The Origin of the Exiled Rogue

The Origin of the Exiled Rogue 2nd volume of a trilogy published copyright and written by Sandeep Adana.

This volume opens with acknowledgements followed immediately by “About the Author” explaining that he is the “Amazon #1 Bestselling Author of ‘The Codes of the Exiled Rogue’” and that “he nurtured this metaphysical and transformational fiction idea for over six years before finally publishing it in 2019.” A Prologue offers that the tale is based in the year 2038 and follows the characters introduced in the first volume from the end of that book. Further, for those readers for whom this is the first they have read of the series: “When the truth was revealed to Aurora, Tristan and Sid, it brought with it a bigger confession of a larger reality, which will form the foundation for this part. The codes guided The Host, Matthew and Zhang Wei to share truths, who made it their life’s purpose to do so with all those who were ready to receive it.” This volume then opens with Chapter 25 on August 1st, 2039: Mid-levels, Hong Kong.

The story teller comes awake in a strange but beautiful place, starts walking, and sees a male sitting on a bench. They lock eyes and the man speaks through mental telepathy. He is there to welcome this newcomer because no one else is. He informs the new arrival that they don’t use speech in this place, have no concept of time and there is no day or night, birth or death, no gender or identity. Everyone is alone here but are a connected kinfolk that manifest randomly and disappear. You can communicate with anyone or no one as you choose. We don’t know where we came from. The ground speaks to you, the wind whispers, plants and flowers murmur secrets. You become acclimated eventually. Go anywhere you want, choose what you want to do and when. The planet ensures your survival; you just leave it to her.

From this initial introduction, the reader is taken to Hong Kong in 2039 where close friends Zhang Wei and Matthew, characters apparently from the first volume in the series, are introduced and we gradually discover that The Host, who was the newcomer in the previous exchanges, now is the disseminator of a dimension of knowledge on Planet Earth they had not previously seen when considering and discussing life’s existence and problems therein. His mission was to provide groups with aspects of life from a less toxic viewpoint than he had encountered on the previous Planet Mother that seemingly were established to confuse and divide the ordinary people and establish power by bigotry. The plot continues with shifts from Earth back to Planet Mother and introduces additional characters of Tristan, Sid and Aurora who also were carry overs from the first volume, more groups are established, and the importance of the existence of love in the world of Earth is brought forth. Eventually, to fulfill a prophecy, The Host must return to Planet Mother where he prepares to leave to fulfill the prophecy of which he was unaware that he had been designated as its principle player. The enactment of the prophecy is assumed to be the subject of the next volume.

Discussion: Of most prominent importance – this is NOT a book that ‘can stand alone’. It is most strongly recommended that one read the first book in this series before continuing with the others. However, with respect to this volume. Once a reader becomes oriented into the subject of the matter presented, he/she will discover a thoroughly interesting metaphysical discussion that offers a fascinating concept of ‘what happens after death’. The main flaw encountered is the author’s explanation of the ‘thought processes’ manifested by descriptions and statements provided by individuals in the latter part of this volume versus the description of reasons The Host left Planet Mother in the first place; i.e. “His mission was to provide groups with aspects of life from a less toxic viewpoint than he had encountered on the previous Planet Mother that seemingly were being established to confuse and divide the ordinary people and establish power by bigotry” [from 3rd paragraph. above]. Reappearance of The Host on Earth planet is another point of interest that perhaps could use a little further explanation. But to reiterate, this reviewer’s comments must be considered from the perspective of a reader whose introduction to the series is the 2nd volume.

3* Fascinating metaphysical discussion; rating explained in discussion.

 

Blood and Water

Blood and Water, A Paranormal Mystery assumed published copyright and written by Caroline Ann Davis.

