HYPNOSIS, Return to the Past

HYPNOSIS, A return to the Past, ISBN: 9781912145645, I AM Publishing, an e-book translated by Lino Galveias, published, copyright and written by Maria Inês Rebelo.

Plot: Basically the author appears to wish to offer “A metaphor for life”: “wisdom is the human virtue that enables us to reach fullness, to discover the pure through the unclean and to find the path to happiness.” It centers on the interrelationship among a number of characters both in the present and through several centuries. Principally, the story follows two therapeutic hypnotists Marcus Belling, a very popular, charismatic man who easily establishes empathy with his patients and Joseph Salvatora, a somewhat withdrawn, autocratic individual. The two constantly are at odds over the manner of providing aid to patients as well as their position in the ‘official’ Hypnosis Society. The professional lives of both of these men are drastically changed by a young woman, Anne Pauline Roux, who decides to attempt to discover the cause of the incessantly disturbing dreams that have bothered her for years. While in a hypnotic trance she discovers that the strange man who has been disturbing her dreams all of these years actually is Belling from an earlier time. Resentful, she makes a pact with Salvatora to recount everything she learns during her sessions with Belling, something she hides from him. Of great importance is the fact that she is one of the few people who can change history by acts she performs during these hypnotic sessions. The involved and rather convoluted plot continues eventually leading her to find a fulfilling life and finding a resolution for the confrontational lives of Joseph and Marcus.

Discussion: Fundamentally the author has presented a quite well translated, intriguing tale that many readers should enjoy. Regrettably, along with this enjoyment, they may find several features of the presentation disturbing if not disappointing. The detail and descriptions provide excellent help in character development as well as placement of specifics. However, there is considerable redundancy, as well as repetition, that good editing would have eliminated. Additionally, the presentation somehow brings to mind the complex imagery Herbert, John Donne and other metaphysical poets of 17th Century presented. Specifically, at least for this reader, there was an inability to comfortably settle the tale into any particular time and/or place. To explain: First, Belling’s training was supposed to be particularly effective because he had received most of his training in America. The greatest advances made in hypnosis generally have been attributed to European proponents. More especially perhaps, centered first on the work of Franz Anton Mesmer in the late 1700’s and then those following. (An interesting aside, Belling’s professional life seems to follow Mesmer’s who was quite a popular showman but not well received by the Medical Profession of the day.) Second, the story is replete with a fortune teller, a forbidden island, soothsayers, clairvoyants and other components of the occult. Belling appeared on television, the ease of automobile transportation and other factors appears to lead one to expect the story’s time to be relatively recent. Yet, the strong position of the occult, although still existent today in small pockets, seems to make the time/place to be in the past (or perhaps a relatively isolated part of Europe peopled by unsophisticated, even quite provincial, individuals.) Thus, this reviewer’s discomfort in attempting to place a time and position for the story.

Summary: An intriguing story for readers who enjoy the occult and can overlook the problems that concerned this reader.

3* 4* for some readers; 2* for those similar to this reviewer.

Eagle Shield: Milestone Rising

Eagle SHIELD: Milestone Rising, first published in Australia by Aurora House 2018 copyright and written by Carl Lakeland. This Kindle edition ISBN: 978064822690.

Plot: The story opens in Alice Springs, a settled area in Australia’s ‘Outback” with Nathan being assigned to be the guardian/new parent for orphaned 10-year-old Angel whom he is informed has some ‘most ‘unusual talents’. Nathan Masters, nicknamed Canter, is a former special services soldier who had lost part of a leg in combat, but still works for ASIS, the Australian CIA/FBI type of organization. They are engaged in clandestine defensive activities against an organization that intends to devastate earth by nuclear fission. Purportedly, the organization is composed of worldwide, highly placed government and large company CEO’s along with Mafia and similar groups. These individuals are aligned with aliens who have infiltrated and lived among earth people for years and have provided these ‘privileged’ individuals with the opportunity to harvest large personal gains for their aiding the aliens while assuring them they would be provided with a means of escape from the devastated planet. The reason for the ‘Oudarretians’ desire to devastate earth is because the remnants of nuclear fission produce a substance they need to survive and gradually their source is being depleted. Angel is part human and part of this alien origin. Nathan’s assignment is titled Eagle Shield, presumably associated with an unusual relationship she appears to have with these birds. His instructions are to deliver Angel from Alice Springs to a safe house in Melbourne and then remain as her new parent/guardian while helping to prepare her to become an ASIS agent when she becomes an adult. Along with Angel he is given an important disc and other pertinent material about the Milestone Project that must never be out of his sight and control. With this attempted elimination of some of the early confusion of this story, the reader can embark upon pursuing the well written, fast paced abundant action that follows.

Discussion: The author has a most creative mind with which he has set forth a very interesting high-octane action plot, often on the edge of credibility, but acceptable with its occult/fantasy, alien/paranormal thread. His characters also gradually become increasingly interesting as more about them is revealed as is the plot, even though a certain amount of confusion still persists. Unfortunately, Canter is not as careful as his instructions require, numerous complications result and the action moves forward at a decidedly accelerated pace. So, readers who enjoy fast, often violent action with a touch of the paranormal will discover an enjoyable romp. Buy it and enjoy it but DON”T read the next paragraph.

A SPOILER ALERT must be offered for readers who, if like this reviewer, are not particularly attracted to lead characters who are quite inept in other than certain situations, here active combat. Specifically, if Canter were more mentally agile, listened to and followed instructions provided, he would be an individual more in line with expectations of an operative in a government’s intelligence service. But then, and most regrettably and apologetically, this perhaps is simply ‘one person’s opinion’.

3* 5* For violent action devotees; caveat regrettably and apologetically offered for others.