Sunday, August 25, 2013

Immersion Mastery (Zack Jezek)

Immersion Mastery by Zack Jezek was a hard book for me to finish. I abandoned it several times since starting to read it in November. I only finished it though sheer force of will.

One of my problems with the book is sheer amount of bragging that the author engages in; he is proud of the fact that he became a Reiki master and Mayan shaman at age ten, and that he is also a NLP master and a professional skate boarder. Jezek wrote this book at the ripe old age of nineteen. Yes, this book brought back flashbacks from earlier in my esoteric career, for I acquired a high degree far too young and said some damn stupid things earlier in my life believing that I actually knew what I was talking about. Maybe Jezek will be different, but I personally find my earliest writings as an esoteric leader and teacher to be almost physically painful to read.

While I agree with Jazek's opinion that his generation are the leaders of the future, I do not necessarily agree with him that his generation is any more unique than any previous generation. Sure, they have their own set of brand-new problems which young adults have never seen before, but a lot of generations have been able to say that statement.

So is there anything worthwhile in this book? And will it appeal to teen and twenty-somethings?

Yes, it will appeal to his own generation who will believe that they are somehow special and that their problems and disadvantages are actually assets and special abilities. And yes, I do believe that attention and compulsive disorders can be assets--history is full of famous people who today would be labeled ADHD/ADD and/or OCD. In fact, I would probably be labeled with an attention disorder if I would have went though high school five years later than I did (ADHD was just being a bad kid when I was in school)--not that I will ever be famous, yet these things are a daily part of my own life to a certain extent. But Jezek lays it on so thick, it is like a commercial to remain immature forever.

And maybe the book does have some worthwhile stuff in it. But it is buried deep in feel good talk aimed at making teen and twenty-somethings believe that they are perfectly ok just the way that they are. I am not sure Jezek is going to feel the same way when he is forty.

As for esoteric techniques talked about in this book (after all, I review esoteric and New Age books), there is a version of the "grounding as a tree" mediation, some game console based mental reprogramming techniques, a watered down version of the immersion method (my regular readers will know this better as magical boot camp or power week), and a hint of the chaos magic technique of interchangeable personalities. But they are all so caked in happy talk that quite honestly, I can't imagine anyone over the age of thirty being able to tolerate this book; or for that matter, any parent that has been exposed to the techniques in a different setting. And there are better sources for each and every one of the exercise and techniques, or at least better written ones (Jezek is far away from being a good writer).

I am giving this a weak two stars out of five.

[Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book though a Goodreads First Reads drawing.]

Monday, August 19, 2013

Candy Crush Saga Guide Advanced Edition (Tyler Davis & Emily Jackson)

Candy Crush Saga [Player] Guide: Ultimate Advanced Edition, by Tyler Davis and Emily Jackson, is a follow-up of the previous game guide that they did for beginners to intermediate players. Starting off with a list of what they included in the first guide (but careful not to give away the actual contents), they then proceed to give hints on how to deal with the obstacles of the tornadoes, chocolates, and time bomb makers, as well as giving general hints for jelly and ingredient levels.

This ebook focuses on what the authors consider the most difficult of the game. A quick list of the levels that they give hints for: 77; 135; 138; 269; 275; 285; 342; and level 417.

Like their preceding Candy Crush Saga game guide, this book consists of general play hints, and not how crack the game level by level (even the levels mentioned are left to the player to completely figure out).

The writing in this ebook is clearer than the last one, but occasionally it still irked me. And in this one, I found myself annoyed by the number of cheerleading statements the authors made about the worth of the ebook. Such cheerleading makes me wonder if the authors on some level suspect that their game guide is a little weak in content.

The authors also assume in one place that you are able to play Candy Crush Saga both on Facebook and on your phone; this is not true in my case (I currently do not have a phone with the ability to play the game on...yes, I am still living in the Stone Age in many ways).

I am giving this four out of five stars, but it is a weak four.

[Disclosure: I grabbed this game guide on an Amazon free day that one of the authors told me about though Goodreads.]

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Candy Crush Saga Player Guide--Fire HD Version (Tyler Davis & Emily Jackson)

The Candy Crush Saga Player Guide--Beginner to Intermediate Version (Fire HD Version) by Tyler Davis and Emily Jackson, as its full title says, is meant for those who are in the early stages of the Candy Crush Saga. My Facebook friends know that I am in the lower 200s on the game, so the question is: Did I find anything useful in this guide? Yes. But first, let's treat this game guide on its proper level--beginner to intermediate players.

I would have found this game guide useful when I was a beginner, just starting the game. I blew a lot of games learning some of the basic information in this game guide. And I had many of a moment of "What the heck is that?" and "How do I get rid of that obstacle?" as I progressed though the levels of Candy Crush Saga. So I believe that it would be useful for its intended audience.

My only complaint about the game guide is that some of the writing is a touch unclear (hence four stars instead of five). Please note that this game guide does not give specifics to beat particular levels; if that is what you are looking for, then you want to give this one a miss and head directly for Google. This is an overview book.

Now, as an advanced player (or I like to think that I am advanced, considering that I am in the lower 200s level-wise), did I find anything of value in this guide? Yes.

For instance because of my current budget, I can't afford to buy charms and boosters, so it was nice to have a reminder of what the various charms and boosters do in the game. Also a couple of the candy types mentioned, Frozen and Rainbow, I had not encountered yet at the time of my reading of this ebook (since my initial reading of this game guide, I have encountered the Frozen Candies). There is also an obstacle mentioned in the preview of the advanced game guide (which will get its own separate review...probably tomorrow or the day after that), the Tornado, that I have yet to see in game play.

And to amuse all my friends, it was not until I read this guide that I realized the pattern behind the formation of the horizontal and vertical stripped candies. I thought that it might be random, but I could never be bothered enough to go Google it. I might be a little thick, or just stubborn.

Anyways, I did find some useful information in this short game guide (it is short), so I am giving it four out of five stars (as I mentioned before, some of the writing is a touch unclear and therefore, I don't feel that I can give it a full five stars--call me a picky Virgo or a nasty ex-literature student if you want).

[Disclosure: I received a review copy of this game guide from one of the authors, who contracted me though Goodreads.]