Sunday, July 15, 2018

Love Beneath the Mighty Dome Spotlight

Book Details:

Book Title: Love Beneath the Mighty Dome: Volume 1 by Ronald J. Wichers
Category: Adult Fiction, 332 pages
Genre: Literary Fiction, Mystery and Suspense
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Release date: September 21, 2017
Tour dates: July 2 to 27, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13

Book Description:

What if you felt that Almighty God had called you personally to devote your life exclusively to His service only to discover that those in charge of your training were people not worthy of your respect? Would you stubbornly stick to your path? Would you rebel and try to change the institution from within? Would you begin to doubt yourself and your own integrity? Or would you question whether the institution itself was actually what its founder, Jesus of Nazareth, had intended so many hundreds of generations before you?

Turn the pages of Love Beneath the Mighty Dome and discover what happens to those confronted by just this dilemma, how it affects their lives, their ability to function, their ability to love.

To follow the tour, please visit Ronald J. Wichers' page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

Watch the book trailer:

Meet the Author:

Ronald J. Wichers was born in Lake Ronkonkoma New York in 1947. He attended Catholic School until 1965, studied History and literature at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas until being drafted into the United States Army in 1970. He was assigned to a rifle company in the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam and, after sustaining severe wounds in a gun battle, including the loss of his left am, was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism and the Bronze Star Medal.

He later studied theology full time at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley California. He has published several short stories about the Vietnam war. The Fear of Being Eaten/A Biography of the Heart is his fifth novel.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

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Resonance of Fate

Resonance of Fate Cover Art.jpg

Developer tri-Ace is known for its roleplaying games blurring the line among various subgenres, such as the Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile series, published under the Enix, eventually Square-Enix, banner. In between console generations, they commenced development of a new title under the codename “Project Cobra,” the result published in 2010 under the name End of Eternity in Japan, and Resonance of Fate in the rest of the world, although surprisingly, Sega published the title instead of Square-Enix. The combat system contains many interesting ideas, but do they follow through in harmony?

Although many have heralded the battle system to be “innovative,” it’s actually an amalgamation of elements filched from previous roleplaying games, although the overworld system of connected hexes is somewhat unique, with special consumables necessary to further exploration among the world’s various layers. Colored hexes can hook up to terminals that provide effect to the areas they overlap (in addition to unveiling story destinations), although said terminals require a certain number of hexes of the base color to take effect. This somewhat parallels the area-of-effect system of tactical RPGs such as the Disgaea franchise, with terminals potentially becoming a decider in late-game combat.

Battles themselves are randomly-encountered on the overworld and in areas outside the hex-based “dungeons,” although each room in said dungeons contains fixed enemy fights for the most part. Terminals and an accessory can potentially nullify random encounters, and possibly allow for stress-free travel throughout the game. The fights themselves really blur the line among turn-based, action, and tactical roleplaying games, the player equipping the three playable protagonists with various firearms, an ammo case, a grenade box, and an item box, for use in combat, gamers able to mix-and-match combinations of these in most instances however they please.

Fights occur in an arena-like area on the overworld or in a dungeon’s chambers, the player moving around one ally at a time while targeting an enemy with their weapons. If the player desires to attack an enemy, they must “charge” their weapon at least one round, with greater effects the higher the charge and a protagonist’s proficiencies with the current weapon type, the three increasing levels, max HP, and capacity points allowing for higher-level equipment and guns with more accessories. Since grenades come in scarce supply early in the game, players might want to hold off on increasing their level for the three characters until they become readily available for purchase in the base town’s shop.

Enemies can interrupt a character’s charge, effectively wasting the player’s time, and while the player can see the charge gauges of enemies in front of them, they’re pretty much completely blind to foes elsewhere, and if the player reaches their maximum charge without manual execution, they’ve also wasted their time, and while an accessory can deter it, certain accessories become far more critical to success in battle. Before attacking foes with handguns and grenades, it’s critical to soften them up first with machinegun fire before executing “direct” damage using one of the other two weapon types, enemy and player character shields gradually recovering.

