"The world's spiritual geniuses seem to discover universally that the mind's muddy river, this ceaseless flow of trivia and trash, cannot be dammed, a"The world's spiritual geniuses seem to discover universally that the mind's muddy river, this ceaseless flow of trivia and trash, cannot be dammed, and trying to dam it is a waste of effort that might lead to madness. Instead you must allow the muddy river to flow unheeded in the dim channels of consciousness; you raise your sights; you look along it, mildly, acknowledging its presence without interest and gazing beyond it into the realm of the real where subjects and objects act and rest purely, without utterance." p19...more
Second book in the series. Better than the first. She introduces more female characters and fixes the Bechdel test problem. Although I'm beginning toSecond book in the series. Better than the first. She introduces more female characters and fixes the Bechdel test problem. Although I'm beginning to think the author was an only child and doesn't have any female friends.
Ruth and Paige Winterbourne contact Elena for a conference of supernatural races: witches, half-demons, vampires, shamans, and werewolves. The werewolves used to go to those meetings but stopped going because they don't play well with others. But a crazy rich guy and some scientists are kidnapping supernatural creatures for "research" and hunting and even werewolves are at risk.
This book introduces Paige and Savannah, who are important characters in later books. The next two books are all about them. And Savannah eventually gets her own book.
There are some troubling moral issues. The bad guys are bad because they kill people and get off on killing. But so do Elena and Clay. There is no self awareness about this. They think Savannah is "evil" because she accidentally kills someone. But they are not evil despite the fact that they frequently kill people with no compunction at all. I don't know what call that kind of obliviousness. There is a really high body count in this book. ...more
It's a fast read. What some people call a potato chip book, because it is full of (metaphorical) salt, grease, and carbs; and you can eat a whole bagIt's a fast read. What some people call a potato chip book, because it is full of (metaphorical) salt, grease, and carbs; and you can eat a whole bag of them without much thought or effort.
I give it 4 stars for being a fun fast read. It is what it is. It is not deep or mind blowing. It is a supernatural action romance novel. With a female lead who can kick butt, and some hot sex scenes. Although for a "strong female lead" book it is disappointing that it barely passes the Bechdel test. Elena has no female friends because she is the only female werewolf. The only women she talks to are her boyfriend's sisters and mother. And they were more developed characters in the TV show.
I watched the TV show first. The TV show had some problems. But it is better than the book.
Elena, the main character is annoying in the book. The TV show didn't include all the internal whining and it was much better for it. An editor should have cut out the whining and the book would be much shorter and much faster. In the TV show you don't realize that she has no insight or self-awareness. And in the book it is clear that her relationship with Philip was doomed from the start. She wasn't just hiding her wolf from him, she was pretending to be a whole different person. Philip didn't even know she liked real maple syrup. And they are Canadian!
I was a bit annoyed by the gender norms. Elena has some weird ideas about what a "normal" woman is supposed to be like.
The TV show actually kept more to the plot of this book than I thought at first. Just some little changes here and there. This book introduces the werewolf characters for the series and has a plot of some "mutts", lone werewolves, turning human serial killers into werewolves to kill The Pack. That plot line was covered very faithfully in the TV show. Except the TV show added foreign werewolves that are not in this book.
I think the TV show did a much better job than the author on Clayton. He is suposed to be an Anthropology Professor. In the TV show I had no problem believing that. In the book I came to believe the author just put that in there so she could claim Clay was "smart", since he never does anything that would indicate he was other than a violent brute. Show, don't tell. In the book he responds to any threat or obstacle with violence. The Clay of the book could barely get through high school. I don't believe he could ever have gotten a PhD. or taught a class. He just doesn't have the temperament.
And speaking of Clay's PhD. There is no such thing as "anthropomorphic religions". It is possible for an anthropologist to study anthropomorphism in world religions. Or just anthropomorphism in one particular religion. But there is no such thing as anthropomorphic religions. Animal symbolism in mythology would be a huge field of study by itself. You would have to include things like the "Lamb of God" and the Holy Spirit as a dove.
I could believe that Jeremy had a PhD in Folklore focusing on animal imagery. Jeremy has the temperament to be a college Professor. And it would be perfectly plausible for him to teach folklore and mythology. But for some reason he is a painter. Well, a successful fine arts painter might be able to make enough money to support his lavish lifestyle. An anthropology Prof certainly couldn't....more
A friend bought this for me because he loves it and wants me to read it. I'm reading this with another friend and doing the lessons.
