7 Fantasy Book Adaptations We’d Love to Binge-Watch

Photo by Frank Okay on Unsplash

The recent announcement that Amazon has acquired rights to create streaming series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s works has the internet buzzing – not just with speculation on what Amazon might have in the works, but also whether it’s too soon after Peter Jackson’s live-action trilogy to work on another adaptation.

Fantasy TV series are having an absolute heyday right now, from the ongoing popularity of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead to the relative newcomer Stranger Things, so it’s understandable why Amazon’s looking for the next streaming hit – but for studios looking to create a new hit rather than just riding along on an existing franchise’s steam, here are a few fantasy novels to pick up that would make excellent series.

The cover of the book Rebel of the SandsRebel of the Sands
Those who checked out the Dark Tower adaptation this summer and didn’t quite satisfy their desire for genre-blending gunslinger action would love an adaptation of Alwyn Hamilton’s young adult Rebel of the Sands, which follows a teenager escaping her abusive family and dead-end town. Like Dark Tower, Rebel is set in a magical universe with a gun-slinging protagonist, and Amani’s journey takes her to dangerous new places beyond her wildest dreams.

Currently, there aren’t any fantasy series that combine the Western genre with speculative elements, and Rebel is a great candidate to change that. The trilogy was optioned by Willow Smith’s production company, MSFTS Production, earlier this year, though no further announcements have been made about the adaptation so far.


The cover of the book The Fifth SeasonThe Fifth Season
There are no zombies, but there are plenty of reasons that fans of The Walking Dead would also be into a TV version of N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth Trilogy: an apocalyptic setting, human treachery, and a protagonist’s struggle to survive in a world that wants them dead. Because in the world Jemisin has crafted, humanity’s greatest crisis is that the earth itself is trying to kill them.

The Broken Earth trilogy begins with the award-winning The Fifth Season and concludes with The Stone Sky, released earlier this year. Like Rebel of the Sands, the Broken Earth trilogy has already been optioned: the series is currently in early development at TNT.


The cover of the book The City of BrassThe City of Brass
This gorgeous debut novel that begins in eighteenth century Cairo before taking its protagonist into a magical realm is a great title to adapt for fans of the historical fantasy series Outlander. Nahri is a con artist who doesn’t believe in the supernatural – until she accidentally summons a djinn who brings her into the world of magic. Chakraborty’s worldbuilding is gorgeous, and Nahri – an aspiring physician – is the sort of clever and skeptical protagonist that makes for fun storytelling.

The most recently-published title on this list, The City of Brass is the first in a planned trilogy, though the first novel is rich with potential source material for a gorgeous historical series.


The cover of the book MonstressMonstress
While series adapted from comics tend to be restricted to DC and Marvel’s sprawling franchises, there are notable exceptions (like The Walking Dead, as mentioned above). Another fantasy comic that would make an excellent limited series adaptation is Monstress, an atmospheric ongoing series published by Image.

A battle against tyrannical forces, a lavish art deco-inspired style, and a protagonist wrestling with a literal inner demon – what more could viewers want?

Monstress has quite a bit more gore than other series on this list, which may be plus or minus points depending on the studio and the viewer. But this comic is visually unlike anything currently airing – and it would make for an incredible streaming series.


The cover of the book UpdraftUpdraft
TV shows and movies about rebellion are timely for a lot of audiences, which makes Fran Wilde’s Updraft ripe for adaptation. Updraft‘s rebellion takes place in a city of bone spires where the term “upper class” is extremely literal: the wealthy and powerful live in the more comfortable higher strata of the spires, while the poor scratch out lives in the increasingly crowded lower strata.

This series hasn’t yet been optioned for film (so if you’re in charge of that sort of thing, feel free to get on it), but the Bone Universe series is complete after the publication of Horizon earlier this year.


The cover of the book The Young ElitesThe Young Elites
Anyone looking for something like Game of Thrones with less torture should pick up Marie Lu’s sophomore trilogy. The Young Elites tells the story of a group of young people marked by disease and gifted with strange abilities who’re fighting to be treated as regular citizens – and of Adelina, whose power puts her on a path to becoming the greatest villain her world has seen.

