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Shepen "ladysekhmet9" RSS Feed (Illinois, United States)

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The Mummy Case
The Mummy Case
by Elizabeth Peters
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
109 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm Hooked, August 8, 2003
To be honest, I was not a mystery fan until I was given a stack of Elizabeth Peters novels as a birthday present. I gave the first three a try, because they are about Egyptology, something I am extremely interested in. Now that I have finished 'The Mummy Case,' I am hooked. Gotta go get more Egypt mysteries.
The charachters in all of the books are very likeable, especially if you are interested in archaeology and history, as my hubby and I are. (I could almost imagine us in place of Emerson and Peabody during some of their arguments.) There were also plenty of humorous breaks to the suspense and drama, and just enough action to speed you through the end. Even Ramses (and I know I'm going to get flack for saying this,) becomes more likeable toward the end of the book, and his presence was initially my least favorite part of the book. That is my only real nitpick though, and I look foreward to reading more novels in this series.

The Black Gryphon (Mage Wars)
The Black Gryphon (Mage Wars)
by Mercedes Lackey
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.98
206 used & new from $0.01

8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Where's the War?, August 1, 2003
I too, am perplexed by the rave reviews of this book. I read the second installment of the series, 'The White Gryphon,' and found it to be a very enjoyable book. Lackey and Dixon's writing style worked well in a tale of court intrigue and mystery. I thought I'd give the first book a try, seeing as how I enjoyed the fascinating portrayals of the Gryphon charachters. What a letdown!
When reading the summary of this book, one would assume it is about a vast magical war, and the hardships the soldiers endure while fighting it. In reality, the war is put on the back burner in favor of examining the personal problems of the soldiers in a surprisingly relaxed and luxurious war camp, and focusing on the head of the camp's team of massage therapists/courtesans/empaths (yes, you read that right.) Charachters work their way through childhood trauma and relationships gone awry, despite the fact that they are participating in a MAGICAL WORLD WAR. When battles do occur, they are treated more like "away games."
They also moralize a lot. A major plot point concerns how certain generals treat the nonhuman charachters like cannon fodder, and how they don't take the soldiers' feelings into account.
Another big problem with this book is that many important charachters do not appear in person, or at least appear very little. The only reason we are given to like Urtho is that we're told he's such a nice guy, and Skan is good friends with him. Most of the baddies don't even appear in person until the book's final chapters.
If any of the flaws presented seem terribly out of place in a book about magical war, then skip this book. If you want a book that tells a less touchy-feely story about conflict with great evil, try the 'Black Company' books, the 'Riftwar' saga, or the 'Aurian' saga.

Religion in Ancient Egypt: Gods, Myths, and Personal Practice
Religion in Ancient Egypt: Gods, Myths, and Personal Practice
by David P. Silverman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.36
74 used & new from $4.74

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clarifies Much, November 17, 2002
This book is extremely useful for understanding the complex, multifaceted world of the ancient Egyptian Gods. One cannot simply list gods and myths and have them make sense; this book provides three Egyptologists' views on how the Egyptians saw the gods and the universe, how that view evolved in 3000 years, and how they were worshipped throughout that time. There are numerous illustrations, photos, and footnotes. The authors discuss theories about the Armarna period and the divine status of the Pharoah that cannot be found in other books on Ancient Egypt. This is a great book to read if you want to understand the religion as a whole and get the essence of what it was like.