        Jan Martínek is a vampire, unwillingly converted by his uncle Otakar, and although married to vampire Darja who still would like to be with him, but because of their constantly occurring inter personal problems has caused them to separate for a time. Her brother Petr hates Jan and didn’t want her to marry him in the first place and wants her to return to Prague. She is in a quandary because she loves her brother as much as Jan. Right now, Jan is more or less assigned a job in America looking for Otakar and Magda who have disappeared. The pressure to find them is strong because the latter gradually has evolved to almost legendary status in vampire circles. The reader next is introduced to Kristina Benson who with her brother Kyle, live with her grandfather in the apartment over his old fashioned bookstore. The store is close to an old relic of a hotel/hospital that recently has burned to the ground. Her brother and a close friend are ‘Ghostbusters’ and went there to record ghosts reportedly living in the place and perished in the fire. Kristina has inherited psychic abilities that she refuses to follow even though she is a distant relative of Hanna Gerlach, a psychic and one of the most famous ghosts that lived there. But in spite of her reluctance, she feels a strong need to attempt to contact Kyle, wherever he is. Russell Hodges, a professor at the local college who, through his prominent position as head of the American Society for Psychical Research, had given a lecture at the bookstore some time ago and is attracted to her when again meeting and becoming aware of  her desire to contact the dead Kyle. Hodges is related vaguely to Dr. Clifford, the former owner of the destroyed hotel which also had been part of his clinical program. He arranges a séance with her, her grandfather and himself in attendance. The session is dominated by the harsh voice of the doctor as Kristina acts as the séance performer and Clifford is ranting that he wants Hanna back, and that he knows he has taken her. They are not aware that Jan has snuck in and is listening and he knows Clifford had taken the locket he, Jan, had given her and should remember destroying her body. It seems Jan had tried to convert her to eternal life as a vampire, but was too late as she was too far advanced with T.B.

      Kristina collapses into a coma-like condition that takes time to dissipate and scares her grandfather severely. She recovers soon, but still is insistent upon contacting her brother so Russell introduces her to Gwen Crowley, a well-known medium to help her. Meanwhile, Jan, posing as a writer interested in the burned out hotel/clinic offers to help her with another séance and the tale continues as Jan becomes increasingly attracted to Kristina who looks startlingly like Hanna, Russell similarly becomes enamored, Otakar and Magda are rediscovered as well as more about them unfolds, Darja becomes actively involved and Kristina’s grandfather plays a surprising role, all leading to an interestingly different climax.

Discussion: The author has provided an interesting plot that is much more involved than those previously read in this genre by this reviewer. My only, no doubt irrelevant aside, is that I do wish this author, as well as many others, would please become a little more knowledgeable about firearms when their characters are going to use them. Nonetheless, this is a vampire story that it would seem aficionados especially will thoroughly enjoy.

5* Interestingly ‘different’ vampire tale devotees should thoroughly enjoy.

 

Loose Threads

Loose Threads: Cool Assassins in ISBN: 9780994070807 Creator/Distributor: Psignologic Services copyright written by J. O. Quantaman.

This story follows a number of members of the “Cool Assassins Series” – Cool Assassins 1. Hot Wheels: Cool Assassins 2 (in 2019. Soar Down: Cool Assassins 1 & 2 (in 2019)’ with a Cast List of members of the Dog Breakfast Co-op, an organization composed of seemingly well-trained martial arts specialists established to fight underworld organizations such as the Japanese Yakuza; Mishima Security members for the area, and others. The world described is an intergalactic one containing earth, as well as other parts of the all-encompassing universe. The story opens with a young girl, Jenna Marov whose love of adventure and amazing acrobatic ability leads her to a professional life as an aerialist and fearing burn-out, a move to Kuala Lumpur 17 years later. However, the main plot centers on Nyssa Person, a teen enticed into acting but eventually arriving under the control of a powerful Yakuza overlord from whom she escapes with aid from the Dog Breakfast Co-op, which as described above, but also is a well-organized training facility producing assassins loosed upon members of organizations such as the one from which she had been rescued. She joins the Co-op and begins training and continues for several months before earning an R&R trip to the nearby metropolis, TCP, a large city complex, with its residents and/or workers, endless shops and entertainment. Here she becomes involved with several ensuing adventures. In a somewhat unexpected manner, the reader encounters a second plot that one eventually learns involves Nyssa, in ninja-like activity that seemingly occurs a few years later. The tale continues with more varied activity.

