Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies/TV Shows

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt is Ten Books I’d Love to See as Movies/TV Shows. Here’s what I came up with (in no particular order):

1) The Vampirates series – Justin Somper

I’m picturing this as a movie that eventually leads into a television series (kinda like what happened with Buffy the Vampire Slayer). From what I remember, the world is really well described, and it would be a perfect follow-up to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (are they ever going to stop making those movies??).

2) Every Breath – Ellie Marney

It’s the gritty YA book version of Sherlock, so it could just as easily be the gritty, YA movie version of Sherlock. The only problem is, I think a lot of Ellie Marney fans have their own perfect mental image of Mycroft, and I’m not sure any real life version would be able to compare.

3) The Artemis Fowl series – Eoin Colfer

There have been rumours of a movie adaptation since the first book came out (14 years ago!!). So far, that has not happened. I still remain hopeful that one day I’ll see Artemis, Holly, Butler, et al., on the big screen. And with all the special CGI effects they’re capable of these days, the underground world of the fair-folk would be glorious.

4) The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

Frankly, I’m surprised there isn’t already a movie. I think it might be in development, but no one’s been cast. I haven’t listened to the audio book version yet, but Andrew Scott (Moriarty from Sherlock) does the voice of The Man Jack, and now I can’t picture anyone else in the role.

5) The Marlowe School series – Daniel & Dina Nayeri

While I didn’t love the last book of the trilogy, and, frankly, all of the characters in the first book were terrible people, this could make a fascinating Supernatural-esque TV show. Sure, it would have to move away from the source material after a certain point, but don’t they always?

6) Masque of the Red Death – Bethany Griffin

After I read this, Vikki Van Sickle (who is an author and a very cool person in general) mentioned that she thought the setting would make a great amusement park. I completely agree, and I think it was atmospheric enough that it would make a creepy-cool movie (maybe combine it with the sequel?).

7) Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer – Jonathan L. Howard

Deals with the devil, charismatic vampires, a road show/circus – this book was so good, I’d love to see it as a movie! Plus, if it did well, there are currently three sequels to adapt!

8) The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

I don’t know how much of the novel would be lost in a movie adaptation, but it’s so beautifully described, set designers and special effects people would have a field day! I’m thinking Tim Burton as a director, but that’s just me.

9) Children of the Red King – Jenny Nimmo

Obviously this would be a children’s series, but how much fun would it be to follow Charlie on his adventures? I’m picturing an animated show, sort of similar to the weird Jacob Two-Two cartoon they made a few years ago.

10) Magonia – Maria Dahvana Headley

I want a movie just so I could see the costumes. Again, gorgeous descriptions would make it relatively easy to adapt, and it would be a refreshing change from all the John Green adaptations that are happening (not that I have anything against John Green, but still. Give the rest of the YA world a chance!).

That was hard work! Let me know in the comments any books you immediately thought of for this topic.

Another Pan/Another Jekyll, Another Hyde – Daniel and Dina Nayeri

As I mentioned last week, I was re-reading Another Faust so that I could finish the trilogy. This week, I read the two sequels: Another Pan and Another Jekyll/Another Hyde (hereafter known as Jekyll cuz I don’t feel like typing out the whole title every time).

“In this pulse-quickening sequel to ANOTHER FAUST, an ancient Egyptian spell is turning the tony Marlowe School into a sinister underworld. Will all hell break loose?

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Darling and her insecure freshman brother, John, are hitting the books at the Marlowe School. But one tome consumes their attention: THE BOOK OF GATES, a coveted Egyptian artifact that their professor father believes has magical powers. Soon Wendy and John discover that the legend is real—when they recite from its pages and descend into a snaking realm beneath the Manhattan school. As the hallways darken, and dead moths cake the floor, a charismatic new R.A. named Peter reveals that their actions have unleashed a terrible consequence: the underworld and all its evil is now seeping into Marlowe. Daniel Nayeri and Dina Nayeri return to reimagine Peter Pan as a twisty, atmospheric, and fast-paced fantasy about the perils of immortality.”

Having read all three in quick succession (so that I wouldn’t forget any of the minor plot details), Pan is my favourite. It’s partially the story itself, but it also has a lot to do with the way the characters draw parallels to the classic Peter Pan characters. I mean, Peter/Wendy/John are all pretty obvious (I always thought it was odd that they didn’t include the other brother Michael, but I guess it would been more complicated and not necessarily in a good way). But then there are the others:

Tina, Peter’s tiny, feisty, jealous and loyal female friend (i.e. Tinkerbell); Simon Grin, one of the antagonists, with a loud ticking watch who is described, on more than one occasion, as having a “crocodile smile”; and – the main villain of the piece – Peter’s childhood nanny with the hook hand.

Brilliant, right? I loved it.

Plus, the Egyptian mythology was an interesting touch and was incredibly detailed. It almost made me wonder if there really are stories about bonedust.

 Technically Pan can be read as a companion book, but I definitely recommend re-reading (or at least reading a summary) of Another Faust before tackling Jekyll.

“An elusive stalker is targeting Marlowe kids — and something unearthly has gotten into its wealthiest student — as the Another series builds up to a fiendish finale.

