Lately some of the books we have read are being turned into TV shows and we couldn’t be happier about it. Here’s three that will be hitting the airwaves in the next couple of years.
The first being The Raven Cycle by Stacks Fave Maggie Stiefvater. It’s still in development but making progress. It’s found a home on Syfy with Catherine Hardwick of Twilight fame at the helm. Now this series is perfect for a series. There is really just too much for a movie. Too much of it’s weirdness and nuances would have to be cut out to make it fit into a two hour movie. As a TV show, we can get all the adventures of Blue and the Raven boys and also expand on the people of Henrietta. I’m particularly hopeful they dip deeper into the ladies of 300 Fox Way. I’ve been dying to know more about Maura, Calla and Persephone. Like how did they even meet?
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor has been optioned by HBO and produced by George R.R. Martin. This is exciting because it takes place in a post-nuclear-holocaust Africa meaning an all black cast. Yeah diversity on TV! I’m not sure how this will play as a TV series. It wasn’t a very long book but plenty of room to expand on the universe. Go more into Onyesonwu’s people and the conflict between the Okeye and Nuru. If you are squirmish about some of the violence in Game of Thrones this is going to be any better. There were several scenes in the book that were very hard for me to read. I’m not sure how they are going to do them on TV, even if it is HBO. I can definitely tell you that there will be nothing like this on TV and the fact that HBO and George R.R. Martin are taking it on is impressive. Almost makes you forget that they are also trying to make a TV show about the Confederacy. Almost
Who Fears Death maybe produced by George R.R. Martin and HBO but in my mind N.K. Jemisin’s novel The Fifth Season is probably closer to Game of Thrones in scale of epic story telling. The Hugo winning novel was picked up by TNT earlier this week. I’m not even sure how they will be able to present this on screen without giving too much away. It also means more diversity on primetime television as the main characters are all women of color. If this done right it’s going to be impressive. This also reminds me I better get on to reading book two in the Broken Earth series, The Obelisk Gate.
It’s a rare thing for me to start a series after all the books have been released. It’s kinda of thrilling to be able to read from beginning to end without having to wait years to finish. So with that in mind, I’m going to one big review after I have completed the trilogy. However I do have some thoughts. Lately, we have seen how some dystopian and fantasy novels could be prophetic, this is kind of a terrifying thought. The Tearling was founded by people escaping to the New World because the America we know had fallen in disrepair. The gap between the rich and poor had widen so far that there was no middle class left. Cities were nothing more then slums. Food was scarce. Martial law was enacted and women were forced out of the workforce to become mothers and housewives. So they sailed across the ocean, to where we don’t know where, looking for better lives only to losing all our advancements in medicine and technology. Basically the Tearling have traveled back to the Middle Ages and three centuries, Kelsea has inherited a Kingdom that is illiterate, sick, poor and at the Mercy of the Mortemense, the more powerful nation across the border. The Mort is ruled by the Red Queen, who is just a mysterious as she is terrifying. Kelsea, only 19 but is brave in her convictions. She knows her life may be short but she still sets out to do what’s best for her people, even if it means going against the Red Queen and her more advanced army. It is an intriguing start to the series and I’m already enjoying book two.
I can’t believe that I haven’t written about this series yet. It’s one of my favorite series to go back and read. In particular, it’s my go-to series when I’ve finished one book but the book I want to read next is coming in a couple of days. (Like for instance, I’ve finished My Lady Jane but A Court of Wings and Ruin, The Dark Prophecy and Always and Forever, Lara Jean comes out of Tuesday) I usually don’t want to start a new book that I might not finish before they come out so Unearthly or one if it’s sequels, Hallowed or Boundless because I’ve read them so many times, I can skip over parts or not feel bad if I don’t finish. It’s a romance, it’s a comedy. It has some action! and it has one of the most swoon worthy love interest of any teen novel. Unearthly is about Clara, a half human half angel, who moves with her family to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to fulfill her purpose. All Angelbloods, as they are known, are put on this earth to carry out some divine purpose. For Clara it starts when she starts having visions about meeting a boy her age in the woods during a forest fire and wouldn’t you know that guy is super dreamy too. Christian is the guy in high school that every girl has a crush on and every boy wants to be. However, he’s the guy that makes me swoon. That title guys to the other love interest. Tucker Avery. Tucker Avery is a cowboy. He wears cowboy boots and hat. He rides in rodeos and is very outdoorsy. He would be the perfect boyfriend. They relationship starts off in the stereotypical bickering back and forth before they realize how much they love each other. Aww.
