American Gods premiere
Laura Moon (Emily Browning) will appear more in the TV adaptation of “American Gods” than she did in the book. Starz

“American Gods” is finally coming to TV, but any reader knows that the book is never the same as the TV show. Neil Gaiman’s beloved sci-fi novel about Shadow Moon, a man who gets caught up in a war between new gods (like The Technical Boy and Media) and old gods (like Easter and Mr. Wednesday). While the Starz adaptation honors the source material, it still can’t be an exact adaptation. This is how the show changed the books:

Extroverted Shadow Moon: Actor Ricky Whittle explained that his character’s personality had to shift to make the TV show interesting. “The show basically strayed away from the book Shadow, who’s very internal, stoic and blasé quiet," Whittle told Business Insider. “But that’s not something people want to watch. We had to adapt this to TV, so we added layers, charisma, made it more real.”

Timely Updates: The book was first published in 2001, but the show takes place in the present. Therefore, Laura’s (Emily Browning) job had to be changed since small town travel agents aren’t as popular as they used to be, and Technical Boy (Bruce Langley) had to adapt to the modern perception of the tech world. While he used to be an acne-ridden overweight dude, the TV show shows him as a young skinny guy with a vaporizer.

American Gods
The new TV show “American Gods,” starring Ian McShane and Ricky Whittle, will be a little different from the original book. Starz

More Female Characters: The ladies of “American Gods” didn’t get much time on the page in Gaiman’s book, but the Starz drama wants to increase their presence — a decision the author supported.

“You meet Bilquis [Yetide Badaki] in the most indelible fashion possible in the novel, and she falls out of the book and has just a brief couple lines later on, and it was very exciting to imagine what comes next and where is she in two, three seasons,” executive producer Michael Green explained to E! Online. “Laura Moon captured our imagination very early on. She has three, four, great great scenes in the book, and there’s an adventure to be had, and Neil was as interested as we were in finding out where they were off screen.”

Jesus: It’s not just the ladies getting more screen time. Jesus will also factor into the TV show far more than the book, where he wasn’t really the focus. Jesus will appear in various versions on “American Gods” as well.

“There are so many different perspectives on who Jesus Christ was and is in the hearts of those who worship him, so that I think it’s interesting to say to Christians that your Jesus — pointing to one end of the room — is different from your Jesus," showrunner Bryan Fuller told the Chicago Tribune.

Overall, it doesn't seem like the changes to “American Gods” will be overwhelming. It seems they kept much of the source material. One of the many things that didn’t change is the diversity. Gaiman told E! that Starz and the writers were happy to oblige him on his one firm demand.

“I was like, OK, you do understand we are casting people the racial make up of the book is the racial makeup of the TV show, we’re not whitewashing, we’re not changing, we’re keeping it going like that, and they’re like, yep, we get it,” he recalled.

“American Gods” Season 1 premieres Sunday, April 30 at 9 p.m. EDT on Starz.