GIVEAWAY- Silent Fear by Lance & James Morcan

 

I may not have been active these few months but I have brought for you a great opportunity which I don’t think you would want to miss!

I AM HAVING A GIVEAWAY!

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And the best part? Everyone wins something!

You could either win a paperback of new crime-thriller novel (with shades of horror and sci-fi) Silent Fear OR you could also sign up to review the book and get an ARC!

You just have to give your email id in the comments section and if you’re not comfortable doing so, just email me your email address and tell me if you want to review the ARC version or you want to enter in the giveaway.

Just a simple step and you have a chance to get a brand new unreleased book.

Oh, and it releases on 31st October! On Halloween! Remember the date. Read your book up until then and provide your opinion for the book before the book even hits the bookstores near you. Exciting, isn’t it?

Here’s something about the book:

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SILENT FEAR (A novel inspired by true crimes) is the latest novel by New Zealand father-and-son writing team Lance & James Morcan, authors of seven other published novels including THE NINTH ORPHAN, WHITE SPIRIT and INTO THE AMERICAS.

It’s available now on Amazon’s Kindle Pre-order program at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075HRYTVC/ and will be available to purchasers on October 31. (The paperback is available via Amazon now).

SILENT FEAR Synopsis:

Detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at a university for the deaf in London. The murder investigation coincides with a deadly flu virus outbreak, resulting in the university being quarantined from the outside world. When more deaf students are murdered, it’s clearly the work of a serial killer. The stakes rise when Valerie becomes the killer’s next target and the deadly virus claims more lives.

As you can see on the book’s Goodreads page, early advance reviews are excellent: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33590532-silent-fear

They have also set up a new discussion group on Goodreads to promote the book at:https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/237556-silent-world-a-discussion-group

And here’s the SILENT FEAR trailer that promotes the book and planned feature film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8bv1vbQxYo

 

So email me on vrushalipathak2107@gmail.com and just sit back to get a chance at winning a new book!

The winner will be announced on 24th October, 2017 IST. 

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Book Review- The Good Guy by Dean Koontz

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Tim Carrier likes to enjoy a beer after work – but when a jittery stranger sits next down to him one night, and Tim lets a misconception over his identity stand for a moment too long, his wayward sense of humor looks set to lead him into trouble.

As the stranger hands Tim a cash-filled envelope with the words, ‘You get the rest when she’s gone’, it becomes clear that he has been mistaken for someone very different from himself – for a cold-blooded killer. And when the killer walks into the bar a split second latter, Tim realizes the encounter, may not only cost him his peace of mind, it could cost him his life….

PLOT

I actually liked the plot. Koontz’s choice of plot and his twists never cease to impress me. A simple plot of mistaken identity could cost a man his life.

Tim, sitting in a bar, starts talking with a man with a large envelope. He mistakes Tim as someone else. Tim starts playing him, just for fun. The man hands him the envelope and leaves. But inside, Tim finds cash and a photo of a woman. He realizes he did a mistake. A minute later another man arrives. He is what Tim thinks is the ‘supposed-killer’. He is.

Tim gives the envelope and tells the killer that he changed his mind and he doesn’t want anybody killed. He gives the killer the cash telling it’s his ‘no-killing-fee’. Tim thinks like the man mistook him for the killer, the actual killer might mistake him for the man. But he was wrong. The killer had his doubts.

Tim finds the woman, Linda who lives alone. Doesn’t really talk to everyone. Has a car in her kitchen. And they both run. Tim now thinks he is personally liable for the life of the lady because he is in the game and the killer would want both of them dead anyway.

And the chase begins. And in the way they both learn of secrets they are hiding.

A mention about the back story of Linda and how she is the one getting murdered is not something I expected. It was weird to read about the incident that started it all and I’m not trying to give away any spoilers. It was a minus for me but I was happy with the whole plot.

CHARACTERS

Tim didn’t disappoint. He didn’t make wrong choices. He fought. And he was witty enough to outsmart the killer at times. He is the actual ‘Good Guy’ and has every quality the main protagonist should have.

Linda on the other hand is this awkward woman who lives alone and has her own take on things. She’s an author who wrote depressing books and she was good at them. She takes a liking for Tim because he tried saving her life a numerous times.

