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$19.95 $18.95
161. The Devil Comes to Larkspur
$6.99 $2.75
162. Desolation (Leisure Horror)
$10.85 $6.93 list($15.95)
163. The Magick Bookshop
$13.57 $11.97 list($19.95)
164. Her-Bak: Egyptian Initiate
$16.32 $6.25 list($24.00)
165. Gods of Aberdeen : A Novel
166. "When Paradise Died"
$6.29 $2.50 list($6.99)
167. Oz: Into the Wild
$0.70 list($12.95)
168. The Tortuous Serpent: An Occult
$2.58 list($13.50)
169. The Angry Angel (Sisters of the
$14.95 $11.71
170. The Piaculum
$6.75 $4.00 list($7.50)
171. Regina's Song
$22.02 list($34.95)
172. Etidorhpa or The End of the Earth
$12.71 $10.01 list($14.95)
173. Bike Week Blues (A Daffodils Mystery)
$15.95 $2.49
174. Blue Limbo: A Novel
$10.50 $6.98 list($14.00)
175. Green Mountain Ghosts, Ghouls
$15.30 $10.02 list($18.00)
176. Spirit Circle: A Story of Adventure
$0.49 list($25.00)
177. The Burning Times : A Novel of
$10.85 $10.74 list($15.95)
178. The Smoky God: Or a Voyage to
$20.95 $20.42
179. Manhattan Pharaoh : a novel of
$6.29 $2.92 list($6.99)
180. The Vampire De Sade

161. The Devil Comes to Larkspur
by Carol Neumann
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1413736777
Catlog: Book (2005-04-11)
Publisher: PublishAmerica
Sales Rank: 925861
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Book Description

The people of Larkspur enjoy the simple pleasures associated with small-town living. Cora Archer, Henry Banks and Jim Turner, fast friends since childhood, are quite content with their peaceful, uneventful lives. However, all that is about to change when Cora's cousin, Maude King, moves back to Larkspur after a forty-five-year absence. As beautiful and as youthful looking as the day she left, Maude not only raises eyebrows, but suspicions. Flamboyant Maude is determined to change what she considers the mundane lives of her cousin and old friends. It is not long before the good people of Larkspur start experiencing never before terrifying happenings and they are all too willing and eager to place the blame on Maude's return. Has Maude opened the doors to Hell? Can love overcome the horrifying dark forces in time to save Cora, Jim and Henry? ... Read more

162. Desolation (Leisure Horror)
by Tim Lebbon
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0843954280
Catlog: Book (2005-03-06)
Publisher: Leisure Books
Sales Rank: 657590
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Tame
Tim Lebbon is a master at crafting intelligent and entertaining horror tales. He can deliver the shocks (Nature of Balance) or great psychological thrills (Face). Desolation stands somewhere between those two and the result is disappointing. It's not that Desolation is a bad book. In fact, there's a lot to be found in this short tale of psychological horror. It's just that the story offers very little to like, or dislike.

Cain has been released from the only place he knew as home. His father has kept him prisoner for years, doing psychological experiment on his young self. But now that the old man is dead, Cain is freed from the prison he was trapped in. He moves into an apartment complex in the hopes of starting his life anew.

Only problem is that everyone in his new home is just a little off. As soon as he moves in, Cain has horrible nightmares. And some of his childhood fears come back to haunt him. And soon enough, he discovers that everyone out there is out to get him. This house hides many horrible secrets, all of them tied directly to his father and his past. Now Cain has no choice but to face his fear and to accept the monster that resides within him.

Desolation offers very little to enjoy. The pacing is slow and often tedious and none of these characters are likeable. In order to make a horror tale successful, you need a hero to root for. But Cain is way too boring and quiet for you to actually like him. Often, you just want to slap him, wake him up and make him smell the coffee.

And, although the pacing is slow, the whole thing also feels rushed. It's almost as if Lebbon just beefed up a novel outline he had lying around without giving any real effort to the process. Scenes appear out of nowhere, discoveries are made out of the blue and thigns are revealed that never truly explain anything or make any sense. Although some vintage Lebbon appears in the tale (like shapeshifting humans), it's nothing you can call genuine Lebbon.

I'm a big Lebbon fan. And every author is entitled to his or her mistake. This is the first book of story of Lebbon's I have disliked. Here's hoping that his creative juices are still flowing and that his next one will outtop Desolation.

4-0 out of 5 stars For hardcore fans...
The atmosphere is intense, spellbinding even.Imagine being in a completely black room, void of all senses other than hearing, and then something that you know doesn't belong there - or wasn't there a moment ago - echoes slightly.That's what this was; subtle changes in pressure, shadows at the edge of your vision, an unnerving chill up your spine for no good reason.

The pace was lazy, like watching a leaf float along a river.You can either be bored by it and toss a rock in to break up the surface, or you can become hypnotized by it and lose track of time.The story is good, new, solid... you can smell the `but' here can't you?It just didn't grab me right away.Or rather it grabbed me, then told me to hang on while it took this phone call, and when it came back again I had to remember what the hell we were talking about.The nature of the tale is to be mystifying, I get that, but combined with the pace Lebbon used, it was not captivating.I really wanted to know what was going on, what was going to happen, where everyone was going to end up - I just didn't know if I wanted to find out today.

The main character is befuddled, perplexing, and afraid of both of those facts.The other characters don't add much to clarify his situation for quite some time, and in their own way laugh at your confusion as the reader.That's okay though, I can handle a joke at my expense.Other than that factor, a very unique cast of characters is presented - something akin to a carnival's freak show.You're dangerously curious to see them, can't believe it when you do, have empathy for everyone inside the tent, and walk way thinking about how they got that way.Definitely a good thing to leave me with...

And just to further mix my metaphors, Lebbon's style was like an actor attempting an accent they don't know how to do.When he slipped and his true voice came through it was amazing, when he remembered to be in character he almost seemed forced and uncomfortable.*sniff*I missed Lebbon, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching him grow, as the story grew, in this new technique.I don't know if I liked the style [especially when combined with this particular pace] but I know that I am intrigued by it.Go figure!

The beginning is enticing, the ending is superb, and the middle... well it gets you there.It's not normal Lebbon, that much I know for sure.Did I like it? yes.Do I recommend it? I think so.To everyone? Maybe not.
If you're a Lebbon fan you should have this because it is different - a FIVE [5]
If you've never read Lebbon, then maybe a THREE [3] , I wouldn't necessarily suggest this one first, would depend on what kind of reader was asking...

5-0 out of 5 stars The Grand Master of Horror
The plot is creative, intelligent, and absolutely enthralling. With a bit of the paranormal, a hint of spiritual awakening, and a subject that is often reported but never actually heard, this story will mark you for life. The subplot interweaves with the main gracefully, and not a moment too soon. Wrapping up questions that lingered, while others surface, I promise you, by the end of this book you will be screaming for more!

Pulling you into a disorienting atmosphere, let me warn you now, you will spend half the book in a state of extreme confusion and paranoia. The imagery, while not terrifying, is nightmarish and deceitful. Also, the more you read, the more delusional you will become; inheriting Cain's psychosis. The pace is all-consuming in its need to involve you, trapping you in its embrace while slowly freeing you of your inhibitions. While it may seem slow to some, your patience will be rewarded.

Is Lebbon's style altered? Yes and no. His writing, while slightly different than his norm, doesn't stray too far from what you've come to expect, the only change is his viewpoint. More distanced, it's only his perspective that has changed, evolved. Instead of participating in his stories, he has now become the observer. You can still see him in there; he's just chosen to reside in the shadows.

Never fear though, even if Lebbon's style has changed - his characters haven't. Constructing a cast that is highly diverse, each is interesting in their own right. The characters are intriguing, and emotionally-binding. Thought their talents and outlook may differ, it is their vitality that grabs you. Focusing on Cain and his journey to self-discovery, the supporting cast adds insight and comprehension into Cain's impulsion without hindering it. Perfect!! ... Read more

163. The Magick Bookshop
by Kala Trobe
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0738705152
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Sales Rank: 516515
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the heart of Oxford, England, sits Malynowsky's Bookshop, the sort of place that makes people go "oooh" as soon as they step into it. Its books both lure and intimidate, and the clientele come to browse in the knowledge that their needs will be met and their privacy respected. Inside, the myths re-enact themselves daily among the customers, employees, and the books themselves.

This collection of six short stories takes you inside this little world of mystery, real magick, and moral lessons. Meet Paul Magwitch, possessed by the spirit of a young girl who compels him to buy expensive things he does not need or want; the Witch in the City, who ekes out a living reading Tarot for strangers in the park; and Eurydice, a shop employee who tragically becomes the victim of a customer's magical attack. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Rarity
Okay, I am going to do something I don't normally do. I am going to give my conclusion right at the start of this review. I loved this book! Before I finished the Prologue, I already could see the shop clearly, I cold smell the musty odor, and even hear the subtle groans of the suffering shelves.

This is one of those true rarities - a book written by someone who is capable of telling a compelling, believable tale which stretches the boundaries of what is ordinarily perceived without giving the reason to stop and think "yeah, like that would happen."

Those who live in the magickal world will feel right at home in this collection of stories. Those who have wondered about that world will find themselves inspired to search out their own Malynowsky's. Those who have never even thought of this world may find themselves wondering how much is real.

Sure, some of the stories (especially the last one) stretch the limits of the believable to the breaking point, if not a bit beyond. That, however,is not necessarily bad. After all, this is a book of fiction, not a how-to manual.

Over the past several years I have commented on the need for, and impending arrival of, fiction in the occult genre which could be enjoyed by experienced members of the community as well as by those outside of it. I am impressed by Ms. Trobe's ability to tell a believable story, and the style with which she tells it.

I don't know if there are more books in the offing from this talented author, but I certainly hope so. This is not a book of "action" stories. Nor is it a book of strictly occult happenings. It is a thoroughly enjoyable book of stories.

The ending of the final story in the current book seems to open the door for further stories. There appears to be the possibility of further developments of the two primary characters, as well as at least one or two
of the minor characters in addition.

This is not a book intended for the younger reader; not because of violence or sex, but simply because it is intended for one with a bit more life experience. It isn't one you have to keep out of the hands of youngsters. It is just one that will appeal more to the adult reader. In some ways it is reminiscent of some of Dion Fortune's fiction, but with much more appeal to the modern reader.

