Saturday, July 9, 2011

Book Review: Defense Against the Dark by Emily Carlin

Review: Defense Against the Dark
Author: Emily Carlin
No of Pages: 208
Release Date: 15 March 2011


When we lie awake at night listening to mysterious sounds, we imagine all the things that could be making those strange noises.

The rumbling is the sound of the refrigerator; the knocking is from the old furnace; the creaking is nothing more that the house settling...isn’t it? Although the modern world has denied the existence of things that go bump in the night and has taught us that the occult couldn’t possibly exist, we know there are things that science has yet to explain.

Defense Against the Dark introduces you to many of those unsavoury magickal creatures and occult happenings that exist outside of fairytales. Our ancestors knew these things were real, and took precautions to protect themselves from whatever evil was lurking in the shadows.

Defense Against the Dark will teach you:
• Common lore and mythology of predatory entities such as goblins, vampires, imps, and ghosts.
• How to identify malevolent spirits and understand how curses actually work.
• How to master different protection methods, including shielding, banishing, and hex breaking.
• Easy, concrete methods for protecting yourself in everyday situations.

My Thoughts:

Defense Against the Dark asks one to go in with an open mind, but even the most open of minds you will come out slightly disturbed at the content you just read.

Defense Against the Dark is a collection of folk lore about the various creatures that inhabit our surroundings, whether they be ghosts, faeries, vampires or werewolves they are all real and Carlin gives us a way to identify them and either rid ourselves of them or keep them from becoming a problem.

In part two of Defense Against the Dark we learn about certain protective rituals and spells that we can cast to help us rid ourselves of the various nasties that are out there to get us. Whether they be elemental circles for protection, hex-breakings or house cleansings, you will be able to find it here.

For me, Defense Against the Dark was just too far-fetched, and too hypothetical. Part One I rather enjoyed, being an avid reader of paranormal books hearing the true lore behind the stories was an extra step into the genre, but it wasn’t really lore as we know it, it was lore stating that people turn into wolves once a month, it was lore that told us vampires were real, whether they be the non-dangerous blood sucking kind or the bad energy sapping kind.

There were disclaimers with everything though, if you think things are moving around your house by themselves, it might be a boggart, or you may have rats. If you think you’re being possessed, it may be an evil demon, or you may be schizophrenic. If you attempt a cleansing ritual, it may work, or you may just not be doing it right, or you may not have enough belief in what you are doing.

I did enjoy some of the lore, most of which was in the faery chapter. Instead of thinking that I’m forgetful, it would be nice to think that it was a pixy moving my objects around. There was no real evidence to back up what she was saying though, no stories, no re-telling, and no crazy cat ladies swear that they have ghosts in their houses, just what Carlin decided to look up on the internet one day and compile.

But the believability ended there. When reading up on Black Ladies (the children eating kind) we were advised as adults to show force or to create an energy ball full of “let me go” energy. At that point I had to put the book down and walk away for a little while. My open mind suddenly pushed the pretty faeries to the back of my mind, and logic started creeping back in, but I kept going and still quite enjoyed the rest of the lore.

In Part Two though, Defense Against the Dark started to lose all credibility, just because the spells didn’t follow through. For example:

By my will the circles are sealed.
My circles of protection will hold until I get up tomorrow morning.
So mote it be.

Really? “Until I get up in the morning”? Carlin really couldn’t follow through with something a little more in character? First sentence is very Wiccan like, third sentence also follows the same pattern but the middle? What happened there? Was her mojo just not working that day?

Defense Against the Dark was definitely an experience, but not the best one to convert a logical mind. I don’t think that there’s nothing out there, but I want a bit more evidence than just “it could be the end of the world as we know it, but it’s probably you just going insane.”


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