. The writing is terrible (it reads like really, really bad fan-fiction) and cringe-worthy. It's awful and offers no new insights into the fabulous show and film. Avoid. Instead, go and read the graphic novels, they're excellent.

  • Curtiss
    2019-04-21 00:23

    The nice thing about reading books, as opposed to watching & listening to movies/tv is that sometimes the author gives the reader access to a character's thoughts - as in River's mental review of Serenity's other crew members, especially Mal as "the only other person who lived with as much pain as she did."

  • Jennifer Lynn Harrison
    2019-04-08 23:27

    Does the film justice. When you're missing your Firefly crew, this novel helps fill the void. Browncoats unite! --Jen from Quebec :0)

  • Nancy D
    2019-04-13 03:22

    As a died in the wool Firefly fan all I can say is this book is Perfect.

  • Kim
    2019-04-09 04:39

    Truthfully I don't read many novelizations based on movies or television shows. However as a die-hard Browncoat (the name given to fans of the show Firefly and the movie Serenity) and completist I sought this one out, and I'm glad I did. Mr. DeCandido does a fair job at keeping true to the voices of the Serenity crew, something that's difficult for anyone to do if your name is not Joss Whedon. The novel itself is basically a word-for-word reprinting of the screenplay, but there is the added bonus of additional and extended scenes not in the film in order to produce a more cohesive narrative. For example, instead of just showing the aftermath (like in the film) the Alliance attack on the planet Haven is played out in horrific detail as seen through the eyes of miner and former Independent soldier Bernabe.I had a minor quibble with the narration. The author would at random intervals revert to long exposition regarding events that occurred on the television show, something not done in the film as it wasn't necessary to reflect on fourteen episodes worth of material for the purposes of the plot. This technique only served to take me out of the story many times, but I can see why it would work for a reader who was not in anyway familiar with the show prior to picking up the book. Overall, I would recommend reading this book. The extra character insight and added scenes are worth it. But watch Firefly first, and then Serenity. And then spend the rest of your life in mourning because thanks to FOX's premature cancellation, the crew of Serenity will continue to fly only in our imaginations and the occasional graphic novel.

  • Rachel
    2019-04-04 23:36

    I loved the movie. But this novelisation? Ha. No.The writing was mediocre at best and terrible at worst (Seriously, I nearly laughed during a death scene). Waaaay too much tell and not enough show (I know you're adapting it from the screenplay, but "The captain was defensive", really?). The characters weren't true to their characters as established by the show/movie (Nothing else mattering to Zoe except in relation to Mal and Wash? What. The. Heck. It's like the ultimate anti-Bechdel and it's so far from Zoe's actual character that I think I might vomit). Continuity was patchy in places (You can't say nine people left the ship when there's only eight characters left, on account of one of the nine having died a while back. Likewise, he ain't upstairs if you established earlier that that particular location was downstairs). A few instances of flat-out NO pertaining to sentence structure (I don't care if it's an action scene; please don't use exclamation marks when writing from the POV of an emotionally dead antagonist. Also, please don't put commas in the middle of sentences for no reason).And word choice in places left me scratching my head (Shoes don't clank on metal steps unless they're really heavy and/or are made of metal themselves, which Simon's aren't. They might clatter or possibly thud, but they don't clank.)In short, I found myself thinking "I could have written this so much better" in many, many places.

  • David
    2019-04-08 22:39

    This book is probably intended solely for those that have either watched the TV series or watched the series and the movie. As a self-contained novel, it's quite bad. The laziness on the part of the author is ridiculously apparent with such phrases as "little sister look" or "are you serious? look". This is how emotions and visuals are expressed in this book and it's not even just once but repeated for each instance of said look. If you already watched the series you're likely aware of what these phrases should look like but it still reeks of lazy writing.Another thing is there's nothing in this book that isn't a carbon copy of the movie--unless we're talking about how pathetically out of character the author goes a few times. I assumed that was the case but I want to make sure everyone is aware of it.In truth, 70% of Firefly/Serenity fan fiction is better than this. If you have the movie, stick to the movie. If you don't have the movie, buy the movie! It's not going to break the bank and it's a much better representation of ideas than the ink between the covers. Just don't buy this. If someone gave it to you, appreciate the nifty cover photo but don't risk any reading. Seriously.TLDR?DO NOT READ

  • ϻαđίѕσи ~ I'm gonna be free, and I'm gonna be fine, but maybe not tonight
    2019-04-13 21:23

    Ok I usually don't write reviews but I saw a lot of bad reviews for this book and wanted to put in my input. People say that it is just like bad fan fiction, but the writer was supposed to stick to the script and the events in the story, so most of it wasn't actually his writing, especially the dialog. I personally loved this book because of how well it stuck to the movie. Although some of the head cannon could have been better I still really enjoyed it!

