Book Review :: Nights Arose by Andrea Roche

41Bla9-4VfLBook: Nights Arose
Author: 
Andrea Roche
Publisher: Solstice Publishing – Winter Solstice Imprint
Release: November 28, 2016
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Rating: 3/5

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Nessarose Du Mouchelle, a Jamaican girl with a soul of a tigress, preferred her name as “Arose”. She was a rebel compared to the other Jamaican women during late 1600’s. Arose often disguised herself in men’s clothes to play the role of a man. While growing up she spent years at her uncle Edmund’s ship where she learned everything a sailor needs to learn to survive in a voyage in the ocean. Her uncle’s valet, Blaze became her best friend.

She already possessed the gift of Knowing and had the power of seeing the future when Old Bessonth, the gypsy woman, gave her the opalescent gem. The Gem of the Red spirit allowed her to send her spirit into the astral plane. Morel, the voodoo priestess with the help of her henchman-brother Ambrielle always wanted to get the Gem of the Red Spirit and control the spirit world. In order to do so, she hatched sinister plots to kill Arose.

The story revolves around Arose and her strength with or without the help of the Red Spirit. Even though at times she sought warmth and support from a strange man called Captain St. James or her best friend Blaze but she never hesitated to stand up to her enemies and fight alone. She didn’t even hesitate to help her enemy.

Whom should she choose as her partner? Blaze or Captain St. James? How would she defeat Morel? Would she be able to protect the people in danger?

Read the book and you won’t regret.

 I received an e-book from the writer Andrea through Reader’s House (@Readers_tweets) in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

 

I am a Potterhead

“After all this time?”

That’s what one of my friends asked me this Sunday after I posted a picture of my brand new collection of Harry Potter series to celebrate its 20 years anniversary. I couldn’t say “always” in reply as I didn’t read any book from the series until recently. “But better late than never”, I replied.

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Would you believe I finally started reading Harry Potter series just this January? And finished it in 20 days. All 7 books. When I started reading the first book I was already scheduled for a trip. I took the iPad with me loaded with all the 7 books. I even read while I was traveling by train. I read at night till dawn even when I was supposed to wake up in the morning. I read while waiting for the train. I read while I was visiting my relatives.

I couldn’t wait to get back to the story every night. The whole day I would be trekking in Uttarakhand or traveling from one city to other and return to my resting place tired and sleepy. But the moment I would hit the bed I would start reading. I even read while I was suffering from fever, cough, and cold which I caught from drastic weather change during the trip. I was that hooked. Any Potterhead would know the feeling. Then I watched all the eight movies one after another.

Let me tell you why it took me so many years. I was introduced to this magical world for the first time through the first movie when it came on Star Movies one night. I liked that movie but had no idea it was already a famous fiction series. None of my friends read English books let alone reading Harry Potter. Most of them didn’t even read book at all. So there was basically no one to put some sense in me, you see? I watched 2nd and 4th movies skipping the 3rd one on TV when I could while forgetting half of the things from the previous movies. So basically I wasn’t understanding what was it all about.

Then I watched the 5th one on big screen. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Then I gave up. I thought it wasn’t for me. I never watched the rest of the movies again. I saw the thick sparkly books at bookshops and the prices were outrageous for me at that time. And I couldn’t imagine myself reading all those bulky seven books in my lifetime even though I am a book lover. So I told myself I am never going to read or watch all these ever. “These are for children”, I told myself even though I read children books all the time.

Then I met Potterheads. Watched them around me. Slowly I started feeling jealous of them bonding over some dialogues or trivia which I hardly understood. I started feeling left alone. I grew curious. Then finally I took my chance. And boy, would I ever regret? Yes, I would. I regret missing out on this for so many years. Had I been reading these books during my teen days I could have fallen in love with one of the characters (read Fred) without knowing whether he was going to die or live in the future. I could have waited eagerly for the next book to come. But I missed all these little joys from happening. How sad!

I cried buckets for each and every death. I am still mourning. “She has finally arrived.”, one of my friends said this when I declared that I finally finished reading the series and I don’t know what to do with my life anymore.

