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review 2018-01-23 02:05
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
Then She Was Gone - LISA JEWELL

A special thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada, and Atria Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

Laurel Mack's daughter has been missing for ten years.  Ellie was the perfect daughter—beloved by her family, friends, teachers, and boyfriend.  She was fifteen when she disappeared, just days before school let out for summer.  The case had gone cold, the police believed that Ellie ran away, that is until new evidence surfaces.    

 

Not only did Laurel lose her daughter, but her marriage did not survive.  She also has strained relationships with her two other children.  To stay close to her other daughter, Hannah, she cleans her flat, and she he barely sees her son, Jake, who lives with his girlfriend in another town.      

 

To her surprise and delight, Laurel meets a charming man in a cafe.  What starts out as flirtation quickly turns into something more meaningful.  Floyd is a single father of two, and before she knows it, Laurel is being introduced to his daughters.  When Laurel meets Poppy, his youngest, she is stunned.  Poppy looks exactly like Ellie.  All of the questions Laurel has pushed down for years come bubbling to the surface.  Where did Ellie go?  Did she really run away?  And why does this little girl resemble her missing daughter?    

 

Told through multiple points of view, and alternating from past to present, Jewell pens some interesting and engaging characters with enough backstory to keep the reader vested and engaged.  There is one minor plot flaw, but if you can suspend your disbelief, you may not be bothered.  

 

With an incredible hook, this is Lisa Jewell's best book yet.  Predictable?  A little.  Heartbreaking?  Yes.  Dark and twisty?  Check and check!  Although there was nothing new here, I would recommend this book for those looking for a page-turning, thrilling read.  

 

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review 2018-01-18 14:52
Occulture
Occulture: The Unseen Forces That Drive Culture Forward - Carl Abrahamsson,Gary Valentine Lachman

by Carl Abrahamsson

 

Non-fiction

 

One of the first things I noticed with this book is that the chapter headings have notes below the titles that say each of them was first given at a lecture or printed as an article someplace, so it soon became clear that this is a collection of several years' writings collected by the author into book form for presentation to a new audience. The subject matter is sufficiently different in each to create a nicely balanced volume on occult influence in society and particularly in art.

 

This is not a book for learning to do magic(k), but is more about modern cultural influences and symbols that enter mainstream consciousness through various mediums of artistic expression. In the Forword written by Gary Lachman, he explains the term 'occulture', occult + culture, coined by Genesis-P-Orridge, a cult figure in certain circles of modern day magicians, then goes on to point out connections between art and the occult and the significance of interpreting one through the other.

 

The lectures and articles cover a fascinating variety of loosely related topics. They include commentaries on alternative lifestyles and the rise of occult culture through significant periods like the 1960s and 1980s and the British and German groups and personalities who shaped much of modern occult culture.

 

The reader gets the benefit of a perspective by someone who 'was there' and understands the significance of a variety of cultural influences that still affect the culture today. He speaks of Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth as well as about Aleister Crowley and Anton LaVey and what he feels were the relevant contributions by controversial groups and personalities.

 

The perspective is very much about the intellectual side of the occult. No new age or airy-fairy crystal hugging comes into it. As occult history goes, this is an excellent reflection of the later twentieth century developments that built on the legacy of earlier magical Orders and traditions and the effects of an expanding cultural awareness that would shake the foundations of pre-twentieth century European occult study.

 

The significance of art and creativity is emphasised as is the freedom of social mores from the staid, limiting celibacy of groups like the early Golden Dawn and the cautions required by Medieval magicians to avoid any sniff of scandal that might lead to charges of heresy.

 

The history of Nazi involvement in the occult is detailed in one of the lectures and makes for interesting reading from a historical perspective as well. That lecture somehow moves from this to beatniks in California, which gives the reader an idea of the broad scope of some of the topics discussed.

 

This book would be of interest to anyone interested in occult history or in cultural development and the influence of art. It fills in the recent gaps in documented history for those of us who are too young to have been there for the changes in the 1980s and before as these periods are often not addressed in earlier books on the subject.

 

It also goes into everything from philosophy to conspiracy theories in recent decades and even Pokemon Go! I found all of the articles interesting for different reasons. A real treasure for anyone with interest in magick or the occult.

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review 2018-01-15 15:13
Real Quanta: Simplifying Quantum Physics for Einstein and Bohr
Real Quanta: Simplifying Quantum Physics for Einstein and Bohr - Martijn van Calmthout

by Martijn van Calmthout

 

Non-fiction

 

This is a book about Einstein and how his theories have extrapolated into Quantum Physics. It's written in an accessible way, much like a novel, though it does read a little dry at times.

 

The author places himself in a scene where he is interviewing the famous scientists Einstein and Bohr and explains within that context some of the prevailing theories of Physics that came from their studies and ideas. This is definitely a book for people who are very interested in these theories, but for those of us in that category it is amazingly easy to follow and the fictional aspect of the 'interview' seems like a little fun.

 

This would also be a good book for a student about to study Physics who might find it intimidating. There are no equations to decipher, just theory on a philosophical level that any reasonably intelligent person could follow.

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review 2018-01-10 19:29
Wood: A PsyCop Short - Jordan Castillo Price

JCP certainly knows how to write amazing shorts! Wood packs some heat, a lot of fun and easygoing humor, as well as family feels.

 

Jacob's uncle, Leon, needs help assembling some bookcases he bought at SaverPlus, because who the hell needs IKEA, when they got the next best thing downtown. They got better instructions anyway, if they manage to make two grown ass men snicker and get all hot and bothered.

 

And good Lord, are the sexy times through the roof here. Everything's more fun when you're this close to getting caught by a family member. Not only that, but Vic & Jacob's love for one another shines through.

 

[...] we lingered there for one more moment, and held each other, and savored the feeling of wanting and being wanted.

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review 2018-01-10 19:12
The Stroke of Midnight - Jordan Castillo Price

It was really good to read Jacob's POV for a change! I enjoyed getting inside his head and reading about his feelings for Victor.

 

They'd planned on spending New Year's Eve together, with Jacob's friends. It was going to be his chance to introduce his boyfriend to the group, but of course things don't go as smoothly when you are a PsyCop and work barges in late at night.

 

Vic got little page time here, but when he showed up and they shared that lovely moment, it spoke volumes of how far they've come already.

 

"This wasn't exactly the way I pictured tonight turning out," he said, "but for some reason I feel pretty okay about it."

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