In the beginning months of 2016, Netflix, as Netflix does, decided to play host to a few nondescript movie titles that were produced on a low budget and often committed the great sin of acting like a good story could not be produced with such a budget. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the film The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box. Based upon the novels by YA author G. P. Taylor, the film has a different tone and a few plot changes but is otherwise the same. Take a peek at the trailer:
After finishing the film and enjoying it well enough, I thought I’d give the first book a read.
Interestingly enough, the book has some differences that are significant to the character of Mariah Mundi himself, mainly those of his parents’ death having occurred several years ago (novel) and that the Felix of the film is not his brother but is instead a fellow orphan who left for a better situation long ago.
Now, I know that most people who have read the books are rather content but they point out the same problem as with the films: they accuse it of being a watered down Harry Potter/Indiana Jones. This is rather confusing to me, because I don’t see either the film nor the books as trying to be either. The first book Mariah Mundi: The Midas Box was published in 2007, a time when YA had not yet begun its rise again and the book is plain about that. This first book, along with the rest of the series, could function as either a children’s or young adult read and is set in a Victorian world that has just a few of the frills that the steampunk genre tends to employ. It’s a rather straight-forward read and watch, with neither pretending to be great action entertainment and being all the better for it. Perhaps it is just the result of a generation raised on high-stakes action flicks, but it seems audiences want more out of this simple adventure lark than it gives. Funny, because the adventure films of the past probably equate to having the same amount of action and pacing.
Either way, my biggest issue with both film and book is the main character. Mariah Mundi is a likable enough protagonist – calm, good-natured, generally intelligent as far as main characters go. No, my biggest issue comes from his lack of character development and arc. As I have not yet read the rest of G. P. Taylor’s series, this may be something remedied in the latter books, but as I have said before, both film and book are simple straight-out adventure larks. That having been said, I’d be interested in seeing not only his, but also other supporting characters be given more of an arc.
And now we finally come to the point of this post, besides giving my opinion on a book and film you’ve likely never read/seen. While the first book ends on a decidedly firm conclusion, the film gives a surprise ending that leads engaged audience members wanting more. Having been a member of the fan fiction squad for years, I thought I might as well give my own take on how I thought the adventure might have continued. So from now until I finish it, I will be posting a short segment from the further adventures of Mariah Mundi every Friday. I’d love to hear what you all think about it, what your thoughts are on the film, and whether you’d write a sequel the same way.