A major safeguard to success in combat is the Bezel system, with the player having a certain number of Bezels that each character can consume to run in a straight line across the battlefield while being immune to damage, able to charge up their weapons even more greatly, and able to jump in an arc that terminates at the endpoint decided before performing one of these Hero actions, and is in fact necessary to avoid obstacles that otherwise cut short their run. The player collects Bezel shards from story battles, sometimes from tough encounters indicated by glowing red hexes on the overworld, or as special rewards from opening hexes, four of these granting an additional Bezel.

If a character’s Hero action’s path crosses the invisible line created by his or her two other allies, then the player will gain a Resonance Point, which they can use to run in a triangle in whatever order the player decides while charging and being able to unleash their weapons simultaneously until they reach the end of their paths. However, if the player has a Resonance Point and manually moves a character, they will lose all they have acquired (players able to accumulate more if they perform more Hero actions that cross the lines creates by the two other characters).

If the player loses all Bezels due to performing too many Hero actions or losing them due to enemies fully “scratching” one of the protagonist’s HP gauges, the battle goes into critical state, where the player’s characters become significantly weaker, and they receive a Game Over if one loses all their health. However, the player can restart the battle with the stats they had when commencing it initially for a cost of some money or retry the battle with Bezels fully restored for an even greater cost, which is actually pretty much necessary to succeeding in an early story mission where the player has to protect a statue from enemy onslaughts from a dungeon’s start to finish.

Characters gain experience with their equipped weapons simply by using them, with level-ups happening in the middle of battle, and the player obtaining items necessary to create more powerful goods, transparent or colored hexes, and maybe junk sellable for money. One mechanism that can significantly increase item rewards is each character’s potential to launch an enemy into the air with an attack, in which case an ally equipped with a machinegun or handgun can smack them down to the ground and rebound them while jumping if they’re at a higher altitude than the enemy, skillful gamers able to repeat this process as they please.

All in all, the battle system has some nice ideas and can be fun, with terminals for instance being exploitable to increase things like each character’s rate of leveling in places such as the arena near the hub town and the amount of time enemies float in the air after launching them, although gameplay clichés such as the aforementioned need to protect a statue during its transportation through a dungeon, not to mention several chapters where the player must fight with reduced party size, significantly harder than with the full cast of three protagonists. Most fights further tend to be a matter of downing an enemy’s shields through machinegun and then handgun fire and assaulting the enemy proper, the difficulty generally being inconsistent and more about skill than levels at times.

The game’s controls fare somewhat worse, with unskippable startup screens such as one cautioning players sensitive to blinking lights about playing the game, the player needing to sit through the voice acting during cinematic cutscenes without being able to scroll through the text, a restricted save system that commits sins such as not placing save and recovery opportunities right before bosses, the tedium of outfitting firearms with parts without an option to optimize them (and where unequipping a part forces the player to scroll back up to the list of equipped parts), and so forth. The linear structure, however, keeps players generally moving in the right direction, so interaction could have certainly been worse.

The plot is perhaps the weakest element of the game, focusing on a dystopian setting of a world consisting of several levels raised towards the heaven, with little in the way of character development and tried elements such as an antagonist with a tragic past, and the ending is a bit confusing. The translation for the cutscene dialogue is generally serviceable, but the storyline is by no means a major reason to play the game.

The voiced battle dialogue, however, is a completely different story, with disjointed lines such as “Straight to hell!” and “Bark but no bite!” among others, and generally being terrible, as seems the norm among Japanese roleplaying games, the voicework during story scenes being hit-or-miss. Composers Motoi Sakuraba and Kohei Tanaka, however, generally do a good job with the music, in spite of some musicless moments.

The visuals are fairly generic, with a seeming overuse of grayish hues and general dull colors, alongside blurry and pixilated texturing of environments, although the character and enemy models are believable and account for graphics one could consider serviceable at best.

Finally, depending upon the player’s skill and whether they devote time to sidequests such as the arena, playing time can be at least two days’ worth, although this player somewhat found himself addicted to leveling in the arena and some extra dungeons, accounting for a little under six days of playtime.