The first day weA friend bought this for me because he loves it and wants me to read it. I'm reading this with another friend and doing the lessons.
The first day we read the 4 forwards, the 2 prefaces, and the introduction. They were generally good. I disagree with the Ciceros about the definition of religion that they use when they talk about the difference between magick and religion. The relationship between magick and religion is complex and I don't have the time or space to discuss it here.
I was not familiar with Lon Milo DuQuette, and now I want to read his book "Low Magick-- It's All in Your Head... You Just Have No Idea How Big Your Head Is".
I can tell that this is going to have a lot more Kabbalah in it than I prefer. But that is one of the reasons I have never been into Ceremonial magick.
The second day we read the first lesson. The author recommends doing one lesson per month. Lesson 1: keep a dream diary; keep a ritual dairy; get a Golden Dawn compatible Tarot Deck; Relaxation Ritual (I would call this an exercise not a ritual); define magick; Tarot Contemplation Ritual (once again not really a ritual); a lot of stuff about Tarot; the difference between "fortunetelling" and "divination" (He recommends saying that you are doing "psychological counseling" p28 in places where divination is illegal. Do not do this. It is called practicing psychiatry without a license, and more illegal than divination. Where I live the Tarot readers all say that they are doing readings for "entertainment only" because anything else is illegal. But you can say that you are offering "life coaching", so far that does not seem to be a regulated industry.); a Split Hexagram Tarot Spread; Introduction to the LBRP; Tools and altar for the LBRP (I disagree with the tools and associations); "Tau" Robe (basic ritual robe); How to draw a Banishing Earth pentagram; review questions; Bibliography.
My sister Maria gave me this book for my 50th birthday. I'm not sure if that says something about me or something about her.
This appears to be a fairMy sister Maria gave me this book for my 50th birthday. I'm not sure if that says something about me or something about her.
This appears to be a fairly straightforward morality story. Everyone in the family has a "sorely trying day" and when they learn to take responsibility and apologize things get better. A rather quaint story with antique images. ...more
My sister Maria gave me this book for my 50th birthday. I'm not sure if that says something about me or something about her.
It's a cute little storyMy sister Maria gave me this book for my 50th birthday. I'm not sure if that says something about me or something about her.
It's a cute little story about the benefits of "fooling around".
I like the illustrations.
I'm not sure what age children this is supposed to be for. It has a lot of words for a children's book. But it isn't a chapter book. If your child is too young to read it themselves you can read it to them. ...more
I can't tell you who the protagonist is or what they want. Well, Justin Warrick and Ariane Emory are the protaI found this book immensely frustrating!
I can't tell you who the protagonist is or what they want. Well, Justin Warrick and Ariane Emory are the protagonists. But Justin seems to run from one situation to another just trying to survive. And Ari starts off old and very unpleasant, then she dies (not really a spoiler it's the one thing I knew before I started reading this book) and they make a clone of her who grows up to take her place. The second Ari is not quite as unpleasant as the first one. But the rest is just politics. Ari I's politics, Ari II's politics. Interstellar politics. Terrorist bombings. Kidnappings. There is even a section that reads like a social studies text on the constitution of the Union.
I suppose if you like the Dune saga or Game Of Thrones you might like this. Lots of people trying to double bluff each other for pages and pages. I don't have time for this. ...more
This book contains a collection of essays that are both funny and serious.
I enjoy her sense of humor. And I appreciate her honesty about living withThis book contains a collection of essays that are both funny and serious.
I enjoy her sense of humor. And I appreciate her honesty about living with mental illness. I don't have exactly the same problems she does, but I do suffer from depression and it really helps to read about her experiences and how she copes, or doesn't cope. ...more
There is nothing wrong with horror as a genre. I'm just surprised that no one mentioned it in the descriptions. The editoThis is Horror, Not Fantasy.
There is nothing wrong with horror as a genre. I'm just surprised that no one mentioned it in the descriptions. The editor talks a lot about "genre" fiction, and I was a bit confused at first because these stories are not like the fantasy genre I am used to. But once I realized they were horror genre I could see how they fit perfectly. Maybe it's just because I am a real Witch that the words: magic, esoteric, and arcane do not mean horror to me.