Out of the Shadows: An Exploration of Dark Paganism and Magick
Out of the Shadows: An Exploration of Dark Paganism and Magick
by John J Coughlin
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.40
33 used & new from $13.29

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! A must Read!, November 3, 2002
I learned about the existence of this book just as I was desparing that there were no good intermediate or advanced pagan books out there. "Out of the Shadows" was everything I was looking for and more. As someone who has long been attracted to dieties with darker, less nurturing aspects like Sekhmet, Kali, and Coyote, I agree that this book was much needed in presenting paganism without the "good vs. bad" dualism. The left hand path is often misunderstood, and I think this book is a wonderful introduction to it. It is a very psychological, thought provoking view. One will find no pre-made spells or rituals here; Coughlin explores the philosophy and mechanics of magic to help you understand why they work. -Quite a liberating thing!
It is also a joy to read; I really enjoyed the conversational style of writing that Coughlin used. He defines and clarifies several aspects of dark spirituality/goth subculture that I would not normally have read about, such as Vampirism and Satanism. He also goes into depth about subjects that would never see the light of day in other books: blood, pain, insanity, sex magic, curses, and drugs. Always there, though, is a reminder of the need for balance and responsibility. The final chapter on haunting was superb; it made sense of the hauntings that I have experienced and caused me to see them in a new way. This book tops my list of favorite pagan books; I reccomend it to everyone who can handle the subject matter and wants a full course meal in magic.

Wiccan Warrior: Walking a Spiritual Path in a Sometimes Hostile World
Wiccan Warrior: Walking a Spiritual Path in a Sometimes Hostile World
by Kerr Cuhulain
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.08
90 used & new from $2.26

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Reccomended, November 2, 2002
After seeing this book in the store, I quickly dismissed it as more Llewellyn fluff and put it back on the shelf. Luckily though, Kerr Cuhulain has also written a series of articles ... which (along with other positive reviews from trustworthy people) got me to take a closer look at this book and see that my first impression had been wrong. "Wiccan Warrior" is a very readable, enjoyable book for those of us who have been searching for actual intermediate and advanced books. Cuhulain does his homework well and presents a knowledgeable look at Wicca and magic from his and his coven's perspective. It is very philosophical in nature, causing the reader to explore the meanings of their religion and magic using the warrior archetype. The author also provides refreshing opinions on the craft's history and debunks alot of nonsense that is presented as fact elsewhere. Also, though it is primarily for Wiccans, a Kemetic pagan such as myself can enjoy it because of its philosophical nature. The only thing I had a major problem with was the book's rough white cover; it is asthetically pleasing, but in real life attracts grime like a magnet. I heartily reccomend this book to anyone who is looking for a good, non-fluffy book about paganism.

The Time Machine
The Time Machine
DVD ~ Guy Pearce
Offered by Mediaflix
Price: $13.99
171 used & new from $0.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Despite Logical Flaws, an Interesting Retelling, October 14, 2002
This review is from: The Time Machine (DVD)
First of, I have not yet read H.G. Wells novel that this movie is based on, though I have seen the original movie from the early 60's (yeah, I know, what kind of sci-fi nerd am I?) However, I know enough about it to know that this movie is NOT like the book. Some of the changes were good, some were not.
The movie begins with the death of the professor's fiancee, which I thought was a nice addition; it created empathy for the guy (no pun intended,) and also a motivation for building the time machine and putting himself in possible danger by using an experimental invention. I liked Guy Pearce's portrayal; a moody, eccentric, almost Dr. Who-like protagonist was refreshing for someone who doesn't swoon for fearless, wisecracking badasses.
On the downside, the logical flaws are many: the often-mentioned fact that the English language as it is spoken today managed to survive an apocalypse and 800 *thousand* years of evolution. Oh, yeah and the only one who can speak said 'old language' fluently just happens to be a young, gorgeous unattached woman. And there's this supercomputer and its flat-screen glass panes that managed to survive 800,000 years of geological movement and erosion.
The main thing I found troubling was the fact that the socio-economic angle that made the book and original movie such a disturbing vision of the future was downplayed to the point of non-existence. There's no mention of the upper and working classes evolving into the Eloi and Morlocks, so the second half of the movie has more of a "good guys vs. the monsters" feel than a reversal of social classes. The Eloi are supposed to be as tragic and disturbing as the Morlocks are.
Despite the plotholes and watering down of the original lesson, it was a fairly good movie that I don't mind seeing again. It has inspired me to finally read the book!

