I was in a 'discussion' on one of the movie threads about Star Trek V and long story short we were discussing some of the plot holes in the film that were addressed in the novel, and it's been a long time since I read the novelization so I decided to grab it for a quick re-read (the thread was "Why do you rank TFF highly?" and it starts around page 16) . Like other novels I read I figured I'd post some thoughts about the novelization here. First, of all the movie novelizations for the 12 films that had novelizations, this is the one I encourage people to read the most. This is one of those cases where I felt the novel was superior to the film. The novel tightens up the story quite a bit. For instance, in the novel it is made more clear why Kirk is risking his life on El Capitan (basically because he is having difficulty accepting the death of David, that Carol wants nothing to do with him and the loss of the Enterprise). Also the novel notes that typically even the hardiest climbers use some sort of safety equipment or at the very least a force field at the base of the mountain in case of a fall. The novel also describes shield modifications Sybok created to protect the ship from the barrier (which the Klingon ship, named Okrona in the novel, was able to obtain by spying on the Enterprise). One major plot hole that the novel doesn't address, however, is how the Enterprise was able to arrive at the center of the galaxy in just a matter of hours. The novel also describes some of the pain experienced by others touched by Sybok, such as J'Onn, the first person we see Sybok 'help' in the movie, Sulu and Scotty (he melds with Scotty after the sickbay scene because he needs Scotty to implement the shield changes before returning to fix the transporter). We also get much more back story on Sybok. His mother was a Kolinahr adept who rejected their teachings and she was banished from the adepts, though she was allowed to remain as Sybok was raised by the others. It was she who first became obsessed with Sha-ka-ree and then Sybok decided to carry on her quest after she died. Sybok has his own secret pain he hides as what caused him to be banished was he needed to meld with her katric ark to find out where Sha-ka-ree was and to do so he had to forcibly mind meld with one of the adepts guarding the chamber to find out where she was. That left the other adept in a vegetable state and that has haunted Sybok. We also learn Spock has more reasons for not killing Sybok than simply because he was his brother. When Spock was 13 Sybok came to live with them after his mother died. Spock was concerned his full blooded Vulcan brother would reject him like many other had because of his human blood. However, Sybok immediately accepted Spock as a brother and showed him true kindness and respect. Also, it was noted Sybok was part of the reason Spock decided to go a different path than Sarek's when Sybok encourages Spock to do what he wants to do, not just what is expected. We also get more information about Talbot, Dar and Korrd, and other details are fleshed out. There is an attempted coup on the Okrona described in the novel after Klaa decides to follow the Enterprise to the Great Barrier that is foiled. The Barrier itself is more ominously presented in the novel as well. One thing that always bugged me about the film is the Barrier is described as being incredibly dangerous, yet the Enterprise passes through with just a bit of shaking and lightning. It was a real let down frankly. The novel does a better job with that part. They also talk about what the Barrier is, basically a large accretion disc surrounding the center of the galaxy. The novel also speculates about the center of the galaxy, whether there is a giant black hole at its center, or even a giant 'white' hole. Like all novelizations, this one provides more details and background information. But this one also addresses some of the weaknesses present in the film. I always thought it was a shame more of what is in the novel didn't show up in the film. It probably could have helped. The novel also presents some of the goofy humor in the movie in a different light. For instance when Kirk and Spock are having their back and forth in the brig about having a brother. In the film it almost gets downright childish. In the book the dialogue is altered just a bit where it's not so immature. The novel also describes the evolution of how Kirk and Scott feel about this new Enterprise. At the beginning it's falling apart and they feel she is not worthy of the name. But as time goes on they slowly start to accept the ship. The novel also noted that this was indeed a new ship, and not a refit older ship. I know there has been some debate about that. At least in the novel it was made clear (and even the film when Scotty notes 'this new ship must have been put together by monkeys'). It seems the intent was that this was a new ship. But overall, I'd recommend this novelization for reading. It definitely enhances the film. I originally read it when it was released (in the US it was released about a week before the film so I actually read it before seeing the film). I thought it was a good book then and now.