I look forward not only to more work by Ms. Trobe, but also to hearing what others think of this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enchanting Prose and Exquisite Diction
"One thing that's really become obvious to me since working in Malynowsky's is the way in which the myths re-enact themselves daily, both for our enlightenment, and simply because they are well-established patterns. Many would argue for the latter alone, and many that the former was the whole point, but for me, both seem pertinent. As my boss likes to point out, it's a fascinating level we inhabit." --The Magick Bookshop

Author Kala Trobe comes from a long line of religious visionaries, including Alice A. Bailey. She has been rigorously trained in magick and occult symbology, and has worked as a professional Tarot reader and psychic medium. In addition, she has also managed an antiquarian bookshop and holds an Honors degree in English literature from Leeds University.

With enchanting prose and exquisite diction, Trobe weaves her education and experience into six short stories filled with magick, myth, and mystery in her brand new book The Magick Bookshop The hub of archetypal psychodramas and Qabalistic magick, Malynowsky's antiquarian bookshop sits in the heart of Oxford, England, and is the sort of place that makes people go "oooh!" as soon as they cross its threshold.

In the first story, "Magwitch", we encounter a character named Mr. Paul Magwitch--a man who spends an obscene amount of money at Malynowsky's (and everywhere else). It becomes evident that his gluttonous sprees for material goods is inextricably and psychically linked with the death of a school girl named Jude.

The myth of Orpheus and Erydice emerge with a modern twist in the second tale, "Orpheus". Eurydice, hired by Kala the shop manager, becomes smitten by a musician. However, a dark spell cast by the obsesseed Aristaeus bewitches Eurydice--with tragic results.

In "Living Light", a devotee of Apollo is led to Malynowsky's Bookshop to seek advice. Anna's desire to maintain mystical union while keeping cynicism at bay send her on a mystical journey through the Qabalah, led by the capable Kala.

"Thus Spake Ron" is a tale of spiritual seduction and control. This story portrays the dynamics between a spiritual teacher named Ron--and the extent that a girl named Lauren will reliquish her power in the quest for Truth.

"Witch in the City" continues the story of Lauren, after she escapes from the physical, mental, spiritual, and sexual brutality of Ron's version of magickal training. Lauren ekes out a livng reading Tarot cards in the park, and a colorful array of sojourners accompany her on the path to freedom.

The last story, "Karma Burners", finds Kala facing Simon, her Roman master from ages past. In a past life, Kala was Simon's servant...and he sent her to the Coliseum. What will Kala do with the sword as she remembers his cruelty--and holds Simon's life in her hands?

It's been a long time since I've read such a delightful work of fiction...and what a special treat that this collection of short stories is laced with esoterica, symbolism, Tarot, archetypes, auras and other realities of the New Age. Even better, Trobe has such a delicious style of writing; I actually found myself stopping at certain passages, uttering a "wow" under my breath, and then re-reading it with admiration. (E.g. If blue could boil, her irises were that color.) Is that not succulent?

Kudos to Ms. Trobe for a fine collection of mystical stories that indirectly educates and thoroughly entertains.
Review originally posted at ... Read more

164. Her-Bak: Egyptian Initiate
by Isha Schwaller de Lubicz, Lucie Lamy
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0892810025
Catlog: Book (1989-11-01)
Publisher: Inner Traditions International
Sales Rank: 185423
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In these fictional accounts, Ancient Egypt is made accessible, revealed through the eyes of young Her-Bak, candidate for initiation into the Inner Temple. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars What is a Neter?
I read this book about 7 years ago. I have purchased it several times. As I have recomended it to my friends, and of course I loaned my copy to them. I should have started my own library card system. The Author has spent his life, studying Kemet (Egypt) with his wife by his side. There are metaphysical things that he did not innerstand, but his attempt at understanding is excellant. I recommend this work for everyone that is seeking Maat, externally. As a start to understanding, what went on in Kemet (Egypt). ... Read more

165. Gods of Aberdeen : A Novel
by Micah Nathan
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743250826
Catlog: Book (2005-05-24)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 468693
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A haunting novel about a brilliant young man who enrolls at a small New England college and becomes entangled in a mysterious death -- and the ultimate scientific quest.

Eric Dunne is a sixteen-year-old academic phenom. Desperate to escape his foster family, Eric graduates early from high school and earns a scholarship to Aberdeen College, a small, prestigious school in northern Connecticut. Aberdeen is a school for the privileged youth of America's elite, an isolated world where hard drinking and hard studying go hand in hand. When Eric is assigned a work-study job with the college's head librarian, Cornelius Graves, Eric begins to hear strange and disconcerting rumors about his new mentor. Despite himself, he is curiously drawn to Cornelius, if only to divine whether it's true that he's searching for the Philosopher's Stone, a mythical substance that supposedly holds the secret to eternal life.

At the same time, Eric's preternatural aptitude for Latin quickly attracts the attention of Arthur Fitch, a charismatic and aloof senior who invites him to become a research assistant for Dr. William Cade, Aberdeen's most celebrated professor. Eric is accepted into Cade's small circle of sophisticated students, all of whom live off campus on Cade's country estate, and soon discovers that his new friends are not just conducting research for Dr. Cade -- they, too, are searching for the Philosopher's Stone. When an alchemical experiment goes fatally wrong, Eric is drawn deeper into the dark secrets surrounding the legendary substance. As the police investigation narrows and Eric gets swept up in Professor Cade's obsession, the tensions on the estate and in Eric's new friendships threaten to explode and, with them, Eric's idealized world.

Like The Secret History and A Separate Peace, Gods of Aberdeen demonstrates the selfishness and savagery that can lie at the heart of the most rarefied academic setting.

... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars intriguing allegorical thriller
Sixteen years old orphan Eric Dunne leaves his second cousin's home in New Jersey to attend Aberdeen University in Fairwich, Connecticut on an academic scholarship.To help relieve some of the costs, the teenage genius works at the school library under the guise of Cornelius Graves, a weird sort rumored to be investigating the immortality legend surrounding the Philosopher's Stone.

Because Eric is proficient in Latin, senior student and research assistant Arthur Fitch recruits the freshman onto the team of Dr. William Cade, also pursuing the Philosopher's Stone.With fellow student researchers Howie Spacks and Dan Higgins, they conduct experiments, but one alchemist test goes awry killing Dan.Eric is stunned by the death, but also remains hooked as knowledge is everything to him although he has not quite yet attained the obsessed level of the rival professors or Art who all three blithely keep working as the show must go one.

This is an interesting look at the end all pursuit of knowledge at any cost (a modern King Solomon) including death.Though the sidebars involving a female interest seem unnecessary even on a free wheeling campus like this one, the key players including that coed are fully developed especially the eccentric fixated professors and the senior.However, in the end this allegory belongs to Eric who has obtained an education the hard way.

Harriet Klausner

5-0 out of 5 stars A great read...
This beatifically written novel has a riveting plot to match its eloquent prose.Nathan, whom I understand became a self-taught expert in Latin and toxicology while researching his book, writes about history and science with an almost academic rigor - all the while, weaving a compelling tell about friendship, murder, sex, and the search for immortality.If you are going on vacation this summer, and you want a totally engrossing read, this is your book. ... Read more

166. "When Paradise Died"
by Stanley A., Jr Kowalczyk, Stanley A. Kowalczyk Jr.
list price: $20.99
our price: $20.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0738835684
Catlog: Book (2000-11-16)
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
Sales Rank: 1023784
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"When Paradise Died" is a controversial fantasy story intended solely for the readers entertainment. The story offers an alternative but completely fictional scenario of how life began and where "creation" is headed. Although some of the beings depicted in the story have been taken from ancient mythologies of different world cultures, their roles within the context of "When Paradise Died" is fictional. The story is my first published piece of writing, and the book day-views my first published artworks.

"When Paradise Died" contains adventure, love, war, invention, destruction, and survival while it spans from the beginning of time up until the end of the world. In between, the story tells of the creation of the gods and goddesses as well as their constant struggle for dominance. The reader will encounter "temptatuous" sirens and alluring mermaids, seductive nymphs and male beings alike.

On the human side, there are witches and warlords, heroes and villains, both good and evil who duel for dominance of humanity.

Which came first, the butterfly or the egg? Perhaps the woman arrived before the man. Why did the mermaids seemingly vanish from the oceans? And what of the final war on Earth. Will humankind's increased knowledge elevate us to the level of the god? Or are we the gods themselves on the verge of bringing about our own damnation. Perhaps our "possible" destruction will be our salvation-- Or "was" it! ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars SPECTACULAR!!!
When I first began to read "When Paradise Died" I could not stop until I had finished it from front to back! It truly captured my fullest attention. It was truly a great piece of work and I look forward to reading many more by this wonderful author! "When Paradise Died" is truly a spectacular novel full of incredible stories with a fantastic ending!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars There's Never been a Book like This One
Non-Stop action, fantasy, and adventure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond Imagination
This is a Harry Poter Book on seriods!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking
"When Paradise Died" totally intrigued me from start to finish. I couldn't put the book down. Total imagination from the author's account of the Garden of Eden, to the Great Flood, to a most spectacular "suprize" ending. This is a Harry Potter book on steroids, made for an adult imagination.

5-0 out of 5 stars about "When Paradise Died"
A totally origional approach to the beginning and the end of the world. The author exhibits immagination to the fullest in this bit of extreamly well written occult fiction. The story line covers it all--Witches, erotic mermaids, seductive nymphs, the battle between masculinity vs. femininity for ruler-ship of both the heavens as well as the Earth. Once I started reading "When Paradise Died", I couldn't put the book down. And what a suprise ending. I suspect that this author will go a long way. ... Read more

167. Oz: Into the Wild
by Christopher Golden
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743400380
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: Simon Spotlight Entertainment
Sales Rank: 487203
Average Customer Review: 3.64 out of 5 stars
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Book Description


Bitten by his werewolf cousin Jordy, Oz has struggled with the forces of evil that transform him to a beast three nights of each month. Those who care about him have learned to deal with his alter ego and accept him for who he is.