In conclusion, Resonance of Fate continues its developer’s legacy of quirky gameplay systems, given the potential to have fun with combat, although its execution feels disjointed and rough around the edges, given inconsistent difficulty and tired gameplay clichés, and the storyline certainly doesn’t provide reason enough to experience the potentially-long game, the voices in battle are horrible, and the visuals don’t really push the PlayStation 3 to their limit. The soundtrack is pretty much the high point of the game and given a minor degree of fun this player had with the game, it actually has a little lasting appeal, and might be worth it if one can find it at a low price. The mainstream gamer, however, isn’t missing much should they avoid the title.

The Good:
+Battle system can be fun with certain exploitations.
+Good soundtrack.

The Bad:
-Combat’s ideas fall flat in execution.
-Unmemorable story.
-Awful battle dialogue.
-Mediocre graphics.

The Bottom Line:
The game isn’t bad, but you aren’t really missing much.

Score Breakdown:
Platform: PlayStation 3
Game Mechanics: 6/10
Controls: 4/10
Story: 3/10
Localization: 6/10
Music/Sound: 7/10
Graphics: 5/10
Lasting Appeal: 8/10
Difficulty: Schizophrenic
Playing Time: 2-6 Days

Overall: 6/10

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Art Trade, 14 July 2018

Rose Whitlock (Art Trade)
by jmg124 on DeviantArt

Her half:

1531579617.rachel Baldra
by jmg124 on DeviantArt

War Against the Weak (some politics)

War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race

Author Edwin Black dedicates this expose on the topic of eugenics to his mother, who never got to read its original published edition but was witness to the implementation of the pseudoscience in Nazi-occupied Poland. He thanks several volunteer researchers from across the globe and American organizations such as Planned Parenthood, indicating that there were some roadblocks in his research such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum refusing some of his Freedom of Information Act requests, although he acknowledges that journalists tend not to halt their research amidst refusals to disclose data.

Black follows with a lengthy introduction indicating that eugenics affected America’s population for the first six decades of the twentieth century, given the forbiddance of Americans by governmental mandates to continue their bloodlines. Eugenics, he notes, depended upon widespread academic fraud with limitless corporate philanthropy to establish persecution rationales. Victims of eugenics included individuals such as poor urban citizens, “white trash” across America, immigrants, and the like.

The writer follows with a note that there are occasional inconsistencies within his resources, using phrases in his attempt to remaining loyal to the original texts, indicating that citing the Internet, given its constant evolution, proved a constant challenge. The first main chapter tells of the sterilization in the 1930s of the Brush Mountain hill folk scattered throughout the Appalachian Mountains, who lived in poverty. The cases of specific individuals such as Buck Smith and Mary Donald are mentioned, with American eugenicists commanding money, prestige, and international academic exchange to export their pseudoscience to other countries like Germany.

Black commences the second chapter by indicating that mankind’s quest for perfection almost always turns dark, with xenophobia towards fellow humans existing in virtually every culture throughout history and finding its way into science. He briefly discusses the history of charity that began when the Black Death ravaged Europe from 1348 to 1350, with the suffering of the poor intensifying during the mid-1500s with silver imported from the New World, and charity becoming a government responsibility with Pope Clement VII refusing to annul Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

The following chapter notes that in America, class was largely a measure racial and ethnic. Feminist authors such as Victoria Woodhull indicated the evolving view that positive and negative breeding were essential for social improvement, America’s romantic myth of the “melting pot” (a term coined by British playwright Israel Zangwill) not existing even in the time of mass immigration to the United States. The 1880 Census Bureau Director Francis Walker coined the term “race suicide” regarding diversity, the author noting that thousands of black and white Americans were lynched between 1889 and 1918.

The Carnegie Institution’s Station for Experimental Evolution at Cold Spring Harbor opened in 1904, its first years dedicated to preparatory work and initial experiments on animals, leading to the establishment of the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) in October 1910. The Amish were an initial target of eugenicists, with the increasing population of the American West largely making the tracing of genealogy difficult. The human rights attorney Louis Marshall questioned the constitutionality of compulsory sterilization, with a few eugenic supporters proposing polygamy as a means by which to multiply “desirable” bloodlines.

