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text 2016-01-25 16:26
Great Paranormal Suspense (but can we Please remove the BBW? It isn't pertinent..)
Guard Wolf: BBW Paranormal Wolf Shifter Romance (Shifter Agents Book 2) - Lauren Esker

“You think humanity’s found rock bottom, and then they keep digging.” – Special Agent Avery Hollen, Special (Shifter) Crimes Bureau, Seattle WA

 

“We can never be gods, after all--but we can become something less than human with frightening ease.” ― N.K. Jemisin, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

 

Back in August of 2015 I wrote a review of “Handcuffed to the Bear” by Lauren Esker. At the time, I said, “If this weren’t a shifter story, it would fall under the suspense or romantic suspense genre without a doubt. So I will call it “Paranormal Suspense.” The focus is on Casey and Jack staying alive long enough to be rescued from a sadistic pack of lion shifters intent on hunting them down and slaughtering them, as they have with many other victims – including Casey’s best friend Wendy.

 

I had thought from the cover that it was some bondage thing and almost bypassed it immediately, but the blurb caught my eye. And I got a big kick out of reading it, as you can tell if you click on the link to my review, above. I mentioned that Guard Wolf, the second in the series, would come out that October. Then, of course, I got distracted. Oops.

The other day I came across Guard Wolf and thought, “Hum. That looks like a good ‘bathtub book’” (i.e., a book I carry into a nice hot bath with a glass of wine). As I got into it, I got a niggle that I had read another book by this author, and by the time I got to the end I remembered why the story felt so familiar.

 

I am glad I happened to stumble across Esker once more. Guard Wolf is the second in the series, carrying forward with the Shifter Agents storyline, this time the story of Avery Hollen, Jack’s best friend and coworker at SCB Seattle. Avery has a harder life than the others at the SCB. Badly crippled when an RPG took out the gasoline tanker truck he was standing beside in Afghanistan, he lived only through the efforts of Jack. Jack, who takes full responsibility for the fact that Avery was hurt in the first place. For you see, it was Jack’s ‘private security’ (read, mercenary) team who got themselves stuck on a lonely Afghan road, and cried for the Army to haul their ashes. A whole team of young, fresh-off-the-farm Army boys were slaughtered by that RPG. And Jack never forgot.

 

Now, Avery walks with a cane, his leg so torn up and twisted from his rapid shifter healing in the field he can barely walk at all. So, he gets desk duty more often than not. And tonight? Tonight he is thrown a curve when a box of werewolf children in puppy form are thrust on his desk. Oh, yeah. He just knows he is going to regret this.

 

Nicole Yates is a harried, hard-working social worker, specializing in shifters with family issues. When Avery stumbles into her office just before quitting time with said box full of pups/children, well, her life is suddenly not only turned on its head – she may actually not be able to hang onto her life at all. And neither may Avery. For these puppies have scars and shaved spots. Scars and shaved spots that indicate that someone, somewhere, have been at best medicating them. At worst? At worst, something nasty is going on, and these children have been subjected to the unimaginable. Tracking down what is going on leads Nicole and Avery down a warped path of horrors, of science gone incredibly wrong.

 

“Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” – Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias

 

Like HttB, this second in the series is very much paranormal suspense of the best kind. Edge-of-your-seat, fast-paced suspense that kept me in the tub for three runs of ‘drain-and-refill and the heck with the empty wine glass’. I love paranormals with sharp edges, suspense, and fast action, and this one fits the bill to a T. It also isn’t simply a thinly developed, poorly plotted story designed to be a vehicle for ‘boom chaka laka’ (Yes, you DO know what I mean) on every page, which I truly enjoyed. Lauren Esker could write suspense thrillers all day long without the paranormal bent – but I am glad she writes what she does. I really enjoy her work.

Source: soireadthisbooktoday.com
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review 2015-04-23 02:39
Rupert Sheldrake is another jerk who spread woo-woo bullshit
Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals - Rupert Sheldrake
Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation - Rupert Sheldrake
Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness - Rupert Sheldrake,Terence McKenna,Ralph H. Abraham,Jean Houston
Why Science Is Wrong...About Almost Everything - Alex Tsakiris,Rupert Sheldrake
The Rebirth of Nature: The Greening of Science and God - Rupert Sheldrake
The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature - Rupert Sheldrake
The Evolutionary Mind: Conversations on Science, Imagination and Spirit - Rupert Sheldrake,Terence McKenna,Ralph H. Abraham
Conversations on the Edge of the Apocalypse: Contemplating the Future with Noam Chomsky, George Carlin, Deepak Chopra, Rupert Sheldrake, and Others - David Jay Brown
A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance - Rupert Sheldrake

After the really bad experience listening to a woo woo jerk interviewing Lawrence Krauss, and discovered this jerk Alex Tsakiris wrote a book with a forward by another woo woo jerk, Rupert Sheldrake, I decided to put it on records that nothing good would come from jerk like that.

