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review 2016-06-14 00:30
Genesis 6:4 - a thought-provoking Bible verse
Proof the Novel - Ted D. Berner

Genesis 6:4 is a thought-provoking verse from the Bible, strongly suggesting that there once were giants (Nephilin) born from unions between fallen angels and human women. Many Bible scholars believe that the verse only refers to the sons of Seth (Sethites – Godly) and daughters of Cain (Cainites – evil).  Most Bible scholars agree that the reason God sent the flood to destroy the earth was due to the evilness of mankind.  But could it in fact have been to destroy the Nephilin?

 

It’s this Bible verse that college student Ty Larson decides to research for a course paper. The deeper he gets into his research, the more strange things happen in Ty’s life, leading him to realize that he’s not the only one interested in this subject.  His quest takes him to Egypt, Lebanon and Argentina with danger pursuing him all the way.

 

This is a very interesting fictional book that is based on facts, Biblical studies and myths and fables that many people believe are actually true. I think the author does an excellent job in racketing up the suspense and in spiking interest in the Nephilin (did they all perish in the flood?) and massive stone structures (how could they have been made with primitive tools?).  This is the type of book that raises more questions than answers but that isn’t a bad thing. 

 

I enjoyed this fast-paced book but was a bit disappointed in the ending, which is a cliff hanger. The author is working on the sequel.  I wish I had known that before I chose to read the book as I would have preferred to wait until the sequel came out so I could read both books closer together.  I tend to forget details in books if there’s a long period between reading a series such as this.  But I am interested in reading the sequel, which the author has promised will reveal the purpose of the Great Pyramid of Giza, the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle and what the phenomenon of ghosts are.

 

I believe this book will cause many of its readers to become interested in the possibility of Nephilin actually existing at one time and will encourage them to look into it further and for that reason alone, the book deserves recognition. If you like Dan Brown conspiracy theory novels or books based on archeology, theology or mythology, this book is for you.

 

This book was given to me by the author in return for an honest review.

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review 2015-09-09 20:57
#CBR7 Book 85: Crocodile on the Sandbank
Crocodile on the Sandbank - Elizabeth Peters

Intrepid Victorian spinster Amelia Peabody travels to Egypt after her father's death, determined to explore the world and see the treasures she's read about for so many years. On her way through Rome, she is forced to send her companion home, but meets a lovely young lady in distress, and they strike up an instant friendship. Evelyn Barton-Forbes is the granddaughter of an earl, seduced by a scoundrel and left destitute in Italy. Disowned by her grandfather, Evelyn is rather desperate, but the practical and pragmatic Amelia loves the idea of a protegee and insists they travel together. As their friendship develops, it's clear that Evelyn, with her quiet persuasion is able to subtly influence her new companion in positive ways as well.

 

In Egypt, the ladies make the acquaintance of the Emerson brothers, Walter and Radcliffe. While Walter and Evelyn pretty much instantly fall in love, the relationship between Amelia and Radcliffe is rather more turbulent. Of course, being a destitute and fallen woman, Evelyn believes that Walter is way too good for her. Amelia, naturally, has other ideas. When visiting the brothers at their archaeological dig, the ladies are intrigued by rumours of a curse and the dig site possibly being haunted by a vengeful mummy. While they are all educated individuals, as the accidents keep getting more and more serious, involving disappearances and near-death experiences, it's clear that someone needs to step in and solve the mystery, and who better than Amelia?

 

I first discovered Elizabeth Peters back in early 1999, when my best friend Lydia sent me this book as a belated Christmas present. She'd mentioned the series, I was curious and fell in love with Amelia in the very first chapter, if my memory doesn't deceive me. I'm a big fan of the Victorian lady sleuth, among them Lady Julia Grey and  Lady Emily Ashton, but Amelia Peabody was probably the first series I pretty much obsessively read my way through. In complete honesty, I haven't read the last few books in the series, as it does get derivative, repetitive and needlessly soapy and melodramatic as the books go on, but the earlier books are solid gold entertainment. After Narfna read and reviewed this recently, I started thinking about the books, and decided that since it must be at least a decade since I read this book, it was time for a re-read.

 

Obviously, since I had rated the book 5 stars, I remembered it being good. But I think I actually got even more out of it now, having aged a bit myself, and improved my grasp of the English language even more. I had completely forgotten just how clever the plotting is, how great and mutually empowering the friendship between Evelyn (who I had incorrectly remembered as a bit wet and useless - not at all the case) and Amelia is and obviously, how amazing the slow-burning romance between Peabody and her Emerson is. Anyone looking for lots of sexy times should check out Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase instead (or you know - as well, as it's a wonderful romance), because this is a mystery first, romance second. There is some kissing, but Ms. Peters makes you wait for it. What you do get is feminist spinsters, girl power, archaeology, mystery, mummies, cranky bachelors, gentle flirting, dangerous schemes and a wonderful adventure. I'm so glad I re-visited Amelia's first book. Once all my books are unpacked and organised on my shelves, I may re-read the rest of the early series too. 