  • Phenex Alarius
    2019-04-09 03:38

    This novelization is based on my favorite movie of all time, so I admit to being it biased! But...I 100% enjoyed it from cover to cover. I appreciate how I fleshed out the characters we already know and love. The sequence in the beginning concerning the battle of Serenity, which made Mal who he is, should have definitely been included in the film. I highly recommend this book for anyone into the Firefly series, the Serenity film, or both!

  • Fence
    2019-04-02 03:40

    Where do you start when you go to write a novelization? Do you just stick to the script, or go off on little tangents of your own? How much can you make up, do you get to collaborate with the director, or talk to any of the actors? Must be pretty hard, imo, to get a good book out of a film, any film.Full review:

  • Rachel
    2019-04-20 01:24

    A good book, but the movie does not translate as well to print. The first third of the book felt like a ton of condensed info dump for those who've never seen Firefly or Serenity, but the book got better as it went along. Movie is still better though.

  • Anastasia
    2019-04-09 22:39

    Read the book before I had a chance to watch the movie; and even before I have seen Firefly. Loved the book, it gives a great insight into the minds of the characters, something that's hard to see on screen sometimes. Serenity is one of my all time favourite books.

  • Jim
    2019-04-01 00:33

    I was a big fan of the science fiction series "Firefly" which ran from 2002 to 2003 and then was abruptly cancelled by FOX. But this series got a second chance with the film "Serenity" released in 2005. Most unfortunately, the movie did not do as well as hoped for and the universe of "Mal" Reynolds and his crew of the Firefly-class spaceship "Serenity" seemed sunk for good. However, this universe has continued in a series of graphic novels. I have to confess that I can't believe that a cable station has not picked up the series. I'm sure NETFLIX could do an outstanding job with it. Anyway, I enjoyed the novelization of the film written by Keith R.A. DeCandido, based on the screenplay by Joss Wheedon. But still--and the reason for ***--is that the movie is still better. You don't have to read the book--be sure to see the movie, as well as watch the DVDs of the TV shows. And hope that Mal and the other "Browncoats" return!

  • Libby
    2019-04-11 03:22

    Wish I could give it 3 1/2 stars. The writing is good, the story is good, but there was a bit too much exposition for my taste. I know it's necessary to explain the story and characters to readers, especially those unfamiliar with the Firefly series, but in places it felt like they were trying to cram the entire series into the book. Much of it felt unnecessary to the story itself. Beyond the excess exposition, however, I enjoyed the novel. It stayed true to the characters and to the spirit of the show.

  • Alexey
    2019-04-19 03:23

    I am a big fan of 'Firefly' series and 'Serenity' movie as well. But this particular novel is mostly just a novelization of the 'Serenity' movie. Yes, it definitely gives you more inner emotions and thoughts of characters than a movie can do. But still it is just a text version of the story you know (if you watched the movie), slightly adopted screenplay, I guess. The novel is good for fans, and I even want to re-watch the original series after that, but really don't expect a lot here.

  • P.S. Winn
    2019-04-10 03:31

    Futuristic science fiction thriller. Readers find themselves five hundred years in the future. When Captain Mal Reynolds makes a living pulling off small crimes and uses his ships for transports to make more money, he ends up leading a motley crew. They unlikely friends become like family and the adventures begin

  • Jay Wright
    2019-04-05 21:22

    Follows the movie so closely that it is not worth the time. I love the movie, but I do not see where this book added one thing to my understanding of the verse.

  • Angela
    2019-03-24 00:45

    My fave sci fi ever. Love Capt Malcolm Reynolds and his merry crew.

  • Roger Royer
    2019-04-07 02:47

    I registered a book at! just love this adaptation of the movie. I wish that the series was still around.Amazing book and an amazing movie. Great adaptation.