When Sir Francis Galton’s eugenic principles crossed the ocean from Britain to America, Kansan physician F. Hoyt Pilcher became the first doctor in modern times to castrate someone to prevent procreation. Similarly, Dr. Harry Clay Sharp, a physician at the Indiana Reformatory in Jeffersonville, castrated a man to prevent his self-gratification, with compulsory vasectomy performed even when not legal. Indiana would ultimately become the first jurisdiction in the world to legalize forced sterilization of its mentally-impaired patients, poorhouse residents, and prisoners, and eugenics would find several prominent supporters such as future American President Woodrow Wilson and future British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Most Americans opposed eugenics, although the pantheon of eugenics was not interested in furthering democracy, but rather creating a supremacy. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek, Michigan, would found the Race Betterment Foundation, and famed telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell yearned for the emphasis of researching positive traits in humans rather than those negative, as other eugenicists desired. The Rockefellers would become major financial backers of eugenics, and the pseudoscience found other prominent supporters such as U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and a few Episcopalian priests.

Black dedicates a chapter to Margaret Sanger’s birth control advocacy, with the dissemination of information on the subject criminalized in her time, birth control advocates and early feminists identifying with the eugenics movement. Sanger became a Social Darwinist, disdainful of charity, believing insanity cost taxpayers millions and seventy percent of America was feebleminded, and allying with racists and white supremacists. She advocated negative eugenics over constructive implementation of the pseudoscience, with eugenicists wanting birth control separate from their own movement, somewhat crippled by the onset of the Great Depression.

Blindness prevention became one of the eugenics movement’s priorities in the 1920s, with the condition seen as hereditary, Lucien Howe becoming a legendary champion in the cause of better vision, wishing to halt marriage among those whom they considered “defective,” and suggesting that the blind receive the choice of isolation or sterilization. Margaret Sanger pervaded this movement, and Howe died before his radical plans took effect.

The American Census Bureau would not cooperate with the eugenics movement, although advocates perpetually attempted to get them to change their minds. A Virginian registrar of vital statistics named Walter Ashby Plecker became a raceologist and eugenicist despite having fond childhood memories of his family’s Negro servant Delia, hoping to halt marriage between whites and those with even one drop of non-white blood, antagonizing a fellow registrar from Pera, Virginia named Pal S. Beverly for having some Negro blood. Black ends the first part of the book suggesting that the eugenics movement at this time was ready to go overseas.

Immigration became a hot-button issue among eugenicists for their alleged “contamination” of American bloodlines, with the country in economic and demographic turmoil after the First World War, postwar immigrants booming and concentrating on urban centers. The 1920 Census revealed for the first time in the country’s history, the population’s majority had shifted from rural to urban areas, and eugenicists exploited the best and worst of the nation’s feelings about immigration, ultimately leading to the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924 to reduce non-Nordic migrants, which ended in 1952 with the McCarran-Walter Immigration and Naturalization Act.

Although some considered England the cradle of eugenics, British eugenic science and doctrine were almost completely imported from the United States, with Americanized eugenics taking root in the early twentieth century thanks to Liverpool surgeon Robert Reid Rentoul. Home Secretary Winston Churchill assured eugenicists that Britain’s alleged twelve-hundred-thousand feebleminded citizens would have their bloodlines terminated. Minister of Health and future Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain further supported a sterilization act. Although Pope Pius XI condemned eugenics as a fraudulent science, the movement would continue to gain ground.

American eugenicists saw mankind as a biological cesspool, taking this attitude globally at the 1912 First International Congress of Eugenics in London, countries such as Canada and Germany dabbling in the pseudoscience. The lethal chamber would emerge in Britain during the Victorian era as a humane means of euthanizing dogs and cats, with worldwide debate on its use in humans, some “defective” newborns euthanized. A movie called The Black Stork would become propaganda for eugenicists, and a certain Austrian-turned-German named Adolf Hitler would take notice of the eugenics movement.