The Prince of Egypt
The Prince of Egypt
DVD ~ Val Kilmer
Price: $4.99
43 used & new from $0.48

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece of Animation, July 13, 2002
This review is from: The Prince of Egypt (DVD)
This is one of the best made animated movies of all time. First off, the animation is amazing. It alone is reason to see this film. More importantly, it is an inspiring story regardless of your religious background (those worried about seeing a 90 minute propaganda film need not fear,) and is very respectful of the history and cultures it deals with.
I was most impressed by how accurately Egypt was portrayed (the middle eastern people in it actually have dark skin!) The film's creators really did their homework in making 19th dynasty Egypt and its surrounding tribes come to life. The use of traditional Jewish tunes in the music is a nice example of this.
Finally, this story makes the characters in Exodus very likeable and human. There is great character development and moral dilemmas. There are also no "cutesy" sidekicks or silly songs in this movie; the story is treated seriously which I appreciated greatly as well.
Besides the absence of cutesyness, the film is quite graphic in its depictions of slavery and death, so very small children might not like it, but I encourage all older children and adults to watch it, it is a wonderful film.

Cinderella (Walt Disney's Masterpiece) [VHS]
Cinderella (Walt Disney's Masterpiece) [VHS]
Offered by 3D Collectibles
Price: $3.88
466 used & new from $0.01

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disapointed by the ending, June 24, 2002
I know that this review will be considered sacrilige by some, but even as a little girl I was disapointed by this movie. Why? Because the film spends most of its length making you hate the wicked stepmother and stepsisters with a passion, and what happens to them in the end? Nothing! Not so much as a slap on the wrist! Now, I don't expect a children's cartoon to follow the Grimm's fairytale version (where the stepmother and sisters are blinded by doves,) but to just let the bad guys off the hook does not make a very satisfying story. In other classics like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Sleeping Beauty, the final battle with the antagonist is the most exciting part. No such excitement here. Sorry.

Blade Runner (The Director's Cut)
Blade Runner (The Director's Cut)
DVD ~ Harrison Ford
Offered by Maple Bar Movies
Price: $14.99
350 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Sci-fi Movie Ever, June 16, 2002
Blade Runner (director's cut) has to be my favorite movie; it's special effects and setting are still visually stunning after 20 years, plus the breathtaking soundtrack and story make it a feast for the senses. Very few films can stand the test of time this well, and I cannot gush about this movie enough. It is a work of art.

Celtic Myth & Magick: Harness the Power of the Gods and Goddesses (Llewellyn's World Religion and Magic Series)
Celtic Myth & Magick: Harness the Power of the Gods and Goddesses (Llewellyn's World Religion and Magic Series)
by Edain McCoy
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.05
127 used & new from $0.09

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad for Reference, June 16, 2002
I'll admit, I have a soft spot in my heart for this book because it is the first book about paganism I ever read. I will give it stars because it made me consider paganism as a rewarding way of life. Later on I purchased the book, partly for nostalgia, partly for the dictionary of dieties. I think it does a nice job of presenting a thorough reference, many times I have needed to look up or cross reference a diety and found this book helpful.
My main problem with McCoy is that she tends to read way too much into the myths. Yes, perhaps a mythical figure may have been a sun goddess because she had blonde hair, but more likely, she was just a blonde woman from Scandanavia. She also incorporates blatantly non-celtic elements like the ankh and the Hebrew alphabet! As a Reconstructionist pagan, I have big problems with this. There are other inaccuracies in the book; I mainly reccomend it for its dictonary. Even if you are not into Celtic myths, it is good to have on hand, given that Celtic cultures have such a huge influence on the Neo-pagan religions. Just get a copy of the Mabinogion or Charles Squire's Celtic Myths and Legends for a less revisionist telling of the Celtic myths.

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