Like The Magicians, I’m glad that I watched the television series version of this story before picking up the books. However, unlike The Magicians, it wasn’t because the screen version fixed things that I hated about the books. In this case, it was purely because writing for screen is different than writing for the page.
A direct translation of this novel would not have worked. In book form, this is a story of a small, sleepy town, told in a small, sleepy narrative. Things definitely happen, but at a small, sleepy town pace that would have dragged on-screen. The show is straight-up urban fantasy excitement, while the book reads more like a rural cozy mystery with some fantastical elements. I’m honestly not sure I would have continued the book without the curiosity of how the story would differ and remain similar to what I’d already seen on TV driving me.
I’m definitely curious about whether the character’s backstories already revealed in the show will be different from what’s in the books. I appreciated the increased diversity of the show version of the characters. Fiji and Lemuel, especially, seemed bland in comparison in the original text.
I’m excited to start the next book, which I’ve already ordered and received. But I’m much more excited for season 2 of the show next year, and I’m crossing my fingers that I get one.