Archive | May 30, 2014

Rasa Shastra: The Hidden Art of Medical Alchemy, Andrew Mason

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Rasa Shastra: The Hidden Art of Medical Alchemy, Andrew Mason
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I’m fascinated by medicines and traditional remedies of past times and other cultures. Though mice wrapped in flannel for sore throats etc is a little too off the wall for me!! its still intesting reading how people came to the ideas for these remedies, and though we rely very much on chemical cures, so many are still based around old herbal ones. Think about how silver is now used in dressings, honey also has bveen found to have anti bacterial properties and used for wounds. That one was a favourite of my grans, though she also swore by cobwebs added to it too and iIm really not fixed on that one! My old horse, who had arthritis used to nibble at my willow tree on some days. Willow bark was what Aspirin, a pain killer and good for arthritis, was originally derived from. Animals, given the choice, will often seek out from nature what they need for health. All dog/cat owners will have seen their pets eat grass sometimes – it makes them sick, and maybe they do it when they’ve stomach ache/fur balls or something? Maybe in past times we had that same instinct, but our reliance in Science and all things artificial has overtaken it. Not that I’m anti modern medicine – thankfully chemo kept me alive, and pain meds keep me moving, but there’s much to be learned from the past that without books such as this could get lost.

Alchemy to me is the straw into gold, search for immortal life type of thing, and yet in this book we see its far more, that there are real scientific bases to the use of crystals, metals and the like in medicines. I’ve got books on such things as crystals for healing, and a few years back was chatting to Son no 1 about this. He’s a complete sceptic when it comes to things like that – if science can’t explain it it doesn’t happen for him, so when I’d said the theory about water taking on the properties of different crytals for healing was a step too far, even for some one open minded as I consider myself, I was astonished when he disagreed. He’s a huge IT/Web/Science fan, proven facts are Gold Standard for him, and he told me there were uses for water in computers, as water has been proved to hold a memory – so once again my perceptions had been broadened.
So this book – a tome really, not a book!! – is so packed with information, research, stories, that it’s not one for reading through, but one for dipping, for reading sections that interest at the current time, and for reference purposes. If the pursuit of knowledge, history, other cultures and beliefs interest you you’ll be glad to read this book. I can’t begin to imagine how Andrew managed to take so much information and put it all together in such a readble way. I keep thinking of how hard it must have been to research, how thorough he must have been in his reading, finding people to talk to, in putting it all together. It’s one of those books that though I have the Kindle version I think – like most reference books – it would be better to have in traditional print form.
Stars: Five, a fablous book full of interest to those with an enquiring mind.
ARC supplied via Netgalley.

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Birth: Allie’s War Early Years, JC Andrijeski

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Birth: Allie’s War Early Years, JC Andrijeski
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

***A Revik prequel in the Allie’s War series***

I’m up to Bridge in the reading list, having just finished War, and this has just been released. It’s no secret by now that I Love Revik…he’s just so…I don’t know, there’s just something special about him. He’s not in any way perfect, he’s got flaws, make mistakes, gets things wrong and yet I can’t help feeling that he’s at heart moral, honest, has true integrity and his love for Allie transcends life and death. 🙂 I need an I heart Revik T shirt!!

This picks up just after he’s left the Rooks, after he met Kali and she told him he needed to leave. What she said just resonated with him, and he managed to escape the Rooks, something almost unheard and now he’s been in Pamir with the monks while they try to untangle the mess the Rooks made of him. Five years, seems a long time to me, but to a Seer with their long lives it’s very different. Then the Adipan appear. It was great to meet Balidor, and get to see how he and Revik interact in the early stages.

Revik, ah even now, confused and lost he’s still trying to do the right thing, afraid to help in case he hurts someone, and desperate to avoid the Rooks clutches again. He was so high in their structure – almost at the top, so they all know that he’s a prime target, and will need protection of the strongest sort, yet he’s needed on this mission deep in the jungle. I loved seeing this early Revik, we’ve seen bits over the books and this ties up another gap. He’s been through so much from each different group, and I’m amazed he’s not as cracked as Terian. We see the meeting with the two groups again, where Kali is rescued and Terian goes a bit crazy on seeing Revik…in a way though I started hating Terian at first in the early books, and still hate what he does, learning more about what’s shaped him I understand some of what he does and why…and I’m surprised that Revik, having had similar machinations applied to him, hasn’t gone just as crazy. They both are brilliant, have untold potential, and in a way have been used by each side in the attempt to prevent or help succeed that Prophecy. Sometimes I think about books which feature Prophecies – if it’s going to happen why do they need to do anything? Can one be prevented? Is it all some strange plan where the attempts to stop or make it succeed are part of the actual stuff needed anyway?? You could go mad thinking about it 🙂

