Reading Roundup – 11th October 2013

October 11, 2013

This week on my reading roundup I will be discussing some non-book format but book related content.  The first of these is the movie Rubinrot, which is the German made adaptation of Kerstin Gier’s Ruby Red.

Reading Roundup – 11th October 2013Rubinrot (Ruby Red) Movie directed by Felix Fuchssteiner
Series: Gem Trilogy
Genres: Epic Fantasy
Format: Blu Ray DVD 
Starring: Jannis Niewöhner, Maria Ehrich
Length: 122 minutes 
Buy from Amazon • 

One of the trilogies I’ve loved most this year has been Kerstin Gier’s Gem trilogy.   I was very excited to hear that they were making a movie of it.  First the practicalities.  I live in Canada, so I was concerned that a Blu Ray bought from Amazon Germany would not play on my North American Blu Ray device.  However Rubinrot is sold region free in Blu Ray (DVD is European region locked).  It also comes with the English dubbed soundtrack.  I had no issues playing it on my Blu Ray player.  

I loved this movie.  The script and casting were excellent.  Maria Ehrich really captures Gwyneth’s humour and spirit.  I found myself liking Jannis Niewöhner’s portrayal of Gideon much more than I liked the character in the book.  Even the smaller roles are perfectly cast – most notable for me were Jennifer Lotzi as Gwyneth’s best friend, Lesley, and Justine del Corte as Madame Rossini.  Both actresses really made me smile with their portrayals of their characters.  

In terms of script, as I mentioned, the scriptwriters have succeeded for me in capturing the essence of our main character, one of the joys of the books.  They did make significant changes to the ending – the book doesn’t have a strong finale as it is intended to be read as a trilogy along with Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green.  This clearly wouldn’t not work in the film medium which needs a strong finish.  They adapted an additional confrontation to increase the drama.  My biggest issue with what they came up with is that it could be seen to foreshadow strongly a major plot twist of Emerald Green left unspoiled in the book.  

All in all this is an excellent movie, easily up to Hunger Games or Harry Potter standards.  If you’re a fan of the books, go check it out.  Clearly, German cinema goers agree with me – the box office returns appear to have been enough to greenlight an adaptation of book two, Sapphire Blue.  I look forward to that one, too!

I gave Rubinrot movie five stars out of five.

Emma Approved

The second non book content I wish to discuss is Emma Approved, the latest offering from the creators of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  If you are a Jane Austen aficionado, or even a fan of top notch writing, and are not familiar with the LBD,  stop what you are doing, do not pass Go, do not collect $200, go check it out IMMEDIATELY.  LBD and Emma Approved are transmedia (blog, YouTube, Twitter etc) modernised adaptations of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice and Emma respectively.  

The first two YouTube videos of Emma Approved aired this week in which we were introduced to Emma Woodhouse, lifestyle coach with a soon to be 20 for 20 success rate, her boss Alex Knightly and latest success story Annie Taylor.  While I was instantly smitten with Knightly, I didn’t warm up to Emma as quickly as I did to Lizzie Bennet.  In the first episode Emma comes across as arrogant, which I found rather off-putting.  By the second episode though her youth and vulnerability begin to show through, which is very endearing.  What I did love from the beginning was the Emma/Knightly dynamic.  One of the main themes of the original Emma is that the “brother” (Knightly) becomes the lover while the obvious love interest (Frank Churchill) ends up as more of a brother figure to Emma.  Our Emma and Knightly clearly have a close bond.  I look forward to seeing where Emma Approved goes.  

One of the strengths of the LBD was in the perfect casting choices made.  From what I’ve seen, this trend continues in Emma Approved.  My calendar is now set for the regular Monday and Thursday vlog posts.   

Dark Children of Naor by Justyna Plichta-Jendzio Genres: Epic Fantasy Format: ARC Pages: 237 pages Buy from Amazon • Kobo • iTunes • four-stars

I received a copy from the author for review.  It tells the story of Jansemi, a young woman whose family has been cursed by pursuit by demons and violent death since her ancestor’s betrayal of her vows to a goddess many generations before. It tells of her family’s history and her attempt to avoid her fate.

This premise was interesting and well executed.  The setup was well done, although at times I wasn’t certain where some of the subplots were going.  The characters were believable and each had their own motivations for aiding or thwarting Jansemi’s actions.  I liked that it wasn’t always clear whose side a particular character was on.

The author is not a native speaker of English and at times there were turns of phrase that weren’t quite natural.  However, this in no way impacted my understanding of the novel and in many ways actually enhanced the otherworldly feel of the book.

What I didn’t enjoy so much was that the novel was veering on the edge of the horror genre, a genre I don’t particularly appreciate.  This was most apparent in the violent, graphic and gory description of the demon’s attacks.

On the whole though this is a good read.  I gave Dark Children of Naor three and a half stars out of five.

Added to my library this week

Hello, my name is Evelynne and I am a bookaholic.  It has been seven days since my last update and I have added nine books to my library since then.  My excuse is, I’m about to start nightshifts again next week and will need some audiobooks to get me through the long nights.

In addition to the preorders of Emerald Green and The House of Hades, I bought The Book Thief by Markus Zusac.  This is not generally the type of book I read, set as it is in Nazi Germany, but I have seen so many positive reviews that I decided to check it out and was instantly charmed by Allan Corduner’s narration.  Here is a sample.   I bought The Book Thief in both Kindle and Audible formats.  

I adored Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, so I gave in and bought the sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight in both Kindle and Audible formats.

Another series I’ve heard great things about is Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy.  I picked the first book up, again in both Kindle and Audible formats.  The Whispersync for Voice offers are just too good to pass up.  incidentally, I’ve noticed that Amazon is really promoting this feature – I am getting the add professional narration option when I purchase from the website as well now.

The first five chapters of Marissa Meyer’s Cinder are available free on Amazon, so I picked up that, too.  I understand it’s an updating of the Cinderella tale, but set in space?  I guess I’ll know more once I’ve read the first five chapters!

polandbananasBOOKS recently posted on YouTube her interview with Alexandra Bracken, the author of The Darkest Minds series.  The story tells of child survivors of a plague which leaves them with superhuman powers.  This inspired me to check out the excerpt on Alexandra’s website and I was immediately hooked. In fact I regretted that I am in the middle of so many good books that I couldn’t continue reading immediately.  In any case, The Darkest Minds was added to my library in both Kindle and Audible formats.

This morning I learned that I had won an ARC of Mitch Alborn’s The First Phone Call from Heaven through a GoodReads competition.  I’m excited because, first, I never win ANYTHING and secondly, I enjoyed Alborn’s The Timekeeper so I’m sure I will enjoy this book.

The final book I added to my library this week is The Ruby Brooch by Katherine Logan.  This book came to my attention when the author followed me on Twitter.  The concept seemed interesting – Outlander, but set the old American settler days rather than Scotland – so I picked it up on Kindle.

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