But Oz himself isn't sure who he really is. Part human, part dangerous animal, he must constantly question his basic nature, and worries that he might, as the wolf, bring harm to his loved ones. Therefore, with great difficulty, he leaves Sunnydale and sets off on a course toward enlightenment. Giles has told him of a Watcher in the Fiji Islands who might help him to transcend the lunar pull.

Oz's journeys take him from Tibet to Australia, and even to Hong Kong. Far-flung regions and exotic cultures provide new understandings of consciousness and human nature. Before long, though, he realizes that he must gain control of his inner wolf sooner rather than later -- or risk finding himself not predator, but rather, prey... ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars The mystic journey of the wonderful werewolf named Oz
Sometimes it is not the destination that matter, but the journey. That bit of eastern sounding wisdom certainly applies to "Oz: Into the Wild," the latest "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" original novel by Christopher Golden. Actually, Buffy makes the briefest of appearances in this novel, which tells the story of what happened to Oz when he left Sunnydale in a desperate effort to sooth the savage beast that rises up and howls at the full moon each month. This means that what happens in this novel takes place during Season 4 between "Wild at Heart," when Oz left Sunnydale and Willow after killing Veruca, and "New Moon Rising," when he returned to find some major changes in both the town and the girl he left behind. Consequently, everyone who watches the show who reads this book knows full well that Oz will succeed in his quest. The reward here is in the journey, rather than the destination.

There are so many initial reasons to like this book. First, in fills in one of the major gaps in the Buffy storyline with regards to all the questions about Oz's quest to the East. I love books that come up with creative and valid ways of filling in gaps (most of the unfinished and unpublished "Buffy" and "STNG" novels in my files are fill in the gap stories), and this fits the bill in that regard. Second, it is a solo story, where Oz is essentially out on his own, with minimal help from anyone back in Sunnydale. There have been very few solo efforts on the television series ("Anne" and "The Zeppo" come to mind), but that is driven by economic considerations: when you are paying people money to be in a television show each week, they should be seen on that television show each week. Of course, Oz has to go half way around the world to have his solo adventure, but that is certainly a small price to pay.

Oz is clearly the most problematic character to try and write dialogue for in a "Buffy" novel. Most writers have a hard time coping with his laconic style and sparse use of verbiage, but not Golden. His characterization of Oz is as fine as any I have come across in these books, which means everything since he is front and center for almost this entire book. "Into the Wind" is one of those novels where two plot lines collide in a thrilling climax. The more interesting and more significant of the two is Oz's internal quest for control over the wolf within, and the best parts of this book are when nothing is "happening" other than Oz sitting on a mountain trying to come to terms with himself. Meanwhile, Cane, the werewolf hunter from "Phases," is hot on the trail of Oz, and when they both end up in the mountains of Tibet when a demon overlord is making a big time power play, the stage is set for a nice big collision.

But the part that sold me on this novel was not the conclusion and how everything comes together, but rather how Golden goes back and tells the story of how Oz became a werewolf. Taking something that was sort of a throw away joke in "Phases" ("Is Jordy a werewolf?"), Golden fleshes it out into a couple of poignant scenes. That was what sold me on "Into the Wind" being a very good "Buffy" novel. Final note: The origins of this particular novel are rather complex, for it is not only based on the television series created by Joss Whedon, it is also based on a story that first appeared in Dark Horse Comics. For those of you who want to decide if Golden is a better writer of comic books or novels, this is your chance. Knock yourself out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Golden Wolf
Oz was a beloved character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. His departure broke Willow's heart as well as the hearts of many viewers. "Oz: Into the Wild" is a blessing for Daniel Osbourne fans everywhere. The book is set in Season 4, right after Oz
leaves at the end of "Wild at Heart," and follows his trip around the world, in search of ways to both calm and understand his inner wolf.

The book format lets you go deeper into Oz's character than the show ever could. We always knew that he was intelligent and thoughtful; he chose his words carefully and was stoic for a reason. However, television relies a great deal on dialogue, and with Oz being not too vocal, he was often quiet on the series. This novel is privy to his thoughts, so you truly feel his concerns, his emotions, his reaction to killing Veruca and his recovery afterwards.

Two thumbs - or perhaps paws - up to this wonderfully written book. It's a trip around the world. . . It's a search for self.

2-0 out of 5 stars Dull and generic
This book definitely hits one of the few sour notes in an otherwise high-quality 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' comicbook series. To start off, readers are given a somewhat generic story of Oz wandering through Hong Kong and Tibet in search of answers on how to control his werewolving ways. The story is predictable and a yawner, offering little in the way of furthering character development in an ancillary Buffy character - Oz. Equally dull is the artwork with little in the way of flair or panache to further stimulate visual interest. I'd recommend reading this only if you can come across a copy on the cheap or for the most hardcore Buffy/Oz fans. Otherwise they are plenty more worthwhile volumes in this series worth your coin and reading time.

5-0 out of 5 stars To Tame the Wolf
A Buffy book that I actually liked, which I think is saying a lot because I dont like a lot of the Buffy books out there. Its a shame that you knew what would happen to Oz, but this book is still really good and kept me hooked the whole time!

Summary: After the Veruca incident, Oz goes on a search to find a way to tame his inner wolf. As he searches, he goes to new places, makes new friends, and is forced to doge both old and new enemies. Will Oz ever be able to find the peace and balance he needs to come to terms with the animal inside him and with himself?

I will admit that Oz is sometimes out of character with the cursing and all, but this is still an awesome book! I wish that Oz and Jinian hooked up, but you cant always get what you want. I think Christopher Golden is one of the best Buffy and Angel authors ever!

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent Read, Could Have Been Better
I enjoyed the book. It wasn't spectacularly insightful, but it didn't leave me bored, either. Those who complain that the character is not Oz seem to be completely discounting what we saw in the character in Season 4-- when he left and when he came back. Not to say the characterization wasn't a bit off some places (I can't see Oz "swearing loudly"), but not to the degree other reviews would suggest. ... Read more

168. The Tortuous Serpent: An Occult Adventure
by Donald Tyson
list price: $12.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1567187439
Catlog: Book (1997-08-01)
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Sales Rank: 780108
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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This dark historical fantasy features real-life magicians John Dee and Edward Kelley of the late 16th century, their spirited wives, a cunning rabbi from the Prague ghetto, and various monsters, both human and supernatural. All are focused, for good or for ill, on a twisted, chthonic version of the goddess Lilith. If "the tortuous serpent" is empowered by the right spell, her loathsome womb will flood the world with hideous creatures. The likeable heroes must avert the Apocalypse,but not before enduring a slew of horrifying (and entertaining) adventures. One factorthat can make all the difference in a story based on magic is whether the author is well-versed in the field: Donald Tyson displays ample knowledge to support his claim to be "a Western ceremonial magician in the Hermetic tradition." He's occasionally prone to hyperbolic words such as "incredible," but for the most part uses a matter-of-fact descriptive style to create vivid word-pictures of magical and beastly phenomena. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great novel that steps into the middle of reality & fantasy
Very interesting novel that intertwines real facts and fantasy. The main characters, all of which lived a long time ago, give the story the compelling and absorbing quality a book needs to entertain a reader. This is a very fast-paced novel which enthralls the reading eye from the very first page. And if one word should come up to define this book that would be ....entertaining. ... Read more

169. The Angry Angel (Sisters of the Night)
by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn Yarbo
list price: $13.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380789841
Catlog: Book (1999-04-01)
Publisher: Avon Books
Sales Rank: 686336
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Bram Stoker's dark classic Dracula, three "weird sisters," make a brief but unforgettable appearance. The beautiful, mad brides of the vampire lord, their untold histories are at last revealed to us in Sisters of the Night, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's brilliant reimagining of a timeless legend.

In a distant age of brutal chaos, young Kelene is her family's salvation. An exquisite, golden-haired child just entering womanhood's embrace, she is blessed-and cursed-with a great gift. For most of her fourteen years, God's "Militant Angels" have guided her, shielding Kelene, her parents, her brothers and sisters from the horror and devastation visited upon their neighbors by the bloodthirsty Ottoman hordes.

But suddenly another has invaded her dreams. This angel who speaks to Kelene in the night is far more elusive and demanding than any who came before-filling her with uncertainty and terrors while tempting her with impure thoughts and unholy desires. He will come to her, he vows, in Kelene's darkest hour. And then she will be his...for eternity.

A monumental work of the imagination from an unparalleled storyteller, Sisters of the Night: The Angry Angel is a haunting, erotic, and endlessly enthralling tale of innocent death and corrupted love...and of one extraordinary young woman-the first of three-whom destiny has chosen to be Dracula's consort. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Vampire Fiction at Its Best
The Angry Angel is a mesmerizing tale of a young girl's seduction by the original vampire, Count Dracula. It's also a metaphor for a woman's surrender to male sexuality. Even if Chelsea Quinn Yarbro only intended to write a vampire story, the raw sexual symbolism shines through. The highlight of the book is the slave auction, where Dracula claims his "bride." I've read that passage over and over, I just can't get enough of it. I think it resonates with me because while it's degrading and de-humanizing, Kelene ultimately is claimed by her suitor and is allowed to become something she never dreamed of before. It's a metaphor for the kind of self-discovery we sometimes find in sex.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dracula's "Wives" Explained at Last!
Yarbro does an excellent job describing an element of Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' that (to my knowledge) heretofore lacks explanation: the three vampire wives or brides residing in Dracula's castle. 'The Angry Angel' depicts Dracula's acquisition of his blond vampire bride, Kelene. Kelene's journey as she follows Dracula's "calling" is riveting, as she and her family are spared few tragedies.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in vampire fiction and lore, particularly those who appreciate a rather graphic tale (in terms of violence, not sex). This subject was one of the missing links in vampire fiction, and Yarbro has done a fantastic job filling this niche. Her characters are convincing and well-developed, and this book is tightly compelling right up to the very last sentence. After reading this, I am anxious to read Yarbro's books about the other two wives of Dracula.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brides of Dracula find a voice at last
A young girl's gift, visions from her angry angel, protect the family she loves. But with each new vision there is a price to be paid until she finds herself the ultimate sacrifice. The contrast between the worship of God and the corruption of evil was very interesting. The erotic seduction of the young girl was breath taking without being explicit. As usual the historic detail is excellent. This book pulses with passion, action and horror. I couldn't put it down and have now read it three times. It is the best vampire novel in a long time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Entertaining/The Angry Angel
Very good book. I found the descriptions of life in the fifteen hundreds very captivating. How a young girls life progresses and then digresses when she becomes Draculas slave is facinating. Well fleshed characters, great plot. I don't feel it is as good as Ann Rices Vampire Series but it is definately worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderfully written with so fascinating detail
I felt unfaithful to Anne Rice, however. this book and author is unique to her mostly because of the setting. I'm in awe of different cultures and time periods. She provides both deliciously with her use of such detail. It is difficult to find an author that provides both with a book that you can't put down. The details were so exact that you actually saw Kelene, her family, and of course Dracula and his numerous haunts. If you enjoy an exhilarating novel, then tap into this trilogy. The only complaint I have is that I wish the print was larger mainly because when I'm reading for hours, my eyes tire. This frustrates me because I don't want to go to bed....I want to keep reading. As soon as I finished it, I ordered her next. Read this one, you won't put it down. ... Read more

