4 Worst Book-To-Movie Adaptations According To Me

Books are almost always better than any movie based on them. Granted, there are exceptions, but the vast majority of movies simply fall short of the mark of a good book. I don’t blame them. They’re limited by time-space, budget, technology, and a hundred other factors.

That being said, there are certain movie adaptations of books that are, simply put, abominations. Here is a list of what I consider to be some of the worst book-to-movie adaptations.

Note: I can only evaluate an adaptation if I’ve read the book AND seen the movie. Therefore, there will be a lot of adaptations missing from this list. 

Note 2: ranting ahead. 

#4 The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader

Every time a movie tries to add content to a story already told in a book, I cry a little. Disney is no exception. The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe was actually a good film, in my opinion. Prince Caspian was…acceptable. But 2010’s The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader completely ruined the beautiful story with that stupid green mist garbage and those stupid magic swords, which were never a part of the book and reduced the plot to unimaginative fantasy cliches. Disney, for the love of literature, please don’t make up your own junk to add to movies!

#3 The Black Cauldron

Not a lot of people seem to know that Disney’s 1985 film The Black Cauldron was based on a fantasy series of five books written by Lloyd Alexander. On its own, the film is decent (although very dark, for a Disney animated film). However, it fails to accurately represent the books. The movie mixes plot points from different books and completely changes certain characters. Given how phenomenal the books are as a children’s or middle grade fantasy series, it’s really too bad Disney didn’t bother to do a better job.

#2 The Hobbit

Peter Jackson…what happened?? The Lord Of The Rings movies were gorgeous. Why did you stoop so low for The Hobbit? P.J. took a beloved children’s fantasy story (barely a novel by word count) and turned it into nine (nine?) hours of dwarvish action-men fighting CGI…things. He shoe-horned in characters that either never appeared in the book (Legolas) or simply never existed at all (Tauriel). Not to mention the abhorrent ‘love story’, the ridiculously cheesy villains and dialogue…ugh. It was awful. The only redeeming factors, if you ask me, were Martin Freeman’s brilliant portrayal of Bilbo and Andy Serkis’s return as Gollum.

#1 Eragon

Not only was this movie the worst book adaptation I’ve ever seen, it ranks among the worst movies ever made, period. I don’t even understand how someone can take such a great book and absolutely murder it. Steven Fangmeier (the director; I had to google it) completely removed a handful of essential characters (Orik, the Twins, etc.), he made the Urgals look like fat, sun-deprived pirates, he disrespected the book’s character descriptions, he ruined Durza and Murtagh forever, and he had the brainless audacity to give Saphira feathers. The action was atrocious (Jeremy Irons excepted), the movie’s version of the plot was bland, and….and…well, you get the picture.  The Inheritance Cycle deserves good movies based on it. Can we just wipe the archives of this filth and start over?


Rant over. If you disagree with me about this list, that’s fine. If you haven’t read the books, do yourself a favor and get them. If you haven’t seen these movies, spare yourself the agony. What are some of your least favorite book-to-movie adaptations?

Top 10 Fantasy Books (So Far)

I read a lot of fantasy. In fact, I read almost exclusively fantasy. It dominates my bookshelf and my Kindle. Because of my love for the genre, I was quite surprised this morning when I realized I hadn’t ever made a list of my favorite fantasy books (I love lists almost as much as I love books).

My listlessly listless existence ends today, though it is not listlessly that I list this list. Here are my top 10 fantasy books so far. Don’t worry, no spoilers!

Note 1: this list will indubitably change as I read more books, and I’m only including books that I have read myself, so books like the Percy Jackson series or some newer releases aren’t included .

Note 1: I’m not limiting myself to high/epic fantasy. Some of these books may technically be of another genre (sci-fi or paranormal, for instance), but I consider them to be at least partially under the fantasy umbrella.

#10 The Two Towers

by J. R. R. Tolkien

the two towers

The Lord of The Rings trilogy is legendary, both the books and the movies. I think in either case the second installment is my favorite.

#9 The Graveyard Book

by Neil Gaiman

the graveyard book

I’m on a Neil Gaiman reading spree, and he is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors ever. The Graveyard Book may not be the most action-packed of his stories, but it’s beautifully told, and the ending packs an emotional punch.

#8 The High King

by Lloyd Alexander

high king

Lloyd Alexander was the first author to draw me into the fantasy realm, and the final book of the Prydain Chronicles was a literary landmark in my life. The characters…read the series, and you. Will. Love. Them.

#7 Bringer of Storms

by L. B. Graham

bringer of storms

The second book of The Binding of the Blade series, Bringer of Storms is potentially the darkest of them all, but it’s a riveting installment in a very fulfilling series.

