I am a book collector and movie lover. As a result I often buy the novelization of movies I am particularly fond of. A few years back I was collecting the novelizations for Pirates of the Caribbean.
I bought both versions of the novelization for Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. One version was revised to tie in better with the sequels but in general they're relatively the same until the ending. And I had the novelization for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. But then I bought the novelization for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End...
I don't know where to begin. This novelization was so bad it almost prevented me from watching the film. The novel was released roughly a month before the film came out and I thought 'Wow! Great! I can find out what happens first just to find out if Jack lives or not!'
First the writing. Usually you get more detail with a novelization. But this time you don't. This time it's so vague it's as if someone lazily slapped the script's dialogue together into a poorly contrived book. There's almost no physical description, emotional detail, or characterization at all. It's sterile.
The one detail they give that adds depth to the character that isn't in the film is the novel tells us us that Jack was branded as a pirate for liberating a cargo of slaves. For stealing the 'cargo' he was branded as a slave. Jack's statement to this is the admirable 'I don't count people as cargo.' It actually adds a certain nobility to his character. I wish the scene was in the film but sadly it's not. That was actually the best part of the whole novel.
And now for the worst part. I guess Disney didn't want to reveal the ending in advance because the novel ends almost immediately after Calypso has abandoned the pirates to the East India Trading Company. It ends with Elizabeth shouting as they're about to battle 'We are the Pirates of the Carribean!'
I remember thinking That's it? That's how they end it? Another cliff hanger that seems to imply they're going to die at this stand off? It made me lose interest in seeing the film. That was the first time a book made me LOSE interest in seeing a film.
Fortunately when I did see the film the film's ending, to my pleasant surprise, was much more satisfying. It wasn't a great ending (poor Will) but it was at least an actual ending. When I buy a novel I don't buy a novel to be protected against film spoilers. I want the whole story. I'm paying for a full story, I should get the whole story.
In short Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's end is the worst novelization of a film script I have EVER read.
Update: I just found out they released an 'extended' version of this book that gives the whole story but that version of the book was only released after the film came out. There was no warning that the 'regular' version of this book doesn't 'give away the ending'. So you blow almost ten dollars on an incomplete book without being warned that it's incomplete and the full version will be out later. Thanks, Disney! (That was sarcasm, by the way.)