Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Series: Howl’s Moving Castle, #1
Published: 2009 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
When it comes to books that have movie adaptations and movies with book adaptations, I often only end up reading/watching one and not bothering with the other. For Howl’s Moving Castle, though? I’ve watched the anime adaptation and I am so so happy that I read the book too.
The animation and the book are different from each other but when it comes to the magical atmosphere, strong characters and the ability to have you immediately enraptured, both have them in spades. I think the book’s a fantastic, additive page-turner. The writing is smooth and reads wonderfully. I also completely adore the fairy tale elements, social commentary, metaphors and symbolism woven into the story. The whole book is practically perfect and it’s exactly what I needed to get out of a reading slump!
Even so, I must admit that the ending felt a little rushed. The first three quarters of the book had a more leisurely pace compared to the final quarter in which everything comes to a head. Moreover, the (potential?) romance between Sophie and Howl was a little out of the blue, especially considering we’re reading the story in Sophie’s (third person, limited) point of view. Unless you counted their banter as flirting, the only two notable moments that can be termed ‘romantic’ would be when Sophie caught Howl’s interest during May Day, and at the end. Though, the romance does make sense when one thinks about it through Howl’s perspective and in a fairy tale sense.
All in all, I wished there was more to this book! I know there are two more books to the series, but they seem more like companion books than continuations. Nevertheless, I’m excited to read them and see how the world of Howl’s Moving Castle expands.