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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Something for the holiday?

While things have been quieter, I’ve spent the past week or two relaxing, binge reading and watching the TV, Netflix in particular.
Here’s a brief list of three of the things I found particularly enjoyable:
The OA

Wow! What an enthralling first series. Ethereal. Provocative. Disturbing.
The OA details events in the life of Prairie Johnson, a young woman rendered blind by a childhood trauma which resulted in her clinical death. Upon her recovery, she moves to America to start a new life with a new family.
The thing is, Prairie is abducted, and spirited away to a mystery location. Reappearing seven years later, she can now see and has one heck of a tale to tell. Except that – she doesn’t tell it. Not to her family. Not to the FBI. Not to counselors.
She does, however, start to open up to a disparate group of people in her community who share nothing in common except for the profound way Prairie’s influence seems to affect their lives. But how does she do that, and why?
Though vulnerable, Prairie possesses an uncanny mental toughness that reveals she is a true survivor. So, it begs the question: Are her revelations true or false? Is the complicated tale she spins to her small group of supporters part of factual reality, or the product of a fragile, damaged mind?
I thoroughly enjoyed this first series of the OA and found it compelling viewing. If you’re looking for something different from the mainstream agenda, try it out.
And talking mainstream…

Van Helsing.

Easy to watch and fast-paced fantastical fun.
Set three years into our future, Van Helsing details events in the life of Vanessa, a woman who is attacked and left for dead in her own home during a cataclysmic event that becomes known as – The Rising – a time when North America is covered by a vast swathe of cloud following a volcanic eruption that allows a hidden menace to show its ugly face. Vampires!
Van Helsing details Vanessa’s turmoil as she slowly recovers and struggles to come to terms with who she is and the changes in society following The Rising. Of course, it also details her obsession to find out what happened to her young daughter.
There’s a natural progression to this little adventure that keeps you entertained – if somewhat frustrated at times – by her topsy-turvy ability/inability to fight, and the “dog-eat-dog” interaction between bickering fellow survivors. (A typical stereotype of the human race – we’re barely hanging on – but let’s keep killing each other anyway mentality)
One thing I did particularly enjoy was a nice little subplot the creators wove into the story. There’s a hidden serial killer lurking amongst the survivors. If you watch and listen, you’ll be able to work out who it is. But I’m glad the producers didn’t make it too easy.
And of course, there’s an end of season cliffhanger that will leave you guessing.

I’ve got to say – Well done Netflix – I enjoyed both series for different reasons and look forward to watching them again when they reappear. (PLEASE – not too long).
Finally, we come to my choice of reading material.

Wind From the Abyss

Some of you will have already seen my review for this particular story, as I published it earlier in the week on Amazon and Goodreads. I’m repeating it again here, as it really is a treat of a story for those who like fantasy of a deeply philosophical nature.
Owkahen – the time-coming-to-be – sets the tenor and ethereal current for, “Wind From the Abyss,” the third and most esoterically endowed chapter from Janet Morris’ Silistra Quartet.
The previous installment, “The Golden Sword,”, saw Estri – former well keepress of Astria, outcast and champion – rise to become a power among mortals as she at last begins to wield the sovereignty of her forefathers, a heritage she seems loath to acknowledge. Together with Sereth, a former high-ranking Slayer turned renegade, and Chayin, Cahndor of a Parset desert tribe, they form a triumvirate of authority as foretold in an ancient prophecy.
Such prophecy, however, threatens the influence of “the dharen” – Khys – an autocrate who has ruled Silistra for thousands of years. A man who, like Estri, is descended from the Shapers, (those gods who create and destroy worlds and civilizations by the application of thought and will).

“Wind From the Abyss” picks up the tale some two years later, and we find circumstances have changed drastically for our heroic trio.
As slave to Khys, Estri now wears a band of restraint, a device that curbs her talents as it scatters her memories. Alone, helpless and totally unskilled, she is in complete subjection to her master, and lives only at the whim of his good will.
Sereth and Chayin fare little better, for their apparent “freedom” is but a sham; an exercise of true dominance by the dharen who realizes all three are key to maintaining control of the planet.
Khys isn’t shy of demonstrating his absolute supremacy over them. Not only is Estri reduced to mere property, but Sereth and Chayin are forbidden to enlighten Estri regarding details about her past. They must also serve at Khys’ beck and call on the most distasteful of tasks.
Thus, the scene is set for a storm wreck of possibilities to be, for the weathers of life will blow where they will, and prophecy has its own methods to ensure fulfillment.
How this transpires, exactly, you will have to discover for yourself. But you’ll be glad you made the effort, for “Wind From the Abyss” continues one woman’s quest for self-realization in the face of overwhelming conflicting tides: destiny and betrayal; plots and politicking; lust and ambition.
With engrossing, well-rounded and thought inspiring characters, and as amazingly erotic as it is action packed, “Wind From the Abyss” transposes the strictures of time and space and limited morality, to reveal how fragile those in positions of absolute power can be, and how those impotent may rise to the dizziest of heights.
Owkahen cannot be denied.
So there you go. If you find yourself wondering what to do over the holiday period, try any or all of the above out. You won’t be disappointed.
Failing that, you could always force yourselves on my books?
(I won’t mind at all)

Stay safe now…

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