170. The Piaculum
by Richard C. Gray
list price: $14.95
our price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0595303013
Catlog: Book (2004-01-31)
Publisher: iUniverse
Sales Rank: 1097841
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

1-0 out of 5 stars P-yuck-ulum
What does one make of a book ostensibly about God and Christianity that consistently misspells "angel" as "angle"? I have to tell you it was difficult for me to get past such a fundamental repeated error, especially when it was coupled with spellings and turns of phrase like "gauntly figured", "whish" (for "wish") and "grizzly" (for "gristly").

Not to mention the eccentric dialect the youngsters in this book speak but lose the minute they become adults.

Still, I tried my best to give this book the benefit of the doubt--I really did--as it looked like it was going to explore spiritual themes in a fictional future. That combination intrigued me. So did its gripping (and somewhat "grizzly") cover painting.

But, in the end, it let me down.

Here's a brief recap (although I admit I was fading badly by the end): at an undisclosed time in the future, at least part (how many or how few is not clear) of a low-tech (I think) society is broken up into two opposing factions, the benign Mones, who are farmers with a devout Christian-based faith (few details, so don't ask), and a blood thirsty and likewise Christian (at least tangentially) cult, the Kathe, who basically exist to torture and drink the blood of Mone (Mones?) born with a rare skin condition known as "the White Mark". These marked Mone are known as Piaculums (Piaculum?), and the Kathe believe they are gods (which kind of confused me given the cult's Christian orientation). Kathe drink Piaculum blood to find salvation.

The narrative follows one man, Cearl, a Piaculum. He is captured by the Kathe when he is young, is tortured, escapes, and willingly goes back at a much later date in place of one of his sons who is born with the White Mark. (Cearl eventually escapes again, rather easily.) Turns out the Kathe, who are wealthier than the Mone (who knows why?) and can build cities (which we never really see) are illiterate and have been misinterpreting the sacred scriptures both parties believe in, scriptures that seem loosely based on the Old Testament and the New Testament. (A third set of scriptures based on the second coming of Jesus at the turn of the Millennium is mentioned once and dropped.) The Kathe are forced to face the fact that the Piaculum are not gods, which many of the cult ignore as a lie. The revelation causes, as you might expect, much consternation within Kathe society. At the end, all the Piaculum are struck by lightning. Kathe society as we know it ends. The shackles of ignorance are broken!

This sounds like a story that might contain depth and profundity, not to mention spiritual symbolism and allegory. As a Catholic coming out of the tradition of the Eucharist, I certainly was ready for it. I suppose the Kathe could be viewed as an unflattering allegory for Catholics, but the book focuses on surface phenomena to the extent that I found it impossible to tell. The characters' perception of God is not detailed at any length, including Cearl's own. This is problematic because we have to buy into that fact that he is willing to go through years and years of torture (more on that in a minute) sustained by his belief in God. We are often told that Cearl "knows" what God wants him to do, but we don't get much more than that. In fact, we are told a lot of things, without experiencing them, as readers, for ourselves.

The characters are "developed" for the most part, by how they react to surface events--fear, horror and, in the case of Cearl, endurance. This isn't a nuanced approach, nor does it demonstrate insight into humanity, and as a result I didn't feel invested in the people wandering through this story. I didn't care about them. I wasn't engaged by the events surrounding them.

I was also bothered by the book's lack of a sense of place or society. My perception was that the story played out in a dark, out of focus landscape, almost as if I were visiting pockets of featureless civilization surrounded by Limbo.

What I did get was endless scenes of torture as Cearl is forced to have tattoos cut into him, metal appendages hammered on and off his arms and legs (several times) and, of course, have his blood drunk. These scenes occur again and again and again, but they weren't particularly horrific or disturbing, probably because they are rendered in rather bare-bones and (after awhile, at least) repetitive prose. Truly, the descriptions became more numbing than troubling, deadening my emotions instead of eliciting a reaction from them.

I happily plunged into this thing, and for the first 100 or so pages tried to remain enthusiastic, but couldn't. I felt tired out and mentally fatigued after I had read it, like I had run around the same track 100 times. In fact, I'm feeling a bit sleepy now...

5-0 out of 5 stars Avid Reader & Reviewer
The Piaculum by Richard Gray is a book I will not forget anytime soon. The Piaculum is difficult to categorize as it has many different levels to the story.

The Piaculum is set in a future, post-apocalyptic Earth. We follow the story of Cearl, a young man with a white-mark and a Mone. The Mone are non-violent farmers, who value family and religion. They are poor farmers who eek out a living in a desert-like landscape. The white-mark Cearl has is rare. It is similar to an albino. He has pale skin compared to the dark color of the other Mone.

Cearl is an inquisitive young man. His father is atypical of the Mone in that he fosters his son's ability to think for himself. The Mone have a version of the Bible called the Book of Testaments. Cearl is encouraged to read the Book of Testaments and to interpret it himself. This background is crucial for the upcoming trials Cearl must face.

In contrast to the Mone are the Kathe. They are more prosperous city-dwellers who are religious fanatics. The Kath have a much different interpretation of the Book of Testaments. To them, Christ gave his only son for crucifixion in order for all to ascend to heaven. In order for a Kathe to receive salvation, he must consume the blood of a white-mark male who is a living, walking, and crucifixion - a Piaculum. Only a Piaculum as a living God can grant salvation.

Every 12 years the Kathe send out armies to search out all young males with the white-mark. These children are horribly tortured by a series of ascensions which result in metal chassis being integrated into their bodies. The Kathe have no mercy for a Piaculum as the pain and suffering they carry allows others into heaven.

The Kathe restrict reading to only a chosen few and by doing so ensures the fervor of it's citizens. In contrast, Mone families read the Book of Testaments every night together. This crucial difference is pivotal to the story-line.

According to Richard Gray, the Kathe are modeled after Mormons. It is easy to insert most any religious fanatics who rule by restricting knowledge into the Kathe. Cearl's father instructed him to also read and interpret the Book of Testaments for himself as no one can be completely accurate in interpretation. Everyone should read and think for themselves.

Through history mankind has produced many horrors that are the result of someone's interpretation of the Bible. One only needs to turn on the television to be reminded of the political and religious upheavals of the Middle East. The violence man commits in the name of religion is horrendous. Think of the Palestinian suicide bombers. How can one gain salvation by killing others just because they are a different religion? While reading Piaculum, I was reminded of the Romans who thought early Christians should be destroyed. The Romans believed the body and blood of Christ was a true act of cannibalism. Today, most would not think twice about this, but back in time it was a true outrage.

The Piaculum is a deeply moving book that will keep the reader thinking long after finishing it. It is a commentary on Christianity that can be applied to today's turbulent and violent religious sects.

The Piaculum is Richard Gray's first book. According to the author's website, he was born in Utah where the local landscape inspired much of his writing. He is a scientist, writer, and artist. He earned his bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Utah and is currently living in upstate NY while working toward his Ph.D. at Cornell University. Be sure to visit his website at

5-0 out of 5 stars Keeping faith through crisis - An incredible read!
April 29, 2004

This spiritually cased novel depicts the trials and tribulations of a man called, Cearl. Cearl is a Christian of Mone faith, which was born with a rare skin condition known as the white mark. To truly understand the basis of belief surrounding those with the white mark we must go back to the birth of the Kathe religion.

Three books discovered long ago in a cave, the book of the testament, the ancient word, and the lost (third) book. It is the third, and definitely the lost book that causes division within the Christian faith. Those who discovered these biblical treasures have very different interpretations as to its scriptures on the second coming of Christ and salvation.

The Kathe religious cult was formed from those who believed that atonement was necessary for salvation moreover; this could only be attained through their Piaculum (white-marked Gods). These fierce technically advanced warriors sought out their Piaculum and pursued their religious beliefs relentlessly.

The gentile benevolent Mone, whose faith based origin believed Christ suffered for the sins of man. Therefore, all who seek Christ with their hearts shall attain salvation, at the mercy of the Kathe's.

Cearl born and raised in the Mone faith is troubled by memories of his childhood adoption by the Kathe's, as well as a ferocious desire to protect his family. The story follows Cearl from boyhood to manhood. As an adult Cearl struggles through life attempting to maintain his faith, while serving God's purpose.

This is the most moving, inspirational tale of faith I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Not only does it inspire those struggling with life's woes, but it also teaches how to maintain a closer walk with Christ through faith and love.

The Piaculum is well written and the flow is nice, keeping readers entertained. It is truly amazing how well Mr. Gray put this mesmerizing tale together!

Reviewed by Juanita Reynolds

5-0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Story of Good Versus Evil
The Piaculum by Richard Gray tells of the future but the subject material is all too appropriate for the world of today. It is a story of good versus evil, involving conflict and tension between a group of Christians and a cult. The Mone follow Christian beliefs; however, the Kathe believe that their sins can be erased by drinking blood from males born with the white-mark-a rare skin condition. The story takes place on a desert landscape where Cearl, a Mone, is introduced to readers as a young boy with the white-mark. From the beginning it is evident that this boy has a mission to fulfill; he experiences pain and has ghastly visions of his future that he believes are warnings. He knows that he is different from others-an internal difference that overshadows the white-mark which he inherited from his mother. Though he plans to tell his father about his latest and most horrific vision, it becomes a reality before he has the opportunity.

