King Kong: Escape from Skull Island
King Kong: Escape from Skull Island, also known as Kong: The Eighth Wonder of the World: Escape from Skull Island is a children's early reader book that is a partial novelization of the 2005 Universal King Kong film. It was released in November of 2005, and was written by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz. It tells a simplified version of the film's story, but only recounts the parts set on Skull Island. The book is illustrated with stills from the film as well as artwork from Greg Broadmore and Christian Pearce.
"After arriving on Skull Island, Carl Denham and his crew soon discover that the legend of the massive gorilla Kong is very real. When the giant beast is appeased by the beautiful actress Ann Darrow, the crew uses the opportunity to capture Kong. Follow the crew's extraordinary adventure, but be careful not to get in Kong's way!"
On arriving on the legendary and secluded Skull Island, actress Ann Darrow is menaced by native islanders before being rescued by Captain Englehorn. Ann is haunted by the memory of the experience before she is kidnapped by the natives and given to a beast called Kong, who takes her into the jungle just as the crew arrives to save her. The drooling ape then brings her to a spot in the jungle where she guesses he plans to eat her, but she escapes. Hearing gunshots in the brush, Ann runs toward them calling for Jack as Kong throws trees at her to prevent her from escaping him. After rolling down a hill, Ann finds herself cornered by the ape on a cliff. Kong grabs her and continues through the jungle until they are come upon by two Vastatosaurus rexes. Kong tries to choke one out, but fails. He puts Ann down to fight, and she makes an escape plan to exit the crumbling courtyard via a staircase, but while planning, Kong kills the dinosaur and begins preparations to eat it. Ann makes her escape despite the slimy giant insects blocking her path, but Kong soon slams his fists down to prevent her escape. The impact makes Ann fall down, which Kong finds amusing. Ann then performs many more falls until her body hurts, and she must finally tell Kong no. He is enraged and picks her up before gazing at her and allowing her to slide off of his hand before running away into the jungle. Elsewhere, Jack and the others continue through the jungle, felling a Brutornis along the way. However, on spying a plume of smoke from the village, Ann begins to make her way toward it before encountering another species of dinosaur, two of which begin to chase her. She dives under a tree for protection, and as she waits, a great V. rex eats one of the creatures, sending the other panicking into the jungle. Ann tries to run from the dinosaur, but it quickly bears down upon her. Luckily Kong arrives to save her, and is barely able keep her alive, at much expense to his personal health. However, the sound of gunshots sends Kong running into the jungle with Ann in hand while Jack opts to continue his search as the rest of the party returns to the village with Englehorn. As Kong carries Ann through the jungle, he slips into a ditch where he becomes aggressive toward a statue that Ann must show him is of another giant gorilla. Understanding it is not a threat, Kong takes off toward a mountain. About a thousand feet up, Kong defends Ann from an attacking Terapusmordax before arriving at his cave home at the summit. There she seeks shelter from another swooping bat before being frightened by a giant skeleton. Understanding that Kong had been alone for a very long time, she goes to join him on a cliff overlooking the jungle, where she tries to cheer him up. He however, invites her onto his palm, where he admires her before the two watch the sunset. Jack then arrives at Kong's lair to rescue Ann, who is sleeping in the great ape's palm. However, Kong wakes as a Terapusmordax flies overhead. Enraged, Kong grabs Ann and tries to stomp Jack into the ground. Jack manages to survive as Kong puts Ann down to fight off the swarming bats. Jack and Ann take the opportunity to escape, and begin to climb down from the cliff on a vine. Kong however, begins to reel them back up, but they latch onto a bat before floating down to a river below. They run back to the village, where Carl lowers the bridge for them before the sailors attempt to bring Kong down with a net and chloroform. However, his will to save Ann allows him to break out and continue pursuing the sailors to the coast. There he is hit with a harpoon and finally incapacitated. The king had become a captive.
Differences from the film
- All instances and depictions of human death are omitted from this version.
- Like most other tie-in material, this book features Kong defeating a V. rex by shoving a tree trunk through its throat.
- Several characters are omitted entirely, including Lumpy, Choy, Bruce Baxter, Preston, Benjamin Hayes, and Jimmy.
Characters and monsters
- King Kong
- Ann Darrow
- Jack Driscoll
- Carl Denham
- Captain Englehorn
- Vastatosaurus rex
- Piranhadon (mentioned)
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