#6 Circles of Seven

by Bryan Davis

circles of seven

The Dragons In Our Midst series impacted me as a teen more than I can explain, and Circles of Seven, the third book, is my favorite. If there was ever a protagonist you can identify with and want to be more like, it’s Billy Bannister.

#5 Stardust

by Neil Gaiman

stardust

The second Neil Gaiman book to make the list, Stardust was actually the first book I read by that author. It’s short and simple, but oh so beautiful.

#4 Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code

by Eoin Colfer

eternity code

If I’m being honest, I think any of the eight Artemis Fowl novels would be the most entertaining book on this list. The characters are so different and so much fun. Not only that, but the fourth book of the series, The Eternity Code, will entertain you and murder your emotions.

#3 The Name of the Wind

by Patrick Rothfuss

the name of the wind

With only two books written and the third on the way, either one of the Kingkiller Chronicles installments could have taken spot number three. The first book is about 1000 pages long, and I made it through in a few days. I think the best thing about it is that it focuses on a handful of characters, as opposed to the 100-point-of-view-character epics that bore me to death (no offense, Jordan).

#2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by J. K. Rowling

goblet of fire

I’m only specifying one book because I told myself I wasn’t allowed to include entire sagas in this list. That being said, all of the HP books deserve a spot, but I have to go with Goblet of Fire as my all-time favorite.

Honorable mentions

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane (Gaiman) (currently reading), The Hobbit (Tolkien), The Horse and His Boy (Lewis), This Present Darkness (Peretti).

#1 Brisingr

by Christopher Paolini

brisingr

I’ve never enjoyed nor immersed myself in a book as much as I did when reading Brisingr for the first time. I finished Eragon and Eldest before the third book of the Inheritance Cycle came out, so I was beyond excited to get my hands on it. Out of the four books, Brisingr is the most epic, the most action-packed, the most exciting, and the most I-can’t-put-this-down. Those who know me know that I have a love-hate relationship with the Inheritance Cycle, and it’s true. I think Eldest (the second book) was tedious for the most part, and Inheritance (the final book) was a big disappointment (not to mention the multiple instances of “inspiration” also known as plagiarism). That being said, Brisingr was and is a masterpiece, and it takes my top spot of fantasy books so far.


That completes my top 10 fantasy books I’ve read so far! I’ll definitely be updating this list in the coming months, as I plan on reading a lot. I’m sure your list is different from mine, but instead of throwing baby hippos at me, let me know what some of your favorites are!

20 Things I Love To See In Books

Anyone who’s gotten to know me a bit knows that I’m both a pessimist and fanatically snarky. That combination leads to blog posts like 20 Bookish Pet Peeves, in which I spend 300 words complaining.

In the spirit of compensating a bit for my general sarcasm and negativity (judge not, lest ye be judged), here is a list of 20 things I love to see in/on a book.

In/on physical books…

Black covers. I’m a sucker for black book covers (maybe because it’s my favorite color?)

Illustrated cover art.

Balanced size. I want my books to look good together on the shelf.

Contrasting colors. When do contrasting colors ever not look good?

Matte covers.

A short 1-2 paragraph blurb on the back cover, along with a quotation or snippet of dialogue.

That unique creamy paper color and the bookish smell that comes with it.

Appropriate size balance between the title and the author’s name.

Simple yet elegant title fonts.

Comfortable text/line spacing, even if it means more pages.


In the story…

Genuine relationships, romantic or otherwise.

Witty, quick humor in dialogue.

Man vs nature as a plot device.

Bittersweet endings (they hurt, but they’re the best).

Looming physical threats/stakes (as opposed to only emotional/situational).

Outdoor/nature/survival settings.

Build-up towards a climactic showdown involving major and minor characters.

A clear story structure and progression. I want to know where we’re going and how soon we have to get there.

Fantastical creatures, mythological and/or original.

A distinction of what is right and what is wrong and respect for the boundaries between the two.


Once again, this list is simply my opinion. If what you like to see in a book differs from what I like, please refrain from throwing kumquats at me. Instead, drop a comment and share what makes you grab a book and never put it down!

10 Things Writers Need To Stop Doing

I’m going to be brief and to the point today. This is a message for every writer out there, myself included. You need to stop…

…Defining success by number of book sales.

…Pressuring yourself to always write well.

…Assuming no one wants to read your work.

…Writing what everyone else is writing just to feed the market.

…Doubting your own talent, skills, and dedication.

…Equating a missed quota or wordless day with failure.

…Getting pulled down by bad reviews or negative criticism.

…Paying attention to unwarranted opinions on what you should or shouldn’t write.

…Trying to write stories and characters that will please everyone.

…Finding excuses to not get back to work and finish that story.

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You’re better than all of that. Keep calm and write on, friend.