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review 2020-04-05 13:57
Slave to Sensation
Slave to Sensation - Nalini Singh

by Nalini Singh


This is a science fiction Romance, set in the future where people with psychic abilities are conditioned not to feel emotion and are put into key positions in society and government. It's a highly controlled society in a dystopian fashion where a Psy who deviates from their conditioning is likely to be put into 'rehabilitation' that amounts to a prison camp and lobotomy-like treatment.


Against this landscape we have Sascha Duncan, a Psy who has somehow not absorbed her conditioning and who lives in constant fear and self-control, masking her emotions even against other Psy, including her own mother who might well turn her in if she knew.


Another, very different society exists outside of the repressed city. The changelings are part animal, tribal and have different factions. Negotiating a building contract on changeling land brings Sascha into contact with a sensual alpha changeling whom she reacts to in ways she must keep hidden or risk rehabilitation at the hands of her own people.


Lucas, the alpha, is also confused by Sascha's occasional slips of instinct and reaction that shouldn't be possible for a Psy. He becomes fascinated with her and considers it a challenge to try to seduce her.


One thing that spoiled this rather interesting story for me is that it slips into graphic descriptions of sexual acts. The sensuality of the story is one of its strengths, but about a third of the way through I started wondering why I was reading something that sounded like it had been written by a male porn writer rather than a female Romance author. She gets her pleasure from pleasuring him? Really?


There were only a couple of sex scenes that were more graphic than I want to read and conversely the story misses out telling us when they first have full sex, but I still felt those scenes were unnecessary to the story. I'm not a prude and it isn't just that I don't want to watch someone else (fictional or not) having sex, but taking it there changes a sensual, borderline beastiality fantasy into something too close to human reality and the dominant male aspect of Lucas is a turn-off. It works for a panther, but is too domineering for a man in my world.


I wish Romance authors would work out a system of rating or warnings so that unwary readers don't have to stumble into porn passages. I would read more of the genre then, like I used to in high school. I constantly see young or religious readers seeking out lists of "clean" Romances, so why do so many cross over with porn these days?


Enough ranting. The story itself is very interesting and I think has a basically science fiction structure, which was the appeal for me. The dynamics between the lead characters is well done. Secondary characters don't develop as much, but that can be forgiven. The plotting does have some weaknesses and towards the end, the struggle to balance Lucas' domineering nature with caring aspects of his personality doesn't work as well as intended.


Still, I did enjoy the story for the most part and thought the world building was very imaginative. I do think I'll go back to avoiding stories about "alpha" males though. It's just not my thing. Lucas might be exciting for a tumble but I couldn't live in a situation where a pushy alpha male thought he had the right to tell me what to do or not to do.


The biggest weakness of the story is what should have been a suspenseful action climax, but was just glossed over and referred to after the fact. Despite that, an emotional aspect of the aftermath did make me tear up, which is rare for me.


Overall my opinion is that Singh writes emotion well, but she doesn't really do action. Her plotting could do with a more solid outline but her skill for exposition is well above average and I'd love to see her write straight-forward SFF, as mish-mashing it with erotic Romance weakens the overall story. I'm not planning to continue the series, but I'll keep an eye on what the author does in future.

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text 2020-04-05 03:44
Basil Important Oil - The Marvel Oil Of Aromatherapy

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Make juice from onion pieces covered overnight with salt and also use it on the affected area till the protuberances go away. Apply milklike juice of figs' stem 2 to 3 times a day. Apply apple cider vinegar to the damaged location ultrasonic aroma diffusers making use of cotton round.

Many oils are referable for children as well as kids under 12 years of age. For those oils, which can be used for infants and little kids, is a good idea to thin down with various other resources.

