I've finally finished this book on Feb 1, 2014, after more than 6 months of reading (I know, I know...) and I can tell you guys, don't ever read like that! Stories like Howl's Moving Castle are supposed to be read in one-two maximum three sittings and not collecting dust while you've started it and put down, and then read a few pages, and put book down once again, and so on and so forth.
Before I continue, I just want to say one thing. Despite the fact that this book and Studio Ghibli's adaptation are really different and you can definitely say "anime was based on a book", I loved the anime for many years before even knew it was based on book and after finishing the book I would announce that I PREFER THE ANIME! YES! I've said that.
O.K., my edition is illustrated so, here's a couple of examples for you (and I'm not a big fan of those, because illustrator and me have different imagination fooooor sure and since I've seen anime first, things are more "Miyazaki Hayao" in my head - yes, I'm saying Japanese names in Japanese order, because I want).
Fine, I love the first one, with castle, and like ("like" is the word) the cover, but that's it. Other illustrations are meh for me. Characters looks more awesome in my head.
Especially Howl. Like, why is he look like that (3rd picture) in illustrator's head??? WHY??? Howl's HOT! And corky. And he'll look like that (below) in my head forever. FOR-EVER!
Art by chernotrav. Check this amazing artist, I found some more works and think they are absolutely stunning, just saying. Chernotrav's deviantart page.
And like this (also by chernotrav).
Why chernotrav can't be the illustrator of Russian edition? This artist is from Russia! It's not fair...
Same with Calcifer, btw.
Oh well, enough pics for this post (there's never enough pics, muahaha #evil_laugh).
Everyone knows the story (if you don't know, I don't even...here's the link) and since I loved the anime so much, I wanted to read the book, original story, too.
I really liked it, but think if I had read it a little faster, and hadn't put it down sooo often, I'd like it even more. Long pauses kill the experience, guys.
My favourite characters are Howl (of course) and Calcifer (love that demon), because they are just the best. Howl can be a douche sometimes (and even this is awesome), but most of the time he's just perfect. And I can talk about him a lot, but you'll probably fall asleep and then wake up and nothing will change, so I'll stop. And Calcifer. Oh, Calcifer! He was saving this book for me many times, ecpecially when I wanted to give up on it. He made me laugh a lot and his personality (despite the fact that he's not a person) is just superb. As for our MC, Sophie, well... she annoyed me most of the time, because even despite the fact that in the book, she was a young lady turned into granny, I think, in reality, she was true granny from beginning 'till the end. And not one of those awesome rock grannies, but grumpy and constantly complaining one. Which is lame. I hope I won't be like that (but I can already be like that sometimes. Damn it). Maybe she reminded me myself a little, like my dark (grumpy) side, that's why I wasn't a big fan of her. No one likes when their dark sides are thrown in their face. Well, maybe someone likes that, but I don't.=D
But at the end of the book things got a liitle better, so... That's good. She's not the worse character from all of those I've read about in my life, I would say.
What I really liked about a book, and that wasn't shown in movie, is knowing Howl's back story, his roots. I wasn't expected that at all and it was a pleasant surprise. Also I really enjoyed the writing style (I've checked original text as well, so I can say that), it was truly magical, helped me imagine everything better and the world, that Diana Wynne Jones created called for many more visits in future (but I'm still not sure if I want to reread this book, or not).
What I didn't really liked though, is that at some points story dragged a little and having so many side characters (way more than in anime) was confusing sometimes Not massively, though, but still. I needed quite a few chapters to remember all of them, especially after Sophie's sisters switched places.
Overall, it was a good story and I liked coming back to that world, but in book form, and knowing more about my fav characters. I've already said that I don't want to continue reading this series in one of my videos, though. But now I think, that I can change my mind. Someday.
What I can tell you is that I dream of living in that Moving Castle now and I know for sure where my doors will lead.
About my copy in few words:
Hardback, 448 pages, in Russian (translated by Anastasia Brodotskaia (Анастасия Бродоцкая), illustrated by Elena Gozman (Елена Гозман), cover art by Maria Gliniavaia (Мария Глинявая). Published by Azbuka, in 2013.
HAVE YOU READ HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE? WATCHED THE ANIME VERSION? WHICH OF THOSE 2 DID YOU PREFER? YOUR FAVOURITE CHARACTER?
IF YOU'VE READ THE REST OF THE SERIES, DO YOU RECOMMEND TO CONTINUE IT? IF YOU LOVED OTHER WORKS OF DIANA WYNNE JONES, WHICH ONE WILL YOU RECOMMEND TO ME?
Have a great day, awesome book and DFTBA!