I would say the real theme of the series is fate and destiny and how much control do we have over our future. Clara is not your normal teenager. She has Angel blood in her and because of that is she expected to carry out her purpose. At first she is all about it. If it means getting to know Christian, the hot boy is school, she is all for it but what does divine really want from her. Is she only supposed to save Christian from the forest fire? Are they supposed to be a couple? Is God trying to set her up on a date? She discovers that finding out her purpose in life is not that easy and only gets more complicated when a.) she starts to fall in love with Tucker and b.) she finds out that she has more in common with Christian then she thought. How much about her future does she get the decide and how much of it has already been planned for her. She is impulsively drawn to Christian but is that because she is supposed to because of her purpose or does she really have feelings for him and him for her? And if she is supposed to be with Christian then why does she fall in love with Tucker. (because he’s perfect! but I digress)
All the while she’s trying to find out why she was put on this earth and fighting evil Angels, she still has to dodge of the landmines of attending high school. Taking test, finding new friends and keeping them. Going to Prom. It’s not easy but an Angelblood in high school. Clara is able to navigate all of these things thanks to other awesome character, Angela, another Angelblood. Together help each other to figure out each other purposes and the other mysteries of being half angel. Their friendship is one of those great but sadly rare in fiction, solid friendships between two girls. They truly love and support each other throughout the everything. Yes, they have their disagreements but when it matters, they are there for each other. They push each other to be better. Challenge each other to learn and know more about who they are and what they are supposed to. There really should be more relationships like this featured in YA novels. Too often female friendships get pushed aside once the heroine starts a relationship. But then again, Angela is not someone who would ever let a boy become between her and her best friend. So yes, go read this series. It’s the perfect weekend getaway book. Just don’t let the cheesy covers scare you away.
This was a very interesting book. I can see why it won so many awards. It is beautifully written and has a well crafted world that brings you in. That being said, I did find it hard to get into at first. I think it had to do with the sort of complicated world the characters inhabit and having three different narrators that seem to living in the same nation but not at the same time. As one is living at the end of the world, while the other two are not. Once I was able to grasp that the timelines of the three narrators were different, it made it much easier to enjoy the storytelling. The story begins as Essun, is mourning the loss of his son who was murdered by her husband for being an Orogene. Orogenes are powerful beings that can derive power from the earth but are feared for this power because it’s unpredictable and can destroy as easily as it can save. Damasaya is also an Orogene, who has been locked in her families barns after she was discovered. And finally Syenite, a powerful orogene who has been given two different assignments that involve the most powerful orogene in the world. Each narrator is different. Damasaya is young and unsure of her future as she is afraid of who she is while Syenite is the opposite. She knows exactly who she is and how good she is. She is confident in who she is and ambitious to boot. Essun is definitely a woman who has seen and knows way too much. She is strong but even the strongest of us breaks. When her husband kills her son and possibly her daughter she is at a loss. Soon revenge becomes her only motivating factor. Essun’s story is also effected by the beginning of the Fifth Season. Every so often the Earth turns against the people and sets off catastrophic natural disasters. Some season’s last years while some last decades. It’s clear to Essun that this season is going to last centuries. So she sets off to find her husband while knowing the world is ending soon. Syenite and Damasaya are not experience the same end of the world troubles that Essun is and at first this was confusing since both were headed towards or living where the disaster had occurred. This was what made me think that the narratives were not all happening at the same time. The narrators do not seem to have much in common beyond they are all women and orogenes but it when it’s revealed what there relationship it was a gut punch. I didn’t see it coming. I think that is because it’s so well written. You could literally get lost in the writing as N.K. tells these women’s stories. They all have such hard struggles as they live and work in a very rigid society. People of this world are separated into different Comm names and it defines who they are what they do. If you don’t fit in a Comm you are in trouble when the seasons come. They all must try to do their best to find their own voice while still playing by the rules and of course there are far more rules for women. So even though it’s a fantasy novel, it’s still very much set in real life too.
