Hi everyone! In a surprise to exactly no one, today’s Book Vs Movie is actually a Book Vs TV as I’ll be talking about Netflix’s adaptation of Shadow and Bone (and to a limited extent Six of Crows) as like many of you I’m sure, I binged it over the past weekend.
So the show largely focuses on the characters of Six of Crows rather than the plot of the book (since Shadow and Bone is set several years before and the show combines the Crows into the Shadow and Bone plot) but I’ll talk about my thoughts on both. I read Six of Crows before Shadow & Bone, in 2017, and I really enjoyed it, I loved the characters and the world and though the story had its pacing problems, it was still a really engaging read.
Shadow and Bone on the other hand, I felt a little more lukewarm about. It’s clear that Bardugo has improved a lot since her debut, and whilst Shadow and Bone wasn’t a bad book, it felt a lot like all the other fantasy books which were published at the same time. Alina wasn’t as fun a protagonist as the Crows and like Six of Crows, it was kind of slow to get going and the payoff wasn’t as good.
Here are my full reviews of both books if you want to see my more detailed thoughts:
I was a little worried when I heard that they were going to adapt Six of Crows and Shadow and Bone together, as I couldn’t really see how they were going to overlap the two stories, given that Six of Crows takes place in a different part of the world and takes place several years after the end of the events of the Grisha trilogy. I have to say though, I was really pleasantly surprised! I thought the crossover worked well, having the Crows integrated into the Shadow and Bone story made me enjoy it more than I did in the book and the way they did it made a lot of sense (having the Crows be on a job to “steal” Alina). The Nina and Matthias story didn’t fit quite as naturally, I understand why they wanted to have their backstory in the first series, but if you hadn’t read the book, then I imagine you’d be wondering why the show kept cutting to the pair of them. I loved the cast, I thought they all did a really good job with their characters (Jesper, Nina and The Darkling were particular standouts to me, but I loved everyone). I actually wish they’d had a couple more episodes as I think things were rushed a little in the last two episodes! It was clear though that the creators really loved the books, and were faithful to them and the characters whilst also doing something new which I loved.
TV or Book Judgement:
This is a really tough one because there are a few things I would have liked to see more of from the Crows’ backstories, but as the series is mostly based on Shadow and Bone, I would say I enjoyed the TV series more! I think having the Crows integrated into the Shadow and Bone story really lifted it up for me, and that Jessie Mei Li and Archie Renaux as Alina and Mal made me like both characters more than I did in the book. Also Ben Barnes as The Darkling? Perfection. I really hope they get many more seasons of the show, because I can’t wait to see Nikolai and I would love to see the Crows’ stories from the books on screen.
That’s it for this month’s Book Vs Movie, I will be back next month with another Book Vs TV, talking about Good Omens and its TV adaptation.