I seriously don’t know what I am going to do with my life after this instead of re-reading these books and reliving the life at Hogwarts over and over again. These books taught me a lot. It echoes almost everything I believe. I think I have finally found a fictitious world where I feel at home. Where I can hide every time whenever I start feeling uncomfortable with this real world around me. Where I can seek the answers which I always look for in this real world. It has its share of sorrow, pain, anger, and all the negative elements of human world but it has countless of good things too which are so reassuring.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I think I am going to be a Potterhead now. “Always”.

Book Review :: Rafflesia the Banished Princess

IMG_0488Book: Rafflesia the Banished Princess
Author: Gautam

Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd.
Release: 20 March 2017
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 4/5

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Summary

There is no princess in this story. I too, like everyone else, was expecting this to be a story revolving around a female protagonist. Instead, there is Appu (Apoorva Sharma). This is a story about Appu’s journey from childhood to adulthood, the journey from a suburb of Guwahati, Assam to Leeuwarden, Netherlands; about his struggles, friendships, and relationships with people of different ages. It is a third person narration. The timeframe of this story is from 1982 to 2008.

My Review

Appu, a sweet, timid boy from Assam lived with his father Aabir, a Bengali and his mother Trina, an Assamese in a rented house in Guwahati. The family struggled with poverty yet was very happy with each other. As much as the poverty tried to run over them, his father’s Violin and music shielded them from any negativity. His parents dreamt and hoped that one day Appu will be a successful man and pull himself out of that miserable life.

Appu always struggled to express his emotions as a child and he never could change himself even when he grew up. His best friend since childhood, Rahul, always complained that Appu never shared his feelings, thoughts, desires, and hopes with him. Appu never really shared his feelings with anyone else either. He was extremely introvert and somewhat naive. He didn’t understand the complexity of the world. He kept on hiding his emotions to himself. He hardly understood people yet loved them dearly and never hated any even if they harmed him in some way.

I could relate with Appu to some extent. His mediocre, humble upbringing and surrounding was similar to mine. The revelation of his love of different languages made me feel I could very well be his friend.  At the workplace, he was the outcast, distant, silent one, just like me. Still, he managed to get so many affectionate friends who doted on him.

He treasured little things of life and kept them as a collection. A piece of paper with a scribble from Rahul and two books he got as gifts made his precious collections. Rafflesia, the Banished Princess was one of them. He even carried them to Netherlands. Those things helped him to cope with the loneliness and emptiness he faced in his life. As a reader, it was difficult for me to understand whether Appu ever fell in love with anyone or desired anyone in his life or not.

My Evaluation

If you like a slow, melancholy story you must try this one.

Things I liked:

  1. How the story handles a lot of emotions. It even breaks the stereotype that “Boys don’t cry.” They do cry and feel all the tender emotions.
  2. How Appu treasured books gifted to him. Like Appu, I too have such books which I carry everywhere. The nostalgia and the good memories attached to it along with the story itself gives a lot of comforts in hard times.
  3. All the main characters and their stories.

Things I didn’t like:

  1. Some goofs. Like in 1982 there were no STD booths in India. STD booths were opened during the late 80’s.
  2. Grammatical and typesetting errors. Text needs careful editing.
  3. So many insignificant characters and names which made the story lengthy.

 

 

‘I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’

Book Review :: Cobra Z (Necropolis Trilogy Book 1) by Sean Deville

30632837Book: Cobra Z (Necropolis Trilogy Book 1)
Author: Sean Deville

Publisher: Severed Press
Release: 15 June 2016
Genre: Fiction (Thriller)
Rating: 4/5

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Warning: This novel is not for faint-hearted.

Cobra Z is the first novel of the Necropolis Trilogy. I received an e-book from the writer Sean Deville through Reader’s House (@Readers_tweets) in exchange for an honest review. As soon as I saw it on twitter,  I found the blurb interesting enough to grab the opportunity. And I was not wrong.  

This is my first ever zombie novel. Being a fan of zombie thriller movies I have known enough stories which are almost similar. But never read any books before. Still, I feel this story is different in many ways. Unlike the movies, you get to see the story from 4 different perspectives. The villains, the security forces & governments, the civilians, and the zombies themselves! These zombies are fast and there are two types of them. One is infected but not dead. The other is undead. The infection spreads through bodily fluids and bites and works within 10 minutes.