Seven-year-old Cearl is captured by the Kathe and, although rescued within days by his father, he is haunted by memories of the torture and abuse that he suffered during captivity. Grateful that he had been freed before being turned into a Piaculum-a creature trapped inside metallic frames whose purpose was to provide blood atonement for the Kathe cult-he, nevertheless, loses the innocence of his childhood.

As an adult, Cearl has a good life with a loving wife and two sons; however, when the youngest son is born with the white-mark, this good life is blemished by worry and concern over his safety. The thought of him being captured and tortured as he had once been is unbearable. Cearl is determined that his son won't become a human sacrifice-a man-made savior for the Kathe cult. He recalls that the Piaculums, who were kept alive as long as possible so the Kathe could drink their blood, had metal extremities fixed to their feet and arms. These less-than-human creatures truly believed they were gods.

When Cearl's son with the white-mark is captured by the Kathe, he offers himself as a substitute, changing the course of his own life as well as that of his family. Ultimately, he comes to understand what it is that he has been asked to do by the God of his beliefs-he has a divine purpose that must be fulfilled, regardless of personal sacrifice.

This book is very well written, the characters are believable, and the plot gathers momentum as the story progresses. Toward the end of the book there are many surprising twists and this reviewer found herself sharing the confusion of Cearl as to whether or not his wife is alive or dead. However, when I learned the truth, I was satisfied with the conclusion. Though dark and very graphic in places, I found the book to be an excellent read. It should, in my opinion, get the attention of filmmakers.

5-0 out of 5 stars incredible futuristic tale
In a cave, two men find the remnants of a long dead civilization that left behind three "holy" books. One of them interpreted the message as God sent his son to save the human race. The other person insisted that the Words meant that the second coming of the Son needed saviors to sacrifice to atone for sins. Several millenniums after their hallowed excavation, mankind has evolved into two predominant cultures, of which both share in common beliefs in the Words of God stated in The Book of testaments. While the Mone share the sacred words amongst all members of their society, the Kathe insist only priests are capable of understanding the Words.

The Kathe seek those born with the white-mark so that the males can be converted into Piaculums and the females sacrificed during "The Week of Blood" as a means to ascend to heaven. The Kathe abduct Mone farmer Cearl because he has the white-mark. He offers little resistance hoping to keep his son protected from the grotesque alteration. Though he prays to the same God as his captors, Cearl has little faith that he will survive.

THE PIACULUM is an incredible futuristic tale that extrapolates interpretations of the lost Book of Testaments into cornerstones of two societies by concentrating on one member from each. The evolution is mindful of the clever archeological spin of the 1970s cult movie Fillard Millmore and Wells' Time Machine. Richard Gray sounds a warning that strict biblical interpretation is self centered to insure the priests are not Left Behind rather than sharing the Word so all can be saved.

Harriet Klausner ... Read more

171. Regina's Song
list price: $7.50
our price: $6.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345448995
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 174795
Average Customer Review: 2.73 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

“A STORY OF MURDER AND REVENGE . . . Outstandingly well paced and tightly plotted, the novel also stands out in its handling of various psychological themes.”

Eerily attuned to one another, twins Regina and Renata are so identical that even their mother can’t tell them apart. Then tragedy strikes: a vicious attack leaves one twin dead and the other so traumatized that she turns totally inward, incapable of telling anyone what happened or even who she is. She remains lost to the world, until the day Mark, a family friend, comes to visit–and the young woman utters her first intelligible word.

As she recovers, still with no memory of the past, her nightmares grow steadily more frightful, followed by wild fits of hysteria and dark mood swings. Her strange outbursts seem to coincide with the grisly serial murders that have begun plaguing Seattle. Could she be the killer? Determined to dispel his suspicion, Mark stakes out her home. The unholy sight he witnesses one night will haunt his soul for the rest of his life. . . .
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Reviews (48)

3-0 out of 5 stars A step down for Eddings, but still a fun read
Like many, I have a hard time reviewing this book without bringing in all of the Eddings' previous works as well. It's their own fault - recently, they have taken self-plagiarization to new, almost embarassing heights. It's a shame, because I can't help but believe that there are still plenty of great, original ideas in there. But the man is 72 years old, for crying out loud. Someone suggested that the fault lies with Leigh, David' wife and co-author. I see it differently - I can imagine her desperately trying to pull some of his old wit and sharp writing out of him, and getting pulled back again and again to the old stock characters and lame catch phrases. Maybe she's just as frustrated as we are.
I agree with the review that said this book is a novella that's been stretched out to 400 pages. You could easily cut this book in half without losing anything. Much more needs to be said about the twins' childhood, much less about Mark's classes and his roommates. Ironically, one character's observation about the local police chief - he does things backwards, picking a suspect and then working the evidence to implicate them - could apply to Eddings as well. He's come up with a set of plot devices, and he's willing to twist every scenario around until it fits his preconceived notion of how the book should come out.
Some questions (Semi-spoilers ahead): What psychiatrist in his right mind would let a patient as disturbed as Renata to not only leave the hospital, but move an hour away to live with a relative who habitually doses her with dangerous barbituates anytime she gets out of control? What English professor worth his diploma would think Renata's writing worth even a B, let alone the accolades that are heaped onto her essays? What D.A. would sit on his hands during an entire trial, and not cross-examine a single witness? Why on earth were all six roommates called to testify? Why does every character have the same, pseudo-"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" speech pattern? Why was it so important that they get Renata/Regina to that convent? What was wrong with the mental institution she had already spent several years in? Either Eddings needed to explain that one further, or he needed to cut that entire, ridiculous "Mission Impossible" chapter at the end.
But.... but but but. I love Eddings, truly I do. And you have to admit it's an intriguing idea, in a Lifetime movie sort of way. They could have gone further in making Renata's victims villainous, if they really wanted us to sympathize with her, but they get the point across.
So, three stars. From a lesser author, it might be worth more, but expectations are so high for anything with an Eddings byline that I just couldn't help being disappointed. It's easy reading, and if you can suspend your disbelief for a few hours it's even kind of fun.

1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible! Predictable! Inane!
Having been a big fan of Eddings' work for many years now, and having read everything that he/they have ever written, I bought this book without so much as a hesitation.

Imagine my disappointment then when, upon reading this, I was terrifically dissatisfied on almost all accounts. I am not certain if it is the genre, (being one of the few Eddings' non-fantasy novels) or the subject matter, but this book falls flat from cover to cover.

Perhaps, it is because this novel is based in 'real world' context - allowing an actual frame of reference that is impossible within the fantasy genre - that the sub par writing becomes apparent. However, although it has been some years since I read High Hunt, and The Losers, I do not recall having experienced the same visceral reaction to the quality of the writing in those books. That, and the fact, that as big a fan as I am, I just cannot bring myself to consider that Eddings' overall writing style is second-rate.

The storyline is predictable (other than one small surprise twist that appears more than halfway through the book on page 319) and trite. The story development and depth is overlooked time and time again in lieu of repetitive and one-dimensional writing. (The mention of fog again and again and again being a prime example.) The reinforcement of words through italics is so overused that I one point I actually began counting how often they were used on a two page spread, and at another point, I genuinely found myself shocked that the use for emphasis was truly applicable!

The dialogue is cumbersome, exceptionally pedestrian, and annoyingly redundant. ('Normies' is painfully inane and the fact that every single character adopts this term is beyond exasperating. How about 'normal' or, perhaps even 'sane'?? Novel idea? Not in this one! And 'bad days'? Sounds like we're talking about hair and not the repercussions of a person's crumbling sanity. And, like the mention of fog, we read them again and again and again...didn't anyone on this team have access to a thesaurus??) I cannot help but think if someone (either the authors or even - gasp! - an editor) were to take the time to read this poorly-written dialogue aloud they would have immediately recognized that real people do not speak this way!

The character development is shallow and uninteresting, and thus, most of the characters themselves are irritating and obvious. The characters' various professions/studies and relationships to both Mark and Renata are exceedingly convenient. Character motivation is dubious and illogical; most disturbing is the obvious oversight that neither Mark nor Sylvia make any effort whatsoever to contact Dr. Fallon immediately after Renata's hospitalization.

Additionally, after Renata's apprehended, Mark makes a comment about how Renata does not deserve to go to prison! Nor should she be labeled 'criminally insane'. Huh?! Did anyone pay attention to HOW these people were murdered besides me?? Sure they were suspicious characters who may or may not have 'deserved' it, but it was not a simple strangling, gun shot, or even stabbing that did them in. The method of assassination was vicious, disgusting and evil and was, in essence, so horrific that throughout the story everyone comments on the sheer brutality of it. And she didn't just slaughter the guy responsible, but to everyone's own admission, she practiced on the other victims first! And yet, Mark and the others sit around discussing her and her fate as if she's this fragile, misunderstood innocent who is nothing more than a victim of her own experiences. Sure, she's crazy, but she's bloodthirsty, manically crazy when the wolves 'sing'. (Ack!)

Basically, there is no dimension, subtext, or compelling drama to encourage eager page turning. In fact, this read goes beyond substandard into chore-based; the only reason I even made an effort to finish the book was because of the author(s).

At this point, I am unsure who is to blame more for the mediocrity of this book - the authors, or the editor(s) (who apparently did not show up for work on this project). Cutting, cutting and more cutting would have certainly been a good start to a better novel!

I will continue to buy and read Eddings' novels, but will pause for a little more consideration next time if the story falls outside of the wonderfully developed fantasy world in which he/they have previously so successfully executed.

1-0 out of 5 stars wasted potential
the idea behind this book is very interesting, however, Eddings has to bog it down with his "clever" dialogue. THere are characters who serve no function in the book than to allow themain character to showoff his witty banter. Which isn't as witty as it is annoying. All the characters use the same expressions and add "ie" to everything, like bugsies and normies etc. which doesnt reflect the dialouge of today in any way shape or form even tho it has a modern setting. Also, the living arrangments Mark finds himself in, just doesn't exsist. No busy college women would cook and clean a house for men, they would either hire someone to do it or expect everyone to clean up after themselves. This out of date sterotyping was extremely annoying and hard to believe. I doubt that this book would have been published had the famous Eddings' had not been the authors.

