Mini Reviews: Heart of Gold, Venustransit and Ghostly Echoes

Coming home for Christmas, I managed to not only catch up on my reading, but surpass my (adjusted) reading goal for 2018. I’ve definitely read a lot less this year than in the previous ones, but overall I am still not unhappy with the outcome. So, there’s that!

Click on the covers to get redirected to Goodreads!

Heart of Gold: Act I by Eli Baumgartner/Viv Tanner

Heart of Gold Act II supported this graphic novel via Kickstarter and I am beyond happy I did. The final product is BEAUTIFUL with golden edges and a gorgeous sketch of one of the characters on one of the first pages for me. I adore it!

All the better that the content inside fits the great exterior. It’s such an interesting take on religion, damnation, love, faith and healing. It shows two entirely different approaches to those topics and keeps a mystery and tension going throughout the entire first act. The imagery is so beautiful and I honestly cannot wait to read more.

Heart of Gold is also available as a web comic here!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! I am 100% intrigued and here for it!

Venustransit by Hamed Eshrat

VenustransitVenustransit is a German comic about a guy who hasn’t quite figured out his life, gets dumped bis his girlfriend and is stuck in a job he hates. It’s set in Berlin and I can almost see the street I am living in on the cover (so close!). I like diving into things I know the setting of and can try and figure out if I walked the same streets. Stuff like that never gets tired to me (except when it’s only historical fiction … like so often with Vienna).

While I wasn’t as in love with the drawing style as I was with other comics I own, the story had a clear line and still took a lot of creative liberties. It was interesting and I am sure relatable to a lot of people out there.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! Gets plus points for the setting.

Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter

Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby, #3)Ghostly Echoes is the third book in the Jackaby series. I only did a mini review for the second book, Beastly Bones, as well, so I feel like I should stick to that format of reviewing for now.

This series legit just keeps getting better and better. The story is becoming more complex, with more dots to connect and still so, so much to discover about the characters. The writing style isn’t really anything over the top and it all seems like light fun in the beginning, but by now there’s a lot more serious stuff happening and you are so emotionally invested in the fate of the characters. And there is a lot to worry about! This book even included a little detour to the underworld!

If you are into Sherlock-esque mysteries with a supernatural twist, have at it with this series. I can only recommend it!

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Here’s to hoping the last book will be equally as amazing, if not more so.

Have you read any of the books/comics I mentioned? Are you interested in some of them? Let’s talk!

Mini Reviews: Comic Book Edition

Since the mini reviews were quite well received last month and I didn’t have the best of reading months in July, I just wanted to do a short round up of all the comic books I read. I hope you like reading those too!

Click on the covers to get redirected to Goodreads!

Deadly Class, Vol. 1+2

Deadly Class, Vol. 1: Reagan YouthDeadly Class, Vol. 2: Kids of the Black HoleI wanted to check out Deadly Class so bad before the show starts airing (check out the trailer here) and I got very lucky when a friend of mine decided to unhaul some of his comic books and I got them really cheap. I’ve heard so many people raving about this one, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I can definitely see the appeal in terms of the storytelling and dialogue, because it’s more than kids just beating each other up. It’s about depression, anxiety, moral ambiguity, tough circumstances and even tougher choices and all of it in a high stakes setting.

“This isn’t a dress rehearsal Marcus, you only get the one turn. Life is a series of unique opportunities. It’s our job to find the happiness in each one.”

Still, as I read on, I just found that the art style and the violence weren’t for me in this type of format. I think I can still see myself enjoying the show a lot, but as soon as I realised I was skipping panels because I really didn’t want to read or see what was happening, I gathered I probably won’t be continuing with the comics, even though I would like to know what will happen in the overall story.

Fazit Vol. 1: 4/5 stars! It was a wild trip!

Fazit Vol. 2: 3/5 stars! This kind of proved to me that I probably won’t be reading this on the long run.

Faith, Vol. 1

Faith, Volume 1: Hollywood & VineI gravitated towards this story because they want to adapt Faith for the big screen and I really wanted to check out what her character was all about. I can’t say that Valiant comics are what I usually strive for, so I kind of missed Faith’s origin story (which was in a previous series and not in this one) but I didn’t feel too disoriented.

As a character, I really loved Faith! It’s not often that you get to see a plus-size female superhero and such a funny, geeky and badass one at that. (The pop culture references were on point!) She charms you even when the story is only meh and you want to know more about her regular life, romantic entanglements and alliances.