I knew this before but my Mom has good taste because this book was delightful. Charley Davidson is not just a Private Investigator, she’s also a Grim Reaper. Sorry, not just a Grim Reaper, she’s THE Grim Reaper. Which isn’t such a terrible job one might imagine. She just helps the departed cross over to the other side. Also being the Grim Reaper and a PI, she is also her detective uncle’s secret weapon when it comes to solving crimes since she can see the dead and you know, ask them who killed them. It sort of cheating but whatever. When we meet Charley, she’s been called by her Uncle Bob to help her with a new homicide. It soon develops into more then just a simple triple homicide but something all together. Too complicate things even more, Charley has been having these super realistic dreams that may not be something more supernatural. Charley now in a race of time to solve a mysterious deaths of her dead clients, figure out her dreams and stop people from trying to kill her over and over again. Charley is smart, funny and sarcastic. My kind of person. The cast of characters are fun and fill out the story but Charley is the real star of the story. She is strong and independent but still carries the scars of years people thinking she was crazy but it doesn’t stop her from keep trying to help people, dead or alive. There is one case in here that is truly sad and heartbreaking and you really feel for not only Charley who truly felt she was helping but for her client as well. Sadly, just like in real life not everything turns out the way we want them too. That said, I’m really looking forward to the next book. If anyone is on the fence about this one, I say just jump in! Especially fans of Sookie Stackhouse. There may not be Vampires, Werewolves and such but fill of supernatural beings, colorful cast of characters and wonderful female protagonist.
After I finished reading Empire of Storms, I decided to go back and read the prequel novellas as many of the characters we meet in these stories make appearance and play a role in the final book to come out next year. It’s very common for authors to publish novellas or short stories in connection with successful series. Most of the time they have little consequence to the actual narrative of the series themselves. They are just a fun story about the time before, or another character’s perspective. The further I got into Empire of Storms and the big reveals starting to come out, I realized that I these novellas were more important then I originally thought. The end was blending of Aelin’s present with Celaena’s past. If Aelin is going to defeat Erawan and reclaim her crown in Terrasan she is going to have call in all of Celaena’s favors. And so I went back and bought all the novellas. The five novella’s The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, The Assassin and the Healer, The Assassin and the Desert, The Assassin and the Underworld and The Assassin and the Empire tell the story of the months that lead her to be arrested and sent to Endovier where we meet her in the Throne of Glass that starts everything in motion. All five novellas were collected together and later published under the named The Assassin’s Blade.
The novella’s we see Celaena in her full Adarlan’s Assassin glory. She is the most feared assassin in the land and she knows it. As Arobynn Hamel’s protege she is at the top of her game, when she is sent to the Skull’s bay to meet with Captain Rolfe, the Pirate Lord. When she finds out that her master is going into the Slave business, she defies him for the first time. With the help of fellow assassin Sam Cortlandt she not only saves the slaves Arobynn was trading but all the slaves. All good deeds don’t go unpunished. She is severely punished and sent to the desert to learn from the Mute Master of the Silent Assassins. Here she meets Ansel of Briarcliff, her first real female friendship and new skills. Upon her return Arobynn gives her a mission that she can’t refuse but it ends up in even bigger betrayal that she pays off her and Sam’s debt’s and leaves Arobynn behind. Celaena and Sam have fallen in love and plan to Rithfold behind but not before they do one last job. This leads to tragedy and ultimately what leads to the beginning of the series. Caleana’s exploits are alluded too in the earlier books but didn’t really have much to do with the actual plot until our heroes make their way to Skull’s Bay to try to convince Captain Rolfe to join their cause. Since the last time Aelin was there, she destroyed the docks and ended the very profitable slave trade for the Pirate King. So, not the best impression to leave on the a possible ally. The Pirate Lord and Ansel have been mentioned before but in passing. I used to think it was just a wink to not only Celaena’s past but also to all those readers who read the novellas but both Rolfe and Ansel play a pivotable role in Aelin’s plans to win the war. The stories gives us a sense about who Celaena was before the action of the series and how deep the scars run for her. From the books, we know how complicated her relationship with Arobynn is but since it all happened before the action of the series we didn’t get see how toxic it truly was. We also get to know Sam. His death is major part of Celaena’s story arc in the first two books. It’s what haunts her and motivates her to seek out Arobynn for the truth. These are some of the rare series novellas that actually further the series plot and for that for fans of the Throne of Glass series, it’s worth reading all the novellas.