I know this one is really late. But with the movie now out for a month I figured it would be safer to review it now without any fears of spoilers being given away. That said it could also be due to the fact that this book has none to give away.
I'll skip repeating the plot since it's the same plot as the movie. So what does this novelization have to offer the reader looking for more answers or extra scenes, tidbits, etc? Nothing. Yep for those looking for some of those extra scenes that sometimes pop up in novelizations of films-like Biggs Darklighter's visit to Luke in the Star Wars novelization-writer Stuart Moore has basically Xeroxed the script for the film and has added zero new material. In fact the only things I found out was that some of the Zodangans served Sab Than's father and that John's Earth wife actually has a name-Sarah (as for the poor kid, she didn't even get a name). Elsewhere it's just a rote replay of the events of the movie without much explanation or anything else. In short those hoping for a more in depth look into the character of John Carter or hoping to understand WTF the Therns' real goals were-outside of shape shifting and Matai Shang's Ming the Merciless act-better look elsewhere.
Is there anything to recommend? Well there's some nice pictures included of the characters. And as a bonus the book does include Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars. Yep so you can compare and contrast Burroughs' "I still live" Carter vs. Stanton's "I don't care for your princess, just my cave of gold" Carter. Personally I like the former version better.
So there it is. I guess if you're a fan looking for collectibles related to the movie you'll want to get this. For everyone else just skip it and either rewatch the movie (if it's still in a theater near you), wait for the Blu-Ray or DVD or better yet just reread Burroughs. Rating: * out of 4 stars.