"The Wrong Fairy" by Audrey Niffenegger. I bought this book because it contained a story by her. This story is about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's father, who was an alcoholic and painted pictures of fairies. In the story a fairy appears to him while he is committed to a lunatic asylum to dry out, and the Queen of Fairies commissions him to paint pictures of her children. Which he does, until he dies. The facts of the story are essentially true. Charles Doyle was committed to Sunnyside for alcoholism and did draw and paint fairies.
"If I Die, Kill My Cat" by Sarah Lotz. A South African cleaner specializing and cleaning up after dead bodies finds a small black cat in the home of a dead Austrian Druid, and a strange note saying "If I die, kill my cat." She takes in the cat and soon people around her begin to have dangerous accidents. It seems that the government has hired Druids to remove bad luck from dangerous roads and that bad luck has to go somewhere.
"Shuffle" by Will Hill. This story has three parts. In the first part a young man and his friends summon a demon as joke that ends with with two of them dead. In the second part he plays blackjack in a casino and wins a lot of money. In the third part he plays three card Monty in the street and deliberately loses all the money he won. In the end we see what the demon gets out of it.
"Domestic Magic" by Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem. A teenage boy complains that he has to take care of both his little sister and his crazy mom. But when his crazy mom puts his little sister in danger he has to do something to stop her.
"Cad Coddeu" by Liz Williams. A wild man who can't remember his own name sees a shape changer being chased by tree warriors and helps her escape an evil Druid.
"Party Tricks" by Dan Abnett. Political party politics is easier to manipulate if you are an immortal shape changing sorcerer.
"First and Last and Always" by Thana Niveau. Never do love spells!!! Ever!!!
"The Art of Escapology" by Alison Littlewood. I'm not sure that anyone really escapes in this story. If it were a hopeful fantasy story maybe the father wanted to escape and so he did. But it seems more like the father was possessed and kidnapped and never managed to escape.
"The Baby" by Christopher Fowler. I hope this story is a snapshot of how things used to be, and modern young girls don't have to go through this. This young girl makes bad choices and suffers the consequences. But really it's the adults who should have known better and are really responsible for what they do to her.
"Do as Thou Wilt" by Storm Constantine. I was pleasantly surprised by this story. A mature woman is recovering from a relationship with a man who is a psychic vampire. No fangs or blood. He just leaches the life force out of his victims. She got away but a friend of hers tells her the man is still out there doing the same thing to other women. At first she doesn't want to get involved, but in the end she takes steps to stop him. What I liked about this story is that it is entirely plausible. This sort of thing does happen in modern Wiccan circles and it would be handled in pretty much this way. The only part that was the least bit "supernatural" was the vision that the wife has at the end. And that is probable too. People do have visions like that. Whether you believe in them or not.
"Bottom Line" by Lou Morgan. I was a bit disappointed by this story. Magic as a destructive addiction. And one man's attempt, and failure, to escape.
"MailerDaemon" by Sophia McDougall. Grace is an unemployed computer programmer who suffers from nightmares. Her online friend Seven Magpies offers to send her a demon named Mr Levanter-Sleet who likes "girls in trouble" and doesn't like other demons, or boys. Grace accepts, and her nightmares go away. But when her boyfriend spends the night he gets nightmares and tries to kill himself. If Grace wants to be in a long term relationship with a man she needs to get rid of Mr Levanter-Sleet. I thought Seven Magpies was unnecessarily Fae. I mean was she really a child? or some supernatural creature? And why?
"Buttons" by Gail Z. Martin. Apparently this is a short story about some existing characters who live in Atlanta, Georgia, and dispose of dangerous artifacts for a living. In this case a button from a Civil War uniform leads to a haunted house and old magic gone wrong. Nice use of Voudoun as a solution to a problem.
"Nanny Grey" by Gemma Files. An unscrupulous young man gets fed to the family demon of a woman he tries to rob. Lots of hints at a back story but no explanation of what exactly the woman is getting out of her relationship with Nanny Grey, or why Nanny Grey is bound to her.
"Dumb Lucy" by Robert Shearman. A magician wanders a wasteland with a silent little girl doing magic tricks for what people they can find. Maybe. Or maybe he went insane after he abandoned his wife. I have no idea what is going on in this story. ...more