Author of Dark Fiction
Review: The Nine Lives of Chloe King, book vs. series
I’m a definite werecat fan, so I was super-excited when I saw that ABC Family was making a werecat series. I rushed out to buy The Nine Lives of Chloe King, by Liz Braswell. As a writer, I was curious to see how the book compared to the series. The plot centers around a girl just turning sixteen who is noticing some strange things going on: preternatural strength and hearing, guys are suddenly uber-attracted to her, and some shadowy figure seems to be chasing her. When she falls off Coit Tower in San Francisco, she barely receives a scratch. Gradually, she finds out that she’s a member a race called Mai, descended from Egyptian Cat Goddess, Bastet.
The TV series plays down the sexuality of the character. Since Chloe is sixteen, this it to be expected to make it palatable to television audiences. In the book, she has a pretty steamy relationship with Alex, which goes as far as making out in the janitor’s closet. In the series, I was disappointed to find out that Alex turns out to be more of a protector than boyfriend.
Chloe’s mom is strangely unconcerned about her barely sixteen-year-old daughter going out to a club and meeting a guy. This was true for both book and series. Also, in the book, Chloe acts fairly bratty about her two best friends hooking up. In the first episode Chloe is a pretty good sport about the whole thing.
I was a little let down that Brian didn’t make his own kitty hat in the series. It was a nice touch in the book that he knit his own hat, but I understand that it made more sense for him to buy it from the quirky second-hand clothes shop where Chloe works.
The series identified the villain, her allies, and backstory about the Mai a lot faster. At the end of the first book, the reader didn’t have that info. As for special effects, her retractable claws looked a little fakey, but I realize this must be difficult to do.
So far, for the series, they tightened up motives and relationships a little more and made the series more PG. Wrapping the whole thing up into a neater package is what film and TV developers do, right? Even though it removes some of the quirks and makes it a little less interesting, it makes a more commercial package. I sometimes wish they’d leave more of the quirks in, though.
It will be interesting to see how the series progresses.