On a side note, I am also very curious about the casting should they go forward with the movie! I can’t think of anyone from the top of my mind, which is sad if you think about it.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! I can see myself really following this character for a while.

Magritte: Ceci n’est pas une biographie

Magritte: This is Not a BiographyI don’t know if any of you know this about me, but René Magritte is one of my all time favourite artists. It’s not even all his paintings or themes, but he was one of the first artists I really discovered for myself and quickly learned to distinguish in exhibitions (Seriously, I can spot a Magritte a mile away). I don’t remember why, but we learned a lot about him when I was around the age of 10 and his life story just sort of stuck with me. I won this book and to get a whole graphic novel that’s basically a homage to his life, art and shortcomings as well as accomplishments was really great.

It’s a weird story for sure, but so was Magritte’s art. I liked that they kept the surrealist approach while making it their own and also educating people on parts of his life some might not have known about. It was really fun and with a certain unexpected ending.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Such a nice short homage to Magritte!

That’s it for today! Have you read any of these or do you have thoughts on them? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Let’s talk about Movies!

As my rate of blog posts was barely existing during the past month, I’ve neglected to mention a couple of movies I’ve watched. I don’t see the point of discussing them all at length now, but I’ll give you a short take on things (Spoiler-free unless noted otherwise) and I’d love to discuss with you in further detail in the comments! So, here we go:

Kingsman: The Secret Service

I’ve read the graphic novel before watching the movie and I was of the opinion that they’d never actually do the things that happened in the written version … but they did! A lot of the characters were changed to some extent, but the general storyline wasn’t so far fetched from the actual comic. With creators Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons being the brains behind Kick-Ass as well, I knew the movie would have quite violent tendencies, but I didn’t expect Kingsman to be the way it ended up being. It was both hilarious and shocking and a great cinematic debut for Taron Egerton. Also, it was awesome to see Colin Firth in such an action-packed role!

Fazit: laughworthy and enjoyable

 

Insurgent

They’ve changed a lot from the book and I don’t care whatsoever. I really enjoyed the book, but I kind of liked the movies better so far. Maybe it’s because I dread Allegiant and I am hoping that they’ll change the events of that one as well. Also, I have to add that I love Miles Teller in these movies! (Okay … not just in the Divergent-Series …) [SPOILER] On a side-note: the betrayal by Caleb felt more real in the book … just saying.

Fazit: really cool!

 

Eden

Why only talk about mainstream-stuff? Eden is a film by French film director Mia Hansen-Løve about the guys who didn’t become Daft Punk. It is apparently a sort of semi-biography of her brother Sven’s life. You probably can’t imagine much after that, but let’s just say it’s a film about music, the perfect mix between euphoria and melancholy without any apparent goal except portraying the ups and overweighing downs of DJ Paul’s life.

Fazit: lengthy but deeply impacting (at least on me) movie

 

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

This is an Iranian Western-vampire movie – says it all! If that doesn’t convince you to watch this unique work of art, then I don’t know how to help you … I watched it in its original language with subtitles and it was beautiful to witness. The music is chosen perfectly and it’s just so intense. Sometimes it feels a tad long, but you forgive it that little flaw easily. Some may compare it to Only Lovers Left Alive, although I would hesitate to call it that, it’s quite it’s own piece of work. I’m not too big of a fan of open ends, but here the conclusion was quite fitting.

Fazit: A must-watch for vampire fans!

 

Avengers: Age of Ultron

I wasn’t as impressed as I wanted to be. I liked the movie and it didn’t feel long at all, but it just didn’t throw me out of my seat either. Love Spader as Ultron and Paul Bettany as the Vision! I think they could’ve used the creepy version of the Pinocchio song more during the film. [SPOILER] I am not at all okay with them killing Quicksilver though, because I adore the Maximoff-twins. His death had absolutely no emotional impact on me, the scene was just void of any feelings. My heart broke for Wanda, but before that … I mean he even cracked a joke while dying. Are you serious? I am still secretly hoping that his fast metabolism somehow healed him or that Scarlett Witch will resurrect him like she did in the comics.

Fazit: Another great piece of the Marvel universe

 

That was long enough a post I think. Hope you enjoyed it nonetheless. What are your thoughts? Would you like to have me do that once a month or do you prefer the more detailed posts?