Krait (not his real name), the killer is a pyscho who likes neat houses. He breaks into random homes to stay the night. If he finds a house not clean enough to his standards, the owner’s music tastes not suit him and the clothes not neatly ironed he may kill the owners. He now detests Tim and Linda for being able to live when Krait himself is behind them, trying to kill them.

WRITING STYLE

The book is clearly a pursuit story and it is the perfect cat and mouse game. Everyone tries to outsmart each other, trying to become better than the other. The dialogues got me to fangirl over Koontz’s writing so much. I have soft spot for people who can write clever and witty dialogues. And he did it.

The book is divided into three parts called – ‘Right Place at the Wrong Time’, ‘Wrong Place at the Right Time’ and ‘Wrong Place at the Wrong Time’ which I did think was clever and  suited the plot very well.

MY REVIEW

This definitely made it to the ‘Top 5 Dean Koontz’s Books’ with its fast and exciting chase story. I’ll give it 4.5 stars.

You’ll like it if:

  • You are a Dean Koontz fan.
  • You like mystery/thriller/suspense genre.
  • Great writing. Great dialogues.
  • You like a pursuit story.
  • A quick read.
  • Weird house-loving killer with excessive OCD.

You’ll not like it if:

  • You are not a Dean Koontz fan and this is your first book. I recommend you try his other works first.
  • You don’t like mystery/thriller/suspense genre.
  • You don’t like a pursuit story.

Other books by Dean Koontz that I reviewed:

One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz

The Taking by Dean Koontz

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Book Review- Velocity by Dean Koontz

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On the windscreen of his SUV, Billy finds the first note.

He thinks it’s a hoax.

The schoolteacher dies.

The next note reverses the scenario. If Billy takes the note to the police, a mother of two young children will die. If he doesn’t, an unmarried man who won’t be missed much will die…

Billy must think the unthinkable, fast, in an accelerating nightmare. More communications from the killer follow, with ever tighter deadlines. Each is more personal, more confrontational than the last until he is isolated with no one to rely on but himself. Finally he must risk everything to save the intended victims….

PLOT

The plot started so strong when a person- Billy, leading a boring normal life of bar tending and going home, encounters a weird note stuck on his car. It appears to be a sick joke played by his bartender friend. He ignores the note and the worst happens. Someone actually dies.

The next note, he sits in confusion as his police friend decides to intervene and investigate. Again, a murder. All the evidence points towards Billy although he is innocent.

The story progresses on Billy trying to find out who is actually murdering people and making him the murderer. The plot was what kept me hooked to the book. Koontz’s writing is good, especially the dialogues but this time I had a plot to hook on to. The book went really well till the last, maybe, 50 pages. I enjoyed how the plot twists were unpredictable and I couldn’t guess them.

But when the last 50 so pages came, I was not sure I liked how the story went. The real murderer was close to a revealing and the revealing itself disappointed me somehow. I thought about who could have framed Billy for murders he didn’t do. An enemy? Or someone after him? But Billy had a quiet life and he didn’t know a lot of people.

CHARACTERS

There were not too many characters. Billy was the ‘one man show’ for the most part. There were other small characters including Lanny- his police friend and person who made an appearance in the middle with a task as instructed by the murderer himself.

Billy was this normal guy who liked things as they were. Any change upset him and I believe that is why he was chosen to go through this entire ordeal. He was continuously challenged and was tested. His patience level was strong but still there were times when he couldn’t take anymore and had a burst of emotion. I agreed with his decisions pretty much every time and he gave me no reason to complain.

WRITING STYLE

I am a huge Koontz’s fan and I have that inherent bias of considering his every book a masterpiece. And since I have read 7 of his novels I pretty much get his writing even more. This was a ‘no-nonsense’ book, with great editing and could make you seated till the very end. The suspense in the way it is written is captivating but I admit the last 50 pages have a little downfall, not in the writing but in the plot itself. It may change things for you, a little.

MY REVIEW

I would have absolutely loved this book if not for the plot twists in the end and after considering the book as a whole I’d say that I have read better books from him. It would still be in my ‘Top 30 Books of all Time That I Read’. I will give it 3.5 stars.

You’ll like it if:

  • You are a Dean Koontz fan.
  • You like mystery/thriller/suspense genre.
  • You like a fairly decent size book (basically not too small and not too big)
  • Great writing. A huge advantage.
  • You are reading as an enjoyment without really thinking about every small detail there is.