Discussion: This is a sci-fi story set in 2073 and years following. It is a tale that no doubt will find readers who are devotees of the genre who will enjoy the tale as long as they understand that sexual innuendo and/or activity, whether intersexual or within the same sex and loose language are basic to the presentation. There also are numerous ‘new’ words for which the author has furnished a glossary. Regrettably, this reader found that although several of the characters were interestingly described, as well as some of the scenes, the action and individuals involved were combined in a quite confusing manner that provided frustrating moments that detracted greatly from any flow of enjoyment.

3* or less for this reader who prefers to enjoy rather than search for clarity.

A Kite at the Edge of the World

A Kite at the Edge of the World ISBN: 9781733080613 Yearning Press, copyright and written by Katy Grant.

The story opens with an eighty-plus-year-old man reminiscing on the same beach where he met his first childhood friend in a vacation resort town they visited every summer. He was five or six years old, rather reticent as the result of a rather overprotective mother and a strict nurse heavily occupied with his newly-born sister. Thus, he did not take to the other children because they were ‘too noisy’ but had noticed a young boy several times walking with his mother or an older woman. The boy appealed to him because he too seemed to walk quietly and seemed somewhat ‘reserved’. A few days later he saw him alone on the beach and they began talking. The boy, Ilio, was a little older and this was a first visit with a mother and father who wanted him to learn as much as possible. The reason for the visit, as he informed his new friend because he was dying. He explains that whatever it was it was incurable and he didn’t have very much time left. The plot follows the simple pleasures discovered by the two young boys as it advances during the summer through Ilio’s gradual decline and eventual death.

Discussion: In the closing pages, the author presents a summation by the old man telling the story “True Ilio’s life was short. There were many things he never experienced…Never looked back on a long life and wondered, bewildered, what he possibly had to show for it. Time was his enemy. Yet time has been my enemy too. I was once told years ago that nothing lasts. Not mountains, nor planets, nor stars. And yet, I have also been told that these three things abide – faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love. And now, all of the people I have loved in my life, more of them are dead than are living. Do they know we still love them? I am told that they still do. Perhaps that is the power of love. It endures.” And he continues his ruminations about the first young friend he had ever made. Obviously, the author has attempted to weave a poignant tale extolling the importance and everlasting effect of love and sets forth the story in a well-written manner amply providing thoughts, verbalization and actions of children of the age portrayed. Many readers may thoroughly embrace this story. Regrettably and apologetically to the author however from the perspective of this reviewer, a caveat is required. A story of ruminations by an old man about the death of a childhood friend, although such occurrence is readily acknowledged by all as simply a necessary part of living, is not a more usually preferred subject for selection.

3* 5* Well-written tale extolling the importance of love; -2 caveat as explained.

Entrepreneurs The Little Black Book

Entrepreneurs ISBN: 9781793054586 The Expressive Press copyright and written by Pete Geissler.

Sub titled The Little Black Book for, and those who want to be, entrepreneurs starts with a list of his other series of books; About the Author follows where he is presented as a “Professional/technology writer, teacher professor of technical writing and an author/publisher of self-help books”. These 3 combined, he admits are infamous for creating more poverty than wealth, but they work for him and he loves what he does. A Forward explains: “Happiness is the ultimate goal, and you’re in the driver’s seat.” A Prologue describes who, and why you will benefit from this book. Ten chapters (Drivers) next, beginning with Know and Live your purposes; 2. Aim for competitive supremacy which puts you in charge of your destiny; 3. Live your big 4 behaviors (empathize, appreciate, articulate, connect – actually common courtesy); 4. Collaborate with your customers. Also branding or niche marketing important; Give them more than expected; 5. Nurture and value your talents and principles for they are your conscience. (Picasso reportedly received a complaint when he asked $1000 for a requested sketch he did in a few seconds. His answer – Hardly a few seconds; I worked a lifetime to be able to create that simple drawing. Similarly, this Author was paid $4000 for a few minutes work, but strategically let the recipient believe it was after a week’s work.); 6. Four rules for creating wealth –productive efforts create wealth; 7. Create your own cozy conglomerate, for it is your stability. (The author is in his eighties, still writes, teaches, writes/publishes his and a few other’s books and honestly believes “That if I stopped I would die of boredom and loneliness in six weeks. Crazy, eh?” He believes serendipity was the driving force behind his cozy conglomerate); 8. Avoid greed at all costs – it’s self-defeating. Don’t accept work that’s beyond your capacity to deliver the final product (and this reviewer might emphasize- ON TIME – as follows). Remember your time and abilities also have a limit which it is necessary to discover and recognize; 9. Be creative when planning your future, for it is your road map. (“If you don’t know where you’re going you can’t get there”); 10. Retain financial advisers you can trust for they are your security. Five rules are offered beginning with Never retain a friend or relative to be accountant or manager; 11. Nurture your most important asset: your mind and body; 12. Select the vehicle you’ll ride into entrepreneurship for it will influence your wealth and happiness. There is an Epilogue (Conclusion); PETE’S Punditry: Words to Play By; Further Reading on money, on work, communications and thinking; APPENDIX A – The root cause of Success: Humility; Appendix B –  Root cause of failure: Arrogance; Appendix C –  Your “intelniche” is your brand and your competitive supremacy (your intelligence, imagination, creativity is your only product).

