A Discovery of Witches: Book vs. TV Show

Every year, there is one of these book vs. TV show comparison posts among the most popular posts. I am so very glad you are enjoying them, because I so very much enjoy writing them. It’s been a while since I talked about this show, but here we go! I hope I remember everything correctly!

General Plot

It begins with absence and desire.
It begins with blood and fear.
It begins with a discovery of witches.

Diana Bishop, historian and reluctant witch, doesn’t realise that the book she just requested at the library will change her life forever. The volume has been lost in history, but for her it appears and reawakens magic she never knew she had in her. Now being sought out by the entire magical community, she finds herself enthralled with the supposed enemy, vampire genetecist Matthew Clairmont. As they slowly warm up to each other, it turns out their connection is far deeper than anyone could have foreseen.

TV Show

There was a lot of controversy when the show first aired, because how dare anyone release something in Europe months before it is coming out in the US. I, for one, didn’t think it was such a big deal, because what do you think anyone outside the US has to deal with when it comes to books, TV shows and movies 90% of the time? Anyway, my point is that there was a lot of buzz before it even aired and seen as it wasn’t on any of the traditional networks or streaming services, I feel like that was a good thing.

When I started that first episode, I was immediately enthralled with the show. The cinematography is one of the most beautiful ones out there, the pacing is slow but without making it seem like they are dragging things out and the chemistry between the main leads is just on fire. I will admit that the romance felt cheesy or like it was developing too fast and too intensely, but I just as equally have to say that I didn’t mind? There was a magical connection between them and as you go along with the show (or book for that matter), you’ll notice that Diana and Matthew were inevitable. So, yes, you do have the cliché vampire who stalks the pretty girl, but you also have a fascinating magical system behind it to back it all up. Lastly, I also really enjoyed the way they incorporated science into it all!

Another thing I really liked about the show was the fact that you didn’t just get a glimpse of the main couple and their lives, but all the minor and major characters that surrounded them. It made for a better whole picture and while there are still a lot of unanswered questions, you can see why certain characters did the things they did. Especially the daemons get a whole lot more attention on screen than they did in the books, where it mainly revolved around vampires and witches alone.

The show was renewed for season 2 and 3, which likely means they will film the trilogy as it was in the book, since they also stuck to the storyline of the first volume for the first season. This is good news, because it will mean that there will be a proper ending guaranteed.

Book

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)Contrary to the show, the book is entirely told from Diana’s perspective. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it left the motivation behind certain characters’ actions up to your imagination, while I prefer knowing how things come to be that way. Especially when we are talking bad guys, I like them to be more layered than just plain “I prefer the old way and that’s why you can’t do what you want to do” behaviour.

Still, overall I struggled a little bit with the book. It could stem from me not being used to long and detailed storytelling anymore (it’s a whopping 594 pages filled with different languages and historical accounts as well as architectural observations), but I also found Matthew’s and Diana’s behaviour a little more irritating. In that universe, witches are wild and stubborn, while vampires are territorial predators. It is like that in the show as well, but I feel like they managed to tone it down and made it less aggressive traits of the characters.

The beginning wasn’t adapted to the screen very faithfully, because there definitely wasn’t any vampire yoga class (which I found silly), but the second half of the book felt very accurately represented. There are still some changes that I am intrigued about, because they didn’t seem minor to me, but since the show continues, I am not worried it won’t be addressed. However, there was a certain magical ability, that I don’t want to spoil, featured on the show and I had hoped that I would find it more comprehensive once I read about it, but I still don’t understand it. Seen as they literally described it, I find it frustrating that I wasn’t able to grasp the concept fully. I still have so many questions.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! It took me about a year to finish the book, because some of the descriptions were tiresome and the characters felt a little more irritating to me, but in the end, I was just as intrigued by it all as I was with the show.

Conclusion

In general, I believe the show found a way to bring the book to life in a graceful and comprehensive way. There are a couple of plotholes here and there, but they aren’t limited to the screen adaptation in my eyes. So, I prefer to watch it all unfold beautifully, than to be confused by overly detailed descriptive text.


Have you read or watched A Discovery of Witches? Did you enjoy it? Let’s talk!

Halloween Creatures Book Tag!

It’s that time of the year again where pumpkins are everywhere (just fyi, my team partner and I won the pumpkin carving competition among the interns at my firm and I am low-key proud) and people dress up as all sorts of mystical beings for Halloween. Which is why it’s the perfect time to do the Halloween Creatures Book Tag that I was tagged for by the ever amazing Orang-utan Librarian!