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review 2019-09-17 10:52
Der zauberhafte Abschluss eines modernen Märchens
Winter - Marissa Meyer

„Winter“ ist der finale Band der „Lunar Chronicles“ und eine Adaption von „Schneewittchen“. Dabei war Prinzessin Winter, Marissa Meyers dunkelhäutige Version des Schneewittchens, ursprünglich nur als Nebenrolle gedacht. Meyer wollte sich eigentlich auf Levana als böse Königin und Jacin als Jäger konzentrieren. Doch je weiter die Reihe voranschritt, desto nachdrücklicher verlangte Winters außergewöhnlicher Charakter die Aufmerksamkeit der Autorin. Sie wuchs mit der Geschichte, bis sie zu faszinierend war, um sie zu ignorieren. So ergatterte die junge, bildschöne Prinzessin noch im letzten Band eine Hauptrolle – neben Cinder, Scarlet und Cress.


Königin Levana muss fallen. Niemals wird sie ihre Pläne, die Herrschaft über die Erde an sich zu reißen, aufgeben. Niemals wird sie Lunas Volk aus ihrem eisernen Griff entlassen. Cinder und ihre Freunde müssen sie aufhalten, bevor sie ihre skrupellosen Absichten in die Tat umsetzen kann. Ihnen bleibt nur eine Option: sie müssen nach Luna gelangen, um dort Cinders wahre Identität als rechtmäßige Thronerbin zu offenbaren. Doch schon kurz nach ihrer Ankunft in der Hauptstadt Artemisia werden sie von den Thaumaturgen der Königin entdeckt. Im anschließenden Chaos wird die Crew der Rampion getrennt. Während Cinder, Thorne, Wolf und Iko in die Außenbezirke fliehen können, muss sich Cress im Palast mitten unter Feinden verstecken. Gerade, als sie glaubt, alles sei verloren, erhält sie unerwartet Hilfe. Levanas ungeliebte Stieftochter Prinzessin Winter und ihr Leibwächter Jacin verbergen sie vor den Augen der Königin und ihrer Schergen. Winters Schönheit, ihre Großzügigkeit und Freundlichkeit sind legendär. Aber man erzählt sich auch, dass Winter verrückt ist. Kann sie Cinder und ihre Freunde dennoch dabei unterstützen, eine Revolution auszulösen, die Levana endgültig zu stürzen vermag?


Ich glühe. Aus meinem Herzen strahlen Wärme und aufrichtige Liebe. Ich wusste ja, dass Marissa Meyer Talent besitzt, aber mit der emotionalen Wirkung, die „Winter“ auf mich hatte, hätte ich trotz dessen niemals gerechnet. Sie hat sich selbst übertroffen. Das Buch ist wundervoll und enthält alles, das ich mir unbewusst für das Finale der „Lunar Chronicles“ wünschte: eine aufregende, spannende Handlung, die alle Elemente plausibel vollendet und eine ansteckende Revolution fokussiert; Herausforderungen für die Charaktere, die diese überzeugend und mitreißend bewältigen und die respektvolle Adaption eines alten Märchens, die den Spagat zwischen Moderne und Klassik meistert, ohne die Originalität der Geschichte zu behindern. Es ist garantiert nicht einfach, im letzten Band einer Reihe eine neue Protagonistin vorzustellen und sie als gleichwertig zu etablieren, wenn alle anderen Figuren längst einen Vorsprung haben. Es sollte mich eigentlich nicht überraschen, dass es Meyer in „Winter“ dennoch gelang, Prinzessin Winter homogen in die Handlung der „Lunar Chronicles“ einzuarbeiten, schließlich lobe ich die Autorin seit drei Bänden dafür, dass sie ihr Universum ständig erweitert und ausbaut, aber meine uneingeschränkte Bereitschaft, Winter in meine Arme zu schließen, erstaunte mich. Natürlich half es, dass mir der Zwischenband „Fairest“, den ich nun umso mehr als wertvolle Ergänzung betrachte, bereits eine Ahnung von der komplexen, belasteten Beziehung zwischen Winter und Königin Levana vermittelte, doch ich war überwältigt davon, wie leicht es ist, die bildschöne Prinzessin trotz ihrer mentalen Instabilität und ihren daraus resultierenden Verrücktheiten zu mögen. Winter verkörpert den Geist von „Schneewittchen“ hervorragend, die Unschuld, Naivität und Liebeswürdigkeit des Märchens, wirkt durch ihre persönliche, tragische Biografie allerdings nicht austauschbar oder stereotyp. Sie ist lebendig und ich liebte es, ihre unkonventionellen Gedankengänge zu beobachten. Meyers Idee, sie im Verlauf von „Winter“ außerdem mit Scarlet zusammenzustecken, die zu Beginn des Buches noch immer in Artemisia gefangen ist, verdient Applaus. Ich kann mir kein passenderes Duo vorstellen, weil sie einander bemerkenswert ergänzen. Grundsätzlich ist die Dynamik der Figuren dieser Reihe eine Sensation, die in diesem Finale ihren Höhepunkt erreicht. In Märchen ist die Liebesgeschichte zwischen Prinz und Prinzessin oft zentral – ich schätze es unheimlich, dass dieser Aspekt in den „Lunar Chronicles“ zwar ebenfalls wichtig ist und sogar die verkümmerte kleine Romantikerin in mir ansprach, aber die Handlung selten essenziell beeinflusst. Unsere Heldinnen treffen stets vernünftige Entscheidungen, die auf der vorliegenden Sachlage basieren. Sie sind nicht verblendet oder schwächer aufgrund ihrer Gefühle, sie schöpfen Stärke aus ihnen. Ich empfinde das als empowering und freue mich über das emanzipierte, realistische Frauenbild, das Meyer ihren Leser_innen bietet. Könnte nur jeder Young Adult – Roman so sein.


