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Country: Europe, GB, United Kingdom
No SPOILERS or plot summaries.
HIGH LEVEL: Book 1 of the Psy-changeling series. Highly recommended- it took me a long time to bother reading this. Given the title and the cover, I just didn't see that there was much to look forward to. OH BOY- I could NOT have been more wrong. It's a well told story- heartwarming, thought provoking, and sexy.
PLOT: Yes, there is one and it's a great one. Well thought out and stimulating, it grabbed my focus and held it throughout the book. The pacing was well done- not break-neck, but intense with moments of both solace and fear. Manages to encompass not just another romance, but a profound morality play as well.
MYTHOS: EXCELLENT set up for the series. I can now see why there are so many books. The paranormal setting is extreme- pitting multiple species with a myriad of potential supernatural abilities against each other. The innovative part comes from the "Psys" and the political layout of the world
CHARACTERS: Brilliantly constructed to play off of each other and full of depth and color. The emotionally stunted Psys were chilling and the emotionally demonstrative changelings were warm and the scenes where they interacted were so much fun to read.
BOTTOM LINE: This book is bloody brilliant. I could NOT be more impressed and can't wait to read the rest of the series.
RECOMMENDATIONS: (hard to find something similar...)
1) Sherrilyn Kenyon's Fantasy Lover - Dark Hunter series with shifters, vamps and Greek gods, focuses more on the romance than Psy-Changelings. The first book is not as good as the rest- it just gets better and better.
2) Kresley Cole's slightly more adventurous and intricate magical romance series (never mind the ridiculous title): A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, Book 1)
I want to say to all the complainers that said this was a waste of money, THEN WHY DID YOU BUY IT? If you read the website you shouldn't expect accurate results.
... The only way to get an accurate baby gender prediction is via a medical test such as an amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling test...
...IntelliGender's Gender Prediction Test(tm) ... a fun pre-birth "experience"...
...we recommend parents to wait until the healthcare provider confirms the gender prior to painting the nursery or making any financial or emotional investment...
...95% accuracy CAN only be attained at the 20th week of pregnancy...
...Mexico-based pharmaceutical company ...tests reflected an accuracy rate of 87.6%...
...Australia ... reflecting an overall accuracy rate of 89.55%
...the gender prediction test is not required to be and, therefore, is not FDA approved. It is, however, manufactured in an FDA certified facility.
Daniel Pinchbeck has written a compelling and thought-provoking book about the significance of the year 2012 in the Mayan calendar. This subject naturally ties in with many other diverse and fascinating fields, including crop circles, possible visits by aliens and psychedelic visions. Some will inevitably, and in a predictably knee-jerk fashion, dismiss all of these topics as "new age," irrational or some other simplistic category that implies a lack of knowledge of these subjects as well as a closed mind. Yet, what this book explores is a surprisingly diverse and educated subculture of people who take such subjects quite seriously. Pinchbeck also connects these topics to environmental concerns about the near future, something that is all-too practical. Considering that more and more mainstream scientists are confirming that climate change, destruction of the rain-forests and other potentially catastrophic changes are imminent if not already happening, the prophecies of ancient peoples such as the Mayans about the end of a cycle do not seem so farfetched after all.
Pinchbeck's approach is speculative and non-dogmatic, which may frustrate readers looking for definite answers. When it comes to esoteric topics such as psychedelic visions and crop circles, we might do well to be wary of people who claim to have the final word on the subject. In fact, some of the best writing in this book, at least in this reader's opinion, is related to the notions of ambiguity and paradox. Pinchbeck suggests that the intelligence(s) who communicate with humans through crop circles, alien visitations and abductions, and in plant-induced visions are akin to trickster gods who deliver their messages with deliberate ambiguity. He wonders if these "alien" messages are not trying to teach us something about the paradoxical nature of life. The god of the book's title, Quetzalcoatl is, among other things, a kind of Aztec Hermes, the Greek trickster god who was also a messenger between worlds. Pinchbeck, and others he speaks to in his journeys, believes that this may be an important clue to the way the universe operates -closer to art than linear science. Skeptics, of course, will insist that lack of scientific/rationalistic style communications from these "otherworlds" is evidence of their nonexistence.
Pinchbeck also discusses the theories of some other popular authors, such as Jose Arguelles, whom Pinchbeck met and interviewed. Arguelles, who became well known for talking about the Harmonic Convergence in 1987, is trying to implement a lunar, Mayan-based calendar to replace the present, solar-based one. Also covered are the related theories of Carl Johan Calleman, who has his own, differing (from Arguelles) opinions about the Mayan calendar. What I like best about this book is Pinchbeck's cosmopolitan perspective. What I mean by this is that he does not write like a typical new age or human potential movement author. There is nothing necessarily wrong with the latter, but they tend to utilize a jargon that limits the scope and appeal of their vision. Pinchbeck manages to present this material from a point of view that integrates what we might call new age thinking with a more traditional intellectual and aesthetic perspective. He gives thoughtful consideration to environmental, scientific and philosophical (Nietzsche is frequently and aptly quoted, along with Heidegger) perspectives, along with the psychedelic explorations of Terrence McKenna.
2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl is not a linear work with an easily definable beginning, middle and end. Yet the discussion is not random or chaotic; ideas are introduced and developed, and connected to events in the author's personal life. At first I found it a little disconcerting that the chapters and sections are not named. Upon considering this, however, I concluded that the book is written in a style that mirrors the image of the spiral, which appears on the cover (in the form of what looks like a serpent's tail). If the spiral is an apt metaphor for the universe, perhaps certain times in history are especially circuitous points on the spiral. 2012, which is swiftly approaching, may be one of these points. Perhaps most importantly, the book reminds us that prophecies are not precise decrees to be taken literally and passively; we are ultimately responsible for our own destiny.