In which Jenn lists our hosts’ choices of favorite adaptations based on non-English source materials.
April got the Adaptation staff back to its book-loving roots! What have you been reading?
Breaking Sky is a Young-Adult, fast paced thriller about a pilot whose impulsive and sometimes erratic behavior is the only thing daring enough to save all the few things left in her war-wrecked world worth saving. The heroine would surely be categorized as a part-time villain, if we asked the other characters but it’s her gritty logic and flaws that make her such a real character that you can’t help but empathize with and eventual, even love. Breaking Sky is the second novel by Cori McCarthy, a West Michigan based writer (woot! woot!).
This is a “sure to be cancelled” show, according to online reviewers, but I love it and everyone should catch it while they can and boost the ratings so that it might last! It stars Rainn Wilson as Everet Backstrom, a slob, bitter, borderline crazy detective. He has a pretty bad diet and poor general health choices and is a total dick, but he can get inside the mind of any type of person as he, along with his mismatched team, and sometimes his gay fence (thief/art dealer) of a roommate, Valentine, played by Thomas Dekker. It is a quirky show, where our “hero” is a bit of an anti-hero who makes mistakes and bends the rules and is truly HUMAN. It is not your more common, cut-and-dry procedural. The show is based on the character Evert Bäckström from a series of books written by Swedish author Leif G.W. Persson.
I just finished reading a YA trilogy called His Fair Assassin, by Robin LaFever, which takes place in the French region of Brittany during the region’s fight to remain independent from France. It’s a historical fantasy, really, and incorporates an interpretation of the old Breton deities as they were absorbed into the Christian church as “Saints.” So the series mainly focuses around a convent of the old religion that is composed of the daughters of Mortain, who was the god of Death. And all the girls who are brought up in this convent are trained as assassins and sent out to serve his “will” during the political upheaval. It’s really entertaining and fascinating how the author intertwines the (interpreted) historical events with the plotline and the lives and faiths of each of the three girls who are the respective heroines of the books.
I’m currently rereading Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Nuehashi. Moribito tells the story of Balsa, a female bodyguard on a quest to redeem eight lives lost for her sake. She is a master at the spear and sword…and she needs all of her skills to protect her newest client: the Second Prince, Chagum. Chagum has been chosen as the vessel for the egg of the Water Spirit. Balsa must help him deliver the egg to the sea, or the entire country will face devastating droughts. Along the way, they are pursued not only by assassins sent by the emperor himself, but also by the terrifying egg-eating monster, Rarunga. At this point, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this book, but it makes no difference—I love it all the same. It’s exciting and gripping and (at times) delightfully creepy. Just to warn you, though: the Rarunga just might give you a nightmare or two…in a good way.
That’s it for us this month, but be sure to leave your own recommendations in the comments!