Other Germans such as physician Gustav Boeters advocate eugenic laws, with social theorist Alfred Jost arguing in his 1895 booklet The Right to Death that the state had the inherent right to kill the unfit and useless. After the First World War, the Treaty of Versailles crippled German finances given their owing of war reparations. Hitler would lead an unsuccessful coup in November 1923 at the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich and would ultimately seize power following an inconclusive election on January 30, 1933, spearheading the country’s eugenics movement.

On September 27, 1929, prominent eugenic leaders met in Rome at the Central Statistical Institute to deliberate and agree that paupers, mental defectives, criminals, alcoholics, and other “inferior” strains of humans deserved en masse incarceration, with Americans having financial connections to German biomedicine, and Hitler wanting his atrocities known to the world. Two separate chapters deal with Nazi atrocities respectively at Buchenwald and Auschwitz, the latter of which would be the last stand for the genocidal pseudoscience, the Nazis especially fascinated by twins, even Jewish, not to mention dwarfs and the physically-deformed.

The final part of Black’s book deals with the aftermath of the Nazi regime and the hunt for various war criminals such as Josef Mengele, camp doctor of Auschwitz and nicknamed “the Angel of Death.” Fellow eugenicist Dr. Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer also eluded prosecution, becoming a corresponding member of the newfound American Society of Human Genetics. The pursuit of Nazi perpetrators continued into the 1960s, with their doctors’ writings permeating both American medical journals and American doctoral literature.

Both Hitler’s ascend in Germany and eugenics’ founding father’s departure from Cold Spring Harbor caused a retreat of interest in the pseudoscience, with the American Philosophical Society today containing the largest consolidated eugenic collection anywhere. Despite America’s retreat from eugenics, its consequential policies did not, with sterilization of “defectives” still continuing. The American Civil Liberties Union would file lawsuits on behalf of the sterilized, and in 2000, Alabama became the last American State to repeal its anti-miscegenation law. The concept of “genocide” would be codified into the laws of the United Nations.

The eugenics movement would be renamed genetics, with some former eugenicists even going so far as to condemn Hitler’s policies. Planned Parenthood itself condemns its eugenic legacy and copes with the dark side of founder Margaret Sanger. Contemporary news would provide regular updates on genetic research, with DNA identification banks amassing, the events of September 11, 2001 accelerating fascination with genetics. The main text concludes with Black saying that global consensus is necessary to act against genetic abuse since no single nation’s law can alone anticipate the evolving nature of global genomics.

Edwin Black acknowledges a personal journey in the production of this book, which overall provides a detailed glimpse into a dark chapter of American history that pretty much every contemporary historical textbook ignores, with only a few errors the editor overlooked. The text somewhat hit home to this reviewer, who is on the autism spectrum and would have very likely in the period the story covers been considered “defective.” There are certain events throughout America’s history some believe its citizens should be ashamed of, and the book definitely shows that the eugenics movement is among them.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Luke Cage

Luke Cage Netflix.png
One of the Netflix series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that focuses on the eponymous bulletproof-skinned Harlemite, with many of his adversaries obviously not getting the hint of his ability. Definitely provides a good look into the highs and lows of the society of Harlem, and is far from blacksploitation.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fear of Being Eaten Spotlight

Book Details:

Book Title: The Fear of Being Eaten: A Biography of the Heart
Author: Ronald J. Wichers
Category: Adult Fiction, 264 pages
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Biographical
Publisher: Mindstir Media
Release date: April 26, 2017
Tour dates: June 25 to July 20, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M

Book Description:

What if you married a man who didn’t care about you? What if there was a child in the neighborhood for whom you developed a special fondness but was nine when you were nineteen and twenty when you were thirty with two children and a husband who still didn’t care? And what if you were a boy whose only happy memories were a few soft words uttered now and again by a beautiful neighbor ten years your senior and whose voice and face and figure, back-lighted by the golden light of the setting sun, were all that would sustain you when your life was threatened every minute of every day in the mire of a squalid war nobody wanted?

This is the story of Jacqueline and Tommy, their lives stubbornly paralleling with no convergence in sight until one cold night she sees him starving to death on a crowded street filled with happy tourists.

