Fiction and Literature

Occult fiction, poetry, and literary criticism.

Review: The Magic Shades, by Dotti Enderle

By Mike Gleason | September 4, 2003 | Leave a comment

The Magic Shades: The Fortune Tellers Club, Book 3, by Dotti Enderle
Llewellyn Worldwide, 0738703419, 135 pp. (+ preview), 2003

In this third instalment of the Fortune Tellers Club series, juvenile misadventures continue. The girls are still dealing with their “arch enemies” Beth and Nicole (or as the Club calls them “the Snotty Twins”), who continue to torment them because of their interest in divination.

This time around Gena buys a pair of sunglasses (“the most hideous creation ever invented”, a cording to Juniper) at a discount store, which apparently allow her to foresee future events. She can see the future. Unfortunately, she lacks the experience and maturity to understand what she is seeing. She has a tendency to misinterpret what she sees and to over-react to what she believes the images mean.

On top of that, her father (a widower for most of her life) is turning traitor – he is starting to show an interest in another woman – HOW DARE HE?! And how dare another woman try to take away her father? She must have put him under some kind of spell.

And then the unimaginable happens. Her father is revealed as all to human and Rachel (the new woman on the scene) is revealed to be a loving, caring person, with a surprise or two up her sleeve.

There are more books to come in this series and, while it is most definitely not a classic series, neither is a “See Spot run” series. They are inexpensive enough to be a good, spur-of-the-moment gift for the pre- or early-teen in you life who is looking for some fun reading. I definitely recommend them.


Playing with Fire, by Dotti Enderle

By Mike Gleason | September 4, 2003 | Leave a comment

Playing With Fire: The Fortune Tellers Club, Book 2, by Dotti Enderle
Llewellyn Worldwide, 0738703400, 140 pp (+ preview), 2003

The adventures of the Fortune Tellers Club continue. School has started up again, so there is less time to agonize over the typical teen problems. Of course now there is homework to worry about – and boys.

Anne finds herself falling for the new boy at school, Eric. He is the new quarterback on the middle school football team and she is on the cheer squad. Of course, every other girl on the cheer squad has their eyes on him as well. Continue reading


Review: The Lost Girl, by Dotti Enderle

By Mike Gleason | September 4, 2003 | Leave a comment

The Lost Girl: The Fortune Tellers Club, Book 1, by Dotti Enderle
Llewellyn Worldwide, 0738702536, 125 pp. (+ preview), 2002

This is a series intended for the middle school crowd. It is light in tone and although some parts might be considered “spooky” there is nothing terribly frightening or threatening.

Three young girls (Juniper [whose mother reads tea leaves], Gena, and Anne) each use their growing, individual talents to help each other in their times of difficulty. It is reminiscent, in a lower key way, of the “Witches Night Out” series by Silver RavenWolf.

As with any group of young folks, there is the popular one (Anne), the quiet one (Gena) and the “odd” one (Juniper). This leads to the various kids taking the lead in various circumstances.

The books are easy to read, not at all preachy, and fun. They illustrate a variety of divination techniques from the very simple (the Magic 8 Ball) to the more traditional (Tarot, scrying, and tea leaves).

This first book deals with every parent’s worst nightmare – a young child missing. The three members of the Fortune Tellers Club don’t start out to find the youngster (Laurie Simmons). Instead they are looking for Gena’s lost retainer.

Juniper, being the “experienced” one of the group, feels the call to help locate Laurie. When none of her usual methods (scrying and Tarot) work, she resorts to trying new methods – in this case, psychometry. She becomes so focused on finding Laurie that she dreams of her.

Add to the psychic confusion the turmoil and angst which is so much a part of the pre- and early-teen years (especially during the summer when there are more hours to agonize over such) and you have a story which any youngster can identify with.


God’s Debris, by Scott Adams

By The Wizzard | July 1, 2003 | Leave a comment

God's Debris, by Scott Adams God’s Debris: A Thought Experiment, by Scott Adams
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 07407219089, 2001, 132 pp.

This is one of those books that attempts to make you think and to bring up ideas and ways of thought through the medium of a carefully crafted novel. It reminds me of such books as Illusions by Robert Bach or The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman which also lay down their ideas through the medium of a novel rather than directly addressing them in a traditional manner. Continue reading


Review: From the Ashes, by Meghan Brunner

By Mike Gleason | May 1, 2003 | Leave a comment

From the Ashes, by Meghan Brunner
First Books, 0759681708, 544 pages (+ glossary and character listing), 2002

Although I’m not a Ren Faire goer myself, being chronically cash-strapped, this book rang very true for me. The differences between a week-long Pagan gathering and a Ren Faire are not that great. I felt, immediately, like I knew these characters.

There were minor typographical errors (missing words, some irregular spacing, and such) but nothing major enough to detract from my enjoyment of Meghan’s crisp and vivid writing style.

By the time I was a quarter of the way through the book I had one major regret – that I only had another 390 pages to go. I already knew that I was going to want more (which is why I am glad to see that this is only the start of a series).

The characters are very vivid and have rapidly become like members of my extended family. I will miss them while I wait for the next instalment in this wonderful series of books.

This is not a children’s fantasy book. It is set firmly in the real world and deals with real-life issues such as sexuality, jealousy, power trips and more. It is not blatantly sexual, but it does not shy away from the topic either.

Although it has Pagan/magickal themes running through it, it is a book, and a series, which should be thoroughly enjoyed by a wide cross section of readers. One does not need a working knowledge of Paganism or magick to understand it. More mundane readers will simply enjoy the stories of personal interaction and growth which a major part of this wonderful book.

The development of characters and plot-lines is very smooth and vivid, and makes the images come alive. I have seldom read a book where I developed an understanding and empathy for the characters as quickly as I did with these people.

Ryna and Phoenix are meant for each other, but neither is sure the other shares those feelings. In the manner of all lovers, they stumble through the opening phases of what each hopes will be a life-long commitment. They brave dangers for each other, often from a single enemy shared though the centuries. They find happiness, share the fear of loss, and find themselves part of a family which offers love and support unconditionally – something Phoenix has looked for all her life. Along the way, as often happens with lovers, they spread their happiness through their circle of friends and acquaintances unconsciously.

Not to give away secrets or spoil anything, I must say that the “initiation” ceremony near the end of the book is profoundly moving, and I wish I could have taken part in it myself.

If you want a fun read, something to take your mind off day-to-day mundania, the price of this book is money well spent. On top of that, the book is available in a variety of formats (Electronic – ISBN 0-7596-8169-4; Rocket – ISBN 0-7596-8172-4; Softcover ISBN 0-7596-8170-8; and Hardcover ISBN 0-7596-8171-6). So, choose how you want the book, then go to www.1stbooks.com and order your copy today.


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