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.no/2015/09/cbr7-book-85-crocodile-on-sandbank-by.html
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url 2015-07-06 23:33
The Telegraph: Unesco's new World Heritage Sites - 2015

This year's additions to the list of Unesco World Heritage sites, from Edinburgh's Forth Bridge to a pie factory in Uruguay.

 

 

Ephesus, Turkey


What Unesco says: "Located within what was once the estuary of the River Kaystros, Ephesus comprises successive Hellenistic and Roman settlements founded on new locations, which followed the coastline as it retreated westward. Excavations have revealed grand monuments of the Roman Imperial period including the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre. Little remains of the famous Temple of Artemis, one of the “Seven Wonders of the World,” which drew pilgrims from all around the Mediterranean. Since the 5th century, the House of the Virgin Mary, a domed cruciform chapel seven kilometres from Ephesus, became a major place of Christian pilgrimage. The Ancient City of Ephesus is an outstanding example of a Roman port city, with sea channel and harbour basin."

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/artsandculture/11720162/Unescos-new-World-Heritage-Sites.html
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url 2015-07-01 16:18
Medievalists.net: From Old Norse to Modern Icelandic

What is modern Icelandic? It is the official language of the Republic of Iceland, with some 315,000 native speakers. It is the tongue that is the closest to what has been called Old Norse, spoken in Scandinavia and, to some extent, in the British Isles during the early Middle Ages; from the twelfth century, it is the written language in Iceland, and it has been kept ‘pure’ on purpose: in modern Icelandic, there are none of the internationally used words of Greek or Latin extraction, such as television, telephone, satellite, etc. All new terms are coined and customized on the basis of Icelandic derivatives. Thus the language spoken and written in Iceland today is quite close to what has been called Old Norse, such as it appears in the medieval texts. The linguistic territory is Iceland, a rugged, volcanic isle between the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Sea. A huge rock in the middle of the ocean, covered with glaciers, tall mountains, wide lava-fields, long dark winters and midnight suns. Sturdy, horned sheep graze in the sparse meadows, and the small Icelandic horse runs wild across the wasted lands.  Indeed, Icelandic as it was written in the twelfth century is a gold mine for those looking for evidence in the archaeology of knowledge and of language.

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review 2015-04-18 22:39
#CBR7 Book 40: City of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn
City of Jasmine - Deanna Raybourn

Five years after meeting the man of her dreams at a New Year's eve party and eloping with him, the first World War has ended. Evangeline "Evie" Starke is a celebrated aviatrix, flying across the seven seas of antiquity with her elderly aunt as a companion. Her marriage to dashing adventurer Gabriel Starke only lasted a few months, most of them turbulent and fraught. Evie had just declared that she wanted a divorce when Gabriel was lost, believed drowned when the ocean liner Lusitania went down.Then Evie receives an anonymous letter, featuring a clearly current photograph of Gabriel, at an archaeological dig in the desert outside Damascus. She won't find peace until she discovers what happened to her husband and why he faked his death.

 

Gabriel had very good reasons to drive his wife away and fake his death. He also has good reasons to attend an archaeological dig in disguise, and sent Evie the photograph well aware that she wouldn't be able to stay away. He needs her help to get a priceless relic out of the country. He also hopes that he may be able to set the record straight about their relationship, but barely dares to hope he'll have a chance to earn Evie's forgiveness or a second chance at happiness with her. 

 

City of Jasmine and its prequel novella were written before Night of a Thousand Stars, which I read first, but the books are absolutely connected. For new readers, I would recommend reading this one first, as there are some spoilers for this book in Night of a Thousand Stars when Gabriel appears in a cameo. He and Sebastian were part of the same shadowy government organisation during the war and his secret government responsibilities were the reason Gabriel shouldn't have married Evie in the first place and had to try his best to drive her away by acting like a complete bastard, before faking his own death. Five years later, his loyalty to merry old England and the Vespiary has pretty much evaporated. He wants to reconcile with his wife and tell her the truth (although of course he doesn't actually do that - that would have been far too sensible and made this a very different book). 

 

Like the other 1920s set Raybourn book, this novel also features adventures in the desert, ancient archaeological treasure hunts, dastardly villains, brave Bedouin warriors, a taciturn and manly hero, a brave and unconventional heroine. There are great supporting characters, like Evie's eccentric aunt Dove and her mechanic, Wally, who also happens to be the heir to the Viscount Walters, hiding his homosexuality by flirting with Evie every chance he gets. This book also goes on my growing list of romances where the heroine has shot the hero at some point over the course of the story (I've come to find that it's a great story trope, as all the books on the list are books I'm very fond of). I still liked Poppy and Sebastian's book more, probably because they are falling in love for the first time, while Gabriel and Evie have a history, and there is so much pain, hurt, deception and miscommunication here before they can actually be honest with one another and face the future together. These books are so much fun, though, and I'm determined to also read the last of Raybourn's 1920s set novels, as well as very much looking forward to her new book, once again featuring a Victorian heroine, coming out in September.

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.no/2015/04/cbr7-books-39-40-whisper-of-jasmine-and.html
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