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review 2016-10-29 20:57
Secrets, lies and conspiracies.
The Illuminati: The Counter Culture Revolution-From Secret Societies to Wilkileaks and Anonymous - Robert Howells

I obtained an ARC copy of this book through NetGalley and Watkins Publishing and I freely chose to review it.

I haven’t read any works of fiction related to the Illuminati but I came across them in my profession. I’m a psychiatrist and I’ve had several patients suffering from paranoid ideas that involved conspiracy theories and in more than one occasion they believed the Illuminati to be behind them. Although I read about them at the time, when I saw this book I felt curious and thought it would be a good chance to learn more.

The book isn’t exactly what I’d imagined. It does look at the history of the Illuminati movement — talking about its roots in the past and history, its relationship to religious and political movements and to big historical events (like the French Revolution) — and the latter part of the book links it to counter-revolution and counterculture up to the present time (with such phenomena as Anonymous, Wikileaks, digital piracy and hacking). This is not a critical account of the movement, as it is written by somebody with deep insider knowledge who appears to be a big believer and personally invested in the cause. I found the historical part interesting but also interspersed with plenty of detail about the process of indoctrination and their teachings, rather than individual facts. For me, it was more of a history of their ideas and philosophies rather than a detailed account of the movement and its people.

The modern part I found fascinating. Comparing many of the counter-cultural movements (beats, hippies, punk…) to the Illuminati, be it in their anti-institutionalised or anti-authority stances, or in their secret and anti-establishment nature (like hackers and Wikileaks) the author builds a strong argument for the continuity of the Illuminati’s philosophies in many of these groups and he makes a call for everybody to join in with their ideals of exposing corruption and removing the power from those who use it for personal benefit and don’t morally deserve it. Some of the arguments are very personal and down to the author’s interpretation, and as mentioned before, this is not a book that tries to expose both sides of the argument. I enjoyed the modern part and some of the comments and parallelisms it draws, although people who are strong believers in institutionalised religions might find it offensive, and some of its ideas can be too personal for others (his view of hackers and piracy might not be shared by many).

If readers are looking for an enthusiastic and eager discussion on the subject from somebody sympathetic to its tenets who expresses his opinion without hesitation, you will find it interesting, but it is not the book to read if one seeks a neutral or rigorously critical evaluation of the subject.

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text 2016-08-13 23:00
Black Sails and Piracy

So I got to watching Starz's Black Sails recently and although I was hesitant at first, expecting it to be kind of corny, it soon grew on me and I've been binge watching it. The show has grown through the second season and I particularly like Toby Stephens as Captain Flint. (RLS' Treasure Island Captain Flint). I like how they have blended fictional characters in with the romanticized real life ones such as Blackbeard & Charles Vane.


Anyway all of this led me to start thinking about the history of the Caribbean and in particular piracy. From my initial wikipedia searches I found that information seems sparse, which is understandable, given that we're talking about 400 year old history, but I knew there would be someone out there that has written a solid, engaging history. 


And so I'm now at the point where I've just purchased 3 books from Amazon based on recommendations from varying places. David Cordingly's name kept popping up with his history Under the black Flag and his more recent Spanish Gold. Finally I stumbled upon Carrie Gibson's Empire's Crossroads. 


To be honest I'm sat here now and I'm thinking to myself, how have I left it so long to delve into piracy. Perhaps it's because it's typically romanticized for children, who can pretend to be adventurous, marauding captains with their plastic sword, pirate hat play set from the local toy shop.


Maybe because of this glamorizing of piracy in modern day society and the lack of reliable evidence available it's hard differentiate between what is legend or fantasy and what was real. Hopefully my three purchases will help enlighten me. 

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text 2016-01-17 04:05
Book Piracy: Why It's Never OK

Featuring thoughts by author Jodi Meadows



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text 2015-09-30 18:09
Free Books!
Spanish Serenade - Jennifer Blake
The Court Of The Thorn Tree - Jennifer Blake,Patricia Maxwell
Southern Rapture - Jennifer Blake
Embrace and Conquer - Jennifer Blake
Fierce Eden - Jennifer Blake
Queen For A Night - Jennifer Blake
Snowbound Heart - Jennifer Blake
Captive Kisses - Maxine Patrick,Jennifer Blake
Sweet Piracy - Jennifer Blake,Patricia Maxwell
Arrow to the Heart - Jennifer Blake

Jennifer Blake has put 13 of her books up for free on amazon till October 4th. I don't know any of her work but have been informed that she writes bodice-rippers, a genre I have always been curious about (perhaps a bit morbidly curious ^^). Perhaps somebody else here as well.

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review 2014-11-18 04:43
Review-Where Darkness Lies
Where Darkness Lies - Bella Jewel

Where Darkness Lies is the second book in the latest series by Bella Jewel. Some months ago the first book was released and we saw the major players, in this story, which continues off from where the first book left off...which was a cliffhanger of sorts. We have Dimitri who is the son of Hendrix (hero of first book), and has some abandonment issues with his father. Dimitri has gone through hell when he was a teenager and there is one man on his mission for revenge...Hendrix. So Dimitri kidnaps Jess right in front of him. Jess has suffered her own hellish past, but Hendrix saved her and showed her a new way of living, and has been like the father she always dreamed of having. Now she is kidnapped, having no idea what Dimitri is really capable of...a man that makes her quiver in fear, but at the same time she feels a certain spark with him, one that she can't explain. Dimitri and Jess start to learn of each other and the importance of trust in a relationship, and soon that trust is to be tested in ways that they can't even imagine....

What a story!!! I just fell in love with this story...I honestly didn't know what would happen in this one. I recently fell in love with Bella Jewel, and I love a good pirate romance...and this one has a contemporary feel to it, which was different but was quite exciting and felt fresh in different ways. This story is very intense and dramatic at times, and had me on the edge of my seat...and I will be honest, it kept me up all night reading it!! Which doesn't happen too often anymore, but this story was one I have been anxiously waiting for ever since I read the first book.

The characters in the story are pretty dynamic and full of depth in their characters. There were some things I just didn't see until revealed. Dimitri, is a man bent on revenge for some pretty horrid things done to him in his past, and he blames his father for it, even though Hendrix had no clue about it. We see how Dimitri really struggled with this both emotionally and mentally. He is quite a powerful man, and surely can fight in a ring...whew he could definitely heat the room by about 10 degrees or more. I wouldn't mind having that man at my mercy, he is sexy and steamy HOT!! Despite his past, he knows how to give a girl a good time, but he also has his own issues and there is only one woman that can truly handle him, a woman that can't have sex. Jess has a horrid past, and has been sexually abused, and has never had a positive experience when it comes to the bedroom...she stays far away from it..until she finds herself at the mercy of Dimitri and she feels desire for the first time in her life. We see Jess grow as a character, and learn the meaning of trust especially when it comes to intimacy. Despite the fact that Dimitri is really rough around the edges, he changes around Jess...he is gentle at times and I enjoyed how he handles her past and the trauma and, and enjoyed how the emotional intimacy of this couple really comes through and they help each other heal from their pasts.

This story is quite intense at times, in every way.. If I had to pick my favorite aspect it would be the balance of emotional and physical intimacy that is put in this story, and Bella Jewel creates a gem of a story that captured by heart and attention. Very memorable and I found it to be packed with just about everything I love in a romance with this level of intensity. I do warn, it is not a light hearted romance...its full of tough issues and can get gritty and rough at times...but also it has it soft moments that wins your heart, there is so much about this story I adored. I loved the dynamics, the winning love story, and the real world issues that are brought to light, that create a love story to never forget. A JEWEL OF A READ!!

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