All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Double Feature: Vampire Academy Companions and Extras

on February 13, 2014

Vampire Academy Movie CompanionVampire Academy: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion
Brandon T. Snider
Penguin Books AUS
2014, 144p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’re probably aware that Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy novel has been made into a movie. It’s opened in the US already and premiere’s here in Australia next month. So far what I’ve seen has been a lot of enthusiastic support with book fans happy that their favourite books are getting a push onto the big screen. As well as Vampire Academy we can also look forward to Divergent, The Fault In Our Stars, Mockingjay Pt 1&2 and If I Stay adaptations coming soon, to name just a few. With a bit of luck these adaptations will promote the fantastic YA novels that are out there that are well written and not just aimed at teens.

To go with the VA movie, the publishers of the books have also produced this illustrated guide. I obviously haven’t seen the movie yet but I’ve seen plenty of the stills from filming, read countless interviews and watched the trailers. This book expands upon all of that to take readers behind the scenes, talking to the brothers who adapted the film, the casting director, the location director, the person in charge of wardrobes etc. It’s not just about the characters and the actors who are portraying them (although they’re featured heavily too) it’s about every facet of what goes into making a movie.

A lot of the pictures are truly lovely with a mix of official promotion shots, behind the scenes shots, shots that show how certain things were done and candid pictures of the people involved in the production. There are lots of little interesting tidbits, such as who in the cast and crew have read on in the books, unable to help themselves and who restricted themselves to just the first book in order to portray their character better or focus on that one particular story. There’s plenty covered that die-hards of the series will already know well but for newbies attracted by the movie who perhaps haven’t read the book, there’s a wealth of information here that will no doubt help flesh everything out.

For all of the devoted fans and especially those interested in the actual movie-making exercise this is a must have to add to your collection!

7/10

Book #33 of 2014

VA Ultimate GuideVampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide
Michelle Rowen with Richelle Mead
Penguin Books AUS
2014 (originally 2011), 305p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

The Vampire Academy series has had a long overdue makeover and this guide first published in 2011 joins the party too with a new cover and updated version to include an insert of photographs, some behind the scenes looks at the movie. Although I’ve already read this last year when I gorged on everything VA, I did skim through it again when I received it for review. Some of the pictures I’ve seen before but there were a couple there I hadn’t seen, which was a nice surprise.

This book is an in-depth look at the series and beware: It does contain ***SPOILERS***. If you’re new to the series, perhaps because of the movie or just the buzz you’ve been hearing, definitely don’t pick up this until you’ve read all the books. It takes a look at the major plot points of each book and there’s a lot in here that should definitely be experienced reading the series first hand. Then you can pick up this!

As well as an comprehensive look at each novel, there are character profiles, a section on friendships, family and love, information on the Strigoi, Moroi, dhampirs and the alchemists. There’s also a quiz at the back of the book to test your knowledge of the series which is a bit of fun (I took it during writing this review) and a glossary. This book is really a very quick reference guide if you want to remember something or look up a term in the glossary and don’t want to have to thumb through your six copies of the VA series to find what you’re looking for or maybe you don’t own all the books and want something that condenses the six novels down a bit where it’s easy to remember what happened in what book. To be 100% honest though, there’s nothing really new in here that fans of the books won’t already actually know except perhaps the summaries from Richelle Mead on each book and they’re pretty brief. The addition of the color photographs is nice but there’s no actual information on the movie, that has obviously been reserved for the Ultimate Movie Guide talked about above.

6/10

Read in 2013.

 

 

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