  • Annie Ortiz
    2019-03-25 05:33

    It’s been a while since I wrote a review for anything, but that’s mostly due to the fact that the last few books I’ve read have been so slow that I gave up on them.Anyway, in that time, I got into the TV show Firefly, which my friends have been telling me to watch forever and it was only after I had a dream about the show wherein I was River Tam (who, as it happens, is a lot like myself anyhow) that I finally downloaded it and binge watched it in a day. I also ordered myself the novelization of the film based off of the show (Serenity) and several fanbooks.I finished the novelization a few days ago, but I was too lazy at the time to write a review and now that I’m awake too early with nothing to do I decided I should probably do that.This starts a little differently than the film. It has scenes that are from the TV show in it. Probably so people who haven’t seen the show know what’s going on, but I like that it has the scene where Simon is trying to tell his parents that River is in trouble as well as the opening sequence from the pilot of the show.The other thing I really like about this novelization is it’s very much like the film and a lot of the characters reactions and feelings are clearly well understood by the author of this novelization and so everything is very in character. That being said, the emotions of the characters are expanded on at all, so the book as whole feels very dry. Also, I feel like the parts that are told from River’s point of view are not as in character as the rest of the book. River is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and the author doesn’t do as good a job of capturing that as the movie and TV show do.The other complaint I have is that at the end when they discover what happened on Miranda, River is suddenly, magically better. It’s like nothing happened to her at all and she’s no longer suffering from her mental illness. The fact she’s suddenly cured is not only unrealistic, but quite insulting to those of us who can’t be magically cured by letting the world know what secrets we’re carrying that are eating us up on the inside. I think it would’ve made more sense if River stayed much as she was and slowly got better over time. She probably wouldn’t ever be completely better, honestly, as paranoid schizophrenia isn’t an illness that can be cured, so having her cured all at once was, like I said, very unrealistic.All in all, this was one of the better film novelizations that I’ve read, though I do feel like that I could’ve written it better. Would I recommend it? Probably not. I don’t think it’s that fabulously written, but, like I said, in terms of a film novelization, it was definitely better than most.

  • Tim
    2019-04-01 22:47

    Generally, I'm not one for reading books after seeing the movie upon which it was based. I'm even less inclined to read the "novelization" of a film, figuring its sole purpose is to put additional cash in the pockets of the studio or those that own the movie. Because of my adoration of the all-too-soon-canceled TV series Firefly, though, I did pick up Serenity, Keith DeCandido's novelization of the movie of the same name. While undoubtedly a good marketing tie-in with the film, the book also helps demonstrate the qualities inherent in each form of media.[return][return]As expected, the book is very true to the film. DeCandido also does a good job incorporating additional back story from episodes of the television series. He also uses language in both the narrative and dialogue that you would have heard on the series or in the movie. Yet what Firefly and Serenity fans will find to be a treat are the scenes DeCandido writes to help move the story that don't appear in the film. Perhaps even more notable is something that reflects an ability the written word has that the visual can lack -- explaining character motivation.[return][return]Balance of review at

  • Sarah Crawford
    2019-04-03 04:28

    This is the novelization of the movie Serenity, which is based on the television series Firefly. In the future, the Earth is no longer inhabitable. There is an organization called the Alliance which has control over the various colony worlds that were established. The Alliance is a ruthless force.Mal, Zoe, Kaylee, and Wash have a spaceship which they call Serenity, and they basically survive by taking jobs, some legal and some not so illegal. They also took passengers at times, such as Shepard Book, Inara, River and her brother Simon. The novel takes up from where the series left off, with Shepard Book on a planet named Haven, and Inara also away from Serenity.The main plot is an attempt by the Alliance to get hold of River, who knows an incredibly dark secret that they don't want anyone else to find. They send someone after her, and the death toll quickly rises. In the end, there's a confrontation between Mal and the would-be killer, and a number of things change rather quickly.I enjoyed the movie, and I enjoyed the book, although there are a couple of differences between what happened in the movie and what happens in the book.

  • Thomas
    2019-03-20 21:32

    I love the film and the tv series. This book is pretty much a direct copy of the screenplay for Serenity. There are just a few scenes from the tv show thrown in for clarity. It is an OK book but it makes a much better film. I was hoping the book would provide a little more insight into the story, maybe go a little deeper and expand the plot a little. It's just the film over again. Also, the big scenes of the movie have much less impact in the book when they should be able to surpass the awesomeness of the film. Mal's big fights, River's final battle, and Wash's Leaf on the Wind flying are all less then they are in the film. All these scenes are shorter and less interesting choreographically. River's battle wasn't even addressed. One minute she is being overrun and then she is standing over dead Reavers.Reading this short book is not a horrible way to spend an hour or two, especially if you haven't seen the film lately. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who hadn't seen the movie first, though. It is a little disappointing that the book is less awesome than the film. The novel version could have surpassed the movie and taken it to new heights.

  • Jay
    2019-03-29 00:47

    I'm a little embarrassed to admit how long I had been wanting to read this for. I'm a Browncoat, ain't ashamed to admit it, but I am a little shy to admit how much I love to collect the stuff. Movie novelisations are hard to write, I can tell. Where do you draw the line between following the movie and making your own novel? DeCandido stuck with following the movie here, but he also had clearly spent some time watching the series- he refers to the battle of Serenity Vallet, he mentions episodes like Shindig, Safe, Heart of Gold, but he also tries to get into the minds of each of the characters. I enjoy it when those who write the novelisations try to do that- I like imagining what was going through the characters minds at the time, what motivated them.I didn't agree with all the interpretations- Jayne, mostly- but I still like seeing the author's take on them. This is purely for Firefly fans, though. DeCandido tried his best to have the whole story make sense, even with two prologues (or preludes, as DeCandido titled them), but I think non-fans would still be very confused. Overall, I did enjoy it, though. Hooray!