RULES

  • Answer all prompts.
  • Answer honestly.
  • Tag 1-13 people.
  • Link back to this post.
  • Remember to credit the creator. (Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward)
  • Have fun!

Witch: A magical character or book

  A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)

I am honestly and unapologetically obsessed with the A Discovery of Witches TV show, so I picked up the book and it has so much magic that unfortunately cannot compete with the wonder that is the show, but I am still reading it …

Werewolf: The perfect book to read at night

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)I am confused … all books can be read at night? The last book I spent reading until somewhat 3 AM though was To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. That’s my answer even if I doubt that’s what this prompt was looking for.

Frankenstein: A book that truly shocked you

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1)There were parts of Sleeping Giants, I will most likely forever think “what the what now??”, especially when it comes to  some of the medical stuff.

The Devil: A dark or evil character

Annihilation (Southern Reach #1)It’s not so much a character as it is a whole strip of land, but Area X gives me some major evil vibes in Annihilation. I have rarely been this fascinated by something like it though. If the other books in the series were available with film tie-in as well, I would have binge-read the other books like there was no tomorrow.

Grim Reaper: A character that never should have died

The Glass Word (Dark Reflections, #3)I don’t even know if anyone knows the Dark Reflections trilogy, but in the final book there is a death that I shall never get over (but since I don’t want to spoil, I won’t name names).

Zombie: A book that made you hungry for more

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)I am pretty sure I am known for loving This Savage Song and it was just one of those books where I found a character I truly and honestly loved – August Flynn! He is my darling and adoptive son forevermore, but his world is also so very intriguing. I would have been down for copious amounts of more books in that setting rather than it just being a duology.

Gargoyle: A character that you would protect at all cost

I am going to refer to the previous answer here and say AUGUST FLYNN once more!

Vampire: A book that sucked the life out of you

This year, I read a book called Sweetbitter and I was so excited for it and the portrayal of the waiting staff at a restaurant but it was dreadful to read. It definitely felt like it took away some years of my life … in a not so great way.

Ghost: A book that still haunts you

The Night CircusContrary to Sweetbitter, this book haunts me in the best of ways – The Night Circus! It’s so magical and beautiful and intricate. You never understand everything that is happening, but you are enamored nonetheless. Can’t wait for some capable people to make this into a movie or show!

Demon: A book that really scared you

I am not even trying to be super dramatic but I honestly cannot think of a single book that really scared me, because then I most likely would have stopped reading it or never picked it up to begin with. I just don’t like being scared. (Annihilation probably came the closest though)

Skeleton: A character you have a bone to pick with

Iron Gold (Red Rising, #4)As much as I adore the entire Red Rising saga, I was just so mad at Darrow in Iron Gold sometimes. That boy was always reckless, but sometimes I just severely doubt his decision making skills. (not that I want to be the one making the decisions in his stead!)

Mummy: A book you would preserve throughout time

MomoIt’s strange that I only ever think of books from my childhood for these kind of questions but I think my answer might just be Momo. It would be so fitting as it deals with how we spend time and might not use it wisely.

Creepy Doll: A cover too scary to look at

Gonna steal the Orang-utan Librarian’s answer here and say it has to be the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series!

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1)

The Monster Mash- It’s fun to be with friends on Halloween! Tag your friends!

Seen as it is already Halloween and I am super late, I am going to leave it up to you if you want to do this tag or not. Consider yourself tagged!

This was my little contribution for Halloween. I hope you enjoyed the post and the monthly wrap-up should follow tomorrow! 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Supernatural & Magical Beings

You know the drill for the Top Ten Tuesday post, originally created by The Broke and the BookishThis week we got a Halloween-themed freebie and I have to admit that I am mostly at a loss when it comes to freebies. I always want to do something really creative and cool, but my mind is mostly blank. I don’t read any scary books, because I don’t like the feeling of being scared … So, all I could think of were books that included some sort of supernatural creature or magical being (be it vampire, ghost, werewolf, witch, fairy, etc.). Hope you enjoy!

top-ten-tuesday

1. The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare

Okay, so what do you want? Werewolves, faeries, vampires, demons, warlocks? You name it, because that book very likely has it!

2. The Magicians Series by Lev Grossman

There are a ton of fantastical creatures in the books that I did not know before, but they also have quite regular ones like demons.

3. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

I don’t know about you but the title already suggests werewolf and werewolf it is. If you continue with the series though, witches and the likes will appear.

