There are a ton of reviews available by various media outlets. So far, the day of the first episode's release online, initial response seems overwhelmingly positive. That makes me smile.
I say this because I am a big fan of the books. A big fan. I mean, I haven't gotten this invested in a story and its universe since I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation in my teens. I want the show to succeed and have invested a lot of personal time and energy into reading the books, keeping up on the show's production, discussing things on Twitter, and Reddit, and working on this Wikia.
So I had a lot invested, and I didn't want to be disappointed. Despite early reviews I was cautiously optimistic, and ready to accept whatever I got, even if it wasn't exactly what I had pictured or hoped. There's a risk there pf rose-coloured glasses, I suppose. So what's my verdict after seeing the first episode?
They got it right.
I have not seen an adaptation as faithful as this... well... ever. The world-building, the production design, the characters, the actors, the music - it all works. It all works so well, that even watching the episode a second time, it still felt like only 10 minutes. I absolutely loved it, and am so happy that everyone involved has such an amazing piece of art to show for their hard work.
One particular standout moment would be the flip-and-burn of the Cant. Within that one sequence we establish a lot of the rules for space travel that will be used throughout all the episodes. The ship felt big, and heavy, and fragile. The mass of it and the icebergs translated impeccably to the screen. It was so close to what I pictured in my head as to be scary.
This is not to say everything is exactly what I expected - that would be impossible. Some roles are filled by actors that were not what I had pictured in my head, but others were. Some of those who I did not immediately picture slid into that character within minutes like a well-worn glove, right at home, and they WERE that character.
Ade's last moments with Holden were a change from the book that were an improvement from the novel. The death carried a weight I didn't feel from the book and hit me harder than I expected it to. If that's the kind of thing that comes from making a change, then it is absolutely the right change to make.
I could go on and on...
Because I have read the books, I know what's going to happen, but I don't. I look forward to seeing the deviations from the book, and being able to enjoy and discover the show on it's own - as a distinct piece of work. Where it differs from the books does not negate the books, and vice versa. It just means that I get to enjoy it for its merits and maybe be surprised from time to time.
All this is to say that my trust was not misplaced, and I am so happy to have been able to follow the growth of this show during the production. My congratulations to all involved in getting to this point. I look forward to continued viewing and being part of this little fan community we are building together.