  • Diane ~Firefly~
    2019-04-11 03:33

    I'll start this by saying I'm incredibly biased as I loved both the TV show and the movie (as you could probably guess from my name), so there was no way this book wasn't going to get 5 stars. The dialogue is pretty much word for word from the movie, just some internal thoughts and more details about the Battle of Serenity added.If you haven't seen the TV show Firefly, I highly recommend watching it before watching or reading Serenity, as you'll come to love the cast of characters. There are 8 lovable crew members and Jayne. The fact that I can't pick my favorite is a good indication of how well balanced and thought out they all are.It is neat getting a glimpse into each character's mind during this book. I still pictured all the actors throughout and I still think the movie is better, just because the actors are that good with their characters. The things I don't like about this book are the same things I didn't like about the movie, but would be huge spoilers and doesn't stop me from loving it all the same. All-in-all I think Firefly/Serenity is Joss Whedon's greatest work so far (and I do love Buffy, Angel and Dr. Horrible).

  • Mike
    2019-03-28 02:26

    For a movie novelization, this book was pretty good; Its story was interesting, an engrossing read, and did an excellent job of putting itself in the context of the series as a whole. However, just like everything else in the Serenity/Firefly universe, it's solid, but unremarkable. The physical writing (as far as syntax, diction, etc.) is excellent, but the book doesn't deviate from the script it was adapted from even a little, and it doesn't provide ANY more details about the world in which the series is set (something that the show itself was already a bit weak in; it hints at a lot, but doesn't do a lot of explaining).Essentially, if you know the series, this book doesn't really give you anything new (it included scenes that were cut from the final movie, but this book was adapted from the script, and the scenes WERE filmed before they were ultimately cut) and it literally followed the script to the letter, point by point and shot by shot. It didn't expand on anything, or add even minor details. Basically, it's the movie in another form.So, it was excellently written, and an interesting read, but I found it to be thoroughly lacking in imagination.

  • Gina
    2019-04-02 23:17

    Yes, I know this wasn't anything more than Brown Coat porn, but that was a selling feature for me. :)I RARELY read books about movies after I've seen the movie. I'd almost say never. And I pretty much never read books that are just novelizations of movies. Any more. I used to read them all the time when I was a kid. My family only rarely went to movies & in the days of pre-Netflix (even pre-VCR), so if I wanted to know what all the other kids were talking about with the latest movie, I had to read the book. I was introduced to a lot of neat movies that way, Star Wars, ET & many others. This reminded me of that. I've seen the movie, (twice) I've seen all the TV episodes (twice) but knowing everything that was going to happen wasn't a distraction for me, as it usually is. Just being able to spend more time with these characters & learn a bit more about what they were thinking was enough. Like I said, Brown Coat porn.

  • ***Dave Hill
    2019-03-23 22:23

    (Original review from Sep 2005)A decent, but almost blandly faithful, rendition of the screenplay in novel form. For three-quarters of the book, the only differences between the two are the insertion here of scenes (from the TV show) of the Battle of Serenity Valley, and Simon trying to convince his parents that something is wrong with River, and even that is played with very straightforwardly.The problem is, with an adaptation of a movie like this, what the fans (or even the interested) want is something that provides some extra depth, added details, background from Joss translated into novel form, whatever. Instead, we get something that neither adds to nor detracts from the movie — the screenplay without the visuals, which ends up making it fairly ho-hum. Even in the last quarter, when we begin to get some perspective work, the book remains fairly unilluminating.My recommendation? Purchase the Official Visual Companion instead.

  • Natalie Bowers
    2019-04-08 00:37

    Firefly and Serenity are my all-time favourite Sci-Fi tv show & movie, so I was hoping the novelisation of the film might at least be an enjoyable read. Disappointed isn't the word for it. I gave up on page 82. I know it's probably tough to weave backstory from a tv show into the novelisation of a movie, but it was so stilted and drawn-out that it arrested the flow of the story. Although the dialogue was brilliant - well it would be as it was from the film - the attempt to mimic it in the narrative was painful to read. Not to mention the actual bad grammar in places where there was no call for it. What really spoiled it for me, though, was the lack of emotional depth or any exploration of character. I've read better fan fiction. This read like a book aimed at preteens. When will someone write a novelisation for grownups? They should have asked Steven Brust to write this book. His Firefly novel (My Own Kind of Freedom) is perfect!