„Winter“ ist ein Finale, das diese Bezeichnung wirklich verdient. Es ist nicht einfach eine weitere Geschichte im Universum der „Lunar Chronicles“, sondern die Summe aller vorangegangenen Bände, ihre Fortsetzung und logische Konsequenz. Ich bin sehr glücklich, dass Marissa Meyer das moderne Märchen, das in „Cinder“ begann, mit diesem Abschluss ordentlich ausklingen lässt. Ein abrupter Abbruch hätte alles, was sie bis dahin leistete und ihren Figuren abverlangte, geschmälert. Sie behandelt ihre Held_innen anständig und fair und gesteht ihnen die Chance zu, wahrhaft über sich hinauszuwachsen. Deshalb fand ich „Winter“ fabelhaft und rührend. Es ist ein zauberhaftes Ende, das mir den Abschied ungemein erleichterte, weil es mich sowohl emotional als auch intellektuell befriedigte. Ich bin sonst sehr geizig mit 5-Sterne-Bewertungen, aber in diesem Fall musste ich die Höchstwertung auspacken. Marissa Meyer verdient diese Ehrung und darüber hinaus einen festen, dauerhaften Platz in meinem Bücherregal.

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review 2019-06-15 00:28
Mutation by Kevin Hardman
Mutation: A Kid Sensation Novel - Kevin Hardman

Note: While this is Book 2, you could jump directly into it and enjoy the story without having listened to Book 1.

Kid Sensation goes off to Super Hero college in this book. He’s finally learned how to drive (mostly) and his girlfriend Electra is going off to college with him. So life is grand. The college is awesome, he’s making new friends…. and then bad stuff happens. Nothing like a little death and mayhem to ruin a great time!

Adam Atom was a prankster, but when Supers start getting sick, bad stuff happens. Adam is one of the first to show signs of illness, and a prank of his went horribly wrong, so he’s also wracked with guilt. Our Jim (Kid Sensation) also falls ill and the college medical staff are ill-equipped to deal with violently ill Supers. For many of the Supers, it’s their first time being ill, so they aren’t prepared mentally for it. They are confused and worried, and some loose control of their powers. All around, it is a mess!

Anyway, eventually Kid Sensation gets his stuff together and he rallies some allies to find the source of this illness. Gossamer (an elf, sorta), Caine (a human with magic on his side), Gavin (a tech guru), and this other dude whose name currently escapes me but I liked his character because he was so practical and an android.

The big baddie for this story is Estrella. She’s got many of the powers that Sensation has, so she’s a real match for him. For part of the story, she has a kid clairvoyant (Rudy) working with her, so that made her extra hard to defeat. In fact, in that round, Sensation didn’t win, but Estrella withdrew from the field of battle to help her brother. Anyway, she’s basically a star in human form and that alone makes her hard to kill or knockout or injure or scare. Estrella was the best thing about this book.