1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible Terrible Terrible
For a supposedly professional writer, this is one of the most amateurish books I've ever read. When I was younger I was a fervent David Eddings fan; despite my profound disappointment with his more recent works (Belgarath the Sorcerer, Redemption of Althalus) I decided to give him another chance with this book. Well, three strikes, he's OUT.

It's hard to know where to begin when bashing this book. First off, the characters are highly unappealing (particularly the narrator, Mark, who has all the charm of a bucket of warm phlegm). All of them talk like smarmy wanna-be comedians who just can't get enough of each other. Their cutesy sarcastic banter makes one's skin crawl. These one-sided automatons never come into their own as real-seeming people, only devices to move the plot forward.

But OH, what a plot it is! As predictable as it is, I found myself ploughing through the final hundred pages desperately awaiting a twist that never came. As another reviewer mentioned, the big "surprise" of the novel is spelled out in black and white in the dust jacket blurb. The courtroom scene near the end was particularly painful, as character after wooden character takes the witness stand only to recount every single thing we've read in the past 200 pages without adding any new information. I had no choice but to skim through that part.

Then there is the pretentiousness. Yes, David Eddings was an English teacher, so I'm sure he has a fairly broad knowledge of literature. But does that mean we have to listen to paragraph after paragraph droning on about Milton this, Faulkner that? Combine that with the fact that Eddings has the audacity to lambast such great writers in a piece-of-trash book like this one, and it just adds insult to injury. Actually, I find it very amusing that Eddings' "About the Author" blurb states that he grew up in Washington, worked as an English teacher, worked for Boeing, etc. So, where does the book take place? Seattle. And what are two of the principle characters' occupations? English teacher and Boeing engineer (though with trademark sophisticated Eddings humor he refers to the company as "Boing-Boing." Get it? Sheesh.) I know the old axiom states "write what you know," but I get the sense that Eddings chooses to include these details of his own life just so he can go into exhaustive detail and add a sense of authenticity. Well, sorry buddy, it just comes across as a lot of detail for detail's sake; if you want authenticity, try writing characters who actually talk like real people.

Which brings me to one more point: the colloquial first-person writing style. This is what cements the amateurish feeling of the book. Instead of choosing a simple, elegant style, Eddings peppers the writing with annoying colloquialisms like "You guessed 'er, Chester." It just gets in the way, and wears on the reader's patience.

So, I would suggest not wasting your time with this book. It'll just annoy you, especially if you are a long-time Eddings fan. Sorry David, I loved your old stuff, but if this kind of stuff is all you've got left in you, I think it's time to throw in the towel.

2-0 out of 5 stars Great story loses itself in the telling
How frustrating! I was so looking forward to this book. And it started out fine. The characters are likeable, funny and varied, it's a fast read, and there's loads of spooky stuff to look forward to.

After a few chapters, however, the seams began to show. It started with the baby talk. That alone had me climbing the walls!

It was downhill from there.

With rare exceptions, there's one voice, one sense of humor. Information is repeated with eye-rolling frequency. Way too many things go on that make no sense (witnesses being prepped for a hearing include only friends but no family -- not even the aunt with whom the person lives; a top psychiatrist teams up with a psych grad student, sight unseen; a cop discusses a murder case with two strangers; a doctor has time to hear Mark's life story, gives little medical information, yet Mark somehow knows what the doc should've told him but didn't). Characters know things they shouldn't know yet. The same phrases pop up over and over again. Many words are italicized, probably because the vocabulary's too limited and simple to express any depth of feeling. Regardless of subject matter, the tone remains light, airy and superficial. Cheerfulness doesn't mesh well with a story about psychotics and grisly murders.

REGINA'S SONG is an incredible story! What a shame it wasn't given a more worthy vehicle. ... Read more

172. Etidorhpa or The End of the Earth
by John Uri Lloyd
list price: $34.95
our price: $22.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 156459243X
Catlog: Book (1997-03-01)
Publisher: Kessinger Publishing
Sales Rank: 450201
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Strange History of a Mysterious Being and the Account of the Initiate's Remarkable Journey. This edition contains the expanded and enlarged version. This is the most fascinating, fictional, alchemical work, of Freemasonry.Join this student and his Adept Guide on an alchemical journey to the "End of the Earth."Contents: My Purpose is to Tell the Truth; Never Less Alone than When Alone;A Search for Knowledge-The Alchemist Letter; Writing of My Confession; Kidnapped; I am Prematurely Aged; A Lesson in Mind Study; My Journey Towards the End of Earth Begins- Adepts' Brotherhood; My Journey Continues-A Cavern Discovered Punch-Bowls and Caverns of Kentucky-A Zone of Light Deep Within the Earth; Enchantment; I Rebel Against Continuing the Journey;I-Am-The-Man, "You Can Not Disprove, and You Dare Not Admit"; "Lead Me Deeper Into This Expanding Study"; Sleep, Dreams, Nightmare-The Living Brain; Primary Colors are Capable of Father Subdivision; I cease to Breathe, and Yet Live; Drunkenness; Further Temptation-Etidorhpa; Misery; Eternity Without Time; My Heart Throb is Stilled, and Yet I Live; The End of Gravitation-In the Bottomless Gulf; Hearing Without Ears-My Weight Annihilated-"The End of Earth."; The Last Farewell; Illustrated by J. Augustus Knapp, who illustrated the Secret Teachings Of All Ages by Manly P. Hall.For an excellent book on the author's homeopathic remedies, see our other book by Dr. Eli Jones, called, "Definite Medication: Containing Therapeutic Facts Gleaned from Forty Years Practice (1911). ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not a throw away novel!
This has to be one of the most unusual books that I've read. H.P Lovecraft, the Brilliant cosmic horror writer made reference to this book in his Selected Letters and Marginalia, noting that his visit to the endless caverns in Virgina made him think "above all else, of that strange old novel Etidorhpa once pass'd around our Kleicomolo circle". Anyway I think this book is great. Read it yourself and make up your own mind about it being a so called fictional book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Etidorhpa
No one but fools and the inept would consider this work fiction, I have read the "original" version published in 1895, and have personaly researched the book to the extent of visiting the cavern entrance, verifying dates, places, and the the story told within the book over a 20 year period, and it is TRUE.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is an excellent read.
From beginning to end one is caught up in the storyline of this book. Mind boggling concepts become crystal clear and images dance in one's head as one delves deeper and deeper into this alternate reality; a reality alive and vibrant right under our feet, so to speak. This book seems way ahead of its time having been written in 1895.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rare ideas that are unique
" Etidorhpa " was written by John Uri Lloyd.He had some idealistic views of the way of the world.Though few would catch on to some of the opened minded visions of this world, all would be caught up in the reading. ... Read more

173. Bike Week Blues (A Daffodils Mystery)
by Mary Clay
list price: $14.95
our price: $12.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0971042977
Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
Publisher: Inspirational Fiction
Sales Rank: 443798
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Move Over, Steel Magnolias. Move Over, First Wives Club.

The DAFFODILS* Are Back!

*Divorced And Finally Free Of Deceitful, Insensitive, Licentious Scum

Leigh is building a new, single life at the beach. Ruthie's in town for a spiritual seminar. Flamboyant Penny Sue, hot on the trail of her latest soul mate, buys a Harley and follows him to Bike Week. In true DAFFODILS fashion, no sooner do the sorority sister reunite, then all hell breaks loose. Bullets are flying, a body is found and all clues point to Rich, Penny Sue's new love. Unfortunately, Rich has disappeared into the hubbub of a half million bikers, beer bashes, and cold slaw wrestling.

With the help of Frannie May, asavvy, Italian widow from the South (South Shore of Boston, Massachusetts, that is), and a motley crew of bikers, Trekkies, and Navy Seals, the DAFFODILS must find Rich and unravel the mystery to protect themselves and the entire East Coast. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A story most luscious, as Poirot would say
After her first successful mystery, THE TURTLE MOUND MURDER, New Smyrna Beach's Mary Clay is at it again with her DAFFODILS...that is, "Divorced and Finally Free of Deceitful, Insensitive, Licentious Scum," in BIKE WEEK BLUES. The ex-sorority pals are visiting Leigh in New Smyrna Beach, and are having as much fun as they did in their youth. Except dead bodies keep turning up. And, as Leigh's policeman buddy puts it, the "girls" have a penchant for getting into trouble.

Leigh is finding herself and worrying about her daughter. Penny Sue has outfitted herself with a Harley and new gear for BIKE WEEK and her new love. When Penny Sue's Rich unceremoniously dumps her and then calls to apologize, she is suspicious. But it's the dead body found next to her car which has a bullet hole in the license plate that really gets her going. Ruthie, the New Ager in the group, contributes sages and scents, which sometimes backfire, but add to the fun. But the real corker is the addition of Frannie May, a rich Italian widow whose MIT educated genius of a son and his Trekkie buddies join forces with ex-Navy Seals to find Penny Sue and Rich, who are eventually kidnaped by a biker named Vulture and his terrorist partners. The remaining DAFFODILS swing into action, join forces with the Trekkies and Navy Seals, and a real Klingon assault is in the making to save the entire Eastern seaboard from uncertain disaster from those dastardly cultist bikers:

"'Yes ma'am.' Klingons, Romulans, and Navy Seals-I'd try not to judge it all. On the plus side, I had to admit narrow, sheltered life had broadened considerably since my divorce."

All in all, BIKE WEEK BLUES is a delightful reprise of the DAFFODILS in action. Mary Clay expands her characters considerably in her sequel, and the addition of Star Trek enthusiasts is a stroke of genius. Her characters are carefully drawn and keep the reader laughing throughout the entire novel. The additional frequent references to menopause in the DAFFODILS as they are trying to keep up with the younger generation simply add to the mirth. There are plenty of moments of sobriety well interspersed in-between, which keep the book and plot focused on the mystery. BIKE WEEK BLUES is a story most luscious, as Poirot would say.

