The 10 Most Popular Netflix Originals Based On Books, According To Reddit

Netflix just released the finale of Bridgerton season 2 in March 2022, much to the palpable excitement of fans. Although the Regency-era romance series has become one of Netflix’s most celebrated staples, this ultra-popular original series is actually inspired by a series of books.

Related: 10 Books That Are Considered Unadaptable (But Have Been Adapted)

And it’s not just Bridgerton; many of the streaming giant’s original works are adapted from the written word. From fan-favorites such as The Queen’s Gambit to The Witcherhere are a few more of Netflix’s lauded originals that are actually inspired by books.


The Witcher

The Witcher is a fantasy series that follows the adventures of renowned Witcher Geralt of Rivia. Although many fans may think that the series is a video game adaptation since there is a collection of Witcher games, The Witcher was actually first a book series by Andrzej Sapkowski.

This six-book series first started publication in 1986 and continued through 2013. Reddit user abrideNOTbought says they “love the way the story goes back and forth in time,” and even say that they watched the entire first season in two days.

Altered Carbon

This Netflix original follows the development of former soldier Takeshi Kovacs as he seeks to unravel his murder in a mind-bending fantasy world. Altered Carbon was immensely popular following its release in 2018, and the subsequent release of its very own comic book series in 2019.

However, the show is actually an adaptation of the book Altered Carbon by English author Richard K. Morgan, which was released in 2002. Redditor LightningRaven says this is a “great” sci-fi book-to-screen adaptation, which seems to be a popular sentiment in the Reddit community.

aka Grace

aka Grace is a historical fiction series that follows murderess Grace Marks’ journey into insanity. Redditor Sabnitron describes the show as “incredible.” The story was originally written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, who based her book on a collection of real historical facts.

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The book was released in 1996 and won the Canadian Giller Prize, and the subsequent Netflix original was released in 2017. The limited series stays incredibly true to the book’s attention to detail, and for that reason it is one of the most popular adaptations.

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

A Series Unfortunate Events Cast Neil Patrick Harris

A Series of Unfortunate Events follows the thrilling journey of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire as they flee from their villainous relative, Count Olaf. The story is actually probably more popular as a book series, although the screen adaptation has a large Reddit following.

The 13-book series was originally written by Daniel Handler under the pen name Lemony Snicket and saw publication between 1999 and 2006. Reddit user ChrisEvansBicep is a huge fan of Netflix’s adaptation because “They did a great job sticking to the tone and events of the books.”

Orange Is The New Black

Piper, Tay and Poussey in Orange Is The New Black

Orange is the New Black was one of Netflix’s first originals and was released in 2013. The show chronicles main character Piper Chapman’s criminal conviction and subsequent fifteen months in prison. The show is immensely popular and has an incredible following. Redditor LightningRaven recommends it because “the show has always consistently showed great stories.”

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However, this popular Netflix comedy is actually based on a book. Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison is a 2010 memoir by author Piper Kerman that documents her own experience in a federal women’s prison.

Locke And Key

Emilia Jones Connor Jessup and Jackson Robert Scott in Locke & Key Netflix

This fantasy series follows a newly widowed Nina Locke and her three children as they unravel the supernatural occurrences in their new house. Locke and Key premiered on Netflix in 2020, and the final series will join Netflix’s roster of book-to-screen adaptations in 2022.

Fans of this series may be surprised to learn that it is actually an adaptation of a 2008 comic book series written by Joe Hill. the Locke and Key comic book series has over 40 issues and was illustrated by artist Gabriel Rodriguez. Redditor IlatzimepAho is a big fan of the adaptation, and says that “Netflix is ​​a good home for it.”


mindhunter is a psychological thriller that follows FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench as they forge the beginnings of criminal profiling. The show is incredibly popular with Redditors such as Zeyz, who says they “absolutely adore the show.”

Although the Netflix original is quite popular, it is actually an adaptation of a 2017 memoir by John E. Douglas titled Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit. While there are a few major differences in the adaptation, the show is still a must-see for anyone who enjoys true crime.

shadow and bone

Shadow and Bone Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov

Shadow and Bone is a popular fantasy series that follows soldier Alina Starkov as she discovers her magical powers, as well as the story of a ragtag heist gang called the Crows. The series was released in 2021 but is actually based on two separate book series by Israeli-American author Leigh Bardugo.

The show loosely combines plots from The Grisha Trilogy (2012-2014) and The Six of Crows Duology (2015-2016). Redditor 17037 says that “the entire show got stronger as it went on,” and some fans in the thread even say that the screen adaptation is better than the books.


Bridgerton is currently one of the most popular period dramas, and its plot follows the Bridgerton family as the children come of age and enter the ring to find love. Redditor Nightwing1852 said they “enjoyed the show for what it was [sic] a fantasy romance show with a lot drama,” and even praises the show for deviating from typical period drama tropes.

Related: 10 Adapted Characters That Appear Nothing Like Their Physical Book Descriptions

Although the series is popular, it is actually adapted from Julia Quinn’s eight-book series titled The Bridgerton Series. Although the Netflix adaptation was released in 2020, the books were published between 2000-2013.

The Queen’s Gambit

Anya Taylor-Joy in Queen's Gambit

The Queen’s Gambit was a Netflix original limited series that took viewers by storm in 2020. The story follows a young chess prodigy named Beth Harmon as she fights for recognition in the competitive chess arena.

The show is actually adapted from Walter Tevis’ novel titled The Queen’s Gambit, and the show follows the book very closely. Reddit user jebei praises the adaptation for “the actors, the set design, the script, and that ending,” and even says that the show is the “best thing” they’ve watched.

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