Told across a multitude of lands and featuring characters from a broad variety of backgrounds, The Young Elitesdefinitely shares some of the visual appeals of Game of Thrones while omitting some of the aspects that can make Game of Thrones gut-wrenching to watch.


The cover of the book Meddling KidsMeddling Kids
This standalone fantasy-horror novel has nearly all the elements that viewers love about Stranger Things: a group of plucky youths (though they’ve grown into their 20s as the story begins), a sense of nostalgia for decades past, and creepy tentacle monsters.

(Does the creature in Stranger Things count as a creepy tentacle monster?) [Editor’s note: absolutely.]

Meddling Kids is a delightful marriage of spunky child detective mysteries (see its referential title) and eldritch horrors far worse than whatever a kid might imagine lurks in their closet or under their bed. Adapting the novel for a streaming series would make for a great Halloween weekend binge – and possibly reignite your childhood love of mystery-solving gangs.

Goodreaders’ Favorite 2017 Under-the-Radar Books

by Cybil, December 06, 2017, first appearing on Goodreads Blog
As you might imagine, Goodreads employees love both reading and recommending books. So before 2017 comes to an end, we asked our colleagues to tell us which gem of a book they want more readers to discover.

You’ll see from their picks that our co-workers’ reading habits are as varied as those of Goodreads members (although it should be noted that four of our co-workers recommended the book Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship).

Let us know which 2017 book you want more people to read. Tell us in the comments!

Sins of Empire
by Brian McClellan
“Brian McClellan’s Powder Mage series is still one of the best-kept secrets in modern fantasy, and this new book, whether you call it the start of a new series or a continuation of that one, is just really darned good,” says Alex Lewis, program manager.

Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs
by Beth Ann Fennelly
“I hadn’t heard of Beth Ann Fennelly before I stumbled upon this book, but after reading this little ditty, I’ll be seeking out more. Heating & Cooling is a mere wisp of a book at 112 pages, but each of its 52 ‘micro-memoirs’ packs a punch. It’s a cliché to say you’ll laugh and cry, but it’s likely you’ll do both. Bonus that you can read the whole thing in an afternoon,” says Danny Feekes, managing editor.

Girl in Snow
by Danya Kukafka
“This slow burn mystery will impress you with its complex characterization and beautiful prose,” says Emily Fortner, community manager.

“Boozy meals, surly cheesemongers, French swear words, and a lot of fascinating heritage—this book has everything!” says Sarah Chang, experts manager.

An Enchantment of Ravens 
by Margaret Rogerson
“Why should readers discover this gem? Because it’s like being transported back into a 1980s fantasy movie—think The Labyrinth, The Neverending Story, and The Dark Crystal. It’s a book that Jim Henson would have loved to adapt!” says Marie Pabelonio, associate editor.

“There are so many aspects of the life of a musician—and particularly one of the hip-hop/rap genre—that go unmentioned by the media, and this autobiography is packed with must-read trials and tribulations that we might not consider when reflecting on the ludicrous life of a superstar,” says Tristan Leigh, software engineer.
Young Jane Young 
by Gabrielle Zevin
“The distinctive voice of Zevin’s multiple narrators brings humor to sensitive hot-topic issues of women, sexuality, and feminism,” says Jessica Johnson, senior product manager.

The Roanoke Girls 
by Amy Engel
“I loved this book because it is dark and twisted in the best possible way. I didn’t want to put it down. If I owned my own copy, I would have been re-reading it all year!” says Tamsyn Van Vuuren, Goodreads expert.

“The key strength of Reading with Patrick is how it weaves together information about our education system, the judicial system, and the history of slavery and civil rights with poetry and (my favorite childhood book), The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” says Suzanne Skyvara, communications manager.

by Jess Kidd
“Beautifully written blend of literary fiction and mystery set in Ireland that’s made for fans of Tana French,” says Emily Finley, director of operations.

“The writing was candid and human and down-to-earth, while the subject matter was—literally—about outer space. Massimino did a great job of reigniting the childlike wonder and awe of looking up at the stars,” says Brandi Luedeman, lead user researcher.

“It’s a fun, feel-good book that you don’t have to take too seriously to enjoy the adventure,” says Vernice Brown, Goodreads expert.