You’ll not like it if:

  • You are not a Dean Koontz fan and this is your first book. I recommend you try his other works first.
  • You don’t like mystery/thriller/suspense genre.
  • You’d rather read a short read. Or an insanely epic book.
  • You are reading because you want to get inside the story. Then I’m sorry the end will disappoint you a bit.

Other books by Dean Koontz that I reviewed:

One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz

The Taking by Dean Koontz

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Book Review – Seeds of Hatred by Christian Nadeau

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As a former assassin, a man on the run for years, Marac survived taking on odd jobs, living on society’s fringe, never putting down roots for fear of having to run again. Until he’s hired to steal a trinket from the Brotherhood.
Newly graduated, Soren is ready to shoulder the responsibities that come with an officer’s commission. Serving in the Brotherhood of Khanbis a privilege, one that he abandoned everything for. But when an Angel calls on him, he knows his first assignment is more than it seems to be.
As a Lightbearer, gifted with the power to shape light to her will, Alex lived a sheltered life in Tyranor’s monastery. Should the Brotherhood find out what she was, they’d kill her, but the monastery is underground, safely hidden from their prying eyes.
Then It all comes crashing down. A terrible game is played, and when the powerful move, pawns are doomed to be sacrificed.
Are they?

PLOT
The story basically revolves around these three people, as mentioned in the book blurb, but it isn’t just limited to that. As the book started I thought- “So only these character’s point of view is used.” And I was wrong.
There are many short paragraphs (basically they’re sections) which change the point of views some times. And they didn’t confuse me at all. Now I haven’t read many fantasy books and I know the struggle to literally get into the book. And the start seems to be the most difficult part because all the characters are getting introduced. (AND THIS BOOK HAD 80+ CHARACTERS) And so when I started reading it flowed smoothly. I understood what was going on. No unnecessary action sequence to throw me off. The whole book was crisp, up to the point and just the best example for why we really should concentrate on editing more.
(The author ‘Christian Nadeau” himself told me that the original draft was 320k words and he edited to make it 180k and still it’s a lot of words.)
So plot wise, I’m impressed. There are like different factions made up – Brotherhood, Lightbearers, Darkbearers, Fey, Thrall, Revenants, etc. And they all had their own reasons to start a war. Some were trying to stop it and some were in favour it. It just was a mix of opinions and egos.
But the book ends in a CLIFFHANGER. I seriously thought the war was going to take place in this book but IT DIDN’T. And it’s okay no hard feelings (though I screamed a little inside because I wanted to KNOW MORE) *deep breaths* And seriously does any war just start like that? No it doesn’t. Hence the book was REALISTIC.

CHARACTERS
Now this is what I call a ‘strong character’ book. Every character was well thought out. But there was this minor problem. I thought about how the characters, which I repeat were 80+ could have been cut short a little. Because somehow the author named every soldier and every slave and I know it could’ve been hard on him too. But that’s just creative criticism.
I couldn’t actually write about each and every character there is but I can assure it will be like Game of Thrones level characters in a single book (and I haven’t even read Game of Thrones, so don’t quote me on that!)

WRITING
The writing was sharp and not too much description but just enough to make you know what was really happening. And I can’t just write anything more about it because by now you would’ve known that I love this book! (Not forgetting that it ends in a cliffhanger!) *runs away to sob again*

MY REVIEW
Overall just because it was huge to read and took me almost 10 days of my life I would give it 5 stars. No. that wasn’t the real reason. The real reason being that I haven’t read a good from a very long time (like 6 months) and reading was a fresh experience for me.

You’ll LIKE it if:

  • You like a fantasy world based novel
  • You like a book with a truck load of characters
  • You like a book that’s well thought
  • You want to really not want to miss out on a great book
  • You want to read a series

You’ll NOT LIKE it if:

  • You want a light read
  • You don’t like too many characters
  • You don’t want to read a series

*The author provided me a copy and it in now way affects what I think and my review*

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Book Review- One door away from heaven by Dean Koontz

“When it rains, it pours, and when it pours, the rivers run wild, and suddenly we’re caught up in a flood. But when we’re in a flood, we don’t panic, do we, baby boy? And he always knew the answer to that one: No, we never panic. And she would say, Why don’t we panic in the flood? And he would say, Because we’re too busy swimming!

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Michelina Bellsong is on a mission. She is following a missing family to the edge of America…to a place she never knew existed— a place of terror, wonder, and shattering revelation.

