Sometimes I have a debate about whether I prefer the Star Wars films or the books. However, when it comes to The Attack of the Clones, the novelisation wins hands down. Salvatore manged to do in the book what they completely failed to do in the film: he managed to make Padme into more than just a love interest there to fulfil the requirements of the prequels.
The book begins about four or so chapters before the film does, and the majority of that extra story is Padme’s. She is a busy professional woman, who sees her family when she can, and is being pressured by her family to consider herself and her needs. Admittedly, I’m not keen on that pressure stating that the only way she could possibly be fulfilled in life is to have a family, rather than perhaps a less demanding but equally fulfilling professional career, but that is beside the point.
By the time Padme see Anakin again, she is already thinking that she needs to think about herself and her life beyond her job. Many of my problems with the film, which I go into detail about in my review, stems from a strong female character having to be compromised in order to fulfil a key plot point. Padme seemingly falls in love with Anakin purely because she had to for the plot (or to avoid a much darker plot having to be shown if she didn’t love him and then have children with him anyway.)
The novelisation brings depth to a brilliant character in the way the film failed to do on so many levels. It also makes the plots of Darth Sidious and Count Dooku even better than in the film; there is a lot more mystery behind the revelations that Obi-Wan reveals, and the suspense will keep you turning the page.
This novelisation is highly recommended as it is so much better than the film, purely because it has a great deal more respect for all the characters.