4. The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris

Those are the books the TV show True Blood is based on. Vampires! ‘Nough said!

5. Witches of East End by Melissa De La Cruz

Okay, the title is obvious enough, right?

6. The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

You see me grasping at straws now …

7. The Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier

The book has ghosts in it, but they are not the real focus of the story.

8. Tithe by Holly Black

Faeries!!! Because well, the series called Modern Faerie Tales, but I haven’t read any of the other books.

9. Cirque du Freak Series by Darren Shan

Again vampires. There are a lot of books with vampires.

10. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

I just threw this in for the fun of it. There’s a sort of ghost in the story, but for the sake of not spoiling anyone, I am not going to say who it is!

I know, I know … I’ve done better and there were a ton of books I didn’t mention. What about Harry Potter or Vampire Academy you may ask? Well, I didn’t want to put in any books that I haven’t read. Now, please don’t shame me for not having read HP and tell me all about your TTT lists instead!

Let’s talk about Movies!

As my rate of blog posts was barely existing during the past month, I’ve neglected to mention a couple of movies I’ve watched. I don’t see the point of discussing them all at length now, but I’ll give you a short take on things (Spoiler-free unless noted otherwise) and I’d love to discuss with you in further detail in the comments! So, here we go:

Kingsman: The Secret Service

I’ve read the graphic novel before watching the movie and I was of the opinion that they’d never actually do the things that happened in the written version … but they did! A lot of the characters were changed to some extent, but the general storyline wasn’t so far fetched from the actual comic. With creators Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons being the brains behind Kick-Ass as well, I knew the movie would have quite violent tendencies, but I didn’t expect Kingsman to be the way it ended up being. It was both hilarious and shocking and a great cinematic debut for Taron Egerton. Also, it was awesome to see Colin Firth in such an action-packed role!

Fazit: laughworthy and enjoyable

 

Insurgent

They’ve changed a lot from the book and I don’t care whatsoever. I really enjoyed the book, but I kind of liked the movies better so far. Maybe it’s because I dread Allegiant and I am hoping that they’ll change the events of that one as well. Also, I have to add that I love Miles Teller in these movies! (Okay … not just in the Divergent-Series …) [SPOILER] On a side-note: the betrayal by Caleb felt more real in the book … just saying.

Fazit: really cool!

 

Eden

Why only talk about mainstream-stuff? Eden is a film by French film director Mia Hansen-Løve about the guys who didn’t become Daft Punk. It is apparently a sort of semi-biography of her brother Sven’s life. You probably can’t imagine much after that, but let’s just say it’s a film about music, the perfect mix between euphoria and melancholy without any apparent goal except portraying the ups and overweighing downs of DJ Paul’s life.

Fazit: lengthy but deeply impacting (at least on me) movie

 

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

This is an Iranian Western-vampire movie – says it all! If that doesn’t convince you to watch this unique work of art, then I don’t know how to help you … I watched it in its original language with subtitles and it was beautiful to witness. The music is chosen perfectly and it’s just so intense. Sometimes it feels a tad long, but you forgive it that little flaw easily. Some may compare it to Only Lovers Left Alive, although I would hesitate to call it that, it’s quite it’s own piece of work. I’m not too big of a fan of open ends, but here the conclusion was quite fitting.

Fazit: A must-watch for vampire fans!

 

Avengers: Age of Ultron

I wasn’t as impressed as I wanted to be. I liked the movie and it didn’t feel long at all, but it just didn’t throw me out of my seat either. Love Spader as Ultron and Paul Bettany as the Vision! I think they could’ve used the creepy version of the Pinocchio song more during the film. [SPOILER] I am not at all okay with them killing Quicksilver though, because I adore the Maximoff-twins. His death had absolutely no emotional impact on me, the scene was just void of any feelings. My heart broke for Wanda, but before that … I mean he even cracked a joke while dying. Are you serious? I am still secretly hoping that his fast metabolism somehow healed him or that Scarlett Witch will resurrect him like she did in the comics.

Fazit: Another great piece of the Marvel universe

 

That was long enough a post I think. Hope you enjoyed it nonetheless. What are your thoughts? Would you like to have me do that once a month or do you prefer the more detailed posts?

True Blood – Beginning of the End

There are so many vampire stories, and therefore TV shows and movies and books, out there; I doubt that one could know them all. Yet, True Blood has managed quite well throughout the past years and has now reached it’s 7th and final season on TV. I thought it would be fun to read the the 13th and final book Dead Ever After of the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris while simultaniously watching the final season on TV. I didn’t really take into account that I’d be finished with the book way earlier than I’d be finished with the show, but then again, the books and show aren’t that similar anyway.