What awaits her there will change her life and the life of everyone she know— is she can find the key to survival.

At stake are a young girl of extraordinary goodness, a young boy with killers on his trail, and Micky’s own wounded soul.

PLOT

I don’t think the blurb does justice to the story. I mean, Micky’s travelling adventure isn’t even one-third of the whole book. It’s about people and how they change for better.

The book follows three different story lines and then at last combines all these three different stories together. This story line of combining three different stories impressed me very much. When the book first starts I was having trouble thinking how could these stories even connect

CHARACTERS

The main characters include Micky who is a damaged woman because of what happened in her childhood and ignoring her childhood is the only thing she does. But when Leilani comes to her and begins questioning her about all kinds of stuff, Micky slowly realizes that what happened to her was not her fault. But inside Micky is caring and is worried for Leilani.

Leilani is a little girl that starts living in her moto home with her step father and mother. She visits Micky one day and tells her all sorts of things about her weird family. She has a golden soul but is stuck between her neurotic and murderous family.

Though Noah Ferrel, the detective, had less scenes but we know that he is a private investigator and too lazy to solve any more cases when Micky comes to him for helping her to find Leilani. Fortunately, at last he thinks about heling her and he does.

There are many more characters but they are complex living beings on their own so I’ll just mention them: Aunt Geneva, Micky’s aunt who she lives with; a boy who named himself Curtis (I’ll not tell you why he named himself. No spoilers, remember?); Preston Maddoc, Leilani’s mad professor step-dad; Sinsemilla, Leilani’s almost weird and equally mad mother who’s high half the time in the book.

“None of us can ever save himself; we are the instruments of one another’s salvation, and only by the hope that we give to others do we lift ourselves out of the darkness into the light.”

WRITING STYLE

The writing style was something that I LOVED. I could recommend this book because of its writing alone. The words used to describe things were so good that this made me read more from this author. This book is filled with witty references to people and movies and it all blends in. Never I thought that the author was using too much words just to describe a moon behind clouds with lines like: “A thieving cloud pocketed the silver moon”

 

“Change isn’t easy, Micky. Changing the way you live means changing how you think. Changing how you think means what you believe about life. That’s hard, sweetie. When we make our own misery, we sometimes cling to it even we want so bad to change, because the misery is something we know The misery is comfortable.”

MY REVIEW

 “It’s also true that sometimes – not often, but once in a great while – your life can change for the better in one moment of grace almost a sort of miracle. Sometimes so powerful can happen, someone so special come along, some precious understanding descend on you so unexpectedly that it just pivots you in a new direction, changes you forever. Girl, I’d give everything I have if that could happen for you.”

 

You’ll like it if:

  • You’re a fan of great writing style.
  • You like to read a story that is as complex as its characters.

You’ll not like it if:

  • If you can’t stand any type of violence
  • You don’t like aliens or reading sci-fi for that matter

“According to my mother, all the truths of life and all the answers to its mysteries are present to be seenand understood in every incident in our lives, in every place regardless of how grand or humble it may be.”

I’d happily give it 5 stars and it will definitely have a place in the top 10 books that I read this year!

Book Review- The equation of life By Lee Law

I started reading this book- “The equation of life- As I see it” by Lee Law. He is a layman and he questions some philosophical facts and wants answers about the greater things and why we have this life. And because it is a different type of book, my review will be slightly different from other reviews.

After reading this, I started thinking about the things I never thought of before. It made me think about philosophy as a subject. It sure seems interesting to me but I think I need to read more to understand it better.

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The Equation of Life- As I see it, is a layman’s view on the potential Philosophy to help us traverse the path of life’s journey with peace and contribute to the evolution of the society towards destiny desired by every struggling individual on the planet.

The book tries to motivate and encourage every individual present on earth to live a more responsible life rather than being irrational and irresponsible without purposes.

It helps individuals overcome the desire to live on their whims guided by greed of pleasure and fear of pain.

In this attempt to help individuals and thereby society, the book directs the readers to a path that may uncover answers to several eternal questions.

This book is divided into 8 sections and I’ll express my views on each individual section.

  1. Nature

This chapter deals with how the universe came into being. The narrator searches and finds about the three main theories that explain the how the universe was born- The Big Bang Theory, The Steady State Theory and Oscillating theory. The narrator then chose to believe the Steady State theory, instead of the much proven Big Bang theory. He then analysed why the Steady State Theory didn’t prove the correct way the universe came into being.

From my view, this chapter had a good topic but the narrator being of the science background, he used so much technical jargon that sometimes I had to skip past a paragraph or two because I couldn’t get what he was trying to say. I know that those terms had to be used somehow, but breaking it into words which every reader could understand would’ve helped a lot.

  1. Spirituality

Here the narrator questions the presence of an omnipotent and omnipresent entity called ‘God’. We all believe in God and we think our belief makes Him listen to us. But the truth is even if we don’t believe in Him; He’ll care for us and control us. The narrator then thinks of what is God? Is He an entity or a person or simply ‘nothing’? Then after many philosophies, the narrator describes God as ‘nothing’. God is nothing and is in everything. He is constant, unchanging, absolute and eternal.

  1. Expectations

This chapter deals with how the society has expectations from us and not fulfilling those leads to stress. Everyone in this world has expectations from their fellow individuals. Parents have expectations from their children, a teacher from student, and a boss from an employee. But these expectations value to nothing as they don’t end in productivity. Instead they create pressure over the person who is expected to do something and in the end he doesn’t get to do what he likes, rather what he wants to do. And all these expectations in turn deplete the natural resources and cause imbalance.

  1. Morals

What are morals? Are they enough for a society to operate efficiently? And who decides what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’? Is goodness relative or absolute? The narrator here ponders upon these questions. He gives the example of the moral-filled stories all of us were made to read in smaller classes. They promoted honesty, sympathy and sacrifice.But do these morals still hold true in today’s world? The why is there so much violence and wrong-doing, still after having these morals to guide us?

  1. Purpose

What is our true purpose in life? Is it merely surviving and evolving? Or is it gaining happiness and satisfaction? Is the purpose of why we live related to our consciousness? The narrator answers all these questions in this chapter.

  1. Mistakes

Are mistakes important? Do the mistakes committed in the past help people to evolve into a better being? This chapter puts light on how mistakes were necessary for people to develop. There were many mistakes which changed the course of history and many mistakes that contributed towards achieving a closer solution to the problem.

  1. The Change

Here the author describes what should be changed in order to live a good life. He made a list of virtues or subjects one has to inculcate or master to bring a desired change in society with individual reformation.

  • Ego
  • Health
  • Celibacy
  • Sacrifice
  • Freedom
  • Honesty
  • Happiness
  • Wisdom
  • Peace
  1. The Equation of Life

This chapter sums up the entire book and gives us a view of how the author thinks the world should be. He explains the importance of balance in life and how people should be.

*I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway and it doesn’t hamper my opinion about the book*

If you’re a fan of philosophy or life related matters, you should read this book.

Book Review- If it’s not love by Syed Arshad

I just read “If it’s not love”. Read ahead for my review!

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Was there a person in your life, who touched your heart, like nobody else ever did, whose letters of gifts are still safe in your secret closet, whose memories still bring the deepest of smiles and whose name still leaves your lips trembling and heart racing?

At some point in time you might have thought, “It’s not love”, and you let go, but a part of you keeps telling you shouldn’t have, because deep down your heart, you feel the indelible presence if the one you still miss so badly.

Well; what is it then… “If it’s not love”.

PLOT

The plot somewhat resembles the Indian love story starting where two strangers meet and start talking, slowly they feel they are falling for each other but here, they both are too stubborn to know it really is love.

They constantly deny loving each other and even then stay with each other. When they are not together they feel empty, the feeling of love develops here.

The story is predictable and I know that it’s not a love story because both are busy denying that they are any more than friends. There is a twist in the end but still the book looks plain.

CHARACTERS

The main character Aarav likes a girl Ada and they become best friends. They talk to each other and are fun but Aarav flirts with her too much and Ada doesn’t seem to notice, and even if she notices, she doesn’t care.

Aarav’s friend Neil is his colleague and is in a relationship with a girl named Sakshi, until she marries some other guy. Neil is just the supporting character and so his story is not given much importance. Apparently he LOVED Sakshi but when she marries another boy, Neil doesn’t seem to get affected. He acts all cool and smokes a cigarette.

I don’t want to complain much but the Aarav and Neil are shown smoking too many times. Have a break? Smoke. Have a party? Smoke. Have a breakup? Smoke. Want to chill? Smoke.

WRITING STYLE

There is a good point here and a bad point too.

I’ll go with the good one first. The author included many messaging conversations which is good and I was enjoying myself and the pages flew very fast then. They messaged like normal people would which made me believe ‘they are real’.

Not the bad point. I felt like the novel was not correctly edited. I mean, the writing was good but what bugged me was the formatting.

If two people are talking, their dialogues are written without any change of paragraph. For example,

“Hello, how are you?” A said with a smile “I haven’t seen you since last Christmas” laughing B said.

Repeated use of putting their dialogues in a single paragraph confused me at some point and I had to read again to know who said what.

MY REVIEW

I’ll see this as a very light read as I completed this in less than a day.

You’ll like this if:

  • You like romance genre
  • You like reading messages in slang language and short forms like real people use
  • You don’t care about the story and are emotional anyway

 

You’ll NOT like this if:

  • You are a grammar Nazi
  • You don’t like romance genre
  • You like books with feelings

 

Book Review- The Last Kaurava by Kamesh Ramakrishna

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Devavrat Bhishma is dying, wounded. He tells Yudhishthira the story of how the Kuru established Hastinapur as a trading outpost on the frontier of Panchnad. The river Sarasvati dried up creating a crisis for Panchnad as cities were abandoned and immigrants poured into Hastinapur looking for safety and support. The Kurus under Devavrat address the crisis with the social policy. The success comes at a cost to Devavrat’s personal life. Devavrat’s narration becomes part of the epic poem of the Great War. The story survives, memorised as oral history by the Kavi Sangha, the guild of bards. A thousand years later, the story is written down by Vyaasa, the head of the Kavi Sangha, with help from many others.download (1)

PLOT

The plot was explored beautifully. If you have read the Mahabharata, you would understand the whole book easily. If you haven’t read it, I advise you to read it first.

The book first starts in 850 B.C. where a member of Kavi Sangha, the guild of bards in Hastinapur, Vaishampaayana narrates the story of Devavrat Bhishma ‘The Terrible’ to Bhargava, a scribe. They were Kavi Sangha to record the story on palm leaves for preservation. The stories were ‘remembered’ by the bards and in turn narrated to the public on festivals and fares. They were remembered, hence, they posed a threat to their continuity. So the bards wanted to preserve them for future generations to come.

Then the story takes us to 2000 B.C. where the actual event took place, the Mahabharata, the Great War. Here, Bhishma is badly injured and he tells his life story to all and a bard starts the process to learn whatever he is speaking. This bard, in turn, teaches many other generations before it reaches to Vaishampaayana.

CHARACTERS

Vaishampaayana and Bhargava are the characters in 850 B.C. who are debating over whether scribing all the work they remember is a good idea, as the concept of paper was not that common in those days. Rather, the primitive paper was the most expensive fibre.

Rest all the characters were of the Mahabharata and I love them all. The level of complexity in each of them is just perfect to make us want to know more about them. All I can recommend to all is to read it. And if you are not comfortable with reading the Hindi version of it, you could try the English one.

WRITING STYLE

At first, I didn’t seem to understand the story (it’s always the case with me!). But after about 30 pages I got what the author was trying to say.

All in all, I loved how he incorporated the story of one person into the book and he was the ‘centre of attraction’ for me the whole time. Never did I felt once that any other character was dominating over the main character. All the characters were done justice. The dialogues were sometimes funny, sometimes serious and sometimes really appropriate.

MY REVIEW 

I loved the book for what it was trying to say. The author has hinted that he will be writing a second book which I’ll be waiting for to read.

I’ll give this book a 5/5 for a great try to convert an epic story into a fictional masterpiece.

Book Review- The Taking by Dean Koontz

“Maybe there’s nothing impossible tonight. We’re down the hole to Wonderland, and no White Rabbit to guide us.”

“If I remember correctly, the White Rabbit was an unreliable guide, anyway.”

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On the morning that marks the end of the world they have known, Molly and Neil Sloan awaken to the drumbeat of rain on their roof. A luminous silvery downpour is drenching their small-Californian mountain town. It had haunted their sleep, invaded their dreams, and now, in the moody purple dawn, the young couple cannot shake the sense of something terribly wrong.

As the hours pass, Molly and Neil listen to disturbing news of extreme weather phenomenon across the globe. By nightfall, their little town loses all contact with the outside world. A thick fog transforms the once-friendly village into a ghostly labyrinth. And soon the Sloans and their neighbors will be forced to draw on reserves of courage and humanity they never knew they had. For within the misty gloom they will encounter something that reveals in a shattering instant what is happening to their world…something that is hunting them with ruthless efficiency.

PLOT

The story starts with the sentence “A few minutes past one o’clock in the morning, a hard rain fell without warning.” The novel takes off where a small mountain town experiences heavy rain and our main character, Molly gets up. She is a writer and an insomniac, so she decides to complete her manuscript. She sees some activity on the patio and finds 2 dozen of coyotes. They act very friendly. And it seems like they are afraid of something. These mysterious activities continue until Neil gets up and they see the news on the TV. There are more cases of this extreme luminous downpour. Some say it tastes like vanilla and orange extract.

The story continues and tells us the journey of one day in the lives of the Sloans and what mysterious thing happens. I’m trying not to include any spoilers just for the fear of letting the suspense out.

“Discretion seemed advisable even during an apocalypse.”

CHARACTERS

The character Molly is a writer and so was her mother. She has wrote 4 books and she is struggling to create a name for herself. She wants to find out if she’s really good in what she does or is she send for some different purpose.

Neil is the perfect husband for Molly. He acts as a support system for Molly at all times and knows what to say to her.

There are many other characters, and most of them children, all of which do some creepy stuff.

“The past and the future are equally unredeemable, and the only time of consequence is this moment, now, where the life occurs, where choices are made for reasons practical and philosophical.”

WRITING STYLE

This is the writing style that I love in horror/suspense books. This is the best horror book I’ve read and I think I like it more than Stephen King’s writing. No offence but I’ve only read only one of his short stories book but the writing style of Koontz was better, in my opinion.

The book started with some mind chilling incidents and left me wanting for more. Every chapter ended with something unreal and made me hang thinking what will happen. Koontz definitely knows how to tickle the scare nerve and crisp action on every page, something to look forward to. But there were many scary references from E.S. Elliot like “When you’re alone in the middle of the night and you wake in a sweat and a hell of a fright…”

“We make our own fate, even if it’s figured in the drift of stars.”

MY REVIEW

You’ll like it if-

  • You like suspense novels
  • You are okay with imagining some creepy things
  • You want a really short read. (I completed it in a day)
  • You’re a fan of E.S. Elliot

You’ll not like it if-

  • You don’t like suspense novels
  • You don’t like short novels and want to read more
  • If you’re uncomfortable with some gory and violent scenes
  • If you don’t know E.S. Elliot you’ll not get the references from his work

I loved this book and it made me want to read more of Dean Koontz works.

I’ll give a 5/5.

Until then…

Happy Reading!

 

Book Review- Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Friendship is like a kind of algebra test that nobody passes.

Hello everyone! I present to you another book and this time it’s Shantaram! It’s a 912 page long saga about 8 years of a criminal-turned-doctor and smuggler. So as the book itself is huge, the review will be just so like it. And this review will be full of quotes that I love. And believe me it was the most difficult of all the tasks to select only a few quotes among the 40 odd quotes I found.

Jealousy, like the flawed love, that bears it, has no respect for time or space or wisely reasoned argument. Jealously can raise the dead with a single, spiteful taunt, or hate a perfect stranger for nothing more than the sound of his name.

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BOOK COVER BLURB

In the early 80’s, Gregory David Roberts, an armed robber and heroin addict, escaped from an Australian prison to India, where he lived in a Bombay slum. There, he established a free health clinic and also joined the mafia, working worked as a money launderer, forger and street soldier. He found time to learn Hindi and Marathi, fall in love, and spend time being worked up in an Indian jail. Then, in case anyone thought he was slacking, he acted in Bollywood and fought with the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan… Amazingly, Roberts wrote Shantaram three times after prison guards trashed the first two versions. It’s a profound tribute to his willpower… At once a high-kicking, eye-gouging adventure, a love saga and a savage yet tenderly lyrical fugitive vision.

 

 

I was a revolutionary who lost his ideals in heroin, a philosopher who lost his integrity in crime, and a poet who lost his soul in a maximum security prison.

 

PLOT

What he did and achieved was truly great (even if the things described in the book are semi-real). He actually ran out of prison and changed into a good person here in India.

