Novel Review: Noah: Ila’s Story

The Bible has provided the inspiration for many a Hollywood movie, and the latest of these is Paramount’s Noah. I had the opportunity to review the book Noah: Ila’s Story, which is based off the movie, and you can read on for my thoughts about it.

Back Cover Blurb

The ancient world. A young girl, Ila, is found, injured after a violent raid. She is taken in by Noah and his family and grows up strong and happy – she even finds love with her soulmate, Shem, Noah’s son. But when devastation comes to the world in the form of a huge flood, Ila and her new family are responsible for saving not only themselves but all life on earth. Against all odds they set off in the Ark, but all is not as it seems…

As events unfold, Ila has to find the power within her to help Noah in his epic quest, and ultimately save humanity.

The Review

The front cover touts Noah: Ila’s Story as a novel, but it’s sparse for a novel. The book is only 108 pages long. In addition, the storytelling style and vocabulary seem more suited for a middle grade audience, and I found punctuation and formatting errors scattered in the text, which give it the feel of a rush job.

Noah: Ila’s Story, like the Mark Morris Noah novel, is based off the Aronofsky film and covers the same plot, beginning with Ila’s adoption and concluding with the rainbow blessing upon Noah’s family. Unlike Morris’ book, Ila’s Story stands poorly on its own. Unless you’ve seen the movie or read Morris’ novelization, following the plot in Ila’s Story would be difficult. This is due to the fact that the book follows the events of the Noah movie from Ila’s point of view only. As such, several pivotal moments, including the trips to Methuselah’s cave, Noah’s horrific visit to the refugee camp, and the battle with Tubal-Cain within the ark get recounted secondhand, sometimes long after the fact.

To be honest, the book reads like a weak fanfiction. Korman doesn’t go nearly as deep into Ila’s thoughts as she could. We only get a little bit of extra details on Ila’s birth family and some of her reflections after the flood recedes. I had expected more about her relationship with Shem, like the how and why of them falling in love, but the descriptions of their romance remain on a very shallow level. The pair are in love just because they are, and Korman spends most of her efforts trying to relate all the major events of the movie, a task the Morris novelization does a much better job at.

The book includes eight full-color stills from the movie as extras.

In Summary

With Emma Watson’s face gracing the cover and her character’s name in the title, Noah: Ila’s Story seems a not-so-subtle effort to capitalize on Emma Watson fans. If what you want is a brief retelling of the Noah film from Ila’s point of view along with five color stills showcasing or including Watson, you’ll get that but not much else. Restricting the story to Ila’s point of view results in a weak and oftentimes confusing narrative, and if you haven’t seen the film or read the Morris novelization, I’d caution against picking up this title.

First published at The Fandom Post.


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