So much of this book shows just how each group differ, how what’s happened to Revik puts him on a different emotional level with the others, its as if they’re speaking a different language to him at times, when he just doesn’t understand what they want of him, what they are telling him, and here it led to a really embarrassing awful scene for him, which had some dramatic consequences. Then just as he seems to be on a keel, things get thrown out of balance for him yet again. It’s a good job he can have such a long life!

Once again another riveting read, full of info that adds to the overall series. Poor Revik feels so isolated in this book, hated by the Rooks for leaving, hated by the others for having been a Rook. At least that’s his take on it and TBH he doesn’t really trust himself, so he doesn’t see why anyone should trust him. It’s a great read but a sad one. At some point I want to go back to book One, to where Allie and Revik first meet, ( well, to where she first meets him, he’s been watching her for years) and see if I have a greater understanding of events now I know so much more about them. I’ve reached a better feeling about the whole Seer/longlife/light and construct thing now – in the early books I really struggled, but now when I read I just seem to have an inbuilt acceptance and understanding of how it applies, of how so much odd stuff is just part of Seer nature, instead of always comparing it to what I know – ie human stuff.

Stars: five – of course!

ARC supplied by author.

Reading Order.

Rook: Allie’s War Episodes 1-4
Shield: Allie’s War Episodes 5-8
Sword: Allie’s War Episodes 9-12
Shadow: Allie’s War Episosdes 13-17
Knight: Allie’s War Episodes 18-23
War: Allie’s War Episodes 24-27
Bridge: Allie’s War Episodes 28-31

Prequel Books ~
New York: Allie’s War Early Years
Revik: Allie’s War Early Years
Terian: Allie’s War Early Years
Birth: Allie’s War Early Years

Before He Was Famous, HotFlush 1,Becky Wicks

Before He Was Famous: HotFlush Book 1

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Before He Was Famous, HotFlush 1,Becky Wicks
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

I do enjoy some New Adult books, they have all the emotion and drama I love and this book was one of those. Its a solid story too of childhood friends and the trappings of fame. Noah and Chloe have been friends and neighbours since they were very young. Their families are almost as one. I love the way Chloe’s mum is known as The Commander 🙂 not because she’s overbearing or bullying, but because when she asks everyone does what she says.
Anyway we start with Noah entering a reality TV music show, and Chloe as always is a staunch supporter back in their home town. She’s in love with him, but won’t admit it even to herself. Past events almost brought them together but for various reasons Chloe kept them as friends, and she’s convinced that’s how Noah sees her. Every girl she sees him with takes away another piece of her heart. Once he becomes a celebrity she also gets a new job in photography for a teen magazine, as the editors are convinced ( correctly ) she has an “in” to the latest media sensation, which of course will be great for them. She’s on tour with Noah and his entourage, fighting jealousy from seeing him with his girlfriends, working to hide her feelings, and becoming something of a media sensation herself. Then danger threatens and everything changes.
Its a beautiful love story, two wonderful people just right for each other but struggling not to lose or risk their friendship. Each is blind to the others feelings, even though everyone else can see it…Once the celebrity drama hots up can they come closer or will it push them further away. Its interesting to see fame from the other side, to see what an effect it has on people’s lives, and this novel felt very realistic. I love all the emotion and jealousies, love the drama, the dangers, and the wondering will they work it out. I love the way social media was portrayed, sometimes I think the public are obsessed with celebrities, and some people believe anything in print or online has to be true, when in fact its almost always carefully manipulated ( gosh, aren’t I a cynic! But it’s true) There are some great characters from the cockney talking manager ,( my nan was born in Battersea so my grandparents often used some of those terms – dog =dog and bone = phone, apples= apples and pears= stairs, it’s a language all of its own) the weird and wonderful Courtney and her cat, the backing musicians, and the families. Each played a special part in bringing events together to make a fun and emotional read.
Stars: Four and a half, just shy of five.
Arc supplied by Netgalley.

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