Netflix is on a roll. They invested half a billion dollars in Korean content production and are known to release originals that range from documentaries to award-winning movies. But one other genre that Netflix is known for its adaptations. Beloved books or comics are turned into tv shows directed at teens — see Riverdale, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and The Winx Saga.
One of Netflix’s new releases in the adaptations-for-young-adults department is Shadow and Bone. But what makes this different from the shows mentioned above is that it stays true to the books — all the while improving upon it.
People who’ve read Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone, Siege of Storm, and Ruin and Rising) will be impressed to see that main plot lines and scenes from the books are adapted as is for the screen. However, the Netflix series doesn’t simply follow the Grisha Trilogy because it combines it with the characters of Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology (Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom).
The series doesn’t only follow what happened in the Shadow and Bone book because it also serves an introduction to the ensemble of characters in the Six of Crows. Once the next season comes around and it’s time to tell the story of the Dregs — the thieving crew that are also the main characters in the Six of Crows duology — the viewer will have more of an attachment to them because Netflix’s Shadow and Bone already gave a glimpse into their lives.
The way they introduced the Six of Crows characters was also well written. They really integrated the characters into Shadow and Bone’s storyline.
And for Shadow and Bone, certain scenes were given more meaning in the Netflix adaptation. The villain in the books didn’t originally have a background story but adding one in the tv show gave the character more depth.
Slight changes in dialogue and actions were also made to better fit the issues happening around us. In the books, main protagonist Alina wasn’t half Asian (or half Shu in the Grishaverse) but the Netflix adaptation made her so. Because of this, the series was able to show the negative experiences that Asians face in Western countries.
Instances or changes like this make Netflix’s Shadow and Bone superior to other adaptations found in the streaming platform. We can only wait and see where the next season is headed.
Article photo from Netflix