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


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.

Johannes Cabal: The Detective – Jonathan L. Howard

Last month, I read the fantastic first Johannes Cabal book, The Necromancer, and yesterday I finished the sequel, The Detective.

“Johannes Cabal returns in this fearfully funny and terrifically twisted tale of murder and international intrigue . . . five thousand feet off the ground.
When an attempt to steal a rare book turns sour, Johannes Cabal, a necromancer of some little infamy, finds himself in a foreign prison awaiting execution. A crafty plan — as horrific as it is cunning — allows him to steal the identity of a government official and make his escape aboard a luxurious aeroship heading out of the country. But what should be a perfect getaway rapidly becomes complicated by the bizarre disappearance of a passenger, an attempt on Cabal’s life, and an unwelcome face from the past. Trapped aboard with a killer, can even Cabal’s open-razor of a mind save him?
Full of twists, turns, sword fights, archenemies, newfangled flying machines, narrow escapes, and, of course, resurrected dead, Johannes Cabal’s latest eldritch escapade is a Ruritanian romp from first to last.”

While I enjoyed this book, it fell into that sequel-trap where, upon finishing, I thought: “it was good, but not as good as the first one”. I definitely liked the plot of the first one more (who doesn’t love a good old fashioned carnival of damned souls?), which is not to say that I didn’t like this one. I just didn’t like it as much.

One of the highlights of the series is the writing style. Howard impressively balances humour and seriousness, inserting jokes and quips in between mysterious cases of probable suicide and attempted murders. There are times when a joke would seem misplaced or ill-timed, but Howard seamlessly makes it work (dry British wit at its absolute best).

I did feel like it was harder to get into: not hard, so much as it didn’t catch me quite as quickly as the first one did, particulary when I realized that the plot was driven by foreign politics (I barely understand real life politics, you want me to figure out what’s going on in made-up countries?). With the first one, I knew within two pages that it was going to be GRRREAT, but with this one…well, I had high expectations and I was a little concerned that they wouldn’t be met.

I liked the steampunk edge, yet – despite the endlessly helpful diagrams of the two aircrafts – I was still a little confused with some of the technological jargon (I don’t think I’ve ever read anything “steampunk” before, though the subgenre fascinates me).

And, while I appreciated the larger role the returning character played (it was unexpected but well-done) – MINOR SPOILER – I was a little disappointed at the lack of Horst, Johannes’ brother, who was one of my favourites in The Necromancer. Plus Horst still had so much backstory left to discover, I’d have liked to see him again (I’m hoping he’s in the third one).

It’s definitely worth the read, especially if you read – and loved – the first one like I did. Even though the middle seemed to drag for a while (I found myself thinking “SOLVE THE MURDER ALREADY” a couple of times, but that could just be because I’m impatient), the unique narrative voice is enough to keep you reading all the way through. Especially that doozy of a last chapter! I may have started work 20 minutes late because I couldn’t close the book without finding out how it ended so take it from me: once you hit the 3/4 mark of the novel, don’t commit to reading if you’re planning on going somewhere soon.

Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer – Jonathan L. Howard

Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer

“A charmingly gothic, fiendishly funny Faustian tale about a brilliant scientist who makes a deal with the Devil, twice.  
Johannes Cabal sold his soul years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. Now he wants it back. Amused and slightly bored, Satan proposes a little wager: Johannes has to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever. This time for real. Accepting the bargain, Jonathan is given one calendar year and a traveling carnival to complete his task. With little time to waste, Johannes raises a motley crew from the dead and enlists his brother, Horst, a charismatic vampire to help him run his nefarious road show, resulting in mayhem at every turn.”

You know when you start a book and two pages in, you stop and think “this is going to be AMAZING”? Yeah, that’s what happened with Johannes Cabal. Honestly, who doesn’t love a good tale of Faustian bargains?

I knew it was going to be fantastic as soon as I saw the table of contents which includes chapter titles such as “in which a scientist visits hell and a deal is struck” (chapter 1) and – my personal favourite – chapter 8: “in which Cabal is educated in business affairs and undertakings are undertook”.

From Cabal’s first meeting with Satan to his follow-up appointment in Hell a year later (not really a  spoiler, how else did you expect Satan to know that Cabal kept his end of the deal?), the writing is witty, descriptive, eloquent (I occasionally needed a dictionary – yay for building vocabularies!), and compelling. I had a hard time putting it down when reading before work.

There were so many sarcastic and well-crafted lines, I can’t really pick a “favourite” moment (I laughed out loud a couple of times), but here is just one example of the charming humour you’ll find:

“Despite there not being another vehicle on the road for as far as the eye could see, the postman slowed, checked both ways, and signalled before joining the main road. A place where bicyclists – postmen to boot – obeyed the laws of the road. Cabal had seen many strange things in his life, of which the walking dead were the least. He’d run for his life from the guardians of Solomon’s Key, avoided the attentions of the gargoyle Bok, and studied, although been careful not to blow, a bronze whistle upon which the words ‘QUIS EST ISTE QUI VENIT’ were deeply inscribed. None of these, however, had filled him with such a sense of hidden threat and foreboding as this polite and cheerful postman”(p199).

(I googled the Latin phrase – allusions galore!).

In short: it was fabulous. Please read it as soon as possible. Also, I just learned there are two sequels, so colour me stoked!