He escaped from an Australian prison and came to Bombay, India on a fake passport. He opened a free clinic, survived two horrible car accidents and a cholera epidemic, lived in the slums, spent 6 months in a village, fell in love and out of love, learned Hindi and Marathi, went to an Indian prison and got beaten up very badly for 4 months, when released, he joined the mafia gang in Mumbai and worked for them, while he constantly questioned himself- “Is he doing something good joining the mafia to smuggle and cheat?”

The truth is a bully we all pretend to like.

And I did a mistake to read what people think about this book on Goodreads. And either you love this book, or you simply hate it. And I surely come in the first group. People saw this as a tale of a criminal who didn’t do anything but I thought this was beautiful. I mean, I know that India is not fully and truthfully described in it, but this book is not about India, it’s about him.

And as he says, ‘Doing all the wrong things for all the right reasons’, I knew how he changed into the man he was at the end of the book. It contains a great portrayal of how a foreigner came and settled in India and adapted here.

He first came to India as a scared foreigner who was alien to any concept of Indians. He then slowly learnt what it is to be a true Indian at heart. He appreciated his friendships with people, lost many great friends and in the end, he transformed into something better as he said- “In this life, we make an effort to improve ourselves.”

And I think this has a place in my ‘Top 10 books to reread every year’ for sure.

Mistakes are like bad loves, the more you learn from them, the more you wish they’d never happened.

You’ll like this if:-

  1. You want to know about the rich heritage and culture of India and want to know how a prisoner who ran from Australia came and learned the languages here.
  2. You want to read a kind-of biopic of someone who did good after being bad and a robber for most of his life.
  3. You love small lines or quotes and are a huge English-language lover and are obsessed about correct words or witty remarks.
  4. You want to read something that contains 912 pages.

 

One of the ironies of courage, and the reason why we prize it so highly, is that we find it easier to be brave for someone else than we do for ourselves alone.

 

You’ll not like it if:-

  1. If you don’t want to learn about another country.
  2. You don’t like reading real life stories, like a biography.
  3. Or, if you don’t get references of some life thoughts.

 

Someone told me once that if you make your heart a weapon, you always end up using it on yourself.

CHARACTERS

All the characters were somehow real. After reading the book, they seem so real and you instantly believe that they can be real people. Their conversations are the most fun to read and are full of witty comments and lines.

Lindsey or Lin, as the narrator introduces himself; he is kind and just to everyone. He is scared because of the hostile environment and the fear of getting caught. He is a fast learner and picks up whatever he gets to learn during his stay. He is friendly and he has a gang full of friends; both from the slums and the mafia gang.

Karla, Lin’s love is a mysterious woman. She doesn’t let anyone know what she is really and her past. This book doesn’t open her secrets but they are said to be revealed in the sequel to this book.

Didier, Vikram, Modena, Ulla, Johnny Cigar, Lisa, Kavita Singh are some of his friends he loves to spend time with in the Leopold’s Café.

Lord Abdul Khader Khan is Lin’s godfather and his mentor when he joined the gang. Abdullah, Abdul Ghani and Khaled Ansari, Sanjay and Salman are few of his friends in the gang.

And the best part is that they all are described individually and beautifully at each point of time and the reader doesn’t get confused between them at all.

Craziness is the basis of every fine relationship..

WRITING STYLE

The writing is the best part of this book. All the incidents are just perfectly described and I so wanted to read everything in a day (but practically that wasn’t possible because it had 912 pages. Insanely big, right?). I just didn’t seem to get the whole war-thing, and because I ham horribly poor in politics, I think that’s more of my fault because I didn’t seem to understand why were they fighting even? And who was on whose side?

But rest it was poetic (a type I don’t like that much but I loved it here!) and beautiful and just great!!!

Nothing grieves more deeply or pathetically than one half of a great love that isn’t meant to be.

MY REVIEW

After all this gushing if you still don’t know what to do with the book, then please take a nap.

Just go and READ it! And then thank me later.

I’ll give it 5 stars. Wasn’t that obvious?

I was a fugitive. I was a wanted man, a hunted man, with a price on my head. And I was still one step ahead of them. I was free. Every day, when you’re on the run, is the whole of your life. Every free minute is a short story with a happy ending.

If you like this book, you can read the next part ‘The Mountain Shadow’ which takes place 2 years after Shantaram ends.