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review 2018-10-13 17:40
Review: Pagan- an MPRD Novel by Andrew Chapman

***Disclosure: Andrew's an ex-pat Brit who's been an online friend of mine for several years.***

 

8220055

 

PAGAN: An MPRD novel is the anti-emo of the Vampire/Urban Fantasy genre... and its about damn time! If I gotta hear about one more curly-haired, hemoglobin-challenged, eternally tortured soul who can seduce anything that breathes but somehow still can't find true love while wearing his religion-revealing ballet pants... I just had to get that out.

 

The premise is straight forward: vamps have been playing humans for the past 20+ years with all the Twilight/Interview crap, softening us up for the worldwide sucker punch known as Black Tuesday. Five years later, there's still some disparity as to how to deal with being at the top of the menu instead of the food chain, but not so much that governments aren't swinging back. Enter the Ministry of Paranormal Research & Defense and their best bloke- Jack 'Pagan' Henderson- a former SAS turned fangbuster who also possesses a unique trait that prevents him from being controlled by vampires. The other fearless vampire killers comprise his team- as both comrades in arms and friends for life. Two are a bit of a surprise: Anna, who was turned into a vampire after she'd been a hunter, and Marie- a full-blooded werewolf who also doubles as Jack's sweetie.

 

The antagonists are cruel, nasty, vicious and bloodthirsty- in short, they're vampires! This one adds new flavor to the stale recipe of vampires and werewolves, introducing some intriguing sub-classes into each group. And in this world the lycanthropes are out in the open and siding with humanity, making for a nice twist. And there are a few vamps working for the Ministry itself, setting the stage for current and future intrigues. After our boys and girls finish clearing out a rural area, Pagan is brought to HQ for a Special Ops assignment: a hit on one of the most powerful vampires in England. Though it struck me as a little too easily accomplished, the aftermath of the mission leads to some unexpected developments whose ripples are felt all the way into the finale.

 

There's a wealth of detail- maybe a little too much- about guns and ammo; someone else joking referred to it as 'gun porn'. Ordnance fetishes aside, it's a fun read with lots of depth and humor. Jack's a likable enough guy but I kinda found myself more interested in the other team members as things progressed. Being former military I appreciated the jabs and snaps aimed at the upper ranks and bureaucratic types, as well as the crude and crass tension-breakers just before a fight.

 

PAGAN is a worthy first effort, nicely crafted with a few dull spots; the ending was too neat and pat, and there were parts of it I'd already seen coming. But I'm expecting the spit shine in the sequel.

 

3.5/5 stars

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review 2018-03-02 17:25
Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties - Camille Noe Pagán

I could definitely relate to this book. Married for so long and just as soon as the kids are about to move out, your "significant other for life" decides everything has been a waste. No growing old together, no until death do us part, and yes, lots of heartbreak.

Divorce can be really hard, especially after that many years, and I really sympathized with Maggie. However, I so admire her. Many women probably would have gone back to their ex with a weak spine and a severe case of loneliness. However, not Maggie. She took the bull by the horn and turned her life around.

Definitely a feel good book for the women who can totally relate to Maggie and the term "woman last seen in her thirties" because after that, all she became was wife and mother. The rest of her was lost taking care of her family.

An absolutely great book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Huge thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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review 2017-09-07 16:16
Conclusion to this tale of the rise of Christianity in the frozen North
Black Road Volume 2: A Pagan Death - Bri... Black Road Volume 2: A Pagan Death - Brian Wood

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This comic collection deals with Magnus, a fierce warrior, out to defeat a renegade Bishop who plans to establish his own Christian rule in the North of Scandinavia. Alongside him is Kitta, a smith, and ahead of him is Jessica, a Jewess also possibly out to kill the bishop. Flashbacks, betrayal, battles, bloodshed and death of loved ones are all part of the plot.

 

Well-illustrated and interesting, this is worth a look. It all arrives at a satisfactory conclusion and it's recommended to lovers of tales about barbarians or history.

 

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review 2017-06-07 22:27
Forever Is The Worst Long Time
Forever is the Worst Long Time: A Novel - Camille Pagán

Title:  Forever Is The Worst Long Time

Author:  Camille Pagan

Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing

Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean

Rating: Four

Review:

 

"Forever Is The Worst Long Time" by Camille Pagan

 

My Thoughts....

 

This was a read of emotions, love, friendship, betrayal, tragic, loss,regret, forgiveness with three main characters: James, Lou and Rob who were all far from perfect.  With their stupid mistakes they made, along with some crazy decisions will they ever be able to stop all of the hurting that is going on among these friends? This author gives the reader quite a complex plot that is well developed with surprises that goes in unexpected ways with surprises, celebrations as well as disappointments that will have you at some time shaking your head.  By the end  of this story the reader gets quite a heart breaking, wrenching story that will also be very thought provoking and also engaging read from 'lack of closeness in relations, ruined friendships, death and loss'.  What else can be said about this story is the choices that one makes in there life can turn out to be short and or long term consequences.  'Life is short and it is what you make of it... for one must make it count.'

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review 2017-03-03 20:17
Review: Animal Magic
Pagan Portals - Animal Magic: Working With Spirit Animal Guides - Rachel Patterson

I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Although I've always been interested in spiritualism and it's various practices, this was the first time I've read an actual book about it. Coming from a complete newbie, but I think this was a great introduction, if not to witchcraft and wicca, to spiritualism and working with animal familiars and spirits.

As a species, humans tend to think we're better than animals and completely ignore what they can teach us, but I've never agreed with that assessment. This guide did a really great job of sharing what you can learn from animals, and what they can symbolize when appearing in your life or even your dreams. I actually had an interesting dream while reading this that tied in nicely with the author's narrative.

While the author had a good go at making a comprehensive list of the animals, some that I were interested in were unfortunately left out. Understandable, as obviously it would have been much longer if she had listed every single animal... and then it would have been more of an index than a guide. There are also very practical and easy to follow exercises and meditations to find your own spirit guides, which I'm looking forward to try myself. This book left me with a working knowledge on how to find my animal guides and a sparking curiosity to learn more.

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