Discussion: A few more ‘gems’ noted in this short treatise include “Knowing your life’s purpose(s) keeps you on the track you’ve decided is best for you. It shapes your decisions and prevents you from irrelevant, irritating and costly excursions that tend to hinder reaching your goals”. The author loves words and first went to work writing for many Fortune 500 companies that needed to communicate better. “I can pick my bosses and embrace those I like and pay my fees.” He can dress as he likes, can get into proper attire if necessary to attend a board meeting or other and otherwise work in shorts/t-shirt and work billable hours in the middle of the night, Christmas day, or whenever. He says everyone needs a statement of purpose that adjusts to life’s changes and here he offers steps to “put you in the driver’s seat” to follow yours because “Perhaps now is the time to redefine success to align with your expectations and encompass more than wealth. The drivers in this book, which are my contract with you, will help…….As you redefine, remember that every person holds in his mind a definition of success and that every person’s path to it is difficult, circuitous, and exclusively theirs. I am your guide, not your overseer.

Conclusion: This reader is an individual who long has embraced the idea behind the author’s recalled statement “If you enjoy what you’re doing, retirement is ‘a vile condition brought about by age and befuddled management’. He too is a ‘word lover’ of long standing who also still is enjoying similar activities. As such, this reviewer highly recommends reading and thoroughly considering altering your ‘work’ to be more in line with the suggestions offered here.

5* Highly recommended!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Complete Collection of Short Stories

The Complete Collection of Short Stories assumed published, copyright and written by Paul Michael Peters.

The book contains eighteen short stories on various subjects created between 2012 and 2018. It opens with an overriding opening quote from Jean Paul “Memory is the only paradise from which we cannot be driven.” The opening story, Hickory Switch, is a quite fascinating look at human frailties when faced with a momentous decision. The second, Fukushima Gold, an interesting story about the fallout from the atomic residual. The 3rd, 4th and 5th are stories from the mind of James Hollins, more easily recognized as “Mr. Memory”. He was born with synesthesia, an unusual condition in which the senses cross and interconnect. Some experience an ability “to taste words, see music or feel smells”. One ability is rare, two are extraordinary. Holland had multiple connections. Thus, “he remembered everything about everything” even to the smallest detail. The first tale introduces the man and his abilities. The second is tied to the once extremely well –known song made particularly famous by Nat King Cole and dealing with the Great War in Poland and attempts by smaller countries to exit soviet dominance. The 7th an interesting ‘take’ on Robots and AI. 8th a tale that looks at transfer of human frailty to an AI component. 9th interesting look at the importance of performances of ‘small helpful activities’. And the stories continue for a total of 18 with 17 an amusing tale of ‘sanctuary’ and 18 another short treatise that follows another strange train of thought. A series on the Devil explains a simple fact that “you can’t kill the devil without facing your own hell.”

Discussion: The author has a very fertile mind that often proceeds in rather unusual directions. It is a book that will be most enjoyed by readers who have similar thought patterns. The book’s offering of largely short, self-contained subjects makes it excellent reading for the person who finds him/herself with short intervals of ‘time-on-their-hands’.

4* Of special interest to similar thinking individuals.