Fantasy Books That You Should Read Before They Hit The Big Screen
If like me you’re a shameless book worm, then you’ve probably been in that situation before, where you’re sat on the sofa after a long day of being awesome, and an advert pops on showing one of your favourite novels on the way to its movie debut. Most of the time, this is met with a mixture of nervous anticipation and anger – although we like the idea of seeing our beloved stories acted out in action-packed colour, we usually know that there’s simply no way the movie is going to be as good as the book. There are some movies adapted from books that are highly watchable, such as the Harry Potter series, The Princess Bride, Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit, but even these can’t really hold a candle to bringing the story to life with your own imagination when you read that iconic novel for the first time. A quick browse on the internet will inform you that there are plenty more of these adaptations to come, so if you want to get the best experience of some amazing stories, here are four books that I recommend you try out before you see them in the cinema.
Joe Hill has really begun to make a name for himself in the literature market, after his terrifying debut novel, Heart-shaped box; Hill uses Horns to provide readers with a funny, heart-felt and dark exploration of grief, love and that ever present battle between good and evil. Ignatius William Perrish, or Ig, as we come to know him, hasn’t had a great start in life. When his girlfriend was raped and murdered, he was originally accused of the crime, and as you can imagine, this turns his life somewhat upside down. One day, Ig wakes up with one hell of a hangover after a night of heavy drinking and ‘doing terrible things’ to find that he has somehow grown horns. Now these horns aren’t just there to make Ig look badass, they also serve to give Ig a brand new set of wicked powers. With the power of his mind, and a bit of concentration, he finds that he is able to make people admit to things, and not just what flavour of pie is their favourite – really intimate, I-can’t-believe-I-said-that, embarrassing details (A bit like the Green Clarinet from That Mitchel and Web Look). Obviously, this power becomes quite useful to Ig, who is still reeling over the loss of his childhood sweetheart, and dealing with the repercussions of everyone in his town, including his family, believing that he’s a murderer. Using his new paranormal powers, Ig sets out to hunt down his girlfriend’s killer, and in the process, the reader is treat with inappropriate admissions, hilarious circumstances and heart-breaking confessions. Horns is devilishly good read, with alluring, lovable characters and a storyline that will grab you from the very first pages. The movie version is set to star Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple, sometime towards the end of this year.
This book is a great option for those of you out there who loved reading or watching The Hunger Games franchise and is intended for a teenage market. The protagonist of The Maze Runner, Thomas, wakes up one day inside of an elevator, completely oblivious of everything except his own name. When the doors of the elevator open, he ventures out into a crowd of about sixty other teen males, who have been learning how to survive in an enclosed, harsh environment, surviving on supplies that they have gained from ‘below’. Every thirty days or so, a new boy emerges into the society, with the original group having spent the last two years in ‘the glad’ searching for a means to escape through the maze that encloses their living space. Obviously, after two years of pointlessly trying to get out, the boys are beginning to lose hope and settle down into their new life. However, when a young comatose girl is shoved into their world, bearing a strange note, things begin to change. Throughout the book, there are several fast-paced and exciting action scenes, with some nightmarish circumstances and likable protagonists to keep you interested. Curiosity is bound to keep you reading and if you’re a fan of dystopian literature, you’re going to enjoy this novel. The movie is set to be released in early 2014, starring Dylan O’Brien, Patricia Clarkson and Kaya Scodelario.
Sticking to the theme of dystopian societies, Divergent resonates closely with the ideas that you may have been introduced to by The Hunger Games franchise. The world of Divergent includes five factions and a daring teenager prepared to change the world, and the future. Free of the annoying love triangles and awkward romances that other books have attempted in this line of literature, Divergent provides you with a protagonist you can truly root for, in a world that absorbs you from the very first page. Each faction within Divergent has its own specific members, equipped with individual personality traits and qualities. A bit like the sorting hat in Hogwarts, when an individual turns sixteen they are forced to take an aptitude test that will determine which faction they should be best suited in. However, just because you ‘suit’ a faction, doesn’t mean that you have to pick that faction. Tris, referred to as a ‘divergent’ because she suits a number of factions, instead of just one, is faced with the difficult decision of choosing between the faction her family belongs to, or taking her own path, knowing that deserting her family will appear as the ultimate betrayal. Divergent is a fantastic read that will keep you gripped throughout, with exciting initiation trials, uncomfortable inter-faction relationships and action at every turn. Tris is an ambitious young woman, intelligent and highly likeable, that you can’t help but find yourself connecting with as the pages turn. Although this book is similar to Hunger Games in some ways, and you will find yourself making comparisons, it is different enough to keep you enthralled and engaged as you read. The movie is said to be coming out in the Spring of 2014, and should be starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet.