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Profile of MadisonH
Hi guys, I thought I'd share this review here for those who missed it in latest and greatest.

These are my thoughts on "Second Coming" by Ross Taylor and Fraser Parker.

Part 1: Playing Cards
This brief section introduces a few card effects. They provide a GREAT justification for using cards in Mentalism. It's an idea I wasn't familiar with before this, but I really love the way it changes the perception of the cards and what you do with them from tricks to readings.

-Card Prediction: "An unseen card is placed openly in the center of the table. A participant then changes their mind through multiple cards, before settling on one. The card on the table is revealed to be the very card they have in mind."

This is really great. It is definitely a step forward from Ross and Fraser's previous work. It is more deceptive, and also easier for the spectator to follow. This is also virtually 100%. They provide two ways to handle the suit of the card. The first way is sheer genius. It's a little less accurate than the second method, but a little cleaner as well. But honestly, if done the way it is written, I would say it will work 95% of the time. The second method is bolder, and will end 100% correct every time. Honestly, the two methods are very similar and the differences are mot even going to be noticeable to a spectator. I really like this and can see myself using it. I tried it out on the girlfriend and it passed with flying colors. At the end she was really dumbfounded and kept asking about how I got the card. Anything that impresses the misses is always a keeper.

-Think Of A Card: "A spectator thinks of any card freely. The performer is able to divine the card they are thinking of."

This is perhaps the best propless way to know what card someone is just thinking of that I've ever seen. It's very similar to the previous effect, but in reverse. There are some very nice moments which really solidify the impossible nature of the effect. The way they deal with the suits is quite brilliant and practically comes for free.

-Kings Force: "A spectator spreads a shuffled deck of cards towards themselves and remember any card in the middle. The performer is able to divine the card(s) they thought of."

Okay... this is SHEER GENIUS. It comes from their "Kings never die" tapes which I do not have. Boy oh boy I was missing out on a GREAT routine. It is literally the best way to know someone's thought of card that I've ever seen. It's not propless, but it is very natural, essentially nothing ambiguous for the spectator, and EXTREMELY hard hitting. I will be using this a LOT. I performed this for my girlfriend as well and again, it passed with flying colors. She loved it. So do I. It really is great, forward thinking which I've never seen anything like. This one method is worth the price of the book. It's easy, and it's 100%. BRILLIANT.

Part 2: Star Signs, Peeks, Name/Word guesses

-Knowing Stars: "In a casual conversation with your spectator, you know their star sign."

I'm not big in star signs, however, this will be the only method
I use from now on. The spectator appears to guess your star sign. In this process, you narrow theirs down to just 2 signs to pump between. It is great thinking again. It is very simple and is literally over in about 15 seconds. It seems like they give you absolutely no information that would benefit you. I will say though, this is really most effective with a time delay between getting their star sign and telling them their star sign. There is an idea presented later in the book (a peek) which elevates this to a whole new level. It makes it impossible to backtrack. Again, this is the best star sign divination I've seen and this is the only one I'll ever use. It's THAT good. Oh and the best part is that the spectator doesn't need to anything besides their star signs.

-Your Lucky Star: This is Peter Turner's force of a star sign. It is a great way to have your spectator be able to accurately guess your star sign. It works great in the last routine (which is why it is presented in this book.) There's no process here. You simply tell them a little about yourself and have the spectator try to intuit what star sign you are. The downside here is the spectator must be pretty familiar with star signs in order for it to work.

-Folded Paper Peek: "What follows is a way to under very natural circumstances get a full peek of multiple pieces of information using nothing but an ordinary piece of paper and a marker."

Again, this is brilliant (I'm sounding very redundant today.) It is a very natural peek which allows you all the time you need to get your peek. That said, this is a peek which must not be presented under a challenge setting. It is best if used in a reading in order to tel them specific information about themselves. (Star sign, birthday, etc.) The peek is very deceptive under these circumstances though and all appears above board throughout.

-Original Peek: "This is the peek the previous peek was based off of."

This is a super bold peek which will not be right for everything. I don't think it really works for writing down their information for you to guess later, however, this is the perfect peek for the knowing signs routine mentioned earlier. It is so natural and creates such a massive disconnect that even the most astute spectators wouldn't be able to know how you got to their starsign.

-Name Guess Reverse (Written): "This is a very quick and elegant solution to the 'spectator as mindreader' plot where the spectator guessing the name the performer is thinking of.

This is so very very good. This is really a piece which shows how much Ross and Fraser have grown as creators. This is very nicely layered so that each piece of the puzzle makes the other piece seem irrelevant. So much of this is genius. The performer writes down a name on a piece of paper and the spectator is able to guess it. It's that clean. It's that simple. And it's a quick process. Gave this the girlfriend test and it passed. I don't really have the space here to discuss each and ever piece of this effect because it is many things working together to create a masterpiece. This is the best spectator as mindreading plot I've seen using a name guess. It really feels impossible and the spectator will walk away genuinely clueless as to how they were able to get the name. It feels as close to the real deal as you can get. I love this one. I'll use it.

-Object (any word):

Essentially, this briefly explains how you can use the method from the previous effect to have the spectator guess any object or word you wrote down rather than a name.

-Name Guess: "The spectator thinks of the name of someone. You are able to divine it."

This is the best propless name guess ever. Easily. Again, it is nicely layered with deception which will make it very difficult for the spectator to back track. Ross and Fraser have come up with a new reframe which is more natural and allows the spectator to make the mental jump rather than the performer having to explicitly state it. What is REALLY cool about this is that in the process of getting the first letter of the name their thinking of, you also get the second letter for free. It's really great thinking. There's also something really brilliant here in that when you actually get the first letter, it seems as if the process was unsuccessful so you use a different method to get the name. This means the process will be canceled out as the method because they believe it didn't work. They will remember the mind reading process as them simply thinking of their word and saying it silently in their head. This makes the effect seem even grander. Again, this is fabulous. The best propless name guess I've ever come across. I love it and will use it.

-Reverse Name Guess: "This section describes how to use the previous method as a 'spectator as mindreader' effect."

This is the same method used in the previous name guess but frames as the spectator reading the performers mind and guessing the name he is thinking of. It works very well in this way also. Again, it has some very nice moments which make this into a very interesting, and clean, take on the spectator as mind reader plot. I still prefer the previous reverse name guess (written.) However, this is just as valid. Good thinking again.

-Objects, Star Signs, Memories (Any Word):

This brief section explains how to use any of the previous name guess routines to reveal any word, object, or star sign.

-Two Way Verbal Deductive Out: "This is Peter Turner's method for guessing between two star signs."

This is a very natural way to tell the spectator their star sign when down to two options. This obviously works great in conjunction with "Knowing Stars" from before. It is the best way to pump between two options without it feeling like a pump and without using the "repeat it" ploy.

Part 3: Bonuses

-Pseudo Hellstromism: "A 100% accurate muscle reading demonstration."

This is very creative thinking by Ross. It is a clever way to have a spectator cue you the object they are thinking of when no one else thinks they are cueing you. The spectator themselves may not even know they are doing it. It uses a reframe Ross and Fraser are known for. I actually really like this. It's simple, it's bold, but it is very effective. If you've ever wanted to perform a muscle reading routine with 100% accuracy, then you'll love this. It doesn't take any practice unlike traditional methods.

-Date of Birth: "The performer knows the spectators date of birth before he even meets them, and he can prove it."

This is way to make it look like you've written a spectator's birthday down on your phone before knowing them. This is the only piece in the book I dislike. It's a decent idea, but I think there are a lot of flaws in it which will make it be very lack luster. I wanted to like it, but after playing with it a little, I just found it to be a little less deceptive than I hoped.

-Deeper Readings: "This is a way to give readings with cards and end with a powerful moment if you so desire."

This is a decent idea. It is very simple, but could prove to be quite effective. It doesn't really fit in this book to me, but the idea is there and if you feel like giving a reading where you can tell them their future card before they look at it, then this is an effective way to do that. It also nicely forgets up a force with a presentation which makes the force make sense. It may be the best use of this particular force that I've seen.

So that's all the contents of Second Coming! As you'll see, I was VERY impressed with this release. By far Ross and Fraser's best work on mind reading to date. It's going to be very hard for them to top this one. The only pieces I didn't like were considered bonuses anyway so it is fine that I didn't like them. It is rare to find a book on propless mind reading that makes me want to perform every effect in it. I'm not a big fan of propless Mentalism, but this book has changed my mind. I want to use all of these. My favorite piece is definitely Kings Force; I will use it frequently. I will keep all of the other methods outlined in this book in my mind as well for some very impactful mind reading in impromptu scenarios.

All in all: I love this release. I highly suggest it. I think it is one of the best Mentalism books to come out in a long time.

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Profile of SteveTheAmazing

In depth video review of Second Coming.

To sum up my review, I'll borrow a line from MadisonH's review posted above, "It is rare to find a book on propless mind reading that makes me want to perform every effect in it."
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Profile of clairvoyant
I was personally very disappointed by this book. I feel that Peter Turner's The Frame is a more elegant approach to star sign guessing, and his Billetless Name Guess is a more psychic-seeming approach to guessing names than what participants have to do here (the litmus test for this is that I couldn't imagine a mind reader/psychic in a movie having participants "do" what they have to do in this effect for it to work, no matter how streamlined it is). Likewise, the re-frame principle presented here is essentially just an application of the classic Bob Haines/Bob Cassidy logical disconnect concept, which wasn't even referenced here. A lot of good mentalism effects apply this principle to make them more fooling (and a lot of poor mentalism effects could be improved by applying it), but its nothing revolutionary. A "paradigm shift"? Hardly.
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Profile of casco1
Everything from Fraser is pure gold, I will look into this without hesitation. A must buy for me, thank you for the review!
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Profile of 252life
For the exact bday, Eclipse by Sudo Nimh is great.
Look for all the world like you're counting the brain cells in his cranium.

-Theodore Annemann
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