Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi - The Wrath of Mulgarath (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 5)

Ahhh... the last one in the series. Personally, I feel that these books are way too short to be standalone stories (unlike the Chronicles of Narnia) and perhaps would have worked better as a single volume. Then again, I am not exactly part of the target audience so such bite-size morsels may have been the most effective way to reach the intended readers. Luckily, I did not have to wait for each release and could read all five in one go. Now that I have read the books, I am quite pleased to say that I am really happy with how the movied turned out. In fact, I think I may prefer the movie to the books, although the books are entertaining in their own right. I like the use of the 'protective circle' for the house, which helped to explain why the house remained untouched for so many decades. In the book, Mulgarath ransacked and destroyed the house, finding the Guide in the process; why didn't this occur much earlier and only when the Grace family moved into the Spiderwick estate? In the movie, Simon discovers the use of tomato sauce as a weapon against the goblins and prepares bags of it using a recipe from the Guide; in the book, this is hinted at as Jared threatens the use of it on the hobgoblin but there is no mention of where Jared gained this knowledge. Presumably, it's from the Guide but readers have to make their own assumptions. Overall, I feel the movie provides more cohesive explanations whereas things just happen in the books and readers are made to accept that that's how they are meant to be. I think it would have been nice if the movie had kept the book's ending, although the film version where Arthur and Lucy were reunited was also a nice touch. May be a little tricky to explain where a grown woman disappeared to though! Overall, it has been fun to read the Spiderwick Chronicles and I'm glad the movie led me to these books, which I'm sure have brought much joy to young readers.