“There’s nothing funny about a psychotic break, yet Zack, a 26-year-old public defender in Brooklyn, writes about his experience with such humor, empathy, and disdain for himself that you laugh and cry with him—and for him,” says Lisa Jablonsky, sales director.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo 
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
“This book transports you back to old Hollywood and everything that came with it: the glamour, the secrets, the affairs. The story isn’t really about the husbands; it’s about Evelyn and the one true love of her life, and at the end of reading this book, you’ll wish her kind of celebrity were still around today,” says Cynthia Shannon, author marketing specialist.

by Anna Faris
“A book about relationships, puberty, fame, fortune, Chris Pratt, college…I could go on and on, but this is a gem that needs to be shared!” says Rozeltte Crooks, Goodreads expert.

Forever On
by Rob Reid
“A fun, humorous, fast-paced, and fascinating take on what happens when an AI awakens,” says Otis Chandler, Goodreads founder & CEO.

“I can’t promise this will turn your baby into a quantum physicist, but it’s never too early to start, and even better, it’s never too late for adults (like me!) to grasp these big ideas,” says Mimi Chan, senior marketing manager.

“Excuse me while I pack my bags and move to Denmark,” says Margo Throckmorton, senior account manager.

“If you thought you were socially awkward, lonely, stuck in a rut, or even just unhappy—meet Eleanor Oliphant!” says Leslynn Jongebloed, Goodreads expert.

“It’s a hilarious firsthand account of the 2016 election that makes you want to cheer with joy and break down into uncontrollable sobbing at the same time,” says Katie Luttrell, site merchandiser.

When the English Fall 
by David Williams
“It imagines the fallout of climate change, told from an innocent but wise perspective with ribbons of magical realism throughout. It’s also mercifully short for people trying to hit their 2017 reading challenge goal,” says Amy Bickerton, senior user experience designer.

Authors’ Birthdays – January

… The end of January, at least.


Zane Grey (b. January 31, 1872, Zanesville, OH; d. October 23, 1939, Altadena, CA)

I was picturing a handlebar mustache and a stetson.“I will see this game of life out to its bitter end.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Riders of the Purple Sage

For more information on Zane Grey, click here.


Norman Mailer (b. January 31, 1923, Long Branch, NJ; d. November 10, 2007, New York City, NY)

Biblo?“Culture’s worth huge, huge risks. Without culture we’re all totalitarian beasts.” You can find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Naked and the Dead

For more information on Norman Mailer, click here.


Langston Hughes (b. February 1, 1902, Joplin, MO; d. May 22, 1967, New York City, NY)

Where is he? I would freak out in that room.“Humor is laughing at what you haven’t got when you ought to have it.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Collected poems

For more information on Langston Hughes, click here.


James Joyce (b. February 2, 1882, Rathgar, Ireland; d. January 13, 1941, Zürich, Switzerland)

I just think "off-kilter"“The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Ulysses

For more information on James Joyce, click here.


Ayn Rand (b. February 2, 1905, Saint Petersburg, Russia; d. March 6, 1982, New York City, NY)

She just looks Russian... with a bit of Annie Oakley“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Atlas Shrugged

For more information on Ayn Rand, click here.


Everybody needs a friend!

Welcome to National Friends of Libraries Week!

As a thank you for all you do all Friends of Libraries can read this blog free of charge for the whole week!

FotMPLSeriously though, if you enjoy programming at your local library (or just your library in general) thank a Friend today. Friends groups across the country help to keep their libraries going. The people that are part of these groups have made a commitment to helping their libraries by volunteering their valuable time and energy to raise funds that help make library programming and services possible. Since their founding in 1990, the Friends of the Moline Public Library have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from dues, fundraisers and sales from the Friend’s Book Store (located right by the new material shelves in the library) and fund many of the programs that the library puts on for the public, as well as helping to provide other services and equipment the library needs. They are an invaluable resource and greatly appreciated! We couldn’t do it without you! Thank you Friends!

If you are interested in becoming a Friend of the Moline Public Library and/or volunteering in the Friend’s Book Store please call (309) 524-2470 or stop by the library for more information.

“I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture, and our concern for the future, can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.”     – Carl Sagan; astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and all-around smart guy