Stars: 5 out of 5.
I watched the Netflix series based on these books and liked them, so I decided to check out the original works as well. Especially since there was a lot less backstory and worldbuilding in the tv series then I would have liked. Well, I’m glad I picked up the books, even if they are technically YA. This is quality storytelling, and I loved every minute of it.
I also noticed that while the tv series follow the first book almost word for word when it comes to the events that happen, they are a lot less effective at describing the character motivations. I honestly thought that Lockwood was a pretentious ass when I watched the series. And an ass who constantly puts others in danger to boot. Well, I’m glad to say that he isn’t like that in the books. Reckless, yes. Excitable – definitely. But also brilliant, smart, and with nerves of steel. I actually liked his character in the book while in the tv series I found him mildly irritating at best.
Same goes for George. The way he is and the way he behaves in the book is much more natural than how they portrayed him in the series. And I’m not against race-swapping characters, but they could have found an actor who fit George’s description a bit better. After all, the fact that he is overweight and not particularly handsome weights heavily on his character and his behavior. That’s where a lot of his insecurities come from. And that opportunity was completely lost in the tv series.
Also, is it me, or is the book a lot more scary and more… cinematic, shall we say? I mean the Red Room episode in the series just made me shrug, but when I was reading about it in the book, I literally had shivers. That whole night in the most haunted house in England was extremely well-written. And showed all the team members at their best, especially Lockwood and Lucy. The whole Annie Ward story was also better presented than in the TV series, in my opinion.
I also loved that we get a lot more backstory on the Problem and more examples of the Visitors, as well as how everyday life is in a world where nights aren’t safe, and ghosts that the majority of the population can’t see can still seriously harm and even kill them. I would like to know more about this. I also would like to know if this Problem is only local to England or if it spread to the rest of Europe as well. It was mentioned that it had started in London and was slowly spreading into more rural parts of the country over the last fifty years, so maybe it hasn’t made it across the Channel just yet.
I’m sure I will get answers to at least some of my questions if I continue with the series, which I most certainly will!