Slightly off topic from books today (for some of it).
Yesterday, I saw the new X-men movie (Wolverine) and was highly underwhelmed. It was much the same as having sat through all three movies of the new Star Wars and feeling a sense of utter apathy toward them.
My problem with these, and other prequels, for the most part are:
1. They add nothing of value to the original story
2. They give me nothing about the character that I couldn't have discerned for myself, except information that is useless at best, or worse, utterly distracting and clouding over the definition I already have of the character
3. The end is a already determined and so there is nothing of a surprise there
4. Because the end it predetermined, the journey is either uninspiring, uninteresting, or muddled to the point of making no sense in order to get to an end point in an interesting way.
Using Wolverine as an example (yes there are spoilers so don't read if you are going to be upset):
What did we really learn about Logan that we already didn't know?
Um, he fought in a war? No, that was kind of obvious.
Um, Stryker was the one who put metal in him? Yeah, everyone knew that.
I've got it, he had a brother! Exactly, and this is where it makes no sense. His brother is still alive at the end of the movie, and yet nowhere to be seen in the x-men trilogy. Why exactly wouldn't he be involved? It doesn't make sense. He loved violence. He would have been the first one in on a mutant vs human and/or mutant war. We didn't know this about Logan, because it doesn't make sense in the context of the original movie.
Then of course there is the discussion about the quality of the film. Forget the hype. Just look at the scene in the bathroom where he first checks out his new blades. How fake is that? They didn't even try to blend with how they looked in X-men. The didn't even try to make it look like the blades were in the same room as Wolverine. Then there are is the indestructible motor-bike. The cheesy appearance of the professor at the end. The completely ridiculous farce where the army first pursues Logan (without the one weapon that might stop him). It goes on and on.
Same with Star Wars, and the Cruel Intentions Prequel, and with several others I could go into but I'm going to leave it there.
Onto books, because this is supposed to be on books. If you want a decent prequel, read David Eddings the "Belgerad" and follow with the "Mollorean", and then read the two prequels, "Belgarath the Sorcerer" and "Polgara the Sorceress". These actually add something to the series and are entertaining on their own.