 

Link to the article that Ted.com and Youtube had removed the bullshit this jerk Rupert Sheldrake had tried to spread against real science. 

 

What a piece of shit. His books are all crap, as his mind is so confused by his arrogant, that you really couldn't learn anything real from them. 


Don't waste your time on these crap books. 

 

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review 2015-04-23 02:28
Alex Tsakiris of “Skeptiko” is an ignorant jerk
Why Science Is Wrong...About Almost Everything - Alex Tsakiris,Rupert Sheldrake
By Alex Tsakiris Why Science Is Wrong...About Almost Everything [Paperback] - Alex Tsakiris

I recently had a bad experience downloading a podcast interview of Lawrence Krauss.

 

I've never heard of Skeptiko and I didn't know the host is just another ignorant asshole who didn't know jerk about science or scientific methods.

 

Lesson learned. 

 

Alex Tsarkiris was rude and thought promote some bullshit like afterlife and kept going on and go about some weird studies on NDE. 

 

Bullshit. This jerk could tell reality from his own ass. 

 

Next step, check if this jerk had written any book. Yes, he had and they are crap. 

 

Don't listen or buy any book link to this jerk. Life is too short to waste time on bullshit. That's what Lawrence Krauss said in the interview when this jerk challenged him why he didn't read some weird studies on reincarnation. 

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review 2012-12-29 00:00
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Haruki Murakami,Alfred Birnbaum

Some people, myself included, just don't completely get Murakami. His storytelling style is in turns psychedelic and wildly unrestrained, but also carefully directed. It works for some people, and it falls miserably short for others.

There is so much contention on what Murakami's "best" and "worst" novels are. One person will claim one novel completely turned him off Murakami, while others will point to that same novel as what drew them to Murakami in the first place.

What I can really draw from all the debate is that you need to be in a certain mood and mindset to enjoy certain books by Murakami. In my case with Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, the meandering and dreamily emotional storyline hit the bulls eye for what I didn't know I needed.


Plot Summary

This book is split between parallel storylines. The first is set in contemporary Tokyo and told from the perspective of a somewhat average yuppie. Except, this yuppie is a “Calcutec,” a human data processor/computer who uses his subconscious to encrypt data. He gets assigned to work for a mad scientist type, who not only specializes in “sound removal” but suspiciously reminds me of an insane Santa Claus. This assignment, however, sets off a string of events that gets him embroiled in a corporate information war, the savage “Inklings” who dwell in the sewers of Tokyo, and the impending end of the world.

The second storyline tells the tale of a traveler, who is in the process of becoming a citizen of a walled city called “The End of the World” (also mapped in the front page). In order to enter, the narrator must be severed from his Shadow. As he goes about his Dreamreading duties—which is reading the dreams of unicorn skills—it becomes apparent that his Shadow is his only remaining clue behind where he came from and what he is meant to do.


My Reaction

This is an incredibly complex novel, one that I plan on rereading later with a fresh mind. Similar to Kafka on the Shore, I haven't really quite figured out the entire novel. But here is what I know about Hard-Boiled…or at least, what I think I know. Hard-Boiled is:

-wistful
-contemplative
-filled with a unrequited yet unselfish longing for meaning in life
-deceptively unassuming in prose, but still emotionally potent
-a gentle story that touches upon the nature and purpose of our existence
-a love story, though I feel this point is highly debatable

Now, for potential readers who have little idea of the rabbit hole into which they are about to fall, let’s talk about what Hard-Boiled is not:

-a character-driven novel; rather, like in Kafka on the Shore the protagonists are tabula rasas, defined and shaped by external forces, even if they are fundamentally connected to these forces
-a sci-fi novel... actually, the shallow exploration of experimental neurology and computer science is quite hokey and falls short of being within the realm of applicable possibility, more "fringe" science than not
-straightforward—trust me on this one

I found that the ending to this novel was one of the best and strangely complete endings I’ve read. Surprisingly, for the type of story it was, the story came full circle by the final page with many loose ends tied up. The finale was a melancholy yet uplifting tone.

Though I love this book to death (it’s made my all-time favorites list, in fact), I hesitate to recommend it to everyone. As I mentioned before, you need to be in a certain mindset to enjoy a Murakami. But if you found the above description of the book interesting, it may be an extremely worthwhile read.

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