Cowboys and Aliens by Joan D. Vinge is a novelization of the movie that came out in theaters in July 2011. If it hadn’t been space month on the blog, I don’t know if I would have normally picked out this book as I don’t generally like seeing a movie before I read the book. However, I gave Cowboys and Aliens a try because I really enjoyed the movie and thought for sure I would enjoy the book. So for this review, I’m going to do a book vs. movie comparison.
Cowboys and Aliens the movie stars Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, and many other great actors. I love all three of these actors and felt they all played their part exceptionally. I was particularly impressed with the transformation of Daniel Craig’s British accent to a Western accent. He also fits in seamlessly to the Western setting and the cowboy look. Harrison Ford is awesome as usual. He pulls off the grumpy old cowboy persona very well. His character’s voice is grizzled, well weathered, and fantastic and in many scenes he steals the show.
Olivia Wilde’s character is also great but I wish the movie had gone more in depth with her. Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford’s characters were clearly defined and unfortunately her character was not, which is at no fault to Olivia Wilde. Her character, as it was written, is the one that I felt made the movie a little hokey. If they had given her a little more background, I might have accepted or understood her character better.
The movie combines the Western and Science Fiction genres well to create a completely original storyline. Overall, the movie is a fun ride that is unlike anything else in Hollywood at this time.
The narrator, Fred Berman, is phenomenal and does amazing voices for every character, and I really do mean every character. The author, Joan D. Vinge, is also talented and she does a wonderful job painting the settings, describing the action scenes, and putting the reader in the characters’ shoes.
With that said, the book is pretty much exactly the same as the movie. The book does provide more details than the movie and the reader gets a little more information on the characters’ backgrounds. Since I felt the movie lacked a little on the character backgrounds, I was glad to learn more about them and to see things from their perspective. However, there is not a lot of extra detail that the movie doesn’t generally cover. I particularly wanted to learn more about Ella’s character as she has a lot of mystery surrounding her. Unfortunately, the book did not deliver what I wanted. I understood her character better from the book but not a whole lot more.
If you are trying to decide between reading the book or watching the movie, I recommend watching the movie over reading the book. Gasp! This is probably the first time that I thought a movie was better than the book. My reason for the recommending the movie is mainly because they are one in the same. Only the movie tells the story with great actors and tons of special effects and explosions. The story is also written for the big screen and I think that’s where it should stay.
Pandemonium had a completely different feel than Delirium, the first book in the series. The story, all told from Lena’s perspective, alternates between different times. This was a little jarring to me in the beginning but I eventually got the hang of it. That aside, I loved it. Couldn’t put it down. Ate it up with a spoon. It Leaves you on a total cliffhanger too. The kind that makes you scream, “WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT ANOTHER YEAR FOR THE NEXT ONE?! AHH!” So. Good.
Contrary to Delirium, Lena is a little more rough around the edges in Pandemonium. After escaping from the police in Delirium, she is now on the run and fighting for her survival in the ‘wilds,’ as it’s called in the series. On top of that, she is recovering from the abrupt separation from Alex, the boy she loved so much that she ran away from everything she knew. She meets up with a resistance group living in the wilds. The story switches between Lena finding her way to the group and living with them to a future time when she is a member of the resistance.
Pandemonium is definitely grittier than Delirium. There is way more action and conflict. Alternating from Lena’s past and present kept the pace moving and made the book completely unpredictable. I really had no idea what was going to happen and this made the book difficult to put down. Out of the two books, I still think I liked Delirium more, but Pandemonium is still fantastic. It’s just different than the first.
I will leave this review short and simple because I know readers of Delirium will pick up Pandemonium at break neck speed. I know I did. If you haven’t read Delirium, you should.
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