What would you do if you saw him there almost unrecognizable, just another mass of neglected, invisible wreckage? Turn the pages of The Fear of Being Eaten: A Biography of the Heart and find out what happened to Jacqueline Rhondda and Tommy Middleton.

To follow the tour, please visit Ronald J. Wicher's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

Watch the book trailer:

Meet the Author:

Ronald J. Wichers was born in Lake Ronkonkoma New York in 1947. He attended Catholic School until 1965, studied History and literature at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas until being drafted into the United States Army in 1970. He was assigned to a rifle company in the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam and, after sustaining severe wounds in a gun battle, including the loss of his left arm, was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism and the Bronze Star Medal. He later studied theology full time at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley California. He has published several short stories about the Vietnam war. The Fear of Being Eaten: A Biography of the Heart is his fifth novel.

Connect with the author:

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Monday, July 9, 2018

The Great Hunt

WoT02 TheGreatHunt.jpg

The first sequel of the late Robert Jordan’s main Wheel of Time series opens with a prologue centering on a masked man named Bors and his followers, where the repetition of “the main who called himself” is somewhat unnecessary. Bors hosts guests from many nations in the known world, among them being Aes Sedai, Trollocs, and Myrddraal, owing allegiance to the Dark One. Ba’alzamon and others in the meantime are at the foot of Shayol Ghul, and news abounds of a boy with a heron-marked blade destined to become the Dragon Reborn and his companions, with Bors making Tarabon and the Almoth Plain his targets.

When the main chapters open with the same motif Jordan and his successor Brandon Sanderson use, the wind rises in the Mountains of Dhoom, blows southward across the tangled forest of the Great Blight, tainted by the Dark One’s touch, and reaches the walled town of Fal Dara, ending atop the tower of a great fortress where the Warder Lan instructs Rand in the art of swordsmanship. The leader of the Aes Sedai, the Amyrlin Seat, comes to the city, with Rand thinking he is a target, given that he attempted to channel the One Power whose masculine half the Dark One tainted eons ago.

The city gates are sealed with the Amyrlin’s arrival, with events across the world raging such as false Dragons ravaging the land in Saldaea, Murandy, and Tear, and street riots occurring in Caemlyn in Andor. Meanwhile, Lady Elayne has safely arrived in Tar Valon to commence her instruction as an Accepted, with Moiraine Sedai further presenting Egwene and Nynaeve as candidates to learn the ways of magic. Rand is still believed to be the true Dragon Reborn, and in a dream fends off a Trolloc with his companions Mat and Perrin whilst in a farmhouse, Padan Fain, Ba’alzamon, and Black Ajah with them.

Most of the first sequel’s action revolves around the stolen Horn of Valere, said to bring long-deceased heroes back to fight for good, and Rand ultimately departs with Ingtar to seek the MacGuffin. Portal Stones occasionally teleport Rand and company, who eventually cross paths with a woman named Selene, who too seeks the Horn, and wants to go back home, although beasts known as the grolm delay her plans. In the meantime, Egwene and Nynaeve train with the Amyrlin seat aboard the River Queen whilst fearing Rand to be in danger, the latter accepted into the White Tower after a series of tests.

Rand soon finds himself in the company of Loial the Ogier and Hurin, a tracker, finding their way to a man named Barthanes Damodred. A royal succession war is also imminent, and the sequel introduces new adversaries known as sul’dam, Holders of the Leash, who use cuff-and-collar pairs known as a’dam to shackle Aes Sedai, who enslaved are known as damane, with sul’dam able to sense One Power users within ten miles. The search for the Horn of Valere and a tainted dagger intensifies late in the book in a conflict centered around a location known as Tomon Head.

Overall, the first Wheel of Time sequel is very much on par with its predecessor, and while there are dozens of characters, it’s not terribly troublesome to keep track of them, and the series effectively weaves some of its own mythos, given things such as the unique terms involving the enslavement of the magical Aes Sedai. As with before, however, the late author seemed to be a fan of the Star Wars cinematic franchise, given the enigmatic One Power and its light and dark sides, although those who enjoyed The Eye of the World will most likely enjoy The Great Hunt.