Shelley Glodowski

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read!!
The Daffodils are back! A great book!! It is very entertaining and well written. I look forward to the next book in the series. I hope Mary Clay is busy typing! ... Read more

174. Blue Limbo: A Novel
by Frank Lauria
list price: $15.95
our price: $15.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1583940375
Catlog: Book (2001-01-30)
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Sales Rank: 504519
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Frank Lauria's best-selling novels are known for their odd characters and couplings, and Blue Limbo offers some of the oddest when a power-mad bureaucrat teams up with a Haitian voodoo master. The two are turning unsuspecting victims into zombies and slowly taking control of society. Psychic detective Dr. Orient gets involved when he is called in as a consultant for a mysterious submarine accident (a result of the zombification of one of the passengers). Sidetracked by a voodoo temptress, the good doctor is captured. Only when he makes contact with a higher spiritual realm can he transform zombie powers into a force for good.Frank Lauria has cited masters like H.P. Lovecraft and A. Merritt as influences, but Blue Limbo remains uniquely his own in mixing the fantastic with the outrageous. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Tough to put down
This book is fun!Frank Lauria has created a clever and coolbook that is difficult to put down.The main character, Owen Orient, is sort of James Bond-like but with psychic powers.Lauria has managed to create a very believable world with that is completly captivating.If you like this one, check out Lauria's RAGA SIX.

5-0 out of 5 stars absolutely gripping
Frank Lauria has given us another absolutely gripping novel of the occult. This time setting his tale in the voodoo latitudes of Jamaica Lauria follows the adventures of DR. ORIENT telepath and psychic investigator. From tyhe first page to the last this novel is packed with action. chillls, and first-rate characterizations that bring this book to life. A word to the wise, don't read this book too late at night.... ... Read more

175. Green Mountain Ghosts, Ghouls & Unsolved Mysteries
by Joseph Citro
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1881527506
Catlog: Book (1994-10-15)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 293534
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Aimed at adults, teenagers, and tourists, this is the most comprehensive collection of tales, legends, folklore, ghost stories and strange-but-true facts ever assembled about Vermont andthe surrounding areas of New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Quebec--one that can be used to find these haunted sites. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Engrossing
Ghosts, Ghouls, and Unsolved Mysteries by Citro is without a doubt the best book of its kind I have ever read. Indeed, this book goes much farther than telling of simple he said, they said stories, but presents a perspective that is far more truthful, far more interesting, and far more human than anything else. All the stories are from Vermont itself, and it succeeds in bringing a new layer to the vastly misunderstood 14th state, at least for us non - residents. For me, I know not to read this book late at night, or when I'm alone. For who knows what will greet me when I fall asleep.

4-0 out of 5 stars Spooky Moss-Colored Fun
I have always had a special place in my heart for the Green Mountain state and for ghost stories, so image my delight when I found them combined in one volume.

Taking all the tales of supernatural events said to have occurred in Vermont and anthologizing them, this book illustrates, to this reader anyway, what a wonderfully quirky little state Vermont really is.

Covering everything from traditional haunted houses and ghost sightings, to UFO encounters, flying silos, and Bigfoot-like creatures, "Green Mountain Ghosts, Ghouls & Unsolved Mysteries" can only be described as fun.

A warning for the easily spooked (such as myself): This book is eerie in an X-Files kind of way. There were times when I had to put it down because I was starting to scare myself. However, in the end I always picked it back up and to this day it has a prized spot on my bookshelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining
Growing up in Chester, VT, my girlfriend thought that I'd enjoy this book. She was absolutly correct. Reading the stories behind many of the towns and woods around Chester was really interesting for this particular Vermonter, who had more than a few spooky nights of his own when he lived there. But, even those who've never been to Vermont will enjoy the spooky stories and tales contained. A great read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Exciting and Scary!
I am an avid reader of ghost stories AND I'm from Vermont, the Green Mountain State. So, when I saw this book at the bookstore, I had to buy it. It was DEFINITLY worth it. Whether it's good or bad, I didn't fall asleep fast that night! Citro has stories of ghosts, UFO's, Bigfoot, and the legendary Lake Champlain Monster in this book, among other subjects. It was especially interesting to me because many of the stories had their location close to where I live. If you are a ghost lover in Vermont, or anywhere else, you've got to buy this book ... Read more

176. Spirit Circle: A Story of Adventure & Shamanic Revelation
by Hal Zina Bennett
list price: $18.00
our price: $15.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0965605639
Catlog: Book (1998-11-01)
Publisher: Tenacity Press
Sales Rank: 1189545
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Spirit Circle
Dr. Tara Fairfield, a young anthropologist, is on a quest to find her father, renegade tabloid journalist, Drew Fairfield, who has missed most of her life, but most notably has been missing for the last two years. Tara has received a letter from Drew containing photos and artifacts which she believes might be proof of the existence of a secret society of shamans hidden deep in the New Mexico desert. Either this, or it is an elaborate hoax, perpetuated by her father, who is not above foregoing integrity for a good story. To uncover the truth, she leaves her young daughter and travels to New Mexico, where her search leads her through a shamnic journey to find her own soul. She meets spirit guides who shape-shift and take her to places beyond the tangible world she knows. An old friend of her father's who has returned to his Zuni childhood origins, teaches her the way of the Medicine Wheel. She is at once the teacher and the taught as she takes the reader on a magical voyage between worlds, all the while tripping over her own skepticism. With an old shaman, she journeys to meet the crone, Mongwa, who tells her "You are a messenger. You have no choice." Tara's mission is to bring back to her world the teachings of the "fifth world," where understanding the Spiritual Source eliminates all appearance of separation between time, place, and physical identity. Bennett's writing is visually stunning, taking the reader into the quiet beauty of the desert mesa and deep into the caves hidden high on the cliffs. A masterful storyteller, he weaves spell-binding adventure and spiritual revelation. This book begs for a sequel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading...Bennett is great.
A few months ago and quite by chance, I ran onto this author/writing instructor in the strangest way. I was surfing the Internet and happened to find this website for writers. It's a very informative website with a little bit of everything for everyone in the literary world. I clicked on the discussion board to see what was happening. I'm not one to join a discussion group because I don't have the time, but like I said, the website is full of writing information. The discussion group actually has comments posted by published authors, giving helpful information to the fledgling writers. In so doing, these published authors not only have my respect, they have my attention. After reading some of the informative posts by Hal Bennett, I was impressed with what he had to say. I sent him an e-mail conveying my compliments. Being a man of intelligence and good manners, Bennett thanked me via an e-mail, thus allowing me access to his website by his reply. I think I would have eventually found it anyway, but it saved me a lot of time. Bennett's book on "Write From The Heart" took my attention first and I ordered it. Very impressive. I concluded the man knew how to write a non-fiction book on the subject of writing. I rated him as being in the caliber of Brande, another great one. So, figuring he knew how to write non-fiction and hold my interest, I'd find out if he could write fiction and still hold my interest. I'm a romantic by nature, always have been, but I'll read anything that's well written, whether it's mystery, suspense, self-help, non-fiction, etc. For a long time, I've stuck with the really big name authors, but eventually I think we all live and learn. I'm pretty gutsy and I'll venture spending the price of a book by any author who has my attention and interest. I don't know if you'd call it cheating when you open a book to the center or the end and read a few excerpts to determine whether it's a good book or not, but I'm famous for doing this. I DIDN'T DO THIS WITH "SPIRIT CIRCLE". I started on page one and read through to the end. I hardly put the book down until I finished reading it. The story was very different and touched me deeply. Bennett writes a book like I would venture to say he teaches writing, straight from his heart. The story plot, the characters, the vivid description of beautiful setting, his vast knowledge of Native American culture and last, but not least, the superb editing of this book, makes it an excellent read. Bennett is very gifted and well-educated, and quite obviously in good standing with his Muse. I do highly recommend this book to anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fast moving adventure & teaches basics of shamanism!
This is a novel about Tara Fairfield who is an anthropologist at a university. She leaves her comfortable job to search for her outrageous, adventruous father who has been missing for 2 yrs. She travels to New Mexico to catch his trail and is caught up in a series of intriguing events that force her to confront her own identity. The professor part of Tara slowly surrenders to her intuitive self and she embraces a new, deeper vision of the meaning and purpose of her life. Essentially, she stops studying life and begins to live in a new way. Spirit Circle is a really classic shamanic story, told in an original, exciting way that brings out the mystery of the ancient mystical traditions of the Southwest. The heroine's adventure is an initiantion--she doesn't find her goal, she become it, and eventually recognizes and accepts her destiny. This is a fast-moving adventure story with great characters, which you don't find much in novels with spiritual themes. It has a surprise ending with a truly powerful message that reaches far back in time. What I particularly like is that this book teaches the basics of shamanism while it entertains. I'd recommend it highly for anyone who wants to find out more about the shamanistic traditions and actually experience what it can teach us about the inner truths of our lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars An exciting adventure and revelation.
Spirit Circle -- a story of adventure and shamanic revelation -- more than lives up to its subtitle. Based on ancient prophesies and historical events, this exciting novel really IS an adventure and a revelation. It is the story of a young woman anthropologist who has long been intrigued by stories of an ancient, secret society of shamans. When her father disappears under mysterious circumstances, she travels to New Mexico to search for him. Her journey eventually takes her to what may be the site of that ancient shamanic society, and to the sorceress Mongwa. From Mongwa, she learns about the "children of importance" -- people whose spiritual values and sensitivities will lead us into the new millennium. A fascinating epilogue lists and explains the spiritual principles revealed in the story. If you enjoyed the spirit of The Celestine Prophesy, you'll LOVE Spirit Circle! ... Read more

177. The Burning Times : A Novel of Medieval France
by Jeanne Kalogridis
list price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684869233
Catlog: Book (2001-04-10)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 453177
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Of the Black Death, they said it was the end of the world; I knew better. The world can withstand the sickness of the body, but it remains to be seen whether it will survive the sickness that eats at the souls of our persecutors...

So professes Mother Marie Françoise, born Sybille, a poor midwife who is taught pagan ways and magic by her grandmother and is forced to take refuge among the Franciscan sisterhood as the Inquisition threatens. Her extraordinary life story unfolds when a monk is charged with determining whether the mysterious abbess is a saint or a witch.

Sybille is possessed of exceptional powers, and she is in full command of them -- practicing white and black magic, winning the hearts of people with her wisdom, and terrorizing church authorities with her cunning. But even witches are not immune to earthly love, and Sybille embarks on a passionate, dangerous quest to be reunited with her beloved. As she confronts an exceptional destiny -- one that will require her to face the flames in order to save others like her -- she relates a tale of impossible triumph that forever changes the inquisitor who hears it.

