Trial by Fire (Terminator Salvation #4) (Terminator)

trialbyfire (Custom)

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Terminator: Salvation was NOT the end. It was merely the beginning of the end. And Marcus was not alone.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed the movie and really thought it was the end. Instead, this book shows that the AI that was destroyed was just a branch version, not the main one.

I recently read another Terminator book, Cold War, and man, Zahn shows with this book what a great author he is. There is no comparing the two. The writing was tight, the overarching plot suspenseful and the different storylines were all blended together just right.

It was nice to read something that I felt was crafted well even while being about something as non-serious as a movie spinoff. With all the crap floating around nowadays, coming across a well crafted gem makes it even more precious. Even if it is a fools gold gem πŸ˜€

The advent of the Theta Terminators opens up the whole future of the Terminator world. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening, much like I was hoping the T2 trilogy would give things a kick and they didn’t. Highly recommended to Terminator fans but not to anyone else. Too much backstory is needed, or at least the first 2 and 4th Terminator movie.

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Author: Timothy Zahn

Trial by Fire

Terminator: Salvation #4

Cold War



Cold War

Terminator: Salvation #1

Author: Greg Cox

3 of 5 Stars


A prequel to Terminator Salvation, but not directly related, more tangentially.

Starts off with a Russian submarine taking part in Judgement Day, in 2003. Then the alternate story, about Resistance Fighters in Alaska in 2018, takes place.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Russian 2003 story. They’re confused, horribly shaken up and then they find the machines, but they don’t believe it themselves and nobodyΒ  believes them. This storyline wraps up with them joining Ashdown and the Resistance.

Then we get the Alaskan story. I didn’t like it. Bunch of people survive and end up fighting Sky-Net any way they can. This was a story that was supposed to be dramatic and moving, but ended up coming across as petty and amateurish.

The 2 storylines mesh with an attack on a trainline supplying Skynet with uranium. I really wish Cox had focused exclusively on the Russians and their fight. Oh well.

crossposted at

From the Ashes

Terminator Salvation: From the AshesFrom the Ashes

Terminator: Salvation #0.5

Timothy Zahn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The prequel to Terminator: Salvation. I truly enjoyed this. Zahn does a masterful job of introducing us to the characters. Reese, Star, their protector Orzohc [or something like that], John and Kate Connor and their tight knit group of Resistance fighters.

Skynet prepares to cleanse a particular region of L.A. and the Connors prepare to pull of a coup to secure their place in the Resistance. And the group Reese and Star are living with are caught squarely in the middle.

This was written well, engagingly, with flashes of humor and sadness.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Terminator 3: Rise of the MachinesTerminator 3: Rise of the Machines


David Hagberg

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


As others have written, this is pretty much a word for action of the movie.

This was a letdown, even after having seen the movie, because I’ve been reading some of the other Terminator books. This was stilted cardboard.

The only cool thing was the idea of a Terminator coming back and knocking off Connor’s support group before they could grow up. Cut the roots one at a time if you can’t cut the tree down, in other words.

Times of Trouble

Times of TroubleTimes of Trouble

T2: New John Connor Chronicles #1

Russell Blackford

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This series was convoluted and while it explored what time travel could mean, it seemed like there was more “puttering around” than kick-ass action.

Not as engaging as the T2 series by S.M. Stirling.

A good read, but it was NOT a “grab you by the throat and shake you until your teeth rattle” thriller.

An Evil Hour

An Evil HourAn Evil Hour

T2: New John Connor Chronicles #2

Russell Blackford

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


If I had just these books to measure against themselves, in regards to the overall Terminator franchise, I would be ok with these books.
However, I have to compare them to the other T2 series, and this series loses itself in trying to explain the kinks out of time/space/dimension traveling.

Dark Futures

coverDark Futures

T2: The New John Connor Chronicles #1

Russell Blackford

3 of 5 Stars


I enjoyed this, as I enjoy almost all Terminator related novels. However, since it is taking place pretty much at the same time as T2: Infiltrator, I couldn’t help but compare the two.

T2 is pretty linear and straightline, NJCC deals with 2 different universes, going at different speeds. In this trilogy, the author goes with the theory that time can’t be changed and any changes are simply a new universe splitting off. Not much techno-babble, just some straight forward exposition.

I had a really hard time keeping track of where and when I was reading about. And Enhanced Humans?, Skynet just needed to wait and we would have become it. There was no need for Judgement Day in that universe.

This is a darker outlook with Sarah giving in to despair several times. They realize that no matter what they do, Judgement Day is going to happen and Skynet is going to exist, Period. A Historical, albeit Future, Imperative that cannot be denied.

I am looking forward to the next 2 books, just not as much as I was for the T2 series…

The Terminator

coverThe Terminator

Terminator #1

Randall Frakes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This was a good novelization. While not a blockbuster of a book or anything, I certainly found that this added some much needed depth to side characters and to the relationship between Kyle and Sara and to the mental change of Sara Connor from helpless waif to warrior princess.

I honestly wasn’t expecting to enjoy this, but I did.