Over all, it feels more like a YA book because it’s nearly all action, and what isn’t action is young people being awkward around each other trying to make that solid emotional connection. It was cute, fun, on that level. I would like a bit more depth and I think the series has solid potential for that.

The action kept me thoroughly interested in the story. There’s always something around the next corner, some further challenge for Sensation to face. I also enjoyed that not all Supers are created the same way – some are mutations, some are alien half breeds, some are not made of flesh and bone, etc. The story has a lot going for it big-picture wise. This tale closes with a solid ending, but leaving us ready to see what Sensation gets into in the next book. 4.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Mikael Naramore is always a treat to listen to and he doesn’t disappoint in this book. His voice for Jim (Sensation) is spot on. His female voices are feminine. I especially like his angry battle voice for Estrella. His slightly crazed voice for Dr. Schaffer is also great. The pacing was perfect and there were no technical issues with the recording. 5/5 stars.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are truly my own.

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review 2019-01-13 23:19
Himitsu no Love Sensation - Aco Matsuyoshi
Era da tanto tempo che non leggevo un manga così. È un periodo che leggo parecchi manga yaoi ma nessuno di questi mi ha colpito, mi limito a votarli 3-4 stelline senza però troppa convinzione e spesso mi dimentico le trame pochi secondi dopo aver finito la lettura, per lo più annoiata dalle solite dinamiche banali e scontate, o il classico maschio alfa che si vuole fare il povero timorato di Dio o il tizio etero che si scopre gay e innamorato così... a caso del tizio che mai avrebbe calcolato prima di allora... storie che intrattengono sul momento, anche piacevoli da leggere ma che a lungo andare sono vuote e sterili... con mia grande sorpresa e stupore non è questo il caso. La storia di per se è molto semplice, tanto che all'inizio ci avevo dato poco peso, l'intera vicenda è divisa in due parti, nella prima troviamo la storia d'amore tra due insegnanti molto diversi tra di loro, uno è dolce e spiritoso, sempre pieno di energie e un po' bimbo dentro, ancora giovane e inesperto, molto goffo e l'altro più maturo e serio, il classico ragazzo un po' cupo ma molto protettivo e gentile al momento giusto che spesso con la sua serietà ferisce il partner ma riesce al momento giusto a farsi perdonare e capire i suoi errori, nei vari capitoli a loro dedicati scopriamo il modo in cui si sono conosciuti, come hanno iniziato a frequentarsi per poi innamorarsi e assistiamo anche a discussioni tipiche di tutte le coppie, l'incontro con la famiglia e le decisioni importanti che qualsiasi coppia si trova di fronte quando una relazione si fa più seria...nella seconda parte invece assistiamo alla love story tra due studenti della dolce coppietta, due ragazzi alle prese con l'età, gli ormoni e la confusione sulla loro identità sessuale, che cercano di capire i sentimenti che li legano, cosa provano l'uno per l'altro. Due storie molto semplici e quotidiane che vengono rese con estrema sono dolcezza e realismo, le esperienze narrate sono infatti tipiche di molte coppie nella vita reale e questo permette al lettore di entrare ancora di più in contatto con il mondo dei protagonisti e capire così i loro sentimenti ed emozioni. I personaggi sono caratterizzati benissimo ed è impossibile non provare simpatia per le due coppie protagoniste e per i loro modi buffi e un po' pazzi. Ho trovato entrambe le storie ben realizzate, il tratto dell'artista poi rende il tutto ancora più bello. È un manga che mi sento di consigliare a tutti. A chi cerca una storia realistica, senza innamoramenti lampo, violenza random messa a caso solo per sconvolgere e creare un escamotage per fare mettere insieme i tizi. Una storia che mischia abilmente momenti teneri e fluffosi a momenti divertenti e piccanti al punto giusto. Una piccola gioia per gli occhi e per il cuore tanto che 5 stelle a mio avviso sono troppo poche e ne vorrei mettere almeno 10! L'ho amato e spero prima o poi di vederlo tradotto anche in italiano e perché no... pubblicato da qualche casa editrice
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