I don’t know if there are still people out there who haven’t the faintest idea what True Blood is, but here are the most important pointers for you: True Blood takes place in a world where the existence of vampires is common knowledge and said vampires now have to deal with the repercussions of going public. The main characters though is Sookie Stackhouse, who’s not a vampire. She always had a special gift, being able to read other people’s minds, but she can’t do that with vampires. So, of course she falls in love with one of them and that gets the story starting. Then it turns out there are also all kinds of shapeshifters and werewolves etc. to make it more interesting.

As I’ve mentioned above, the books and the TV show are only mildly similar. They do have the same main characters and some of the occuring events are alike, but like most adaptations for TV, the show started to get it’s own life and spin on things. I can’t really say which series I prefer, because although I’ve read all the books (except for the 13th, which I am reading right now) I sort of got bored with them after … I don’t know … the fifth book. The storyline is just really reptetive, but the writing is fun, so that’s the reason I kept on reading. Unfortunately, Sookie just really started to get on my nerves, but then again she does the same in the TV show. But I’d definitely have to say that HBO did a great job adapting the show. Some people may have been a little shocked about some of the explicit scenes in season one, but my friends and I always say “It’s not porn. It’s HBO”. Another reason why I like the show is the amazing cast of True Blood including: Anna Paquin, Alexander Skarsgård, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Joe Manganiello, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Rutina Wesley, …

But I am not writing this post to just keep babbling on about the show. I actually wanted to talk a little about the first episode of the final season “Jesus Gonna Be Here” and the upcoming season in general. So, consider yourself warned! Spoilers ahead!

  • I know that a lot of people are probably sad that this season only has six episodes, but I am glad they’re keeping it short. Ever since Alan Ball left, I had a feeling of the show going downhill and I am glad they are concluding the story with this season and that they don’t uncessarily drag it out.
  • I was confused about Eric’s death last season. I love Alexander Skarsgård and I thought that his death scene really wasn’t what his character would have deserved. But then, I read that he was confirmed as a regular in season 7 (Yay!), and I can’t wait to find out what they have in store for him! I hope he’s not really dead and that he’s going to appear soon. I can’t stand to see Pam this sad and desperate to find him!
  • Well, Tara wasn’t in the season for long. We didn’t even see her death … I am disappointed …
  • I like Sookie and Alcide together. They always had such terrible timing, but they are so good together. I know that Bill or someone else will try to seperate them, but I hope that they’ll last.
  • I don’t know why HBO thinks that I won’t notice that they just exchange actors from one season to the next. I mean come on! I know that James wasn’t that important a character, but I still noticed! They already did it (a lot less subtle!) with Daario Naharis from Game of Thrones and I have to admit that it was for the better, but I liked the other James (Luke Grimes). I’ll probably adjust in no time to Nathan Parsons, because at least they look alike, but still … why do they keep doing that?
  • I can’t wait to see more of the relationship between Jess and Adilyn Bellefleur! She let her into the house and Adi drank Jess’ blood! So interesting!

There’s probably so much more to look forward to (What will happen to the hostages? Will Sam be a dad? …), but we’ll have to wait and see to find. If you want a little Teaser for the upcoming weeks though, watch the Trailer below!

What do you think? Have you read the books? Only watched the show? Both? What do you like more?

We Are The Night

we are the nightWe Are the Night is a vampire-thriller from Germany 2010. Since the market for vampire related movies and shows is pretty saturated, it is difficult to come up with something interesting yet still entertaining. We Are the Night has found a good balance between the emotional side of the story as well as the action-packed, cool side.

The movie revolves around a trio of female vampires on the one side and the relationship between a cop and a low-life criminal called Lena on the other side. When Lena unwillingly gets turned into a vampire as well, she has to deal with her new surroundings, powers and feelings.

I, personally, liked the story because it dealt with the different stages of lonliness and solitude every immortal being has to deal with, but didn’t just have the heavy emotional sides to it. Also, the dynamic between the actors is great, especially the one between Tom (Max Riemelt) and Lena (Karoline Herfurth). If you enjoy the general genre of vampire-stories, you should definitely check out We Are the Night. Further cast members are: Nina Hoss, Jennifer Ulrich and Anna Fischer.

Do you know the movie? Did you think it was a good take on vampirism or just another lame story?