When his billionaire father marries French governess Nicola Vileroy, high society is all abuzz — but Thomas, the most popular student at Marlowe, is just plain high. Ever since his girlfriend Belle dumped him, he’s been spending less time with old friends and more time getting wasted at clubs. But after someone slips him a designer drug one night — and his stepmother seems to know way too much about his private life — things really start to get scary. As Thomas’s blackouts give way to a sinister voice inside his head, and as news of a vicious hate crime has students on edge, Thomas comes to the sickening realization that Madame Vileroy has involved him in a horrifying supernatural plan. How can he muster the strength and will to stop it? The pulse-quickening climax revisits Jekyll and Hyde as a current-day cautionary tale laced with a heady dose of paranormal intrigue.”

Of the three, Jekyll is the only one whose original source material I’ve never read (though I’ve always wanted to read it). And, while it was as captivating as its predecessors, I felt it was lacking something.

 Maybe it was just overload from reading the three books so close together which meant that whenever the characters referred to an event from one of the previous volumes, I would sigh and skim over that paragraph. I also thought there were some questions that were left unanswered (it was the shortest of the three books, so maybe?). And I sort of think that it would have been better if it had been told from first person perspective – so that you could really get into Thomas’ mind and start to see Hyde’s presence (the short diary-like entries at the beginning of each chapter were the parts I found the most fascinating).

Also, I wasn’t a huge fan of Thomas. He waffled between oblivious and observant in that annoying way that makes you think the authors were just trying to wrap things up in the simplest way possible (I can’t complain, I probably do the same thing).

Overall, it was an enjoyable trilogy. I liked how they changed the additional content at the beginnings/ends of chapters in each novel: Faust had short anecdotes about other devilish bargains, Pan ended each chapter with a different character’s “happy thought”, Jekyll had diary entries (mainly from Thomas, but there were a handful from Nicola Vileroy as well). The series had gothic elements and an abundance of literary allusions (resident goth girl Marla’s last name is Harker? Genius!) that appealed to my pretentious side (I am an English major, after all. Literary allusions are kind of my thing). It wasn’t your typical YA novel* and that’s a good thing.

*I don’t mean to offend, I’m saying this as a longtime YA fan who has the utmost respect and admiration for YA authors and YA fiction in general.

Another Faust – Daniel and Dina Nayeri

I almost wrote a Music Monday blog until I remembered today is actually Friday!! Yay!!

Last week, I finished re-reading Another Faust:

another-faust-book-cover

A devilish debut by a brother-sister team invites us into the world of the elite Marlowe School, where some gifted students are having a hell of a year.

One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish — only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city’s most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor’s extraordinary “gifts.” But as the students claw their way up — reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty — they start to suffer the side effects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins. At once chilling and wickedly satirical, this contemporary re-imagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.”

I read it when it first come out a few years ago, but I recently bought the third (and possibly final?) book in the series and decided to re-read the first two (I’m about 1/4 of the way through Another Pan).

I’ve always been a fan of “fractured fairy tales”, and I remember being intrigued by this one because by the time it came out, I had read two versions of the Faust legend in school: Goethe’s Faust and Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus (so of course, as soon as I read that their school was called Marlowe, I was all, “I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE, GUYS, AND I APPROVE”).

It’s an interesting read and not a typical YA novel…and that’s a good thing.

The five children are each given gifts by their governess Madame Vileroy who is literally the devil: Victoria reads minds, Valentin “erases scenes” aka time-travels, Christian steals other people’s powers/strengths, Belle uses a mask of beauty to seduce, and Bice (Belle’s twin sister) “hides” by stopping time (freezing everyone else while she goes on living). The point is that all the children were desperate enough to sell their souls in exchange for what they wanted most – all of them, except Bice, the only innocent, who is not aware of Madame Vileroy’s real identity (neither is Christian because as a child, he began to re-think his decision, and so he and Bice were brainwashed into accepting their new lives without question).

It’s a little complicated to summarize the plot without giving too much away. The different story lines and narratives weave together to form a fascinating look at the children’s motives and goals. It’s descriptive without being tedious, though there were some points where I wanted a little more explanation.

I admit that the characters are hard to relate to. I guess Bice – as the innocent one – is supposed to be the most sympathetic. And there are parts where you feel bad for her when you realize that she has no real memories of her life before Vileroy, but is content to have her sister around, despite Belle selfishly hiding the truth, even when Bice starts to ask questions. But then, at the same time, Bice uses the gift Vileroy gave her and doesn’t seem to think twice about it – until she realizes that her siblings have become more intense and focused than they were before (particularly Victoria who was abhorrent). Plus Bice’s gift confused me the most, and that was a part that I thought needed more development (or at least, further clarification).

I personally enjoyed Another Faust, but it’s definitely not a light-hearted beach read. It requires some thinking and – if you’re anything like me – a lot of close-reading/analysis so that you can find all the literary/historical allusions. It was a bit slow-going at first, but it was all set-up so halfway through the book, it picked up speed which resulted in a mad dash to the finish line.

Speaking of the ending, it was insane – it happened really fast and, while the authors did a great job of painting the scene, I remember reading it the first time a few years ago and not fully understanding what happened. Even this time around, it took me a while to figure out what they were trying to tell me.

I’m hoping to finish both Another Pan and Another Jekyll/Another Hyde (can you guess what stories those two books re-imagine?) in time for next week’s Fiction Friday, but we’ll see.