Five Ghosts Review

About time I got around to Five Ghosts. It’s been sitting there for a while and I just saw the new volume come out last week or so.

The premise is fantastic. It’s a guy possessed by five ghosts who he can channel to use their special skill sets or abilities to help him go around Relic Hunter style, stealing relics from dangerous places and selling them.1 Just don’t think too hard about the vampire part and the set up is great.

It fell apart for me with the writing. I never felt like I got a good foundation of just who Fabian Grey was or what any of his motivations were. Sure, he’s doing it to find a way to help his comatose sister2  but I have no idea who he is or if that’s the only reason. He sleeps with women, he’s cursed, he sleeps a lot, but he seems bland as an actual person.

There’s also the plotting. Things kept happening. This would be great if they lead into one another, but I don’t think they actually did. He succumbed to his curse at plot convenient moments, got out of it at convenient moments and then something else would happen that wasn’t prompted by any previous actions.

It might be a case of being dropped into the middle of the story and not being able to see the connection between events because the camera is pulled in too close, but I have no idea at this point. I’m not invested enough in the characters to care about the random woman getting bombed somewhere else or the fainting sexy priestess. I just don’t care enough about Fabian to find out how any of this stuff links together or what’s going on.

Guess I’m skipping on that second book.

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  1. I realize Relic Hunter didn’t sell the relics. []
  2. The only named female in the book which, just, UGH []

Saga: Vol 3 Review

I read something else off the pile! I’ve talked about this series before and how much I like it, but the third volume was sitting in the pile for a while. Whoops. Finally got around to it and, SURPRISE, I liked it.

It is a lot more domestic than the other volumes. Hazel has a stable house and they have their recovery arc from all the craziness of the previous two volumes. Even The Will1 gets a nice domestic arc, though as you can imagine, the arcs don’t stay terribly domestic.

I was more focused on some of the world building that happened in this one than anything else. We spend a good time away from the characters having their down time and instead focused on these two reporters who I really hope we see more of. At first I thought it was a tabloid sort of thing and I still don’t really know why they’ve latched onto the story in the first place, but I’m kind of invested in them and they’re now characters I am looking forward to resurfacing in the future.

Also, just the fact that we get little insights into Alana’s back story without it seeming forced or out of place. As a framing device for it, the reporting on the kidnapping was a great way to show Alana’s history without actually having her spout exposition.

And, of course, ending on a cliff hanger. I suspect the next book will pick up again, but it was nice to have a bit of a quieter book with a bit of exposition and world building.

Saga, Vol. 3 (Paperback)

By (author): Brian K. Vaughan

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Release date March 25, 2014.
  1. God, that name is still stupid sounding to me []

Umbral Review

All right! Let’s start making a decent effort to read the stack of unreads I have just sitting on the floor next to me every day. Staring up at me. Getting bigger and bigger every week. First book go!


Book One: Out of the Shadows

I started reading this one in issues a while back. It looked interesting and, while I don’t read much fantasy anymore, that doesn’t mean I don’t read fantasy at all. I find a lot of fantasy comics – like a lot of fantasy stories – fall into relying on older tropes and telegraph what’s going to happen early on.

Luckily, not so much the case with this one. We follow a girl named Rascal, who is friends with a prince who doesn’t last long. Creatures use the solar eclipse happening as a means to break into the castle, murder the royal family and replace them with doubles. Thy are after the Umbral, a powerful force of magic for reasons having to do with gods and an entirely new mythology.

It does have some of the tropes. There’s still the magical macguffin item that reacts at inopportune moments, the old wizard who knows more than he’s letting on who will serve as the mentor until he gets killed off, the tank, the one with the gadgets and an underdog heroine who is in over her head.

Oh, and racial infighting between two characters in the party. They may not have dwarves and elves, but they do have two races with a long history with one another who do not like each other.

The art is interesting in the book, too. It’s rough and looks almost unfinished at parts, but it does a lot more to add to the darker atmosphere than take away from it. Everything looks a little dirty and, when the world is tainted by a pervasive dark evil, that works amazingly well.

The important part is that it’s not predictable in the way a lot of fantasy stories are. While I can see future beats coming, I don’t know how they’re going to unfold at this point and it should be interesting to watch this journey.

I’ll probably pick up the next trade when it’s out.

Umbral Volume 1 TP (Paperback)

By (author): Antony Johnston

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I completely forgot to do the standard introduction. I didn’t even notice until after I’d finished editing. Whoops.

But seriously, the belly shirts in an otherwise business casual office threw me off for so long. Love her as a character, but if I can’t wear a belly shirt to a programming job, I’m pretty sure she can’t wear them as a cop unless she’s under cover.

Powers Vol. 1: Who Killed Retro Girl? (Paperback)

By (author): Brian Michael Bendis

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I am a Terrible Video Reviewer

Yep. Because I was feeling all awkward and out of place for not doing a thing. You can check out the page if you feel so inclined.

Also, does this mark the start of content producers of all sorts being able to ask for money directly instead of putting out content and never mentioning the money required to make it in the first place? Because that would be super interesting as part of a larger conversation about the changing dynamic between fans and creators.