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review 2018-04-03 22:45
Pretty good as novelizations go
Wonder Woman: The Official Movie Novelization - Nancy Holder

I think that writing a really good novelization is becoming a lost art.  But Nancy Holder knows what she is doing.  This is everything a good novelization should be.


The novel, obviously, follows the plot and action of the recent Wonder Women movie.  The motivations and thoughts of several characters are fleshed.  Importantly, there are three Amazons that Diana particularly admires - her mother, her aunt (aka her other mother), and Artmis (who is the black Amazon that Diana spars with in the movie).  This is cool.  I also highly enjoyed Diana's thoughts on Etta.  There are some really wonderful passages, like young Diana's desire to fight peacocks.  One improvement over the movie is the story of the Amazon's birth and the fight with Ares.  Holder has both Antiope and HIppoytla tell Diana the story.  I like Holder's staging of the story much better.


Incidentally, there was some comment about Diana's interaction when she meets Chief - the use of Blackfoot language is kept without a translation (it's easily enough to find out what is being referred to online).  I really loved that touch.  

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review 2018-03-16 05:58
Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal
Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: The Novelization - Jim Henson;A.C.H. Smith

Full disclosure: At least one full star of my rating is because this was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid and my nostalgic love for it in all forms is strong. If I make an attempt to be objective, I have to admit that the book is a tad on the dry side, and some of the descriptions seem out of place and serve little purpose. Aside from that, the story benefits a great deal from being told in novel form.


You know that bone-dry “Jen is the chosen one” expositional voice-over at the start of the movie? Not here! Those confusing rituals of the Skeksis and Mystics (actually called urRu and never referred to as Mystics in the book)? Explained! All that Skeksis political positioning following the death of the emperor? Also explained in greater detail with a clear delineation of factions! I don’t know how many people care about Skeksis politics, but all of that palace intrigue in the movie makes a hell of a lot more sense to me now, so I’m glad it’s covered. My next viewing of the movie will be enhanced as a result of reading the book.


This hardcover includes the extensive editorial notes Jim Henson sent Smith after reading the novel’s first draft. While interesting, this section is super dry. Don’t go in unless you’re well hydrated. Also included are a bunch of Brian Froud’s conceptual sketches strewn randomly throughout the book instead of all together at the back in a civilized appendix. Someone in the layout department at Archaia thinks interrupting the story with sketches of usually unrelated subjects is a great idea, apparently.


In closing: Fizzgig Forever. ♥


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review 2018-03-13 07:43
Jim Henson's Labyrinth
Jim Henson's Labyrinth: The Novelization - A.C.H. Smith,Brian Froud,Jim Henson

I think this is one of those “if you love the movie, you’ll love the book” things. In fact, I don’t think I’d recommend reading the book without seeing the movie first. Several times. A.C.H. Smith tries his damnedest (and does pretty well), but some things about Labyrinth just defy description in print. You’re better off going into this with as much visual reference as possible.


As someone who has seen Labyrinth many, many times, I found the book to be an enjoyable if somewhat fickle companion. On the one hand, it gives you interesting insight into things like why Sarah starts out as such an annoying, overwrought drama llama. On the other hand, it also does things like drag out the nightmarish Firey scene for nearly two whole chapters. (Ugh! I freaking hate the Firey scene! *shudder*)


This hardcover edition also includes some delightful concept art by Brian Froud and pre-production notes scanned straight from one of Jim Henson’s notebooks. They make for an interesting look into the minds of two creative geniuses. Did you know Jim Henson had messy handwriting? He totally did. I feel better about my own barely legible scribbling now.

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review 2017-12-19 08:57
Jim Henson's The Storyteller
Jim Henson's The Storyteller: The Novelization - Darcy May,Anthony Minghella,Jim Henson

If you watched The Storyteller when it aired back in the late 80’s, this book is pretty much exactly the same, minus the commercial breaks and amazing Muppets. All nine featured stories are here; the good, the bad, and the most messed-up Cinderella version I have ever read.*


I was young enough when the show was running that the fairy tale magic was everything and the usual fairy tale misogyny went over my head, but now that I’m older I would argue with the late, great Henson’s assertion that these tales are timeless and applicable in a modern era. (Unless you really do want to teach your children that if they’ll just put up with horrific abuse they’ll be rewarded with princes and princesses and babies and kingdoms and riches beyond measure. Yep. Timeless.)


But I came for the fairy tale magic and the nostalgia, and I got both. Out of the nine, the only tale that remained truly timeless for me was The Heartless Giant. That one got me in the feels as a kid, and it got me even harder as an adult. Overall, it was an enjoyable read, but I kind of missed John Hurt’s narrating.



*I’m not kidding. Sapsorrow is horrifically messed up. I mean, I get the running away from home so the princess doesn’t have to marry her father the king (he wasn’t into it either, but they had to do it because Ye Olde Official Royal Wedding Ring fit her finger and kings can’t change stupid laws even to avoid incest, apparently). But tell me, princess, why you fell in love with the prince. Was it the way he looked down on you and treated you like dirt? Or the way he gave you a sharp kick and ordered a dozen of your goose friends be killed for his banquet? Or the way he looked straight at you and never saw you until you put on a pretty dress and combed the mice out of your hair? Ugh! You should’ve kept your mouth shut and let him marry your mean sister.

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text 2017-10-18 21:48
Amazon credit
All Systems Red - Martha Wells
Wonder Woman: The Official Movie Novelization - Nancy Holder
Gotham: Dawn of Darkness - Jason Starr
Alien: Out of the Shadows - Tim Lebbon
MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #18 Cover A Release Date 8/23/17 - Sonic Boom Studios Fach / Khromov GbR Alex Khromov,Sonic Boom Studios Fach / Khromov GbR Alex Khromov

All Systems Red and Gotham: Dawn of Darkness were full price, but the Wonder Woman novelization was one dollar, the Alien book was two - and has some Ash, and I love this author - and Power Rangers 18 was two dollars, as BOOM! comics are half off after they're out in the world for a month. 


For $16 and change, that was a good haul.

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