It starts with a failed mission at the Hirta Island Research Facility where the entire team was infected with a virus which turns the human into hungry cannibals and there is no cure. One of the team members escapes the facility before the infection spreads with the sample of that virus without leaving any trace of being there. One year later the virus is planted at different locations around London by the followers of a religious psycho who believes he is delivering the god’s wish to punish the people who followed other religions and non-believers. A scientist who became estranged from the entire human kind pretends to help the religious guru but has a plan of his own. Rest of the story the readers should find out.

The story is bold and talks about almost all the issues we humans are facing in our current world. The storyline seemed very practical given the circumstances we got to see in Syria being under chemical attack recently. Who can guarantee there is no one hatching sinister plans with the biological weapons right now, as those kinds of attacks are not new in the history of mankind.

Though there are some goofs (at least two) which are negligible. Hope they will be corrected in later editions. Also, I felt the repeated descriptions of how the zombies thought and worked as a hive was completely unnecessary. At times it ruined the flow of the story. Apart from that, It is well written. Liked the language and tone of the story very much.  I loved how the story unfolded and ended. I am definitely going to read the next book.

 

BOOK REVIEW :: Unns – The Captivation

Book: Unns – The Captivation51DZKNa+wbL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_
Author: Sapan Saxena

Publisher: Inspire India Publishers
Release: March 18th 2016
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 3/5

Unns, the 2nd stage of love, the stage of infatuation and captivation often makes us fool. In Urdu, there are seven stages of love. Hub (stage of attraction), Unns (stage of infatuation), Ishq (stage of actually falling in love), Aqeedat (stage of respect), Ibadat (stage of worship), Junoon (stage of obsession), and Maut (stage of death). I think I have lived all the first four stages of love and after reading this novel I am really glad that I have never reached any of the last three stages.

Atharva Rathod and Meher Qasim paid high prices at different stages of their lives for love. They were once high-school sweethearts. Meher being the ambitious one and obedient daughter of her parents, ended the relationship even before they could realize at which stage of the love they were. Heartbroken Atharva tried to move on for next 15 years and became a successful senior agent of RAW, the primary foreign intelligence agency of India. 15 years later they met again in Germany while Atharva was leading an important mission and Atharva’s life turned upside down. Was it a coincidence or planned?

They met again after 12 years, this time in the suburbs of Belmont. While they faced each other again, they had to face their own demons, emotions, and weaknesses for the finality. What happens at the end readers should find out. I recommend it for young adults.

Frankly speaking, I was never so confused about deciding whether I really liked or disliked a novel before. I liked the plot, the characters, and the narration. But still, there were a lot of things I didn’t like at all. The story could have been a brilliant thriller but fails miserably. Following are the points which ruined my experience of reading a good book.

  1. Text needs lots of editing. The grammar mistakes are really annoying.
  2. It was really difficult to keep track of the abrupt transitions between past, present and different time periods in the same chapters.
  3. A trained RAW agent can’t be such careless or naive to give access to his laptop which contains such secret and crucial information of the country’s security to anyone else.
  4. What Atharva was trying to find out for months, was found by others within few hours after the mission fails. That is absurd.
  5. It was actually Dev’s idea to involve Meher in the mission. But he never takes the responsibility when the mission fails. Why?

The book cover, binding, and paper quality are really good.

“I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.”

BOOK REVIEW :: Think with me by ‘Saharasri’ Subrata Roy Sahara

41jrob0wDqL._AC_UL320_SR212,320_Book: Think with Me
Author: ‘Saharasri’ Subrata Roy Sahara

Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Release: 10 November 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction
Rating: 3/5

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Think with Me – Fundamentals for making our country ideal” is Subrata Roy‘s second book of the “Thoughts from Tihar” trilogy. The book is divided into 5 topics – Electoral System & Leadership, Population, Education System, Media, and Religion. The writer elaborated on the problems we Indians are facing at present and tried to give some solutions for those problems in this book.

I agreed on the points writer raised on Electoral System and Leadership. A narrow minded person can never make a good leader. And our current electoral system helps flourish corruption and corrupted people. He repeatedly mentions about the five categories of emotional sphere, “I“, “My“, “We“, “We All“, and “Us“. He even offered to guide the system if the authority (ever) agrees to implement the solutions he suggested.