The Burning Times brilliantly weaves the mythology of the Knights Templar, witchcraft, and gnosticism against a backdrop of actual historical events: the Black Death, the Hundred Years' War, and the catastrophic defeat of France by England. Demonstrating the same meticulous research and page-turning plotting that made her Diaries of the Family Dracul series a success, Jeanne Kalogridis crafts a vivid portrait of this turbulent and fascinating period in world history and, at the same time, delivers a searing love story with a redeeming moral of its own: The greatest magic is that of compassion. ... Read more

Reviews (20)

3-0 out of 5 stars my review
At first I thought the book would be about the story of a person fleeing the inquisition in France in the mid 1400's. Many totally innocent people were accused and burned during those times, but I was not ready to find the story of cult followers to "the goddess" and their fight against the enemy.

Even though the story is interesting and the plot holds till the end of the book, it sometimes felt too mystical and surreal. You don't know whether to take this book as a faithfull recount of those times and situations or as a fantasy set in historical times.

However, the book is entertaining and well written. All characters are alive and interesting and the places and situations are very well described.

5-0 out of 5 stars A bewitching story that kept me turning pages...
This book was riveting! Through the eyes of Sybille we live the life of a peasant girl in 14th century Toulouse, France. We smell the odors(good and bad), hear the sounds, experience the cruelty. Sybille's life is a paradox. Born Catholic, but educated by her grandmother in midwifery and the ways of pagan magic, she comes of age as the Black Death grips Europe. The church burns thousands of suspected witches at the stake and fear rules the hearts and minds of the people. After watching her grandmother burn at the stake, she is forced to take shelter with Franciscan nuns in Carcassonne. She lives a double life in search of her destiny as the embodiment of the Goddess and leader of the race. As her life comes full circle, we have the privelege of making the spellbinding voyage with her. Jeanne Kalogridis is a brilliant and passionate storyteller who spares no detail and keeps us turning pages until the very end. I can't wait to go wherever she takes us next!

2-0 out of 5 stars Could Have Been Spectacular
This book seems to be a rough draft of what could have been a fabulous story. Although purporting itself to be a historical novel, it has none of the richness or detail that would necessarily tie itself to this period of time. It could very well have taken place within a fantasy world, and might have actually fared much better if it wasn't tied to a specific point in history. The setting is lacking, as the history of the times is presented more as appended lists of unnecessary details rather than an as the foundation from which the action necessarily and organically flows. The characterization is very weak, and there is no real chance for the reader to learn to hate the enemy nor love the heroes, or to actually care which side wins. The plot is actually very good, but presented in such a way that the reader feels to be nothing more than a passive observer of events rather than an active participant in them. However, there are some good ideas presented within, and on the whole the book remains plausible and logically consistent. I would recommend this story in the sense that it is a perfect object lesson in "undeveloped potential"; that is, this is what your OUTLINE should be, not your final story, a lesson which unfortunately MOST of today's published authors have never learned. Had the author let her manuscript sit for a few months and then re-visited it, rather than send it to the publisher right away, she undoubtedly could have rewritten it to create a much more engaging, and perhaps even meaningful, story. The potential is there to explore the themes of love, fear, good, evil, destiny, and a host of others, but these ideas are developed into nothing more than high sounding words. As it is, she gets 2 stars. One for the plot, and one for the seeds of greatness that were sown but were never allowed to grow.

5-0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise of a read
I hadn't expected to get hooked when I first picked up "The Burning Times," but let's just say that I didn't get much accomplished that particular weekend other than reading this novel straight through. I had thought I would be reading a fairly mundane story about the inquisition and medieval witch burnings, and I was happily caught off-guard by Kalogridis' more trascendent tale.

This is a story that can be read and understood on a number of levels, and the message about the unfortunate consequences of love tainted with fear -- even with the best intentions -- is a quite relevant and timely one just now

5-0 out of 5 stars very nice read
I thorough enjoyed this FICTIONAL piece of literature. It was fun. Alot of fun. And it is not meant to be historical, I think some of the other reviewers need to stop taking themselves so seriously and read history books if they want just facts. Anyone can take a piece of history and put a person into it and imagine what their life would have been like. Sure this is a little bit more than that, but that's what makes it so much fun. It's not your average boring novel about a "regular" person from a time in history. The characters are larger than life, what I expect in a good fiction novel. I will be moving on to the Vampire Chronicles next, as I thoroughly enjoy Ms. Kalogridis' writing. ... Read more

178. The Smoky God: Or a Voyage to the Inner World
by Willis George Emerson, John A. Williams
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1585090670
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: Book Tree
Sales Rank: 195657
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This rare book on the "Hollow Earth" theory was originally published in 1908 by Willis George Emerson, who relates the adventures of one Olaf Jansen,a Norwegian seafarer. Hiseloquent story of a land beyond the North pole was only one of many in its time. Many of the modern-day "polar myth" theories can trace their origins to these incredible journies. Jansen claimed that the northern aperture, intake or hole, so to speak, is about 1,400 miles across. He also reports that this area is inhabited by a race of tall human-looking beings who, he claims, were driven out of the Garden of Eden, and who brought their traditional history with them. Join this adventure through the northern passage to a land that time has forgotten; to a land of gold and splendor; to a land that has yet to be "officially" discovered. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very interesting concept
This book was given to me by a friend I highly respect. When he gave me a summary of the book, I thought it was a little far fetched. However, as I began to read this first-hand account, my opinion started to change.

Overall the book was an excellent read. Being that it was written in the mid 1850's, the language was a bit different from what we use today. Also, the author spends too much time, in my opinion, describing his journey into the earth. It would have been much better if he devoted more chapters to his experience while being inside for 2 years. ... Read more

179. Manhattan Pharaoh : a novel of witchcraft
by Robert Amsel
list price: $20.95
our price: $20.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0595328288
Catlog: Book (2004-08-04)
Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.
Sales Rank: 508902
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

New York City. Where else could the powers of witchcraft be unleashed and go unnoticed...until the body count begins?

"Giles saw a newspaper on the table in front of the older detective. He scanned the story, 'Office Worker Goes Berserk, Kills Four'. Except for mentioning 'bloodbath' and 'massacre' throughout, it stuck to facts. He felt like he was reading about some other office, some other murders...."

Buried in the bowels of lower Manhattan is an office building where workers find life far from ordinary. The thirteenth floor is a place of secrets and hidden crimes, a breeding ground of ancient plagues thought to have vanished from the earth. It is a malevolent place where one young man, Giles Corey, must find the key to a loved one's disappearance and bring to an end the evil influence of the man known as the Manhattan Pharaoh.

But Giles's personal quest for justice and vengeance is threatened by the mysterious and beautiful Alma, a woman whose passionate love could rob him of his miraculous abilities...and destroy him.

"In Manhattan Pharaoh, Robert Amsel plays on our fears and fascinations with witchcraft and the supernatural to grip us, bell, book, and candle."
--PERRY BRASS, author of Warlock, A Novel of Possession ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly original tale of Manhattan witchery
One thing about "Manhattan Pharaoh" I really liked is that Manhattan itself plays a major role in shaping the attitudes of the various characters - workers and management alike - within the book.In fact, anyone who loves New York will get a bang out of this supernatural tale, and I can't imagine the book being set anywhere else.Much of this work's irony is based on the notion that hardcore, cynical New Yorkers must find rational, logical explanations for the unexplainable, no matter how bizarre or off the wall.But the author also suggests that the core problems these New Yorkers face - aside from being victims of biblical plagues and abusive work conditions - are problems that affect everyone worldwide, namely, being stuck in a negative, thankless, soul-destroying workplace environment because choices are few in a bad economy.The author cleverly suggests this idea by showing how the workers, during their lunch hour breaks, frequent a large variety of international restaurants, which may on the surface highlight the joys of Manhattan dining, but on a deeper level, introduce the entire world as spectator to their own strange problems of survival while being attacked by supernatural forces. But this is just one irony of many in a book that seems straightforward enough, but is actually multi-layered, intricately plotted, and cleverly crafted.I highly recommend it to people searching for something original in the supernatural genre.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Page-Turning Supernatural Revenge Tale
I bought this book about witchcraft in modern Manhattan just hoping for an entertaining summer read.The more I got into the book, the less I could put it down.It's primarily a story of revenge, in which a young male witch, Giles Corey, infiltrates a pulp magazine publishing house in lower Manhattan to uncover what happened to his missing sister, a former employee. The title character is one of the publishers, a crude barbarian, Milton Geld, who fancies himself an artist, but whose talent is almost non-existent and whose sole subject matter is himself.One of his works is a large painting in which he fancies that he is a pharaoh of Egypt.

Using this painting as his inspiration, the young witch sets into motion a series of biblical plagues, based upon the ten plagues of Egypt, mostly played out within the office building itself.His object is to break Geld down and obtain a confession, and, if not succeeding in that, to bring about the destruction of the company and its management.

To complicate matters, Giles finds himself sexually drawn toward the company's Editorial Director, a beautiful woman named Alma, who may possibly know more about the sister's disappearance than she's revealing.She turns the concept of a "femme fatale" on its head, since she's forced to continually make choices between various evils to help keep the company afloat.Although the sexual tension between these two continues to build, Alma already has a worthless boyfriend, whom she ultimately gets rid of.And Giles has problems of his own.He is unable to know love or emotion, without risking the loss of his powers.As these characters' own attractions and frustrations build, so does the frustration within the reader, so that by the time these two get it on - in the weirdest of circumstances - the reader is absolutely overwhelmed by what is one of the most dazzling displays of sexual fireworks I can recall coming across in recent fiction.

Finally, Robert Amsel really makes us a part of the pulp publishing empire he describes and uses humor admirably, when needed, to relieve tension and make this strange, often sleazy world palatable.From the opening on, he also lets us know that this is very much a Manhattan story, and he beautifully captures all the weirdness and craziness of a city where other-worldly things can happen and go unnoticed.
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180. The Vampire De Sade
by Mary Ann Mitchell
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0843954175
Catlog: Book (2004-09-07)
Publisher: Leisure Books
Sales Rank: 377466
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