Friday, September 22, 2017
Like any collection, I enjoyed some stories and poems and disliked others. Seasons of Love was probably my favorite with the range of emotions in the stories. The illustrations that accompanied each story were also great to set the mood. The captivity of humans in The Zoobadoo Zoo brought to mind the Planet of the Apes series and the aliens reminded me a bit of the Vogons from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but the story itself was unique. And The Fernando Bellisa Chronicles amused me as a satire of the typical posh vampire life portrayed in most books and movies. For me this was an enjoyable read with a variety of stories to choose from.
Friday, September 15, 2017
For those who already have a good understanding of Hinduism there won't be anything new, but for those of us who would like to learn more or know very little this is a great piece.
Friday, September 8, 2017
The cover art caught my eye as soon as I saw it and I was delighted to find that the same vibrant and detailed illustrations are found throughout the entire book. A map in the beginning of the book make it easy for readers to follow both the Blue Unicorn's journey and the separate trek of his Tribe as they make their way to Muzika Woods. Each section has a small black and white illustration and is only two pages of text, making it easy to pick up and put down. Following each section is a full-color 2 page spread version of the black and white picture on the text page. The formatting in the e-book great, but is best enjoyed on a color tablet or computer screen to get the full color illustrations.
Seeing each of the unicorns special abilities corresponding to each unicorns unique metal horn is creative. Although Blue is without magic, he certainly isn't helpless and his ability to stay positive throughout the book definitely helps him on the way. The writing style is appropriate for the age category. The story moves at a steady pace and kept me hooked from beginning to end. Readers should be warned of the inclusion of death near that end, which may be too dark for younger readers.
This coming-of-age story is sure to delight fantasy and unicorn enthusiasts.
Author's Related Books:
Coloring Book - Blue Unicorn's Journey to Osm
Art Book and Character Descriptions - Blue Unicorn's Journey to Osm
Friday, September 1, 2017
I continue to enjoy this reboot with it's tie-ins to the video game series and its reimagining of the characters from the comic and cartoon series. The art is crisp and the colors are vibrant. The action is clearly illustrated and the dialogue occasionally has a few jokes or puns to give me a laugh snuck between the serious events.
Books in the Series:
Countdown to Chaos
Waves of Change
Friday, August 25, 2017
Now Siri must fight to prevent war from inside the political scene with the help of the God King, while Vivenna tries to stop it from the outside with brute force by learning new magics she previously scorned.
I listened to the Brilliance Audio full dramatization, which contained a full voice cast, an original soundtrack and sound effects. The cast did an amazing job bringing the book alive. I especially loved the voice actor who performed Lightsong. The sound effects were always appropriate, though I found a particular chiming sound irritating. The soundtrack was subtle and rarely overwhelming, only adding to the mood.
I wasn't fond of many of the main characters, but each clearly had a purpose to fulfill in the plot. The magic system involving breath (lifeforce) and colors was intriguing and it was one of the primary reasons I continued listening to the book. Some of the characters were more interesting than others. In the end I had thought all was lost until an unexpected character came into play. Filled with drama, intrigue, and magic I loved this book.
Brilliance Audio Performance - Part 2
Brilliance Audio Performance - Part 3
Friday, August 18, 2017
Part Three, Myths and Beliefs of the Ancient Ones, contains a brief explanation on The Origins of the Gods before continuing on into the revelations he had in ecstatic trance that he chooses to call The Lost Edda of the Vanir, and finally concludes with The Teachings of the Vanir.
In the Epilogue he tells the reader that the age of Baldr and the Great Mother has come.
The prologue's title Our Relationship to the Great Mother should have been a warning sign to me, but even after reading the prologue itself I willingly forged on. When I got to chapter 1 I fully realized where the author was going when he referred to books like The Mayan Code by Clow and authors like Marija Gimbutas. At this point I realized that there will be very little reference to evidence we have the Norse tradition and the author would be providing everything in a new age interpretation. Chapter 2 explains how ecstatic and hypnotic trance work and gives many examples of his own work and that with clients. In chapter 3 the author takes figurines found in various areas and creates postures from these figurines, adding his own commentary on how he found each best to use.
Chapter 4 is simply an explanation of how the process works. Chapter 5 talks about his experiences with ancestors that lived in a "Mother Goddess" era, which I find it important to note we have no evidence for in this area. Chapter 6 explores the transition between this theoretical earth-based worship and the warrior-based society. In chapter 7, the author erroneously concludes because of his trance work that a wife in a warrior society was "essentially that of a servant, and she is used sexually by her husband, with little identity beyond that function", which is counter to evidence we have of many Nordic areas found in Eddas, Sagas, and Grey Goose laws. As well as further evidence provided by records of Moslems* and Christians, who balked at how the Northern Europeans treated their women compared to their own societies. While this may have been true in other areas, this is not true for the culture in which he claims to have been exploring. In chapter 8, Brink presents his reinterpretation of the story of Baldr's death and suggests his rebirth has already happened and we are living in this age now. He is the bridge to another era of "The Great Mother" Móðir, completely leaving out her husband Faðir from Rígsþula of the Poetic Edda to which he refers.
Chapter 9's brief explanation of the gods, their genealogy, and culture is decent. And most of the stories he receives in trance for chapter 10 are not objectionable in and of themselves. However, it becomes even more obvious in these chapters that he has an agenda with long citations referencing Vanir and particular events about them, while ignoring explanations and stories of Aesir. Anybody who is unfamiliar is left with incredibly one-sided views and those who are familiar will at the very least raise an eyebrow at these choices. And in many points he makes statements that simply aren't true. He states that the Aesir did not have magic, Seidr, which we know is not true as there is a tale of Odin being side-eyed for his practice in exactly that. He chooses to acknowledge the goddess Móðir while simultaneously failing to mention her husband Faðir, as this would ruin his explanation of her as the "Great Mother/Goddess". He makes conjecture that people walked around with what he basically describes as a "Venus of Willendorf", which there is no evidence. This particular conjecture I found confusing when in chapter 3 he refers to images that were actually found in the Northern European areas.
Looking at the Notes (citations) and Bibliography provided at the end of the book shows an abundance of psychological and new age texts and only a few references to primary sources or even secondary sources when it comes to actual Nordic beliefs. This work is obviously agenda-driven by the "Great Mother" theory and it is done poorly by only choosing the positive aspects of female Vanir and ignoring that of the Aesir and male Vanir, as well as engaging in rampant cherry-picking throughout his entire book.
I would not recommend this for anybody due to the amount of inaccuracy.
Roles of the Northern Goddess - Dr Hilda Ellis Davidson
Everyday Life in the Viking Age - Jacqueline Simpson
Nordic Religions in the Viking Age - Thomas DuBois
*Spelling due to the time period in which these were written
Friday, August 11, 2017
When I started reading this second book in the trilogy, I remembered why I took such a long break between this and the first. Flewelling's writing plods along steadily, but sometimes it feels like nearly stagnant. Even so, the continued mystery and anticipation kept me going as I waited for Tobin and his companions to find the right time to reveal themselves and take back the kingdom that was wrongly taken from him. Tamir's appearance is painful and magical, breaking free from the shell she has been forced to live in her entire life.
I am excited to read the final novel in this series to find how Tamir handles her new power.
Books in the Series:
The Bone Doll's Twin
The Oracle's Queen