I found his opinion on poor population is outright insensitive where he mentioned poor people are responsible for the degeneration of merits and qualifications of India’s entire population. We all know for a fact that lavish upbringing doesn’t ensure someone’s intelligence or make him a good human being. Same way being poor doesn’t mean they can’t be a skilled professional or a good human being or have the emotional sphere of “Us”. No one can deny that our country always depended on efforts and hard works of our poor population. We had great leaders, writers, poets, players, artists, activists, businessmen who belonged to poor families. Most of our security personnel come from poor background and that doesn’t stop them from being brave or skilled fighters. I would like if the writer reconsiders his view on this topic.

The chapter on our Education System is well thought and his solutions are interesting. I will leave it for the readers to find out.

Where I completely agreed with the writer was the chapter of Media. The role of the media houses on nation building is huge. But our media is doing just the opposite these days. He suggested which actions should be taken to stop irresponsible journalism. In my opinion they could be really effective if applied.

Religion has an unavoidable impact on human lives. Our country’s political motto is “Unity in Diversity”. To maintain that, we all need to put extra efforts and keep a peaceful approach to solve the problems sometimes arise due to communal tensions. Otherwise a civil war or riot can break out and destroy our country anytime.

This is the first and only book from the trilogy I have read. It takes longer time for me to read a non-fiction as I give more time to understand the writer’s perspective. One needs to keep in mind that this book contains writer’s own opinion. The solutions he offered not all of them are practical and agreeable. But overall it is a good read.

“I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.”

BOOK REVIEW :: A Walk in the Rain by Udai Yadla

Book: A Walk in the Rain31849927
Author: Udai Yadla

Publisher: Kyron Publications
Release: 2016
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 3/5

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Sunny was a timid, lonely boy before Sandy came into his life. Sandy changed Sunny’s lonely friendless, gloomy life into a bright sunshine. Two innocent 5th standard classmates soon became inseparable and found love and solace in each other. After few years Sandy disappeared from his life without a trace. Sunny had endured a lot of grief in his life but losing Sandy was the worst of them all. He never healed and went back to his solitude and grew up to be an extremely introvert and misogynist. His heart was connected to Sandy’s with the “thread of love”.

Sunny was still deeply in love with Sandy when his only friend Imran planned to give a surprise birthday gift to him. Imran wanted Sunny to forget Sandy and start a new life. That night Sunny met Saloni and his life changed again. They instantly started hating each other. Sunny hated Saloni for being a prostitute. Saloni hated him for being a rude and insensitive person. That night Imran was brutally murdered by a pimp named Hari while trying to save Sunny from a mob. Saloni was the only hope for Sunny to find Hari and take the revenge. In exchange of money Saloni agreed to help Sunny and they set for a dangerous journey. Was Sunny walking into a trap laid by Saloni? Did they overcome their hatreds and become friends or they turned out to be enemies? Would Sunny be able to fall in love again? What happens to them finally is up to the reader to find out.

The book talks about a very serious issue. Our mindset and social conditioning makes us hate and judge prostitutes irrespective of their reasons to choose such profession. We hardly ever question or judge the customers or the society these prostitutes serve, willingly or unwillingly. The story shows us why and how women are forced to accept such degrading life. Some of them are yet very much able to retain their self-respect and grace.

The characteristics of Sunny reminded me of a girl from my class in college. She would keep to all by herself and hardly talk to anyone. She would look uninterested in everything around her. She wouldn’t make any friends. I even heard she once tried to commit suicide. Fortunately Sunny never did so. Sandy’s memory kept him somewhat happy and alive.

The action scenes seemed very much like a Bollywood movie but I must say they were the added spices for me. Even though there are many grammatical mistakes and some sentences sounded really odd, I found the story rather interesting. This was Udai Yadla’s first book so I wasn’t expecting it to be perfect. The style of narration is good. It is a light read actually. I finished it in one sitting.

Rain plays a very important role in this story. I myself love rain so much. So does Sandy and Sunny. The descriptions of them playing in the rain reminded me of my childhood. After finishing the story the cover makes lot of sense now.
 

“I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.”