Video

Watching Shannara Chronicles

What I’m Watching: The Shannara Chronicles
When: Season one, 7 episodes so far
Where: Television; MTV
Why I watched: Terry Brooks is a classic fantasy author I’ve never read.

My verdict for the show: Loving it

The Shannara Chronicles is an addictive, enjoyable trip into a classic fantasy world. With pretty young actors and lightning fast world-building, MTV’s presentation marries surprisingly well with fantasy. The story feels very YA, with young characters trying to find their place in the world and save it from destruction in the process. Sometimes the dialogue is too full of info-dumping, but it’s a tradeoff to keep the story moving at lightning speed. Strong acting and fast pacing make MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles an addictive experience.

The world of Shannara is a high fantasy world set in a dystopian future. Artifacts of the modern world linger on in gorgeous fantasy landscapes. Gnomes, trolls and dwarves are human offshoots, after the fall. It’s a fascinating genre mix that leaves me searching the screen for details and eager to read the series. Not everyone will appreciate the YA MTV treatment, but for me it’s making a missed classic feel fresh and exciting.

Sound off!

Are you watching? Interested?

What do you think? Whether you’re new to the world or a book fan, sound off in the comments! Please clearly mark any spoilers, including whether they’re show, book, or whole series spoilers!

Based On:

Elfstones of Shannara - Book Two of the Shannara Chronicles by Terry BrooksThe Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Series: #2 of The Original Shannara Trilogy
The Summary: A magical tree is dying, and its protection against demons dies with it. An Elven princess and a half-elf boy set out to save the tree and stop the demon army.
My progress: Never read the series, but I want to now.

For comparison, check out a book fan’s reaction to the show.

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Video

Watching The Magicians

Introducing a new feature: What I’m Watching
Any science fiction & fantasy fan will tell you it’s not just about the books. So I’m trying a new blog feature. I’ll feature something I’m watching, on television or in theaters. It could be brand new or decades old, but I’ll try to talk about current stuff asap. Let’s talk television and movies!

What I’m Watching: The Magicians
When: Premiered Monday, Jan 25
Where: Television; SyFy Channel
Why I watched: Classic fantasy tropes grow up big time. Whether you think of it as Harry Potter: The College Years or a story about a boy who never forgot Narnia, there’s something here for all long-term fantasy fans. I enjoy the books, and I’m hoping it translates well on the small screen.

My verdict for the show: Optimistic

Three episodes in, I’m enjoying Magicians. It’s a complex story with a lot of different layers, but so far they’re doing a good job balancing plot lines. The characters are close to how I imagined, and the magic feels both exciting and scary. SyFy has delivered both intense action (episode 1) and strong character work (episode 3), so I’m hoping they’ve got the range to do Magicians right.

As a book fan, I’m satisfied so far. And my husband and sister-in-law, who have not read the books, are enjoying it too, so it seems to pass the newbie test as well. It’s too early to call it a win, but I’m liking its chances!

Sound off!

Are you watching? Interested?

What do you think? Whether you’re new to the world or a book fan, sound off in the comments! Please clearly mark any spoilers, including whether they’re show, book, or whole series spoilers!

Based On:

The Magicians by Lev GrossmanThe Magicians by Lev Grossman
Series: #1 of completed trilogy
My rating for the book: 5 stars – I had intense emotional reactions while reading, both positive and negative. But I obsessed over it for weeks afterwards. So five stars for provoking such a complex, layered response.
My progress: I read book one several years ago, and am planning to read the completed trilogy this year.