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text 2019-09-12 03:45
Doctrine found in the scriptures

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review 2014-11-02 12:20
Conduits by Jennifer Loring
Conduits - Jennifer Loring

 

Mara is struggling with the sudden death of her boyfriend and after visiting a haunted forest her psyche breaks down completely, leading her to be committed for psychiatric evaluation. She must now confront her role in past tragic events as her mind begins to unlock dark memories. Is she imagining the ghostly events that haunt her or is there a purpose to these interactions.

Jennifer Loring writes beautifully, the story flows fluidly even though at times I found it difficult to keep up with the content as she certainly packs a lot into such a short read. The imagery is haunting and is well suited to the dreamlike feel of the novella.

Character wise, Mara is certainly interesting, an unreliable narrator from the beginning you feel completely immersed in her breakdown pondering what is real and what is not. I also thought the use of Japanese mythology was used well to give sharp contrast to Mara's modern westernised lifestyle. Recommended.

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review 2014-08-13 16:25
Conduits - Jennifer Loring

Metaphysical horror.

 

I was reminded of study sessions in college for a philosophy seminar dealing with Descartes in which it we discovered that it is impossible to conclusively prove your own existence to another person. (Although beer helps) We can only be convinced ourselves that we (by virtue of the fact that we perceive that we are, in fact, thinking) exist. Everything and everyone else could be a dream.

 

Although they come from two entirely different schools of thought, both Quantum Physics and the Paranormal come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as an objective “reality.” This concept is also expressed in the Buddhist theory of “emptiness”—that all things lack intrinsic reality. That doesn’t mean that they don’t exist; just that everything is relative to perception. Reality is what you perceive through your senses. It is not the same “reality” as what the person beside you perceives. Both are equally real. Even time is not real—it is merely a framework that we utilize.

 

This story is like that---we have the internal reality of the main character and the ostensibly external reality of the doctor who is growing more and more alarmed at his inability to explain what is happening to his patient. If her night journeys are, as he believes, all in her mind, then why do the other patients see her walking and why do the orderlies report her bed empty?

 

Lines are blurred. Reality is slippery.

 

Perhaps danger is real and the scraping noise behind us that draws closer is actually something that is coming for us. Should we turn around? Does it help to refuse to believe until we feel the hook sink in?

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review 2014-07-26 00:00
Conduits
Conduits - Jennifer Loring “Because if one cannot reliably distinguish between sleeping and waking, one cannot reliably distinguish between being alive and being dead.”

Mara is struggling with the recent death of her boyfriend and finds herself locked up in the nut house. They call it Primary Depersonalization Disorder. Mara calls it her dreaming reality. Her life has become fragmented. She can’t exactly tell if she is alive or dead, dreaming or awake. She is being summoned by forces she cannot understand to a house where she hopes to find escape. That is, if she does not get trapped there forever.

This is my first read from Jennifer Loring and I really enjoyed it. I was afraid that this one would get to “out there” for me, but Jennifer reeled it in enough that I did not have to worry. The story remained tight and the characters were crisp. I enjoyed the ending and thought it could not have closed out any other way. I really enjoyed the Japanese folk tale of the horimono miko, as well, and it fit the story perfectly. Well done.
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review 2014-07-21 03:38
CONDUITS Review
Conduits - Jennifer Loring

"Lanterns burned at each end of the hall, where smokelike smudges resembling human shadows blackened the walls."

 

If you dig that line, you will love Jennifer Loring's CONDUITS. Loring writes with a unique flair and love for language. You will find no boring repetition or meandering descriptions here. This author knows what she's doing, and does so with aplomb.

 

I'm a huge fan of Japanese culture. I'm also a big fan of Japanese horror. I get it from my grandmother, whose home was always decorated with fans and masks and backlit paintings. The back story of the horimono miko is as tragic as it creepy. I was whisked away during the more surreal aspects of this book, and, at times, was blissfully confused. I love a book that you have to read carefully, that if you skim you'll lose the thread. It makes what the author wrote worth while. If your writing is nothing more than a bunch of words tossed on a page so as to get from point A to point B, you're doing something wrong. Loring does everything right with CONDUITS, writing with such beautifully haunting and mysterious prose that the reader must slow down and take everything in. Yes, this book is the literary equivalent of a speed bump. Slow down, and no one gets hurt.

 

Oh, and by the way, this joker is seriously scary. Full-on goose-flesh-rising, nail-biting, hair-tugging scary. 

 

In summation: If you enjoy Japanese horror in the vein of A TALE OF TWO SISTERS or THE EYE, definitely check this out. If you enjoy fantastic writing, look no further. I will devour everything Jennifer Loring publishes. Believe that.

 

*This book was offered to me in return for my unbiased review, which you have just read. Unbeknownst to me, Jennifer Loring works for one of my publishers, Red Adept Publishing, and as far as I know, we've had no contact, so this has not changed my view of the work, either. I only found out after reading the author's bio. Thank you to DarkFuse and NetGalley for providing me with this ARC*

 

 

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